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Old 01-19-2002, 03:52 PM   #1
Scoobie Newbie
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Member#: 4184
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Bust the deal, face the wheel
Vehicle:
2004 WRX
World Rally Blue,Moonroof

Default Block Heater Question

Is it safe to start your car while its still pugged in?
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Old 01-19-2002, 04:05 PM   #2
MixeD_MenacE
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Member#: 1274
Join Date: Apr 2000
Chapter/Region: W. Canada
Location: Winnipeg
Vehicle:
MY00 BRP 2.5RSTi
www.zucru.ca

Default

its just a heat element, kinda like ur stove, i've started mine numerous times while it was plugged in, but i unplugged it right after i started the car. if u leave it in tooo long, u risk burning/overheating the element and frying the heater. hope this helps a bit =)

shaun
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Old 01-19-2002, 06:49 PM   #3
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World Rally Blue,Moonroof

Thumbs up

Thanks.
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Old 01-20-2002, 07:22 PM   #4
Lt.Biggles
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Member#: 10446
Join Date: Sep 2001
Chapter/Region: W. Canada
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Vehicle:
2002 WRX
PSM

Default Block Heater plugged in while car running?

More likely all you'll end up suffering is a wrecked block heater cord from when you back out of your parking stall after forgetting to unplug it when you start the car... The heater element is immersed in the coolant, and whether or not its plugged in it gets up to the same operating temperature as the engine. It won't "burn out" if you leave it plugged in and the car running...

YMMV,
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Old 01-20-2002, 08:02 PM   #5
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Default

Thanks. How did you come up with that name (LT)?
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Old 01-20-2002, 11:05 PM   #6
Rickd
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Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
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1999 Impreza RS
Rally Blue

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It is generally not a good idea to leave the block heater plugged in while the motor is running. While you can/will get away with it with most cars, on some cars (80's Volkswagens,some Fords) will experience cavitation of the antifreeze in the vacinity of the heater element. Unlike the element on your stove, the element in an immersion style block heater cannot tolerate being in air for even a few seconds before burning out.

It is also not a good idea to add straight anti freeze to your cooling system. The newer anti freeze contain a high content of silica gel to prevent corrosion of aluminum blocks. This gel can attach itself to the heater element, insulating it from the cooling effect of the water, and cause a burnt element. Always premix the antifreeze with water before adding it to the rad.

I actually designed the heater for Subaru in about 1986 when working for an OEM supplier. I have the original prototype forging kicking around here at home somewhere, it was the first forging I had designed from scratch as a junior designer.
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Old 01-20-2002, 11:56 PM   #7
MixeD_MenacE
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Chapter/Region: W. Canada
Location: Winnipeg
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MY00 BRP 2.5RSTi
www.zucru.ca

Default

hey rick, are u an M.E.T by any chance?
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Old 01-21-2002, 01:39 PM   #8
Rickd
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1999 Impreza RS
Rally Blue

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Nope, when I was going to RRCC I was putting myself thru school and living on my own. I couldn't afford to take the 2 year CET course, so I took Machine Design/Drafting. The big difference was there was much less time available to do strength of material, & properties of materials. I've had to learn most of that on my own.
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