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Ok, I've read some of the other posts about installing a block heater. But, I'm a bit confused about this other Engine Coolant Heater that's already there. What I really want is a traditional "Block Heater", one that I can plug in to a timer and have it come on for a few hours in the morning before I leave for work on a cold day...and I want to control it myself wheather it is -1, -6, -16 whatever....forget about this -18 deg C crap.

The whole purpose is to avoid these heavy wear cold starts, comfort, and also save gas...Even at -10C a few hours of electricity is cheaper than the extra gas you'll burn at warm-up.

Question.
1. Where is the Engine Coolant Heater located? In the block, inline in one of the hoses, in the radiator end chamber ????
2. Can the thermostat control on this heater be defeated so I control when it comes on?
3. Is the thermostat for this heater built in to the device itself or controlled by the vehicle computer. (what would really be awesome is a software/firmware update that lets you select the temperature the heater comes on in the vehicle configuration settings on the radio)
4. Is there an option to install a traditional "block Heater" in the 3.0 V6?
5. I heard something about an error code occuring if the system senses the coolant is warm, yet it's not -18 ? Anyone else know more about this?
 

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I know this goes against conventional wisdom but get a good synthetic oil (probably a 0W30) and dont warm it up. You have the LTZ so you have seat warmers to get you warm pretty fast.

With the DI engines they really do warm up much faster than older engines so any time spent idling warming up is literally wasted fuel. Plus, idling at lower temps does far more damage than good. Getting the engine to operating temp faster is better.

Get in the vehicle, drive it at a slower pace (below 2500 RPMs) and your car will be warmed up in 2-3 minutes rather than 10 sitting there idling.
 
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Well, we'll see what happens when it get's really cold out.

It's just that me and and almost everyone else cringes when you turn over a super cold engine. I imagine using a block heater is going to greatly reduce wear and tear over the long turm of the vehicle and why wait 3 minutes driving slowly with all your windows half fogged up when you can wait zero minutes and get going right away using a block heater.

I'm just confused at GM's dumb logic with making the engine coolant heater activate at -18...heck it won't do anything anyway unless you physically plug it in...and whose going to sit there guessing if the temp is going to go down to -18 tonight or not? so you plug your car in every night, it doesn't hit -18 and so you've done one extra task each day fumbling through the snow for your extension cord for nothing...so what most end up doing is forgetting about it and never using it at all.

In other words why didn't GM just simply have the activation threshold at, let's say -5C.....if -5 isn't too cold for ya then you simply just don't plug the cord in and nothing happens...but every customer has a different idea of how cold an engine has to be before it benefits from being warmed with a heater. GM....let your CUSTOMER choose simple things like this.

So basically I would like to rig this sensor "nomally closed" so that when I plug it in, it's on...regardless of outside temperature.

Still wondering if anyone else knows anything about the location of this sensor and if there is an option to install a traditional block heater on the V6
 

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mmarges said:
I'm just confused at GM's dumb logic with making the engine coolant heater activate at -18...

In other words why didn't GM just simply have the activation threshold at, let's say -5C.....

every customer has a different idea of how cold an engine has to be before it benefits from being warmed with a heater. GM....let your CUSTOMER choose simple things like this.
What this tells me is that GM determined that running the heater above -18° C (0° F) simply isn't necessary for the performance of the engine, and therefore it would be a waste of energy heating something that doesn't need heating. (I'm not saying who is right or wrong or that you don't have a point, only that there's always some reason behind specs like that.)

mmarges said:
Still wondering if anyone else knows anything about the location of this sensor and if there is an option to install a traditional block heater on the V6
The owner's manual doesn't say where the sensor is, but it does say the electrical cord is on the left side of the engine bay, in front of the air cleaner. It also implies that it is optional equipment (specifically, it says "if available"). Sorry, there's no more info on that. Maybe the service manual has more info???
 

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Usually the block heater is located in one of the freeze plugs on the block. I thought about getting that as an option but didn't think I would use it very often. Nox is parked in a garage at night and at work there is no a/c in the parking lot to power the heater anyway. Just a potential to leak in the future.
 
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mnussbaum said:
What this tells me is that GM determined that running the heater above -18° C (0° F) simply isn't necessary for the performance of the engine, and therefore it would be a waste of energy heating something that doesn't need heating. (I'm not saying who is right or wrong or that you don't have a point, only that there's always some reason behind specs like that.)
How about this....GM, let your customer decide what is good for his engine!, and what temperature he may benefit to save gas on the warm up or get heat quicker for his comfort. (In my opinion I see a benefit at -8deg Celcius...let me make that choice!)

As far as cost or waste of electricity, that's not any of GM's business, if the customer wants to purchase extra electrical energy that's his decision.
 

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So just out of curiosity, how many other auto manufacturers make these heaters with a customer-selectable turn on point? Alternately, how many offer a variety of heaters with fixed settings?
 
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mnussbaum said:
So just out of curiosity, how many other auto manufacturers make these heaters with a customer-selectable turn on point? Alternately, how many offer a variety of heaters with fixed settings?
The point I'm making is that an automatic turn on point of -18deg celcius is a little excessive.

I would imagine that nobody uses this. Who's going to guess if it's going to get pretty darned cold tonight and fumble around for the extension cord, pick it off the ground, perhaps it's dark out, perhaps it's burried in snow and then you plug it in. Only for it to not quite hit the -18 mark...maybe -17, -15 in around there....so now you dink around night after night plugging this thing in for nothing...so what happens...well most people would tend to just simply forget about it and not use at all.

How about this....just simply have a heater but with no temperature threshold period....it's not going to do anything anyway unless it's plugged it. Therefore, when I the customer decides it's cold enough outside I plug it in and it generates heat. Of course I would use a electrical timer so it only turns on for a few hours in advance before leaving for work in the morning.
 

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One can simply purchase a universal block heater from any auto parts store and install in one of the frost plugs on the block. Noma makes a block heater cord that you can program as you wish or automatically turns on at -10 Cel.
Also as another option, there are universal inline glycol heaters that can be installed and sometimes they are the easier choice.
Years ago, before I had a garage, I also ran an interior ceramic heater - which was awesome. Never had to scrap a window and steering wheel and seats were always warm. 8)

IMO, When I am at work, I like to have my block heater come on when I would like it to. My power bill, my truck, my engine. GM can put on whatever 'eco' friendly programs they want. I'll still by-pass them.


mmarges said:
The point I'm making is that an automatic turn on point of -18deg celcius is a little excessive.

I would imagine that nobody uses this. Who's going to guess if it's going to get pretty darned cold tonight and fumble around for the extension cord, pick it off the ground, perhaps it's dark out, perhaps it's burried in snow and then you plug it in. Only for it to not quite hit the -18 mark...maybe -17, -15 in around there....so now you dink around night after night plugging this thing in for nothing...so what happens...well most people would tend to just simply forget about it and not use at all.

How about this....just simply have a heater but with no temperature threshold period....it's not going to do anything anyway unless it's plugged it. Therefore, when I the customer decides it's cold enough outside I plug it in and it generates heat. Of course I would use a electrical timer so it only turns on for a few hours in advance before leaving for work in the morning.
 
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IceBear said:
One can simply purchase a universal block heater from any auto parts store and install in one of the frost plugs on the block. Noma makes a block heater cord that you can program as you wish or automatically turns on at -10 Cel.
I asked that question already, if GM had a part# for a regular block heater that would fit and do the job...no one could come up with an answer so the next time I'm at the dealer I'll ask for one and hopefully they have something.

As for the existing heater....GM, PLEASE DO ONE OF TWO THINGS.
1. Get rid of it...nobody is going to use it If it only turns on at -18C, customers won't be guessing night after night if it's going to get that cold, so they'll simply forget about it. Remove the feature and reduce the cost of the car by a few bucks are instead put the money to something more usefull...How about an Auto Up window?
OR, even better
2. Change the threshold to much, much lower. -1C would be a good start or better yet remove the Temp sensor all together so it comes on when the customer plugs it in to the wall.
 

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I think what Icebear suggested would be the best. Get a heater like he says.

IIRC, the only heaters that do work colder than that are aftermarket ones or ones for diesels. Call different aftermarket manufacturers and see what they offer.
 

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+1
Yesterday was -17 and the Terrain really struggled to start, of course the horrible winter noises were there.. and the heater? Useless POS cause it was not cold enough.. :mad:

mmarges said:
I asked that question already, if GM had a part# for a regular block heater that would fit and do the job...no one could come up with an answer so the next time I'm at the dealer I'll ask for one and hopefully they have something.

As for the existing heater....GM, PLEASE DO ONE OF TWO THINGS.
1. Get rid of it...nobody is going to use it If it only turns on at -18C, customers won't be guessing night after night if it's going to get that cold, so they'll simply forget about it. Remove the feature and reduce the cost of the car by a few bucks are instead put the money to something more usefull...How about an Auto Up window?
OR, even better
2. Change the threshold to much, much lower. -1C would be a good start or better yet remove the Temp sensor all together so it comes on when the customer plugs it in to the wall.
 

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What type of oil are you guy sin the cold weather using?
 

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bballr4567 said:
What type of oil are you guy sin the cold weather using?
Uh oh...here we go... ;)
 
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bballr4567 said:
What type of oil are you guy sin the cold weather using?
I use fully synthetic 5W30 but that's not the point. Even with the best oil... you ever turn over an engine at -17 (before that dumb heater kicks in) The shear sound alone tells ya it can't be good especially doing it one or two times a day for months on end.

Not to mention the extra gas being burned while it's warming up. Here in Canada we've been paying almost $4 bucks a gallon (equivalent) for the past 4 years straight.

Also, I'd just like to have that warm comfort feeling right away and be able to drive away sooner with my windows clear of ice rather than wait 10min.
 

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Did you look at aftermarket block heaters? Try an interior one like Icebear suggested?

Shoot, you are pushing that 5W30 to the limits at some of the temps you claim to see. I have some friends that switch from 5W to 0W that live up in the great cold north in the winter and switch back during the summer.
 

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bballr4567 said:
I've been in various forums where someone asks what oil to use, and it ends up with an ugly brawl! So I'll just say that the manual recommends 5W-30 with dexos certification (new type). In extremely cold (-20° F) weather it recommends 0W-30.
 

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mmarges...

This is the best solution for you if you don't mind altering your OEM equipment.
The ambient temp. sensor [that GM has conveniently set for -18 deg. C.] is in the plug in end, of the block heater cord.
Simply purchase a normal [universal] male 3 prong cord plug end, [usually just a couple bucks at any parts or box store even has them, can buy them in black or yellow normally] and cut off the OEM one and splice directly onto the normal plug end.
Now you have just by-passed GM's engineering. You can have your block heater at your command. :)
You can even purchase the cord ends that light up so that you know when your block heater is on or go with a timer if you so desire.

Hope that helps!!


mmarges said:
I asked that question already, if GM had a part# for a regular block heater that would fit and do the job...no one could come up with an answer so the next time I'm at the dealer I'll ask for one and hopefully they have something.

As for the existing heater....GM, PLEASE DO ONE OF TWO THINGS.
1. Get rid of it...nobody is going to use it If it only turns on at -18C, customers won't be guessing night after night if it's going to get that cold, so they'll simply forget about it. Remove the feature and reduce the cost of the car by a few bucks are instead put the money to something more usefull...How about an Auto Up window?
OR, even better
2. Change the threshold to much, much lower. -1C would be a good start or better yet remove the Temp sensor all together so it comes on when the customer plugs it in to the wall.
 

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Thanks for the accolades bballr4567... but 'he' is a 'she'.. ;)

IceBear sounds kinda gay for a guy doesn't it?! LMAO, especially on a personalized license plate :D


bballr4567 said:
I think what Icebear suggested would be the best. Get a heater like he says.

IIRC, the only heaters that do work colder than that are aftermarket ones or ones for diesels. Call different aftermarket manufacturers and see what they offer.
 
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