12 Volt Ceramic Heater

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I have a '93 Aerostar 3.0 and my heater is broken. I live in Florida so it's not a huge deal. I figured I'd try one of those 12 volt ceramic heaters. I
figured the more watts a model is rated at, the more heat it would put out. I found a RoadPro model that's 300 watts! So what is the most watts I could run if: A. I plug it into my cigarette lighter outlet (that circuit might not handle the amps) B. If I wired it right to my battery
Matt
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Matt Collins opined in

Divide watts by 14 to get amps... which is what you are needing to know.
300 watts would mean about 28 (IOW 30) amps.
What about your heater is broken?
look above, I just did one... the aerostar heater is about the easiest to work on that I've ever seen.
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Backyard Mechanic opined in

Ooops...sorry, would be about 22 amps.. menaing you would need a 25 amp fuse, minimum.. thirty to be safe and 10 gauge wire

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Thanks for doing the math for me. Now I know the formula. So other than thick cable and a high amp fuse, I should be alright running 22 amps from my battery? I was worried the alternater might not even be able to keep up with that kind of power consumption. One more question Backyard Mechanic, many ceramic heaters are meant to just plug into the cigarette lighter. How many amps can that outlet handle? Probably less than if I hard wired it to the battery.
I think the heater core is clogged. Maybe I'll fix it but I thought a 12 volt heater would be an immediate quick fix. Plus they do heat instantaneously.
Matt

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Did you already buy the heater? Or just looking? the jc whitney catalog has some plug ins for lighter, as well as multi socket adapters so you can run more than one appliance from the lighter. I have seen the adapters in other catalogs as well (jegs for one, as well as some of the Mustang parts vendors like NPD national parts depot). Just an input not an endorsement. Personally, I would rather fix the original, or even replace it from a salvage yard possibly...
On Mon, 20 Dec 2004 02:49:32 GMT, "Matt Collins"

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Yes, they heat instantly - but how many BTUs of heat do you get, compared to the factory heater. 3413 btus per kw. The heater is .6KW if 600 watts, so roughly 2050 BTU, and .3KW at 300 watts is 1025BTU.
Not very much heat, compared to 13,000-60,000 BTUs for standard automotive heaters.

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Matt Collins opined in

There's no way of telling for sure...Even if it works fine initially, the high current eventually degrades connections and can lead to problems later.. Suggest a new circuit for anything over 10 amps.

I did the hard work for you... :) print out my replacement directions, look at the autozone info (incomplete) and look at the work area... it wont be too hard.

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I just took the cover off my heater core to see what I was looking at workwise. Doesn't look too difficult. My Chilton's book says to plug the hoses before I replace it. Is that to prevent coolant from spilling into my interior? I'm checking into replacement cores now. Yeah, ceramic heaters probably can't comptete with a factory system.
Matt

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Matt Collins opined in

Unless yours is set up much different than mine is, the hoses connect in the engine compartment.. it is not necessary to even drain the coolant as the hoses taken up out of the way are higher than coolant level
Doesnt yours have quick connects? Did you read my post on changing the heater core?
remember that those books use a lot of boilerplate instructions
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Those are the same directions as my Haines book, but with better pictures. I shouldn't have wasted $ on the book! I bought a heater core today at Discount Auto Parts, it was $31.88. Those tubes stick out far out of the heater core. I see why now, they go completely through the firewall and the hoses clamp right on those tubes, beautiful. As for the clamps, I didn't see if they were quick connect, they just looked like those typical metal kind. Tomorrow I'll begin the surgery. I'll let you know how it goes.
Matt

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Well no luck, and unfortunately I think I wasted 31.88 also. Those quick connects were a bitch to get off, even with the special tool. I finally got the replacement core on and it wasn't getting hot. Then I realized, the main hose coming off the water pump isn't even getting hot. I had the radiator and thermostat replaced, coolant flushed, heater core changed and still no heat. Do you know what else it could be? I'm going to start researching it right now.
Matt

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I am hoping for some advice on how to get the heater above luke-warm in my flex-fuel 2000 Taurus. I replaced antifreeze and let it idle with cap of for 20 minutes or more, squeezed hose to burp it.
Heats some, gets colder when I turn temp control lower.
Heater temp control seems to move the arm under the dash. Only puts out warm air for about 30 seconds after turning from OFF to ON. It acts like there is an air bubble in the heater core to me... ?
Help... It's cold here in MN!
Bill
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whats your temp gauge reading when engine warm , low????
Could b t-stat or blocked heater core What was the color of the coolant ?????/ Brown ??
Try back flush heater core if that doesnt help replace........
See other message in this group
Johan

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My coolant was a little low so I topped it off, let it cool and topped it off again. At least now after 10 minutes of idling, I'm getting hot fluid coming through the top radiator hose. But the hoses going to the heater core are still cool! I don't know what could be blocking them.
Matt '93 Aerostar

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Dirt in your heater core
Try flushing with gardenhose in both directions, if that doesnt help replace it
Johan
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Read back-flush suggestion but I don't think the core would get that much blockage so quickly, and coincidenatl with coolant change.
Engine is warming fully, and heater hoses are hot. There is fluid at the top hose where it connects to metal pipe, but that pipe turns down to there still could be air in the core. Any experience with coolant flow control switch?
Bill
PS: anyone know how to get this out of the "ceramic heater" thread? I did that by mistake but intended it to have it's own new thread.
Matt wrote:

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I'll asume you've replaced the thermostat or at least had no trouble with ot or block temp prior to the change, so.......
This probem is consistant with the 3.8. You must open the bleeder on the thermostat housing with the engine running (but not hot). When the thermostat opens the trapped air will gurgle and spit out at you. Add more coolant to the rad and Robert is your Mom's brother.
Santa

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A 3.8 wasn't an option for a 2000 Taurus, his problem is most likely a plugged heater core. That seems to be a common problem. Bob
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In posted on Sat, 25 Dec 2004 14:30:14 -0600:

You have to start a new thread with a new message. Replying to previous messages leaves a growing list of references, which is what constructs threads. Some people on various mailing lists do that -- reply and change the subject instead of just starting a new message. It's annoying.
Damaeus
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