300D engine heater

Well, now that we're freezing our ______ off here in the Northeast, the plug-in AC engine heater on my 300D is performing a minor miracle. The little dear starts like it's mid summer
when it's zero! But as my owners manual is in German, I don't know anything about it, really. Does it heat the oilpan, the radiator? Any drawbacks to using it? Does it have a thermostat? Anybody know a way to run it off a portable power supply? I don't have an extension cord long enough to get to work! Thanks in advance for any useful knowledge......
Waiting for spring,
Barye
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Some folks call 'em "block heaters" since that's basically what they do - turn the engine block into a heater. The element is screwed into the block, which I suppose gets to the coolant first before radiating to the crankcase.
The drawbacks to using it? They suck a fair amount of electricity. I have a thermostatically controlled outlet in my garage which doesn't come on until the temperature drops below 20 degrees (F), so when the weather turns cold in the middle of the night it comes on instead of having it on the whole night. I suppose one could use a timer, but the cheap kind usually can't handle the current draw that a block heater needs. I've noticed that at around zero (F) plugging the car in for just an hour makes a considerable difference in starting up. I'm afraid that using a portable power source to run the block heater is a little unlikely.
Barye Phillips wrote:

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