The engine block heater - you know how you've got to plug it in overnight to
keep it warm? I was wondering how much wattage it pulls from the plug. I had an
idea - connect a power inverter to a dc power supply like a jump starting
device. Would a 700W continuous supply inverter be good enough? Of course
direct AC supply should be the best, but it's not always easy to find parking
right next to you door. Any ideas?
My guess would be no, 700W would not do the job - more like twice that
amount. The electric meter really seems to spin when mine is plugged
in! Besides, if you're thinking about using another battery in the car
somewhere that much draw would really start a lot of sulfating in the
battery and create some dangerous gas in the cabin.... to say nothing of
putting a lot of load on the inverter and creating a fire hazard.
On the other hand, even a little amount of heat helps - lots of us
remember the "good old days" when we'd squeeze a light bulb down into
the block overnight for a little extra... or the old dipstick heaters -
they'd only draw about 200W.
From past experience even in the coldest weather 2 hours of heat from
the block heater is enough to loosen up the engine and start it easily.
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