If you are going to go to the trouble of hauling a battery out to the
car, simply take out the car's battery and heat it up in a bath of
warm water. It will then start the car easily no matter how cold it
is outside, especially if you switch to synthetic oil.
There are propane fired engine block heaters available that plumb into
the cooling system, if you insist on having the engine heated without
access to 120VAC.
A normal (in Sweden) block heater is over 500W. That would require
about 42A @ 12V, which would probably drain your battery when it is
You would probably be better off with a real heater like:
Tom, you did NOT fully understand/read the question. The battery used
to pre-warm the engine is NOT cold; it is a separate DEEP-CYCLE
battery toted out from a WARM townhouse.
And it will take a couple of hours to nicely pre-heat that engine.
A couple of hours of 42amps? How big a battery are you hauling?
FWIW, I haven't plugged a car in in about 20 years. Modern (ish) ignitions
and oils, etc.....
Don't need to "nicely" pre-heat the engine, just need to nudge it up a small
amount (10 -15 degrees). The engine is in pretty good shape, but the
will be a car-challenged woman. She can handle a simple plug-in, but jumper
cables is expecting too much.
Ottawa? That's the tropics compared to Minne-SNOW-ta. We are more like
Onterio, dark, 30F below, higher wind.
Then you phrased your question improperly.. You said "I" in your post, not
"a car-challenged woman".
It's suggested that you have 150 watts per liter of engine size so assuming
a smaller engine of 2 liters you'll need 300 watts of power and with a 12
volt battery you would be drawing 25 amps. The most expensive NAPA marine
gel battery you can purchase (for $329) has a reserve capacity of 450
minutes. The cheapest deep cycle would be $159 and has a reserve of 175
If she can't even hook up jumper cables, how is she going to connect the
battery to heat the car or to charge the battery? It sounds like you're
giving her too much credit. Anyone can plug in a 110 electrical outlet.
Why rule out the easy route? Plus she's going to have to tote this battery
to and from the warm townhouse. If I were her, I'd be pissed at you if you
made me do that every day. Spend the money and save your "car-challenged
woman" a lot of hassle and headache.
Nope, it's just me that's slow.
Okay, real reason: I'm working through the archive of unread messages
seeing if there's anything interesting there, and my newsserver has a
truly unholy retention span.
I got used to opening the messages up as one thread each because I got 8
month old ones as new all the time when I was on the Rogers@Home cable
system and would get caught like that when everything caught up late.
I went DSL and have recent stuff now....
86/00 CJ7 Laredo, 33x9.5 BFG Muds, 'glass nose to tail in '00
88 Cherokee 235 BFG AT's
I still contend that in proper condition with a good battery and
large-gauge battery cables, and with the proper starting procedure for the
car in question, there should be no problem with the car starting for even
a car-challenged woman on 30-below days,
I have lived and driven in very, very, very cold places. While there is no
substitute for a preheated engine, the benefits in a vehicle in proper
repair aren't so much about fast starts, but are more along the lines of
immediate heater output and reduced severity of cold-engine operation side
effects. I was able to get going routinely in subzero weather in vehicles
with carburetors and points-condenser ignition systems; a vehicle with
fuel injection and high-energy electronic ignition usually starts easier
under extreme conditions.
There's no such thing as a 12V engine block heater, that I'm aware of.
Good thing, too -- such a device would take HUGE amounts of current and
would exhaust just about any battery you could "tote" long before bringing
the block to any kind of usefully increased temperature.
An engine heat retention blanket or a propane-fired engine heater is your
best non-120VAC option, or you could simply spend the effort and money on
putting your car into the condition required for reliable starts at
extremely cold ambient temperatures.
No kidding....until you phrased it like that, it hadn't dawned on me.
All the _energy_ he'll need to raise the temperature of a cast iron engine
block, heads and everything else, in a Minnesota winter....he'll have to
*carry*, in one go. Ugh. Hope it isn't icy.
Get some 0W-30, fresh plugs, and clean injectors.
Gets cold here, too, eh?
Try the synthetic oil. Worked great in my snowblower. Before it I had to
use electric start but after I could use just pull start to get it
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