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Old 12-29-2007, 06:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Cost of block heater install

I was thinking about getting a block heater for the van. The price is about $28 for an OEM type. The freeze plug has to be removed and I really don't feel like doing the work. What would be a fair price to pay someone to do it. The dealer said it would be $150 plus the part which I think is way to high. Any thoughts?

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Old 12-29-2007, 06:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Depending on the procedure, I would do it for like 20-50 bucks, prolly. But then I'm not a shop and I don't charge 60 an hour,
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Old 12-29-2007, 06:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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How much labor is actually involved?
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Old 12-29-2007, 06:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hardest Part

For me, the hardest part was busting loose that drain plug. Depending on where it's located, there may be some extra labor-time in removing parts to get to it. 7-years of corrosion required a breaker bar and some good tools to get that off.

Then comes the tidal wave of coolant -- make sure you have a big pan to collect it.

Otherwise, installation is simple -- screw-in the heater, run the wire, secure it, and there y'are. Add some coolant and make sure the system is free of air.

All told, it took an evening to get it all together -- not too bad.

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Old 12-29-2007, 07:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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What about putting the car facing down on an incline to keep some of the coolant from spilling when the freeze plug needs to come out? IIRC, a big screw into the plug itself is good for getting it out w/o having it fall into the coolant passageways.
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Old 12-29-2007, 08:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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If you trust the dealer to do good work then that's fine. It really depends on what's involved. Mine was through the roof because they have to remove a frame cross-member on the install. I have no idea why they don't just make them standard in any of the more northern climates. What would it add to the cost of manufacturing? -- maybe $10 at most?

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