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Old 01-04-2017, 03:42 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Fingie View Post
how about having a heater coil inside the oil pan, on the bottom to directly heat the oil?
A contact heater on the outer surface of the oil pan is much more convenient solution. Both of them heat the oil fast but a contact heater requires less head-scratching.

If you put a heating element inside the oil pan, the you need to have a lot of heating surface. More than 2.4 W/cm² for the surface of a heating element could have adverse effects on the quality of the oil. If the surface is too hot, the oil will oxidase. Most engines have a compact oil sump which doesn't offer too much space for a heating element. Another head-scratching moment is to make a hole for the heating element thought the oil pan.

Contact heater is much less work. It spreads the heat over the oil pan and there are no problems with local hot spots which could damage the oil.

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