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TomO 01-23-2008 11:54 AM

Civic Block Heater Install
So with all my spare time I have now having two kids, I decided to install my block heater that I got from NAPA last night.

Something to note: I have an aftermarket header on my VX that made installation easier by only having to remove the upper portion of it for the install. If you have the OEM Cat Converter (I will refer to it as the maniverter) still, you can remove the 12mm bolts holding the header to the block and then remove the 14/12mm exhaust bolts under the car where the maniverter meets the exhaust system.

Parts needed:
NAPA Part# BK 6053231 Engine Heater

Tools I used:
  • 12mm socket and wrench
  • 14mm socket
  • 18mm socket
  • me
  • channel locks
  • drain pan
  • BFH

First I ran the car to warm up the motor, then drained the radiator via the petcock into the drain pan.

After that I removed the upper portion of my header using the 12mm & 14mm socket and wrench when the header cooled down slightly.

Then I removed the OEM drain bolt with the 18mm socket after tapping the bolt with the BFH a few times to ensure that it would come out easily. Make sure you move the drain pan under the portion of the motor that you're working on. There is actually a little hole in the flange on the block to help guide the coolant that comes out.

I then installed the block heater and tightened using the channel locks (I did not have a 24mm socket handy to tighten it with).

Connect the cord and route it out the passenger side of the hood, then reinstall the upper portion of the header.

I ended up putting some tin foil over the cord behind the header to help keep the heat off the cord.

Sorry it's not the best DIY, I didn't feel like taking pictures at the very beginning, not much to see anyways that you can't deduce from the two pictures anyways.

Hope this helps out some people to install their block heaters on their Honda/Acura.

Daox 01-23-2008 12:10 PM

Nice clean install. Enjoy the heat.

Lazarus 01-23-2008 12:16 PM

Very nice. Is warming it to operating temp to make it easier to remove the plug?

SVOboy 01-23-2008 12:25 PM

Nice job tomo!

MetroMPG 01-23-2008 12:34 PM

I might have asked you this already: what's the wattage of the heater?

Looking forward to your impressions after using it.

TomO 01-23-2008 12:39 PM


Originally Posted by Lazarus (Post 6583)
Very nice. Is warming it to operating temp to make it easier to remove the plug?

To a point, yes. The OEM block plug is steel while the engine block is aluminum. The difference in expansion rates help to free things up a bit. Also hitting the bolt directly with a hammer helps immensely.

Thanks for the props, gentlemen! :thumbup: I even get to plug in the car when I park in the lot at work now too! :D

TomO 01-23-2008 12:50 PM


Originally Posted by MetroMPG (Post 6591)
I might have asked you this already: what's the wattage of the heater?

Looking forward to your impressions after using it.

400W is the listed wattage in the spec sheet.

My first impression for this morning's commute:

I need to pick up a timer so it can turn on just a couple hours before I need to go to work. I had it plugged in for 7.5 hours this morning (I know, bad me).

This morning's temperature was -5°F with a wind chill near -16°F.
Beginning intake temps were at 56.5°F (I installed a digital temp display, but that will be another post). Temperature inside my garage was ~28°F.

The car reached operating temps within 1 minute and 1/2 mile. It would normally take the car ~4 miles to reach temp otherwise. Intake temps plummeted to 5°F while cruising and would creep up to ~50°F depending on length of time stopped at a light. (need to get that WAI back in the car)

I still can't afford a SuperMID to get instantaneous results, but I should see a slight increase in my mpg after a couple tanks.

Overall, I think this will be worth the initial cost and should see it pay for itself in the first year. :turtle:

Chris D. 01-24-2008 07:25 AM

What did the block heater run ya?

I'm moving to Minnesota within the year and need to look into this mod..

TomO 01-24-2008 10:44 AM

For my VX, it was $45. I have no idea what it would cost for your truck though. You can check on though. Enter in your vehicle and then do a search for "engine heater" without the quotes. Or you could always call up your local Toyota stealership. I know that for the Prius and Yaris that the block heater is a pretty quick installation and it a no mes deal since it just slides into a pocket on the block.


Did a little searching for you....Napa has a frost plug style heater HERE for $36.

Daox 01-24-2008 10:49 AM

The block heater for my Matrix was a very reasonable $35ish shipped to my doorstep. If you have an alumnium block, they usually just slide into a bored hole like TomO said. If its an iron block you usually have to knock out a freeze plug.

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