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Old 07-17-2008, 12:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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An Engine Block Heater in San Jose

We're in the process of doing a staggered move from near Toronto to San Jose. My wife's gonna sell her 2001 5 Speed 4 Door Accord, well actually it's mine but anyway, she wants to get a NAH. Fair enough, and she was nice enough to know that I really like the precision gray. So we figured everything we wanted to get up front like warranty, oil changes and hitch receiver for bikes at the back, mats etc.

Also on the menu was an engine block heater. I had to repeat and explain what it was. They don't need them there he says. Anyway, it's hard enough to convince my wife that the car should be tweaked when driven rather than taken for granted. They're a really nice drive and the Tech package has a NAV and backup cam but more importantly the energy usage log graphs and similar data. Otherwise, you just have a power/regen gauge and you lose your tach, and it's creepy. The engine should be noisier so that you know if it is on or if the tarmac type just changed.

Anyway, why wouldn't other customers be asking about block heaters? They should should be standard in the USA - mandated even. The NAH in Canada that we drover had a block heater as standard equipment.

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Old 07-17-2008, 01:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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San Jose rarely gets cold enough for a block heater.
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Old 07-17-2008, 08:16 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Block heaters: they're not just for winter anymore!

Congrats on the move. I take it that means you won't be dropping in at Thanksgiving this year to see the continued evolution of the ForkenSwift.

Aside from locale, I think the reason the dealer isn't getting questions like yours is that the Altima is a low volume, relatively new hybrid. It doesn't have the legions of efficiency nuts associated with it that the Prius does.
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I guess you could get a block heater but the only place your going to find to plug it in is your house. I guess that could help you a bit.

I don't even have a heater in my van.
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Old 07-17-2008, 06:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Being born in San Jose and having always lived in the SF Bay Area, I can understand the sales guy's response... 9 out of 10 pepole who live here have no idea what one of those is...

Once in a while, we get an overnight hard freeze and <native Californians> freak out

You should still get one, I have to belive the engineers at Toyota knew what they were doing with the Prius' engine coolant thermos bottle, getting the engine temp up quickly must help emmisions and FE
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Old 07-17-2008, 09:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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MetroMPG, where in the heck did you install a block heater on a Metro? I have 3 different types of block heaters, but I see no way of installing them on this little block.
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Old 07-17-2008, 09:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm sure it helps with FE and engine wear, but how much is a good question.
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Old 07-17-2008, 10:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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An engine gets it's worst fuel economy when it's cold and running rich. The block heater (even in the summer) makes the warm-up time a lot less than normal.
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Old 07-17-2008, 10:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mullet View Post
MetroMPG, where in the heck did you install a block heater on a Metro? I have 3 different types of block heaters, but I see no way of installing them on this little block.
Do a oil pan heater Johnny, I think it will give better results anyway and they draw less power.
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Old 07-17-2008, 10:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The ideal situation would be to heat the coolant, not the oil. I assume the oil heater would help some. I seen one of those "Dipstick heaters" before, but I dunno about that. The self-adhesive oil pan heaters are pretty cheap, but you haven't seen my rusty oil pan yet!

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