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john -aka eauto, The Car Guy
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Experience:  ase tech over 15 years in the field
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1996 Ford F-250: 7.3L diesel, Manual transmission..heater..few minutes

Resolved Question:

1996 Ford F-250, 7.3L diesel, Manual transmission, 4x4.
I've never used my engine block heater.
What is the proper procedure on a cold day to use my engine block heater?
Do I just plug it in and wait for a few minutes to warm up?
I'm clueless, I've never done this before.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  john -aka eauto replied 5 years ago.

Hi I will do my best to answer your question fast and accurate using the info you have provided. Thanks for visiting Just Answer.
john aka eauto

you would plug it in and leave it plugged in any time its parked....

block heater warms an engine to ease and speed starting and vehicle warmup in cold weather. The most common type is an electric heater that is activated in anticipation of starting the engine from cold, via a standard domestic cord and plug usually routed through the vehicle's grille for connection to an extension cord. The heater itself may replace one of the engine's core plugs, or may be installed in line with one of the radiator or heater hoses. Block heaters that run on the vehicle's own gasoline or diesel fuel supply are also available; these require no external power source. The coolant is heated and circulated, usually by thermosiphon, through the engine and the vehicle's heater core. Heaters are also available for engine oil so that warm oil can quickly circulate throughout the engine during startup. The easier starting results from warmer, less viscous engine oil and less condensation of fuel on cold metal surfaces inside the engine; thus a block heater reduces a vehicle's emission of unburned hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide; also heat is available more quickly for the passenger compartment and glass defogging

Block heaters or coolant heaters are also found on permanently-installed standby generator systems using diesel engines to allow generator sets to handle a workload quickly in an emergency.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I am living off-grid and only have a generator for my electrical purposes. Is there a minimum time I can have it plugged in? Say, 30 mins.? or what is the minimum time required for my engine block to heat up and safe for me to start it? My engine block heater cord goes into the top of my oil filter. Is this a better type of heater for cold starts?
Expert:  john -aka eauto replied 5 years ago.
that warms the oil...i half hour or so should be good
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.