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Effect of engine block heater on gas mileage

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Old 04-25-2011, 02:23 AM   #1
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Effect of engine block heater on gas mileage

I hear that MPG is worse before your truck warms up to normal operating temp. I live in a cold climate and frequently only make short 10 minute trips to & from (live & work in a small town). So I'm pretty much driving my truck cold much of the time.

My question is has anyone checked to see what an engine block heater does for winter gas mileage? Because theoretically, it should improve it .. especially if you do a lot of cold start short trips like I do.
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Old 04-25-2011, 03:48 AM   #2
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I wouldn't look at it from the mpg angle. Short trips allow nasty stuff to stay in your oil. The heater would allow those nasties to be burned off earlier. Sure, you'll get better mpg on startup and less startup wear, but block heaters chew up lots of electricity. Put the heater on a timer.
A battery maintainer would be a good idea. Short trips don't recharge the battery, especially with the blower and defroster blasting. The maintainer will make your alternator and battery last longer.
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Old 04-25-2011, 05:00 AM   #3
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Old 04-25-2011, 11:55 AM   #4
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I put in the stock block heater for the v6 this winter and am very happy with it. Very easy to install, cost about $35 from the dealer, and at 400w doesn't drain that much electricity. I would turn it on about 2-3 hour before driving, when the temp was 15 degrees or colder outside. Truck started like it was summer time even at -20 temps, got warmer inside much faster, and I believe that it helped my MPG. It made me feel better about starting my truck when it was below zero as well, way less wear and tear at startup IMO.
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