Want to install an Engine Block Heater yourself? This guide may help.

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Accessories & Modifications' started by Green Hokie, Jul 15, 2007.

  1. Tsillec

    Tsillec New Member

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    Okay, this may be a stupid question, but is it okay to leave the engine block heater installed in the summer, even though it obviously wouldn't be used? I'm thinking about installing one myself, but don't want to have to repeat this every winter.

    Also, I see that someone said the split-loom has been replaced by some new silver material. Does that change anything how the ebh should be installed?

    Thanks!
     
  2. efusco

    efusco Moderator Emeritus
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    I use mine in the summer...and, of course, leave it installed.
    :yo:
     
  3. Tsillec

    Tsillec New Member

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    Is there really much of a benefit to using the ebh in the summer? I would think the engine could warm up by itself very quickly in the summer, especially for cars in a garage.
     
  4. JimboK

    JimboK One owner, low mileage

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    I use mine in the summer too when I have somewhere to plug it in. It gives the warmup process a head start: block temp close to ambient (about 70F first thing on a summer morning in my neck of the woods) vs. an EBH-enhanced temp of up to 140F. That can make a big difference in fuel economy for the first 5-10 minutes of driving.
     
  5. c.clark5

    c.clark5 Junior Member

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    Want to hear something FUNNY? :D I live in WA state and a master Toyota mech. told me I did not need a EBH!! I said I wanted it installed anyway. I even gave him the instructions I printed off PriusChat. :) I love it! Alittle better gas milage and nice warm air/defrost in the AM. He kept my instructions for the install and did not charge me an arm/leg. Everyone should check-out EBH.:)
     
  6. bruceha_2000

    bruceha_2000 Senior Member

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    He's right, you don't NEED it. For most vehicles, the EBH is what lets them actually START when it is really cold (like -10F or -20F and that is why people install them. The Prius doesn't care if it is cold, you aren't trying to crank the engine and sludge consistency oil with a small starter motor and a small 12V battery. You are cranking with a BIG electric motor and BIG battery :)

    Plus, it will primarily use the electric motor to propel the car while the ICE warms up so you aren't asking it to work hard in the sub zero cold.

    What I would like is some way to determine the benefit/$ using the EBH at a range of temperatures. Some people pay $0.03/KWH, we pay 13.5 and I recently saw people here paying $0.25. Somewhere in there is a a break even at a given temp, KWH price and $/gallon price. Of course this would likely vary for all users as everyone's commute is different.
     
  7. ph43drus

    ph43drus Junior Member

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    One more successful EBH install here, offering thanks to Green Hokie for the writeup and pictures!

    Took me about an hour, not counting warm-up breaks inside. Using the pictures, I found the proper hole immediately, although it took me about 15 minutes of experimenting with different positions, contortions, hand choices and angles to figure out how to get the heater in. I'm left handed, but found the best choice for me was my right hand, which I could snake up farther in to get better positioning for the hole.

    Hardest part of the job was avoiding getting blood on my new upholstery when reaching into the car (where I had a printout of the instructions stashed out of the wind). Not the first to note it in this thread, but everything under there seems sharp. I'm typing with 5 different bandaids on my hands. We need a custom "dripping blood" smilie for this thread.

    Thanks again, Hokie!
     
  8. Green Hokie

    Green Hokie Member

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    You're quite welcome. Glad it helped. I was lucky and did not spill any blood during my install. :)
     
  9. rwmt6161

    rwmt6161 New Member

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    green hokie

    Thanks for the help on the install of the EBH works great.:D
    thanks.
     
  10. rpg51

    rpg51 Member

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    I'm going to try to install an EBH in my new 08 Prius this morning. I'm going to attack it from below. I've read this thread cover to cover several times and studied the pictures. I've done some work on cars in my youth, even pulled, rebuilt, and reinstalled engines in my day. So I'm no stranger to tight places and working by feel.

    One question, I know there is a thread somewhere here - its referred to as the "original thread" - but I cannot seem to find it. All the links to it that I have found just bring me to an opening page, not to the linked thread. Not sure why. Could some one point me to it again?

    I have a 1.5 mile commute. Terrible for mpg. But at least it doesn't involve a lot of miles. I am hopeful that this EBH will help.

    Well, here goes - we'll see.
     
  11. JimboK

    JimboK One owner, low mileage

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    Yeah, some of the recent forum upgrades broke some of the old links. This is probably the one he referred to.

    The block heater will almost certainly help your short commute.
     
  12. rpg51

    rpg51 Member

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    Well, it went in like a charm. Read the instructions here very carefully, practice getting your hand up in to the location and doing dry fits. Get the chord hanging down in the correct spot and be sure you know how to orient the plug before you permanently install the element by pushing and clicking it into place. It helps to feel for the little ramped lump that the clip rides up and then clicks into. Really push your arm way up in there - you can get your arm up farther than you think. Big forearms are not helpful - I can attest to that. I used a headlamp to visualize the area and the cord. But when you are actually installing it you have to go completely by feel.
     
  13. Palmetto

    Palmetto Junior Member

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    Installed mine yesterday. Could not have done it without the pictures and fine instructions on this thread. Thank you to all who contributed.

    For me, the toughest part was connecting the power line to the heating element. That took about 10 minutes of fumbling around.

    Otherwise, I followed the directions on this site and I have nothing of significance to add. Just follow the pictures and text.

    I will also mention, I had VentureShield installed a couple days ago to protect the paint on the hood, fenders and mirror....I am disappointed. The product runs about one-third of the way up on the hood and, to my eye, there is a visible line running across the hood that is quite distracting. The same thing appears on the side fenders, but it is not as offensive. If I can't learn to live with this, I will pull the product off of the car and eat the $250.

    In this case I kinda wish there was nothing Ventured!
     
  14. ZC1

    ZC1 Junior Prius Owner

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    As you said, give it a chance Palmetto and don't stare at it. It's protecting your car and guess what?
    Nobody else is going to notice your improved protection.

    If you didn't get Ventureshield, you might have bought a bra which doesn't go up any further and has a much more noticeable line.

    Your friend,

    ZC1
     
  15. Aaron

    Aaron Member

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    Does the engine block heater warm the coolant, the oil, or both?
     
  16. FireEngineer

    FireEngineer Active Member

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    Coolant.

    Wayne
     
  17. ph43drus

    ph43drus Junior Member

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    I'm pretty sure it does exactly what it says it does - it heats the metal of the engine block. The heater fits into a little cylindrical closed-bottom hole in the block. The heater doesn't make direct contact with either coolant or oil, just block metal.

    When you start the car, both the coolant and oil will pick up some of this heat as they circulate over the warmed metal, but the heater only directly heats the block itself.

    Back when I lived up north I remember people buying heaters that replaced your dipstick and heated the oil. The Prius EBH is different.
     
  18. WWJD08

    WWJD08 New Member

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    FYI #4 step is very important! The pictures show where to look and what you see is the bulge where the heater fits into but the hole for the heater is facing drivers side of where that bulge in the casting is.
     
  19. unigeezer

    unigeezer Member

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    There's already a heater in the prius, so what's the reason for installing this?:confused::confused::confused:
     
  20. JimboK

    JimboK One owner, low mileage

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    By getting up the engine block up to normal operating temperature more quickly, fuel economy is improved in the first 5-10 minutes of driving. And in the winter, cabin heat is warmer sooner.

    Here is possibly the most complete discussion of the block heater on PriusChat. The topic and the first post suggest it focuses on installation (which actually is described better here, IMHO, largely because of the pics), but it evolved well beyond that. It will take some time to get through it all, but it should provide a good understanding of the subject.
     
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