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Old 31-01-2012   #1
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(not so) cold starts

Looking like winter might finally be on its way.
So, once again, my thoughts are turning to pre-heaters. I tried two 'local' companies who sell parking heaters which run off the car's fuel system - despite the expense of these things neither company got back!
Anyways, I'm now thinking about a coolant heater which plugs into the mains & pumps the coolant round whilst heating it up but I can't seem to find any info from a UK company (unless I want to stick a pad to my sump).
I know it means splicing into my coolant hose but that's not too big a job.
Anyone on here come across any products in the UK?
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Old 31-01-2012   #2
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Re: (not so) cold starts

Webasto always used to do something along these lines.

Also previously I have used a company called DEFA for block heaters.
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Old 01-02-2012   #3
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Re: (not so) cold starts

I looked at webasto and ebersparcher (sp) before - their offerings seemed to be the very expensive to buy (and fit) fuel powered heaters. I was thinking more along the lines of a cheaper, and simpler to fit, mains powered heater/pump combo.
They are more common in countries where the temps do plunge lower than ours but I do feel that our cars would also greatly benefit from a warmer engine at startup - and I would love some warm air from the moment I start the engine!
Most of what I can find in this country seems to be heater pads which I doubt would be anywhere near as effective (OK for warming the battery though - but an electric pump/heater could be diverted to run the warm coolant around the battery as well?)
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Last edited by sludgeguts; 01-02-2012 at 10:58.
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Old 01-02-2012   #4
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Re: (not so) cold starts

Found a UK supplier ... OWL-1, only £136 (+p&p ?). seems rather pricey for what it is but I guess it's not something many have even considered.
Strange thing is, the benefits of starting (with) a warm engine are well documented in the racing world (including r/c engines). So are we being fobbed off in this country?
Seemingly, a cold engine wears more & uses more fuel in the initial miles, so makers hope we go back for a new car sooner? & governments get more income from the extra fuel used.
And, of course, when the engine is harder to start in the cold weather, we don't blame the manufacturer, we simply blame the bitter cold.
I reckon a manufacturer could build one of these into a car for just a few quid. include pipework to divert the coolant through the sump as well & job's a good'un.
would this not make any car more attractive?
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Old 01-02-2012   #5
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Re: (not so) cold starts

I guess a manufacturer could build it in but would anyone really buy a car with one over a car without, unless they really have to aka they live at the north pole.

That unit looks neat, please let us know your experiences sludge. Will you be leaving it on overnight which could be expensive or switching it on just before starting?

Discusion of the general idea (including dipstick heaters !)
Block_heater Block_heater

good old kenlowe
http://www.kenlowe.com/pre-heaters/cars/index.html

note US amazon, no sign of uk one



Red pad preheater attached to sump, (doesn't look too safe to me)
http://www.pistonheads.co.uk/gassing...p?h=0&t=743777
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Last edited by johnhififan; 01-02-2012 at 18:30.
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Old 02-02-2012   #6
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Re: (not so) cold starts

Quote Originally Posted by johnhififan View Post
I guess a manufacturer could build it in but would anyone really buy a car with one over a car without, unless they really have to aka they live at the north pole.

The same could be said about aircon not many years ago. Even now, I barely use mine.
A similar argument could be said about reversing sensors - these seem to be coming more popular in lower priced cars.

Whatever unit I buy, I'll only be running it for, say, an hour before I set off in the morning.

I think the idea of a pad stuck to the sump is really a non-starter for me. Yes, it gets the oil to a workable consistency but the engine still remains cold whereas pumping warm coolant around the block at least gets it ready for work.
For quite a few years now I have come across the term "thermal shock" applied to quite a few things (washing machines using only cold fill to protect clothes, a windscreen ad saying how a freezing cold screen suddenly having heat applied - so what damage is being done to engines, even in this country? On a cold, frosty morning, the engine sits there in minus temps & is instantly subjected to multiple explosions. What damage is that thermal shock doing to the engine? how much longer would engines last if they were always preheated?
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Old 07-02-2012   #7
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Re: (not so) cold starts

How have you not stumbled upon Kenlowe per heaters? Good quality and British company been around for at least 40 years. They do exactly what you are after within a 20min warm up cycle. Can be timer controlled and also preheat the cabin by controlling the cabin fan if you fancy.

Per heaters are common in the /4x4 world so this is a good place to look for these sort of parts.
I would like to fit one but at the moment i only have on street parking so plugging it in is difficult, will wait till I move
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Old 07-02-2012   #8
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Re: (not so) cold starts

I stumbled straight past them when I saw the price - there was a used one on ebay for £170 but otherwise they seem to be £400+
That's really why I was looking for alternatives. Even £136 is a bit steep - although I would probably end up going for this if I can't find anything cheaper. (and so my reason for starting a thread in the tech section, hoping a wider audience might have more ideas?).
I did consider the webasto etc but the price really is a bit much (heck, I can buy a decent boiler for the house for a similar price) and I know from experience that they tend to be a bit on the juicy side.
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Old 13-02-2012   #9
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Re: (not so) cold starts

Well, I bit the bullet & ordered http://www.preheater.net/html/PRODUCTS/14.html

This is an inline unit - so designed to be 'free floating' although I'll be looking at maybe securing with cable ties.

Only problem is, how the hell do I access the hose, looks like space really is at a premium. As far as I can tell, I need to insert the device into the outlet from the matrix to the engine block - which looks to be set deep in the bowels of the bay!

Do I pull the battery & tray etc or do I work from underneath by removing the undertray?
Any ideas?
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Old 13-02-2012   #10
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Re: (not so) cold starts

Where exactly to you plan to install it?
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Old 13-02-2012   #11
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Re: (not so) cold starts

I think its supposed to go in the line to the interior heater matrix at a convenient point?, you would cut one hose and fit the heater between.
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Old 13-02-2012   #12
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Re: (not so) cold starts

Quote Originally Posted by johnhififan View Post
I think its supposed to go in the line to the interior heater matrix at a convenient point?, you would cut one hose and fit the heater between.
Wouldn't that heat the cab not the engine?

I read this in the technical section.

Quote Originally Posted by sludgeguts View Post
The coolant system is, essentially, three parts.
Part one is the engine, reservoir and pump.
Part two is the heater matrix.
Part three is the radiator.

The matrix is isolated via the cabin on the hot/cold dial
The radiator is isolated via the thermostat (with, I believe, a small hole to allow minimum circulation to keep the AF in the rad 'fresh').


The idea of the AF preheater is that it heats the AF in the block to bring the block up to temp, with the block warmed up, the engine can be started & AF then allowed to circulate through the matrix, giving at least some heat to the cabin.


As the pump will be brushless, I doubt there would be a problem with the car's water pump being more powerfull.
So it obviously has to be installed in "Part one is the engine, reservoir and pump", my question is where exactly?

I also suspect the pump would restrict the flow of the coolant when its most needed, hot day - traffic jam, unless it has an inbuilt bypass of some sort.
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Last edited by Shadeyman; 13-02-2012 at 13:24. Reason: spelling again .. :(
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Old 13-02-2012   #13
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Re: (not so) cold starts

The kenlow site has some diagrams etc, that show its heater in part 2 and the nozzles on the heater sludge has bought look to be similarly small bore heater connections. I guess you leave the heater in car dial on before use, and the kenlow heater is centrifugal so does not form a block to coolant when not in use.
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Old 13-02-2012   #14
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Re: (not so) cold starts

Quote Originally Posted by johnhififan View Post
The kenlow site has some diagrams etc, that show its heater in part 2 and the nozzles on the heater sludge has bought look to be similarly small bore heater connections. I guess you leave the heater in car dial on before use, and the kenlow heater is centrifugal so does not form a block to coolant when not in use.
What if the car has AirCon or Climate Control, the flow through the heater matrix is electrically controlled, I think.
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Last edited by Shadeyman; 13-02-2012 at 13:28.
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Old 13-02-2012   #15
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Re: (not so) cold starts

Thanks for the input guys. Shadey, you are correct about the control knob operating a valve to allow coolant through to the matrix but there must be a bypass to allow coolant to circulate around the block when heat isn't being called for in the cab else the water pump would be pushing against itself.
I need to find a diagram of the coolant system afore I start a chopping!

(One of the reasons why I asked about where to get best access)
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