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98 DeVille, 97 DeVille d'Elegance
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Northerners... what would you recommend, block heaters or a remote starter setup.
Let me give you some background: I may have to spend a winter(move possibly to even) in the great white north taking care of elderly relatives.
I'm no rookie with cold weather even though I've lived in the South for a very long time. I have used block heaters, inline coolant heaters, oil pan heaters and even dipstick heaters(for the oil not the driver :) ).
50/50 chance of if there is a garage to park the Caddy in, so going with No for now. Wife wants a remote starter, but to honest with all the horror stories from people including relatives (SIL has destroyed a couple vehicle electronics with high end systems pro installed) I am leaning towards block heaters for ease of installation, not harming my car and cost(read cheap SOB). I have no problem plugging my car in but the wife would forget(she has already left with plug still connected). If you recommend a remote system, what brand? I have no problem installing any system myself either.
Another question for block heater fans: use the stock style or inline coolant. I love my inline on my truck, it defrosts the frt window a little just by convection. I know the N* is considerable different design and the thermo is in the bottom hose and therefor will be a less than ideal candidate for inline type. Looking forward to your comments.
Next time snow tire discussions....
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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Really no way to do an inline or tank heater due to the system configuration. I'm not a fan of remote starters as sitting at cold idle for 10 minutes is murder on the engine as well as gas mileage: engine running in P at idle = gas mileage 0.

Install the stock Northstar block heater elements and make a big red windshield sign: UNPLUG BLOCK HEATER

And if you're not with Dkoz in Fairbanks, AK you really don't need a block heater - cold starts are what multigrade oils were designed for.
 

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No more Cadillacs
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680 Posts
I have installed 4 systems on 98 thru 2005 Devilles. It can be done correctly if you take the time to do it right. Commercial places such as Best Buy do not take the time to do it right. 3 of the systems I installed were avital. They were on the cheaper end but work well. I used the Directed brand immobilizer bypass, and it works well also. Really no issues to speak of. You can get by without a bypass unit on a 98 by using a resistor.
 

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2003 White Diamond DeVille 'Base'
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351 Posts
I live in frigid Rhode Island and bought my DeVille about a year ago. The guy I bought it from also happened to run a shop that installs stereos and remote starts. Before I even picked the car up, I had him install a remote start. It came with two key fobs, which was great since the DeVille owner had lost one of the originals. The remote start key fobs open the trunk, sound the horn, lock/unlock the doors and start the engine. IMHO it's a no-brainer, get a remote start.

Additionally, for cold weather I make sure to use full synthetic oil at recommended weights, which I believe is 5w-30. I know there's endless debate about benefits of synthetic oils, but one thing nobody argues about is that synthetic oil flows much better than standard oil at colder temps.
 

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i have a remote starter in my 03 deville for 3 yrs now, the remote opens the doors and trunk also, works great with no problem, besides the only place u can use a block heater is at home! what if u go to the movies or something like that and the car sits out side for three or four hours the car will start from inside the building, i dont think theyll let u plug it in there
 

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1991 devill
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116 Posts
I have a remote starter on 2 Cadillac Devil's never use them except to mess with people. if you are worried about start up I would use a oil dip stick heater if you are worried about the cold on you I'd say get a coat and a cup of coffee these cars heat up in like 5-10 minutes when driving at reallly cold temps (it just part of living in the north plus the seat heaters worm u up good
 

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1926 Model T street rod, 2000 Jaguar XJ8, 1999 Corvette.
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The point of a block heater is to keep the oil warm to aid in the initial starting (cranking). A remote starter is to pre warm the interior and defrost the windows. The wife could care less about how quickly the starter spins the engine! She wants to get into a warm car in the morning. With the proper weight oil for the climate and a good battery, I doubt a block heater would be of any real benefit, but a warm interior keeps you in a warm bed!!! And as SUBMARINER has pointed out, it wastes fuel. Lets see.........warm interior, warm wife, cold interior "cold" wife! Your call :)
 

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98 DeVille, 97 DeVille d'Elegance
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Discussion Starter #8
Starting to see a pattern here.... remote start....
I don't see an issue with a few minutes of idling myself since it would happen anyways esp if the windows needed scraping, but I do see your point Sub and would program accordingly.
I had to get creative with the wife before, I put the big orange cord across the windshield... that stopped 99% of the problems. Good thoughts so far, keep em coming.
 

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1991 Cadillac Brougham D'Elegance 5.7 Litre, 1994 DeVille
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6,796 Posts
Block heater and remote start are for two complete different things. Block heater is to pre-warm the engine and it's fluids so it's easier to start because the fluids aren't as cold and thick. Remote start is for your own comfort so you aren't getting into a cold car. Just for one winter you don't really need either but if it's an area where cold winters is a big concern block heater is more important then remote start and it'll help the car warm up a bit quicker anyway.

I have a remote start in my Deville and we've been in a cold spell with temperatures in the -20s and beyond the last couple weeks so it's been seeing a bit of use. There are a only a few main brands that installers use, stick with one of those and you'll be OK. For block heater go with whatever factory was for northstars.
 

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2001 Seville STS, 1990 Seville (RIP), 1972 Sedan Deville
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Everyone's forgetting the other big advantage to remote start, pre COOLING in the summer.
 

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1991 Cadillac Brougham D'Elegance 5.7 Litre, 1994 DeVille
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They were depending on where the car was originally ordered. I wouldn't expect one from CA to have it tho.
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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RPO K05 (heater eng block) may have been floorplan ordered by a northern U.S. dealer, but there was no standard option package that included it.

Block heater may have been a part of package RPO Z49 - (Canadian model mandatory base equipment)
 

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1991 Cadillac Brougham D'Elegance 5.7 Litre, 1994 DeVille
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It wouldn't have been part of a package except for maybe that Canadian one. Like I said it's just an option that usually gets flagged and added automatically depending on where the car was ordered. The same type of thing used to happen for rear defroster that a car ordered in a colder state like NY came with it automatically whereas a car from a warmer state might not have unless it was specifically requested. There was no package, it was just automatically included depending on where the car was destined for.
 

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98 DeVille, 97 DeVille d'Elegance
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Discussion Starter #16
Update: I installed Avital remote start/keyless entry systems in both my 97 & 98 in the last month. I bypassed VATS since I was having issues with 97 anyways and that simplified installation. The actual installation is pretty straight forward and the system works very well with awesome distance compared to OEM. I didn't hook up rear defog yet though and may tie it into the seat heater also.
First one took a while to figure out the exact wires to hook to. Second was a breeze.
The worse part was getting an accurate wiring diagram for the unit without being an installer. Having a FSM was critical for sure.
Terminology was an SOB since I'm not even slightly familiar with installing these. I wasn't hooking a wire up that I didn't know what it did. Avital is just about usless for DIY installs and information.
Been hot here recently and they've been getting used regularly. For a cost of @$110 for both units and a new soldering iron(hey gotta have new toys) no complaints.
 

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2003 White Diamond DeVille 'Base'
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Sounds like a worthy investment! Nice work.

I have a trusty old '98 Chevy pickup truck (still runs like new), and I did the VATS bypass trick on that about six years ago. Dealer repair would have been close to $1,000. I did the bypass trick myself for about $2. :dance:
 
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