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Discussion Starter #1
I am thinking about installing a coolant heater in my 95 STS. It would be the tank-type heater that mounts on the heater hose. Anybody have any experience with these? How easy is the heater hose to reach, to install?

I just don't want to fork out $600 for a frost plug type that the dealer quoted me!

Thanks, Jim
 

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2007 EXT Supercharged
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Do you need a heater?? or is this just precaution.

Ive only seen coolant heaters on diesels mostly.

I did buy a cheap magnet heater for my old 86 deville, she turned over really slow on days below -5F. This u just put on the oil pan. I made a board to put it on so i didnt have to crawl under the car. $20 should buy one of these.

This at least warmed the engine oil for faster cranking.

If you do do a coolant heater, make sure its one that circulates it somehow.

About the easiest and cheapest thing to do is to buy a good battery, like a 1000 cca battery would turn just about anything over.

Where are u located?? Canada??

I have no idea how Northstars start in the winter, mine is always in a 50*+ heated garage.
 

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I have never had trouble starting mine in below zero weather as long as the battery is good.
 

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My diesel MBZ has a freeze-plug type heater. Makes a world of difference on a diesel.

I have a heating element that goes in the lower coolant hose on my old van. It doesn't help much.

An oil heater would probably help your car out some. I think you can buy a magnetic type that sticks to the oilpan.

****The best bang for the buck is a piece of cardboard in front of the radiator behind the grill. The vehicle will heat up quicker without all the cold air passing thru the rad. Experiment - but don't let your car overheat!
 

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I wonder what our friend dkozloski would have to add to this discussion, considering he's in Fairbanks, Alaska. Word has it that place is REALLY cold. Dkoz, care to enlighten us?
 

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I know a factory coolant heater came installed as an option. Do those help? It's supposed to have an AC plug and cord.
 

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mtflight said:
I know a factory coolant heater came installed as an option. Do those help? It's supposed to have an AC plug and cord.
That's the one that's installed by the dealership. It goes into a freeze plug and has a cord. It heats the coolant in the block, where it really counts. If a hose-based coolant heater was installed, it would have to somehow circulate the heated coolant through the engine block or the benefits would be pretty negligible. Personally I'm with Ranger - I've had no trouble starting mine in the -10 or -20 temperatures that we get a few times a season here in Chicago. As long as the thing is in good running condition with a good battery, you're in good shape.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I am in Minnesota. It gets pretty cold here....lol

The heaters are put in the heater hose. I assume it is lower to the ground than most of the cooling system. Where is it at (I don't know my northstar very well I apologize)? It uses convection to circulate the coolant through the whole system, and supposedly it works very well if I get the correct wattage.

My goal in getting the heater is to make the engine get into closed loop mode quicker, so my MPG isn't so damn shitty; after the car warms up I'll get 23-24mpg when the air temp is in the single digits, however, when the computer is in open-loop I only get 10-12, highway. I does make a big difference. Of course this is all cheaper than getting a heated garage. :rolleyes:

Jim
 

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The Northstar heats up quite quickly. It should not take too long to go into closed loop, I would think.
 

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I don't think a coolant heater is going to do much to help with getting the system into closed loop mode faster. That depends on the exhaust temperature, and coolant isn't going to affect it that much. That's why the O2 sensors have heaters built into them. It gets them up to temp and into closed loop mode as quickly as possible. Maybe the heaters aren't working as well as they should or the O2 sensors are marginally functional. In the winter, 12-15 minutes to closed loop might not be unreasonable. What is it like in the summer?
 

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I could be wrong, but in my experience the exhaust temperature shoots up incredibly fast. Run a cold engine for 1 minute and the whole system is burning hott.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
I'd rather start a warm engine than a cold one. The O2 has to be warm before it can send a good signal to the ECm. There is also a coolant temperature requirement that must be met before the ECM goes into closed loop, then the data from the O2 sensors is used.

Where is the heater hose?


jim
 

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jimutc said:
There is also a coolant temperature requirement that must be met before the ECM goes into closed loop, then the data from the O2 sensors is used.
I've never heard of the coolant temperature requirement for closed loop operation. I don't doubt you, but that's new information to me. There is new stuff to learn all the time. Do you know what temperature it needs to see prior to closed loop?

I would only be hesitant to install one because it would have to be some kind of pump to be effective and it sounds like it could be a restriction in the cooling system and another place for leaks to start.
 

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mcowden said:
I've never heard of the coolant temperature requirement for closed loop operation. I don't doubt you, but that's new information to me. There is new stuff to learn all the time. Do you know what temperature it needs to see prior to closed loop?

I beleive the coolant temperature is used to tell the ECM the simple engine temperature being as they are one in the same.. Engine temperature is obviously of much importance to closed loop mode.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
mcowden said:
Do you know what temperature it needs to see prior to closed loop?
Not sure there...but judging by performance, I'd say it is around 170 degrees. For some reason, it isn't really apparant when the criteria is met (it varies with my car), but there is a noticable gain in performance somewhere between 120 degrees and operating temperature.

All OBD-II cars follow this "guideline," and I am almost 100% OBD-I do too.

Jim
 
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