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Registered
2000 Forester
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263 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
K, so I've been doing some googleing and came up with some geeky idea. Considering I currently don't have access to an A/C outlet here, I've been thinking about ways to get a block heater hooked up. I know I probably don't really need it, I'd still like some input on the subject.
So here's the basic idea that I've agreed with upon my searches. Get a battery and suitable heater, ie. compatable amp hr's and such to make it worth it, possibly a 12 volt one to eliminate an inverter. Then install a battery some where, like in place of the snorkel or in the back, and connect it to a timer ideally. Finally wire it all up so it charges when the car is running, and completely disconnected when off and heating...so you don't come out to a dead battery and warm engine!

I guess the more I think about it, it seems like a decent idea and would be fairly simple to set up. Also I like the idea for things like parking the car in a deep wood for the weekend, or keeping it warm at the shopping mall. Anyway, I'd like to hear some thoughts and suggestions as this will probably be my christmas break project. :Banane29:
 

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Smooshed FOTY 2011
2005 Lifted 2.5 XT 5-Speed MT Dual-Range
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5,813 Posts
If my preliminary math serves me correctly, an engine block heater would wear the battery out in 15-20 minutes and is probably more trouble than it's worth to mount and to figure out the wiring. Just my two cents on the matter though. I'm sure that if it was easily attainable, there would already be such devices on the market. Good idea though, got me thinking (until I did the amp/hour math). :)
 

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Registered
2000 Forester
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263 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Well I've only found this so far...Engine oil pan heaters, filter heaters & battery warmers. Designed for cars, diesel engines, more effective than block heaters, magnetic heaters. Suitable for Volkswagen vw beetle, Audi, Land Rover, Ford, Chrysler, GM,
It looks promising considering it's 12 volt, 50 watt and sticky backed, I'm pretty sure I have an aluminium oil pan, so a magnet wont work. Though I don't know what amp's it runs, so I don't know what kinda battery I'd need for any amount of time. Anyone with some electric knowledge know what I'm looking at?!
 

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Registered
2000 Forester
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263 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
If my preliminary math serves me correctly, an engine block heater would wear the battery out in 15-20 minutes and is probably more trouble than it's worth to mount and to figure out the wiring.
Right, well I guess if I could get it to run for say an hour or so I'd be more interested. I'm going to keep searching for such ideas. Mainly to figure out how much power I'd need.
 

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Super Moderator
2018 2.5i Premium CVT
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17,887 Posts
50 watts / 12 volts = 4.2 amps. Quite a manageable figure. (The 'sizing' page at the link above quotes 4 amps. Same thing.)

But I do have to observe that you could be in danger of getting in over your head on this, if you weren't able to handle this bit of pretty basic electrical knowledge. The timer, the charging, the connecting, the disconnecting. Not all of these are trivial.
 

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Registered
2000 Forester
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263 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Ok...From what I got, a 50 Amp Hr battery would last around 10 hr's running a 5 amp hr device. And with you that it could become daunting, thus the reason I'm seeing what the options are how much it would cost and mostly how long it would be able to run for.
 

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Premium Member
2009 Outback XT-B 5MT
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10,409 Posts
Well I've only found this so far...Engine oil pan heaters, filter heaters & battery warmers. Designed for cars, diesel engines, more effective than block heaters, magnetic heaters. Suitable for Volkswagen vw beetle, Audi, Land Rover, Ford, Chrysler, GM,
It looks promising considering it's 12 volt, 50 watt and sticky backed, I'm pretty sure I have an aluminium oil pan, so a magnet wont work. Though I don't know what amp's it runs, so I don't know what kinda battery I'd need for any amount of time. Anyone with some electric knowledge know what I'm looking at?!
You have a steel oil pan.
 

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2002 Forester S
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64 Posts
instead of the block heater, and/or a block heater substitute why not go with a command start with a temperature sensor? they can be programmed to start at a certain temp and cycle the ignition on and off for say 5-15 minutes every hour or so...
 

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Smooshed FOTY 2011
2005 Lifted 2.5 XT 5-Speed MT Dual-Range
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5,813 Posts
instead of the block heater, and/or a block heater substitute why not go with a command start with a temperature sensor? they can be programmed to start at a certain temp and cycle the ignition on and off for say 5-15 minutes every hour or so...
THAT is a much better idea IMO.
 

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Registered
2009 Forester 2.5x
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706 Posts
instead of the block heater, and/or a block heater substitute why not go with a command start with a temperature sensor? they can be programmed to start at a certain temp and cycle the ignition on and off for say 5-15 minutes every hour or so...
That's an interesting idea. If I read you right, this command start would actually start the motor and let it run for a predetermined length of time? Might be worth it. My father, who was of the WWII generation, for all of his working life would get up twice each bitter cold night and start his car. He felt this was the key to getting the car going in the morning. It seemed a little nutty to me as a kid, but Dad's cars (far from new ) started up pretty much all winter. Boy, he must have lost a lot of sleep...
Steve
09 2.5X AT (with oem block heater)
 

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Premium Member
2008 Forester X Premium 5MT
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8,073 Posts
instead of the block heater, and/or a block heater substitute why not go with a command start with a temperature sensor? they can be programmed to start at a certain temp and cycle the ignition on and off for say 5-15 minutes every hour or so...
I like these a lot, just be careful with your cities/states laws/statutes/ordinances. I have a coworker who has one, It has resulted in him getting 2 tickets in his home city Montrose, MN. Apparently their law regarding a running unattended vehicle is so vague it doesn't specify the keys must not be in the ignition and the doors locked, so according to him there are a few officers targeting cars warming up in parking lots, streets, ect. He is fighting both tickets as they happened two days apart about a week and a half ago.
 
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