Block heaters can serve a very important purpose if you live in a particularly cold climate. When it is particularly cold and the engine is not running, cold temperatures can cause coolant to become viscous, preventing the car from starting or causing extra wear on the car's engine. A block heater deals with this problem by heating the coolant in the engine while the car is off. The heater is plugged into an outlet and uses electric power to keep the fluid in the engine block from causing damage to the engine.
Draining the Radiator
1. Begin by finding the drain plug on the bottom of the radiator, placing the large container under the plug and opening the plug to allow the radiator fluid to drain into the container.
2. Open the radiator cap and wait to ensure all the fluid is drained out of the radiator.
3. Move the large container under the engine block and remove the coolant drain plugs from the bottom of the engine.
4. Replace the plugs on the bottom of the radiator and the engine block.
Installing the Frost Plug Block Heater
1. Remove a frost plug from the back of the engine block. This can be accomplished by tapping on the edge of one of the frost plugs with a hammer and pulling it out with pliers. Most heater blocks will have instructions regarding which frost plug to remove.
2. Clean the edge of the frost plug to remove any dried grease, paint, damaged metal or other obstructions that could damage O-rings.
3. Lubricate the O-rings contained in the block heater kit with grease. Place the O-rings around the end of the block heater element and carefully screw the heater element into the frost plug seating. Be sure that the O-rings are not damaged during installation.
4. Tighten the block heater element to the recommended torque. If the block heater manufacturer does not specify a torque, check with the engine manufacturer for a recommended torque for the frost plug.
5. Run the cord to the front of the car. Replace the radiator fluid.
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