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Topic: Block heater doesn't work
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Neka

1/11/2015 9:24:08 PM
Member since:
Mar 2013
Total posts:38
Block heater doesn't work

I have a 2008 chev silverado, I have had it plugged in. The other day it wouldn't start had to charge the battery, had it plugged in all day yesterday and last night, it started today but just barley. The battery was new last year. Im pretty sure it's the block heater. I've taken it to a garage twice and they say they can't test it and it only comes on when it's -18 or colder but I'm sure it's not working. Any ideas?

 
 
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The quiet one

1/11/2015 9:28:55 PM
Member since:
Mar 2009
Total posts:864
this

Available a CT. It will tell you if your cord has power and if your block heater is drawing power  
 
http://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/plug-alive-block-heater-outlet-tester-0303201p.html#.VLM_iIFOKK0

Collie

1/11/2015 9:29:33 PM
Member since:
Sep 2011
Total posts:319
Cord

check the cord on the vehicle to the block heater first. I am not a fan of the cords that only come on at certain temps. But since it is so cold, it should be trying to operate these days, so if someone could check continuity with a multi meter for you when its cold out, it should show that it is working. If it isn't, cut the end off and put a regular plug on it. I also always use a cord that has a lighted end on it for my block heaters, just to eliminate that there is power from the house.  
 
Edited by Collie, 2015-01-11 21:32:33

SMM

1/11/2015 9:33:09 PM
Member since:
Dec 2012
Total posts:49
.......

I have a 2006 Equinox with the same block heater cord. At -18 and under I can hear the block heater. As for the person that said to cut the end off and put a regular one, it's not necessarily a good idea. I know a couple of people that did that and it screwed with the computer.

Collie

1/11/2015 9:38:32 PM
Member since:
Sep 2011
Total posts:319
Block heaters

  
SMM said "I have a 2006 Equinox with the same block heater cord. At -18 and under I can hear the block heater. As for the person that said to cut the end off and put a regular one, it's not necessarily a good idea. I know a couple of people that did that and it screwed with the computer. "

are still as basic as the old days. they are not connected to the computer at all! If they think that the cord screwed up their computers, it was probably a poor ground from their outlet that caused that, but the type of end would have nothing to do with it.

Ray Y.

1/11/2015 9:45:16 PM
Member since:
Nov 2009
Total posts:557
not true,

  
Collie said "
  
SMM said "I have a 2006 Equinox with the same block heater cord. At -18 and under I can hear the block heater. As for the person that said to cut the end off and put a regular one, it's not necessarily a good idea. I know a couple of people that did that and it screwed with the computer. "

are still as basic as the old days. they are not connected to the computer at all! If they think that the cord screwed up their computers, it was probably a poor ground from their outlet that caused that, but the type of end would have nothing to do with it. "

These items have very specific heating and cooling ranges. by using just a regular plug it will cause the block heater to A/ prematurely burn out, B/ possibly cause fires or worse short out and cause electrical issues with your vehicle. If it comes with a temp sensor in the plug use it CT does sell just the electrical plug cord vs the entire block heater/cord  

Neka

1/11/2015 9:46:13 PM
Member since:
Mar 2013
Total posts:38
I did cut the end

I did cut the end off and it did screw up the computer, truck shut all gauges down, and rad fan quit, and no heat. I took it to garage they put a new block heater cord on cost me $200 and still block heater cord doesn't work. That was last winter.

ThatGuy1985

1/11/2015 9:50:47 PM
Member since:
May 2011
Total posts:197
...

Could test to see if it works at the temp range using a multimeter. Could also replace the old and install a new block heater, it's a relatively cheap part and not hard to do it you have a work space.  
 
Could also buy a battery warmer from canadian tire, they're about 30-40 dollars. New and old batteries struggle in the cold, reducing amperage available to start your vehicle. A battery warmer would help considerably.

Neka

1/11/2015 10:09:04 PM
Member since:
Mar 2013
Total posts:38
Thanks

I'm thinkin I will change the block heater element. Probably burnt out. Never thought of it. Thanks for the help.

countryboy 84

1/11/2015 10:48:50 PM
Member since:
Nov 2009
Total posts:159
.

It may not be just the block heater? It hasnt been that cold that it shouldnt have started from not being plugged in. If the battery is good maybe there a ground problem or it could be the starter itself? Sure plugging it in will help, but those trucks should start at -30 no problem if theres a good battery.  
 
Also, do not listen to people that are advising you to cut the end off of the new blockheater cords, they have not got a clue.

PowPow

1/12/2015 9:06:38 AM
Member since:
May 2014
Total posts:164
cutting the cord

On the newer block heaters and splicing on a regular one can definitely mess with the computer.

canadianpatriot

1/12/2015 10:09:31 AM
Member since:
Dec 2014
Total posts:78
try this

I have heard some don't work until -18'ish. Shouldn't be an issue today! Open your hood. Plug in the block heater. Put your head close to the driver's side (most I've seen are on that side) of the engine. Best done in a quiet location. You should hear an audible hiss or crackling sound. That means it's working. I've also had a bad block heater plug in. Follow the cord to the engine block. Wiggle the connection. You may get lucky.. If it is the cord, I think they're about 30 bucks and just plug into an o"outlet on the motor. Finally, check where you plug it in at the house. Mine kept tripping out last year. Ended up being a weak GFI right in the house outlet. Hope these tips help.

i8U

1/12/2015 10:11:18 AM
Member since:
Jan 2011
Total posts:105
?

Cut my heater cord end off 5 years ago on 05 sierra no problems.

rich774411

1/12/2015 10:43:41 AM
Member since:
Sep 2013
Total posts:152
My

  
Neka said "I did cut the end off and it did screw up the computer, truck shut all gauges down, and rad fan quit, and no heat. I took it to garage they put a new block heater cord on cost me $200 and still block heater cord doesn't work. That was last winter. "

2006 Sierra kept giving me fault codes for plugging in when its to warm. My 09 also shut down as Neka explained. Moral of the story....don't cut the end off your block heater cord.

Don&Shelley

1/12/2015 11:13:47 AM
Member since:
Feb 2012
Total posts:19
No Problems

Cut the block heater cord end off of my 08 GMC Sierra and 11 Chevy Silverado and have had no issues.  

PitCrew

1/12/2015 4:28:42 PM
Member since:
Feb 2010
Total posts:24
Don't Cut

I have had an issue with my 08 GMC Sierra, it threw a "Hot Engine, A/C turned Off" message and eventually shut the truck down, replaced cord and it fixed the issue. The thermostaticly controled cord(-18 deg) was malfunctioning and letting the block heater run all the time, and the computer sensed a hot motor and threw the code, which happened as i was on my way to work. So cutting the cord will only cause you headaches down the road. I was told by a GM mechanic that not only does the cord read tempurature, it also sences ambiant temperature. But it this case I am thinking the block heater has an issue, get it tested, then go from there!!

D.D.

1/12/2015 5:04:17 PM
Member since:
Oct 2008
Total posts:531
Call the dealer and ask the service Dept.

Call the dealer and ask the service Dept. Or better yet go to the dealer and ask to have a quick question with a mechanic. I always used a simple multi meter to check for resistance. Also if you use an extension cord make sure it is good and if there is a GFCI make sure it is not tripped.  
 
I think if there are only 3 conductors in the wire leading to the cord end you should be safe swapping it out.

sport14

1/12/2015 5:58:57 PM
Member since:
Jan 2011
Total posts:8
Block heater

Cut mine off 2010 chev works fine.

Tlecks21

1/12/2015 7:02:12 PM
Member since:
Jan 2014
Total posts:24
Are you sure its the block heater?

Have you tested your battery? Most vehicles will start in -30 not plugged in with a decent battery

AC2

1/12/2015 7:40:08 PM
Member since:
Apr 2007
Total posts:227
or

Just take it to a garage and see what they say and pay your bill and go home satisfied  

kevin89

1/12/2015 8:15:05 PM
Member since:
Feb 2010
Total posts:47
either the heater or the cord

Heater is about $35 then labor and materials, if it's the cord it's about $185, has to be the GM cord as well, otherwise the computer will throw trouble codes without the temperature sensor end.

don brown

1/12/2015 8:27:45 PM
Member since:
Aug 2010
Total posts:4100
technology

Don't you just hate it. Something simple like a heating element and a cord worked just fine, so what have we gained. If the element will burn out because of over use what does that say about the element.  
 
I did have some things that would of liked answered but what the heck.

hyde

1/12/2015 10:33:29 PM
Member since:
Jun 2009
Total posts:54
block heater

My car didn't start last year it ended up being my extension cord wasn't working

thecdnmole

1/13/2015 7:33:41 AM
Member since:
Aug 2009
Total posts:639
Google search of thermostatic plug

Did a search on this topic and here is one explanation of what causes faults on GM vehicles.  
"The purpose or the block heater to not turn on until the outside temp is 0 deg f: -18 deg c is that it affects the diagnostic on the air temp sensor. This sensor is checked on start up against the coolant temp sensor, then second as you drive down the road it checks it again to see how fast it cools down. If it cools down more than than calibration calls for , the computer sets a code and puts the system in reduced power mode."  
 
Read more: http://www.justanswer.com/chevy/4gy0v-18-celcius-block-heater-cord.html#ixzz3OhxIc5IP"">:http://www.justanswer.com/chevy/4gy0v-18-celcius-block-heater-cord.html#ixzz3OhxIc5IP  
 
or this site...http://www.trackshare.com/forum/showthread.php?t=30969  
 
Consensus seems to be, you can bypass or cut off the thermostatic end, BUT only use the block heater below -18C, otherwise you might get ECM problems. How simple cars/trucks were in the pre-computer era!  
 
 
 
Edited by thecdnmole, 2015-01-13 07:57:38

Jim1284

1/13/2015 12:52:43 PM
Member since:
Feb 2014
Total posts:89
well

Just don't buy a gm

rich774411

1/13/2015 3:33:11 PM
Member since:
Sep 2013
Total posts:152
Jim

  
Jim1284 said "Just don't buy a gm "

But if I had to drive a Ford or Dodge, I can't see where I'm going with the bag over my head. Hahaha.

Jim1284

1/13/2015 5:41:46 PM
Member since:
Feb 2014
Total posts:89
well

At least you would be going somewhere then having troubles because your block heater cord caused a trouble code

ren008

1/13/2015 7:35:56 PM
Member since:
Jun 2011
Total posts:208
.

  
thecdnmole said "Did a search on this topic and here is one explanation of what causes faults on GM vehicles.  
"The purpose or the block heater to not turn on until the outside temp is 0 deg f: -18 deg c is that it affects the diagnostic on the air temp sensor. This sensor is checked on start up against the coolant temp sensor, then second as you drive down the road it checks it again to see how fast it cools down. If it cools down more than than calibration calls for , the computer sets a code and puts the system in reduced power mode."  
 
Read more: http://www.justanswer.com/chevy/4gy0v-18-celcius-block-heater-cord.html#ixzz3OhxIc5IP"">:http://www.justanswer.com/chevy/4gy0v-18-celcius-block-heater-cord.html#ixzz3OhxIc5IP  
 
or this site...http://www.trackshare.com/forum/showthread.php?t=30969  
 
Consensus seems to be, you can bypass or cut off the thermostatic end, BUT only use the block heater below -18C, otherwise you might get ECM problems. How simple cars/trucks were in the pre-computer era!  
 
 
 
Edited by thecdnmole, 2015-01-13 07:57:38"

Ironically, if the block heater was actually hooked into the computer on it's own sensor, the system could realize there was no fault due to unexpected coolant temp differences. Too many sensors or not enough?

fargobob

1/13/2015 11:47:30 PM
Member since:
Nov 2005
Total posts:3487
Simple enough

  
ren008 said "
  
thecdnmole said "Did a search on this topic and here is one explanation of what causes faults on GM vehicles.  
"The purpose or the block heater to not turn on until the outside temp is 0 deg f: -18 deg c is that it affects the diagnostic on the air temp sensor. This sensor is checked on start up against the coolant temp sensor, then second as you drive down the road it checks it again to see how fast it cools down. If it cools down more than than calibration calls for , the computer sets a code and puts the system in reduced power mode."  
 
Read more: http://www.justanswer.com/chevy/4gy0v-18-celcius-block-heater-cord.html#ixzz3OhxIc5IP"">:http://www.justanswer.com/chevy/4gy0v-18-celcius-block-heater-cord.html#ixzz3OhxIc5IP  
 
or this site...http://www.trackshare.com/forum/showthread.php?t=30969  
 
Consensus seems to be, you can bypass or cut off the thermostatic end, BUT only use the block heater below -18C, otherwise you might get ECM problems. How simple cars/trucks were in the pre-computer era!  
 
 
 
Edited by thecdnmole, 2015-01-13 07:57:38"

Ironically, if the block heater was actually hooked into the computer on it's own sensor, the system could realize there was no fault due to unexpected coolant temp differences. Too many sensors or not enough? "

On the drawing board it would be simple enough to add another sensor and sensor input to the computer and program a new set of strategies for operation and self testing.  
 
In the real world, it was probably easier and cheaper to put the thermostatic temp sensor in the block heater cord. I expect they still produce more vehicles without block heaters than with, so really this problem affects the smaller portion of their market.

DLynn

1/17/2015 12:14:37 PM
Member since:
Sep 2012
Total posts:42
block heater

I just had mine replaced with an ordinary plug and had told the owner about comments on this site. He said not true, will not hurt the car. Mine is still running.

 
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