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Old January 29th, 2008, 05:29   #1
kilo69
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Default Zerostart coolant heater or magnetic block heater?

So I'm looking at the Zerostart products at CDN Tire.

However I can't decide which to get.

The Coolant heater at $64.95 (I'd be asking for the 1500W)
Or the magnetic block heater at $54.95 (It's only 200W)

Which would be more helpful to the engine?

I'm not that concerned about instant cabin heat, my goal is to minimize engine wear on the cold starts and have the engine start easier.

I'm almost tempted to do both
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Old January 29th, 2008, 05:39   #2
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I would go with the coolant heater, it is going to heat a lot more of the engine.
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Old January 29th, 2008, 05:54   #3
Brockflock
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I am looking for a similar solution. My engine won't crank when it hits 0 deg. F. at 5 deg. F it starts fine.

How does the coolant heater work? Even if it is circuating the coolant, doesn't the thermostat close when the engine is cold?

Also, where is this installed? I don't see much room for anything in my bug's engine compartment.

Thanks.
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Old January 29th, 2008, 06:00   #4
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Coolant heater goes under the battery. www.frostheater.com. Woops, shouldn't have poster that....the Canadians will rip me a new one for telling people to go buy a kit that is designed for each car vs. wasting my time to drive around and look for parts and make bracket for 5 hours....

Also if it isn't turning over you have some other issues. Starter is probably going or the battery is weak.
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Old January 29th, 2008, 06:09   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonTDI
Coolant heater goes under the battery. www.frostheater.com. Woops, shouldn't have poster that....the Canadians will rip me a new one for telling people to go buy a kit that is designed for each car vs. wasting my time to drive around and look for parts and make bracket for 5 hours....

Also if it isn't turning over you have some other issues. Starter is probably going or the battery is weak.
Kits are fine.... I just enjoy the DIY part of mods....

I like spending time thinking and designing, other people would rather have it done and pay the extra to have that.

Do the coolant heater warm up enough to open the thermostat and allow warm coolant around the block?
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Old January 29th, 2008, 06:28   #6
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I have been using a coolant heater (yes from FrostHeat) for about two years and should have installed it when new! Yes it will open the Thermostat, I think, in any event it allows the car to blow warm air regardless of weather. The reasons I use this are many but the best part is easy cold start and much less polution than a cold engine.

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Old January 29th, 2008, 07:18   #7
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Wouldn't the thermostat be between the radiator and the engine? In which case why would you want it to open up?
When the thermostat is closed coolant can still circulate around the engine, it just bypasses the radiator, or do I have it all mixed up?
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Old January 29th, 2008, 07:33   #8
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Don't waste your time or money on a magnetic heater. 200 watts on the outside of the engine block in sub-zero temps will do next to nothing. Tried it on cars, tractors, etc. Thats like 2 light bulbs. Either buy the 1000 or 1500 Zero Start unit or the Frostheater kit if you want to save some thinking. I found a couple of the Zero Start units at the local Fleet store for 21.95 and rigged my own, but haven't had to use it since I installed it
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Old January 29th, 2008, 07:51   #9
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You won't need to run the Zerostart (coolant recirc) heater for very long before you intend to start up the car - I'm guessing 30 to 60 minutes. Anybody's experience?
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Old January 29th, 2008, 10:32   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kilo69
Kits are fine.... I just enjoy the DIY part of mods....

I like spending time thinking and designing, other people would rather have it done and pay the extra to have that.

Do the coolant heater warm up enough to open the thermostat and allow warm coolant around the block?
I love poking fun at you guys! Some of you get really uptight about the home built thing but that's cool!

They will open it if the car has a belly pan and the top cover and it's not out in the direct wind. For example, my B4 is much more exposed than my Jetta and only gets to 140 or so even if plugged in all night from hot. (0F weather)
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Old January 29th, 2008, 10:34   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DickSilver
You won't need to run the Zerostart (coolant recirc) heater for very long before you intend to start up the car - I'm guessing 30 to 60 minutes. Anybody's experience?
not up here. they need to run a lot more.
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Old January 29th, 2008, 12:11   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonTDI
I love poking fun at you guys! Some of you get really uptight about the home built thing but that's cool!

They will open it if the car has a belly pan and the top cover and it's not out in the direct wind. For example, my B4 is much more exposed than my Jetta and only gets to 140 or so even if plugged in all night from hot. (0F weather)
Hmm that's good to know.... Something to keep in mind.

Although this only helps in the mornings as at work I don't have an outlet to keep it plugged into... but daytime is usually warmer and I normally take a drive at lunch so it's not sitting as long as overnight!
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Old January 29th, 2008, 12:35   #13
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Don't worry about the Tstat. The heater gets plumbed into the lines going to the oil cooler. This circulates warmth in a coolant circuit that bypasses the Tstat.
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Old January 29th, 2008, 13:37   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weedeater
Don't worry about the Tstat. The heater gets plumbed into the lines going to the oil cooler. This circulates warmth in a coolant circuit that bypasses the Tstat.
This is correct. When done properly they really do work. If you buy the unit alone the 1000watt is plenty. The 1500watt unit is almost overkill but in a couple of hours even at 0F it'll warm up. At -25F give it a couple more and you have heat right away.
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Old January 29th, 2008, 14:07   #15
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I like the kilowatt zerostart because it will warm up much faster than the 750W unit but doesn't endanger popping breakers like the 1500W one. I played around a bit with some data from Philips-Temro here regarding the three models.

With my car (panzer plate, grille blocked off with foam) in my unheated, uninsulated car hole, unless it's subzero foreignheit, 3 hours is usually fine. When it starts getting really arctic, I just plug it in when I get home and let it run all night.
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