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TDI 101 Got a simple/basic TDI question? Are you a newbie (new to the forums). Feel free to post your question here.

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Old February 3rd, 2018, 05:30   #1
Garageman1965
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Default Block heater

Has anyone installed or put a magnetic block heater on there TDI, Iím considering this for cold starts in the morning when the weather gets cold below 20* F. Is there a particular one someone can recommend that will somewhere on the block. They usually go on the oil pan, but being itís aluminum, lol looking for other options. Thanks
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Old February 3rd, 2018, 06:04   #2
narongc73
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Go with a frostheater or the expensive Webasto.
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Old February 3rd, 2018, 06:23   #3
maxmoo
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oil pan heaters work very well on these engines also.
Cheap, efficent and quick and easy to install.
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Old February 3rd, 2018, 06:57   #4
Mongler98
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Ease of install and maintenance vs cost and difficulty list

Easiest to install and farily cheep is a oil pan heater. if i did it again, this is what i would ALSO install as well as a coolant heater.

Frost heater works great and is fairly easy to install but has the most moving parts and is very expencive. The core heater is like middle ground on cost but is definatly the hardest to install and if it fails, is going to be the hardest to fix. Plug vs hose. I have a block heater plug and i love it, works great and pulls the lowest amount of amps i have seen on a heater kit. No moving parts and have survived 2 overheats, and about 100K of miles with no signed of leaking.

Go with what ever coolant heater you want and also a oil pan heater. Or just the oil pan heater they work great but you still have cold coolant, not a big deal
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Old February 3rd, 2018, 07:30   #5
narongc73
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Actually just get a zerostart so you don't pay the frostheater price. Not expensive at all. You also get instant heat. Oil pan heater while simple, doesn't do anything but warm the oil. I went Webasto and never have to worry about plugging it in. When I get out of work the engine is already at 150F before I turn the key.
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Old February 3rd, 2018, 08:52   #6
Mongler98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narongc73 View Post
Actually just get a zerostart so you don't pay the frostheater price. Not expensive at all. You also get instant heat. Oil pan heater while simple, doesn't do anything but warm the oil. I went Webasto and never have to worry about plugging it in. When I get out of work the engine is already at 150F before I turn the key.
Coolant temps are pointless other than efficiency of the engine, it will warm up eventually, oil is #1 thing to have warm. If you just keep up on your oil changes and do a change before or right at winter, your good. I would rather have warmer oil than i would warmer block. besides you have a oil heat exchangeer anyways so it does help.

Im not completely familiar with Webasto, you are saying you dont have to plug it in? explain please how this does not drain your battery after 10 minutes. even at 2200 Watts ( what the website says is the smallest they have) a 850cca battery would be below 11 volts in only a few minutes, not 8 hour shift at work. Most batteries under 1000 cca are about 35 to 50 Amp Hours. Lets say you have a 50 amp hour battery that is not AGM and you run a 2,200 watt heater. thats what, 180 some amps? so you get about 5 minutes of run time before the battery is DEAD. Or are you saying it runs when you start the car and gets it hot that way because that would also run more than the 120amp alt your cars has on it.

Please explain this to me so i can understand better.
https://www.webasto.com/us/markets-p...ating-systems/

Last edited by Mongler98; February 3rd, 2018 at 08:55.
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Old February 3rd, 2018, 09:14   #7
h4vok
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I have a Frostheater and it goes between the head and the oil cooler. It replaces the coolant hoses that would normally go straight from the head to the oil cooler. So it heats the engine block and the oil via the coolant. Another side effect is that it is mounted under the battery and when left on for 3+ hours heats the battery a bit too making cranking more powerful in the cold. Personally I would not waste time and money on a different heater, but that is just me. $140 is a small price to pay for easy cold starts and a plug and play install imo.
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Old February 3rd, 2018, 10:01   #8
scooperhsd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mongler98 View Post
Coolant temps are pointless other than efficiency of the engine, it will warm up eventually, oil is #1 thing to have warm. If you just keep up on your oil changes and do a change before or right at winter, your good. I would rather have warmer oil than i would warmer block. besides you have a oil heat exchangeer anyways so it does help.

Im not completely familiar with Webasto, you are saying you dont have to plug it in? explain please how this does not drain your battery after 10 minutes. even at 2200 Watts ( what the website says is the smallest they have) a 850cca battery would be below 11 volts in only a few minutes, not 8 hour shift at work. Most batteries under 1000 cca are about 35 to 50 Amp Hours. Lets say you have a 50 amp hour battery that is not AGM and you run a 2,200 watt heater. thats what, 180 some amps? so you get about 5 minutes of run time before the battery is DEAD. Or are you saying it runs when you start the car and gets it hot that way because that would also run more than the 120amp alt your cars has on it.

Please explain this to me so i can understand better.
https://www.webasto.com/us/markets-p...ating-systems/

Webasto burns FUEL to make heat, battery would only be used for igniting and running a small pump (maybe).
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Old February 3rd, 2018, 10:35   #9
maxmoo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narongc73 View Post
Actually just get a zerostart so you don't pay the frostheater price. Not expensive at all. You also get instant heat. Oil pan heater while simple, doesn't do anything but warm the oil. I went Webasto and never have to worry about plugging it in. When I get out of work the engine is already at 150F before I turn the key.
^ That's not true...oil pan heaters do warm the whole block significantly...heat rises. Maybe not anywhere near 150f on a really cold day but that is also not necessary. Plus at -35 the oil in your 150f engine will still be -35 and thick as molases.
I'm guessing you've never had an oil pan heater or you wouldn't have said that.
Oil pan heaters are miss-understood and under appreciated on this forum.
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Old February 3rd, 2018, 21:26   #10
Mongler98
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burns fuel, thats awesome. i will check into this. can it be ran when the system (engine) is running? help with coolant temps in COLD -20 weather?
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Old February 4th, 2018, 19:17   #11
crawdaddy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garageman1965 View Post
Is there a particular one someone can recommend that will somewhere on the block. They usually go on the oil pan, but being itís aluminum, lol looking for other options. Thanks
I have an aluminum oil pan and mine is installed with a good quality RTV silicone, must clean surface of pan with solvents before adhering the oil heater.
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Old February 5th, 2018, 01:55   #12
1.4TDI PD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mongler98 View Post
burns fuel, thats awesome. i will check into this. can it be ran when the system (engine) is running? help with coolant temps in COLD -20 weather?
Webasto aux heaters are quite popular here in europe you can set the timer and it will preheat the coolant to around 60įC in cold weather. It can run max for an hour after that the electronics shuts it down. It consumes very litle power only to run the blower, coolant pump and fuel pump. They can run while the engine is runing and help with the engine warm up.
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Old February 5th, 2018, 04:16   #13
scooperhsd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garageman1965 View Post
Has anyone installed or put a magnetic block heater on there TDI, Iím considering this for cold starts in the morning when the weather gets cold below 20* F. Is there a particular one someone can recommend that will somewhere on the block. They usually go on the oil pan, but being itís aluminum, lol looking for other options. Thanks

Oh - to directly answer - all these heaters shouldn't be necessary on a TDI that has
A - good battery
B - correct oil (0wx or 5wx synthetic)
C - Fuel that is properly winterized and treated for your location.
D - follow the correct procedure (read owners manual)
E - is in good tune and operating properly.

20F is nothing nothing for a TDI - they tested the ALH's in Alaska and Canada without said heaters, and they WILL start at -30F - -40F . The heaters WILL make it easier, and the coolant types will get you heat faster

Having said that - I would do a coolant heater over an oil heater - it will warm the block as well as the oil , thus providing heat sooner. I myself have started an outdoors parked TDI at single digits without problems - it sounds and runs like a truck at first, but soon settles into normal operation.

A TDI (especially the older ones) will not warm up much just idling - they really need to be DRIVEN to warm up.
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Old February 5th, 2018, 05:39   #14
maxmoo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scooperhsd View Post
Oh - to directly answer - all these heaters shouldn't be necessary on a TDI that has
A - good battery
B - correct oil (0wx or 5wx synthetic)
C - Fuel that is properly winterized and treated for your location.
D - follow the correct procedure (read owners manual)
E - is in good tune and operating properly.

20F is nothing nothing for a TDI - they tested the ALH's in Alaska and Canada without said heaters, and they WILL start at -30F - -40F . The heaters WILL make it easier, and the coolant types will get you heat faster

Having said that - I would do a coolant heater over an oil heater - it will warm the block as well as the oil , thus providing heat sooner. I myself have started an outdoors parked TDI at single digits without problems - it sounds and runs like a truck at first, but soon settles into normal operation.

A TDI (especially the older ones) will not warm up much just idling - they really need to be DRIVEN to warm up.
I agree with everything you said except....A coolant heater will NOT warm your oil at all.
And an oil pan heater WIILL heat your block significantly.
....based on my experiences with both types of heaters over 40 yrs on heavy equipt and many tdi's in very cold conditions.
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Old February 5th, 2018, 06:00   #15
SilverGhost
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Biggest draw back of oil pan heaters was coked oil and, being on the bottom of the oil pan, the tendency to get ripped off. Ice chunks off trucks, snow curbs, regular curbs hidden in plow snow, etc.

Second, if you heated the oil, then pump it through a cold block, it cools back down pretty darn fast. Conversely, if you heated the oil enough for the block to be that warm then the oil is getting pretty darn hot and burnt.

I think warming the oil enough to not be thick goo (good on older dino oils), is a good thing, but not as necessary with modern synthetics. It's already going to flow pretty well unless you are out in -50, -60F temps.

I got a FrostHeater when I live in Montana - even on those -40F mornings there was warmth right away. Nice side effect was the thermo cycling of air inside the car and hot coolant in heater core cause the windshield to partially defrost before I woke up. Just let it idle for 30 seconds to stabilize the temperatures between oil, coolant, and different parts of the engine before driving off.

I think ideal setup would be both oil pan heater and coolant heater working together, but would need to find a thermostatic oil pan heater or put it on a different timer.

Jason
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