Page 1 of 7 1234567 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 66

Thread: Use your Micra's block heater: save fuel, reduce wear, be more comfortable.

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Administrator MetroMPG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    1000 Islands, Ontario
    Posts
    3,629
    Thanks
    1,082
    Thanked 465 Times in 353 Posts

    Use your Micra's block heater: save fuel, reduce wear, be more comfortable.

    Name:  block-heater-title.jpg
Views: 1651
Size:  71.7 KB
    (Photo from cjander's thread: Block heater location)

    UPDATE: for 2015 the block heater was standard equipment. For 2017 it's listed as an available accessory.

    Who's planning to use their factory-equipped block heater? It's beautiful and warm here in eastern Ontario today, but we'll be seeing some more single digit temps soon enough. We've already had one frost warning, and freezing temps aren't that far away.

    For those not in the habit, why use a block heater?


    1) You'll save fuel by reducing the "warm-up hit"

    Your fuel economy sucks after a cold start.

    The warm-up hit affects automatic cars more than manuals, because the transmission is programmed to hold lower gears longer until everything's up to temperature. (That's one reason why automatic fuel economy can be lower than a manual's in a head-to-head comparison.)

    But manuals are also affected because regardless of transmission, the engine runs on an enriched fuel mixture until the coolant is up to a certain temperature.

    And the colder it is outside, the longer it takes to get out of warm-up mode.

    Also, oil viscosity (thickness) increases as temperature drops. The engine works harder and burns more fuel to pump it around and to move parts separated by an oil layer. (Does the Micra specify synthetic oil? If so, it's not as affected by this issue.)


    2) You'll reduce wear

    Most of your engine wear occurs from cold starts, when the oil has drained down into the pan. Warm oil will circulate through the engine faster and oil pressure will come up sooner.

    It's also easier on the battery to start a pre-heated engine.


    3) More comfy!

    You'll get cabin heat sooner if you use the block heater.

    Sure, you could also get heat sooner if you just idle your car in the driveway, but that just kills your fuel economy, increases emissions and costs more.

    ---

    I've already started using the coolant heater in my old Firefly. I'm actually a "3-season" block heater user. It's not just for wintertime anymore!

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Micra S manual: 5.0 L/100 km ... 56.5 mpg (Imp) ... 20.0 km/L ... 47.0 mpg (US) ...


  2. #2
    Administrator MetroMPG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    1000 Islands, Ontario
    Posts
    3,629
    Thanks
    1,082
    Thanked 465 Times in 353 Posts

    wattage?

    OH: question for anyone who's got a Kill-a-watt energy monitor. Could you plug it into the block heater and tell us how many watts it is? I'm very curious, and I forgot to check when I had the SR automatic loaner.

    Also, can someone confirm that this is a frost-plug type of installation? I'm 95% sure it is.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Micra S manual: 5.0 L/100 km ... 56.5 mpg (Imp) ... 20.0 km/L ... 47.0 mpg (US) ...


  3. #3
    Administrator Daox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    754
    Garage empty: add car
    Thanks
    207
    Thanked 84 Times in 63 Posts
    I'm with Darin on this. I love my block heater. Get in a car and you get heat a lot faster in winter, plus you reduce engine wear, and get better fuel economy? What isn't to love. I also put mine on a timer so it doesn't suck down electricity all night.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Calgary Ab
    Posts
    33
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    You have it on a timer how long is it on before you start?

  5. #5
    Administrator Daox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    754
    Garage empty: add car
    Thanks
    207
    Thanked 84 Times in 63 Posts
    It all depends on the wattage. Typically 2-3 hours though.

  6. #6
    Member Johnskers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    83
    Thanks
    20
    Thanked 8 Times in 6 Posts
    That timer idea is just what i need to start using the block heater. I heard too many stories of people using block heaters not being able to start when their not plugged in. i feel that just heating 2-3 hours before leaving will reduce that effect.
    Am i way out there with this assumption?

  7. #7
    Administrator MetroMPG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    1000 Islands, Ontario
    Posts
    3,629
    Thanks
    1,082
    Thanked 465 Times in 353 Posts
    I've heard that one too: that a block heater will somehow "spoil" the car, and then it won't start unless you ALWAYS plug it in.

    It's an urban myth.

    There may be a tiny grain of truth that started the myth: if the car's battery is on its last legs, it may be able to start a warm engine, whereas a near-death battery won't be able to turn over a stone cold motor.

    Another possible tiny grain of truth: if the car's got a carburetor with a busted choke, it may start if the engine is pre-warmed, but not if it's too cold. (That one's a long shot.)

    None of which apply to a new Micra.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Micra S manual: 5.0 L/100 km ... 56.5 mpg (Imp) ... 20.0 km/L ... 47.0 mpg (US) ...


  8. #8
    Member MasterFocus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Stoke, Québec
    Posts
    43
    Thanks
    15
    Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts
    My Ford Ranger, the "block heater cord" is in fact a battery warmer...

  9. #9
    Administrator MetroMPG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    1000 Islands, Ontario
    Posts
    3,629
    Thanks
    1,082
    Thanked 465 Times in 353 Posts
    Ha!

    Yeah, that would be the best of both worlds: block heater & battery warmer.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Micra S manual: 5.0 L/100 km ... 56.5 mpg (Imp) ... 20.0 km/L ... 47.0 mpg (US) ...


  10. #10
    Senior Member AlphaMicra's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Oshawa, Ontario
    Posts
    1,037
    Thanks
    114
    Thanked 245 Times in 174 Posts
    My Micra will be spending most of its winter nights inside an attached garage. I wonder if a block heater will even be necessary?

    In our culture obsessed with absurd excess, the Nissan Micra is my counterculture car of choice.
    Be sure to visit my blog at mymicra.com!

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Micra SV manual: 6.4 L/100 km ... 44.3 mpg (Imp) ... 15.7 km/L ... 36.9 mpg (US) ...


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •