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3:39 a.m. Frigid engine. Hospital says:"Red lights and siren and HURRY!"

2008 Expedition 5.4L is garaged but hasn’t been driven in several days. It’s ICE COLD.

Engine starts immediately. No problem.
But I am accelerating before the engine gets warm.

Can I attach a magnetic block heater anywhere and pull it off with a rope before departing?
Or is there too much aluminum?
What about a 150-Watt outdoor floodlight aimed up from beneath with sheet over the hood and grill? (It would also provide welcome light in the garage.)

To warm engine gently:
Instead of dressing and then climbing into the vehicle, I immediately got in, started the engine and let idle move the vehicle out of the garage and down the street while getting dressed.

Tried to be gentle as possible and accelerated gently, but soon was on an arterial street at 60 mph and increasing.
Suggestions?
Thank you.

I don’t think you will have problems starting you Expedition in cold weather. During a terrible winter storm I lived in the country and had a long driveway. I couldn’t get past the end of the driveway, so I left my car, a 1971 Ford Maverick, at the end of the driveway. That night, the temperature dropped to 25 degrees below zero (-25 F). The next morning, a colleague called and wanted me to help with a plumbing problem in her house. I waded through the snow to the Maverick and hoped it would start without problems and it started with the first turn of the key. This was in the day of the ignition point distributor and carburetor. Since that time, I managed start my 1978 Oldsmobile when the temperature dropped below -20 F. This car had a carburetor but did have electronic ignition. In neither case did I have a block heater. I would start the cars in this weather and let them run a minute or two so that the oil pressure would stabilize and then I would take off.

I wouldn’t worry about it. I start my car in cold weather (+15 or so) and if the windshield is clear, I’m moving about the time the check engine light test goes out (about two seconds). I take it easy for the first couple of minutes, but thats about it. I’ve got 254k on current car.

BTW, I had a 71 Maverick once myself. I started it one time when it was -6 here, started on the first lick.

Thank you.
The engine starts immediately. No problem.
I’m worried about what damage I am doing to a frigid engine.

When not an emergency, I start and immediately place in Drive so the load slows the rpm.
I go down the street in idle so the engine heats slowly. From the stop sign I accelerate gently and drive gently as the engine is heating under gentle load.

In Minnesota we use block heaters for non fuel injected cars when it gets below zero. Its a factory option. Or heated garages is the prefered method.

Use full-synthetic oil, and if you are worried about it, have a block heater installed such that you just need to unplug it from the extension cord and go.

it’s bbeetter to allow the car to idle for 5 or 10 seconds before you jam it in drive. fasten your seat belt, check the mirrors, turn on your lights, then go. a heated garage is best, as you have many components that may not like the freezing temps, ie: transmission fluid, gear oil, power steering, brakes, etc.

You don’t need to warm the engine to normal temperature. Just take it easy for the first mile or so.

What you don’t want to do is hit the freeway right out of the driveway. Idling is hard on a car as is driving when the car is cold.

Just avoid the extremes and all will be well.

Thank you.
Not “jammed”. Engine starts and I.mmediately shift into drive. I prefer to minimize uncatalyzed exhaust in the garage - where our clothes are hanging to dry. (HOA prohibits outdoor clothesline).
Also, Drive immediately applies a little load keeping the rpm down while moving the SUV out of the garage.

Did I give the magnetic mount heater to Goodwill?

Think I’ll try two 150-Watt flood lamps shining up against the engine and transmission with an old bed sheet over the hood.

@Robert
This is why we drive someone else car/ truck in emergencies. The tax payer accepts the possible extra wear of driving cars like this. The motor is the least of your worries. It at least generates it’s own heat and everyone obsesses about that alone. You have an entire drive train, including transmission, steering, braking and suspension system with all their corresponding fluids that is only warmed by gradual use. You can’t warm everything unless the “garage is heated”. That includes the tires too.

We just deal with the added expense. It does increase wear everywhere when cold and driven too fast too early. Technically, the blower motor should be run on slow first. Heck, you’re going to drive 100 mph the first dry road you hit with chains only on the front wheels and your little yellow light flashing regardless. I would worry more about that. ;=(( Like the rest of us, you’re obsessing with too much free time on your hands. I’m headed to church, I’ll pray for all of us.

You can't warm everything unless the "garage is heated". Deal with it. It does increase wear.
Yes. Would be nice to insulate the garage doors and install a gas heater. Not worthexpen$e for the number of days of subzero temperatures. Flood lamps are looking like the best far less expensive compromise - heat and light.

oblivion mentions using synthetic oil, or engine block heater. I’m moving to Montana where winters are frigid. Was told by a mechanic to use synthetic oil for my '07 GMC Yukon to address the potential freezing issue. Another person told me that it’s not a good idea to start using synthetic oil if never used before on the vehicle. Does anyone know what the answer is to this? Also, using synthetic oil does not address the frigid temp effects on the other fluids.
So, enter the block heater…does anyone know if there is one available that can be installed on the '07 Yukon? All I can find are engine oil heaters.

Dagosa is correct. If you want an emergency vehicle, you need to treat it like an emergency vehicle, and that means the running gear is going to get abused on a regular basis. Either spend the money to heat your garage (which, if you DIY, is actually not all that much - the insulated doors are by far the most expensive part) or deal with the knowledge that you’re causing premature wear when you have to go on a call.

A 150 watt light is cute and everything, but at best it will mildly warm the outside of the oil pan and at worst something will drip on it and catch fire. As has been noted, a magnetic heater will only warm the oil. The transmission fluid, axle grease, differential, etc, will all still be cold when you start out. Those heaters are mainly to make it easier to start the engine, not to have the vehicle up to operating temperature immediately.

Was told by a mechanic to use synthetic oil for my '07 GMC Yukon to address the potential freezing issue. Another person told me that it's not a good idea to start using synthetic oil if never used before on the vehicle. Does anyone know what the answer is to this?

People who don’t know anything about synthetic oil have been saying that for years. It’s completely false. You can switch to synthetic oil and back any time you want without any adverse effect what-so-ever.

Switching to synthetic oil in an area that constantly sees temps below zero is a very good idea. Synthetic oil flows much better when temps drop below zero. And considering that most engine wear occurs at startup it’s makes sense.

If you live in the lower 48 of the USA your car can handle the cold “frigid” temps. Best to use 0W-20, 0W-30 oil in the crankcase and full synthetic is even better. There are oil additives that claim to coat metal parts to reduce wear on start up, add one of them if you wish.

A motor in good tune will start immediately if the battery has a good charge since the 0W oil does not thicken so the motor will crank over just fine. Once the motor is started the main issue is cold tranny fluid so taking it easy at first does help the tranny warm up without damage. But, if you have to nail it and get up to 100 mpg right away then hit the red lights and siren and go like hell. The truck can handle it. Stop the obsessive worrying or give up the adrenalin rush of the volunter blood runs.

Robert Gift - Real person? This persons questions makes me wonder if he is really qualified to be doing this volunteer service. I am also glad that he may not be driving 100 MPH here in N.E. Oklahoma. If he is with a service group they should be the ones answering his questions as they can be held responsible for his actions.

Isn’t this the same man who has a number of times asked questions involving high speed runs in large vehicles not really designed for high speed? So, Volvo V70, your questions have been asked and discussed in the past. He does what he chooses to do.

A block heater would be your best bet, Our last Ford came with one, the salesman did not know that. Ours was a plug with a flip cap for an extension cord located above the front bumper. I found it was included for most fords sold in our climate. - 03vintage Typically it keeps your engine at 36 deg, at 100 watts electric consumption.

Back to the engine block heater. My '07 Yukon did not come with one factory-installed. Does anyone know anything about installing one, or if even one is available for installation?
Thanks.

"... they should be the ones answering his questions..."
Our other EMS volunteers do not know much about vehicles. They say I Bobsess about damage and change oil too frequently. A farm owner from near Norman and another from Hays, KS say they routinely drive their Eddie Bower and King ? Expeditions at over 100 mph.