I picked up a 2010 Toyota Corolla as a commuter car, live in Maine and it’s parked outside. What are your thoughts on installing a block heater foe those frigid winter days
I drive a 2009, which is basically the same car. We don’t have Maine winters in Missouri but it does get cold and mine has always started reliably. AFAIK Mainers only use block heaters on diesel vehicles. Just be sure the battery is good and there’s plenty of gas in the tank.
One quick, unrelated tip: The “add” mark on the dipstick on the 1.8 liter indicates 1 1/2 quarts low rather than the usual 1 quart so don’t let it get down to “add.”
What is the lowest temp you expect for the winter?
If I had your situation, I would buy one of those battery/jumper cable combos, and keep it in the house. It would only be needed when your battery is not enough. NOTE: I would also make sure my car’s battery was in top condition.
In the 1970’s, my carbureted Accord started on a -29 F morning without any aid.
Modern cars… and a 2010 is modern… can easily start at -40 F or C with a good battery and the correct engine oil. You don’t need a block heater.
I have a 2012 Corolla and it always started in sub zero temperature.I never needed a block heater even in northern Canada where I live. Maine weather is like summer to us.
In Minnesota and South Dakota in the old days we used to use block heaters. These days with fuel injection it really is not necessary for starting unless you are beyond 20 below. True they do help cold oil circulation but if you use the specified oil and drive moderately for a few miles, it’ll do fine.
When my vehicles were parked outside in the winter with no garage, I installed a block heater with a timer.
This allowed the heater to heat the coolant a couple of hours so that when the vehicle was started, there was hot air coming out the vents.
I still love block heaters, easier starting, less wear on engine parts so old wives tales go, Used mine at 15 degrees and less, Last 2 cars had block heaters, 2 now don’t, but retired and hoping not to have to go anywhere if it is below 0
Thank you for all your perspectives
That’s true, but I think the OP should get one anyway. If I lived in Maine in the winter, I’d have one.
I think I would want one, too.
Whether or not you get a block heater, I’d want full synthetic oil in the crankcase. Have you changed the oil since you got it?
Years ago, it was -23 F (way below zero). My 1971 Ford Maverick was outdoors. It had a carburetor and regular breaker points ignition. I had 10W-40 in the crankcase. I got in the Maverick the next morning and it turned over slowly, but it started right up. I let the car warm up for about 10 minutes to be sure the gas line wasn’t frozen and drove off. Several years later, I had a 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass. The temperature was just as cold. I had 10W-30 in the crankcase. The Oldsmobile did have electronic ignition. It started right up.
With today’s fuel injection, electronic ignition, and synthetic oils, I don’t think block heaters are necessary if I could start my cars from the 1970s that didn’t have block heaters.
It’s still nice when you start the car, and heat comes out vents.
Mine kept the engines at 35 degrees or so, no instant heat but always a start.
@Tester. If you want instant heat, a Stewart-Warner Southwind gasoline heater is the way to go
I think heated seats would be more practical.
@Whitey. I once owned a 1961 Chevrolet Corvair. The heater pulled hot air off the exhaust manifold. It was almost instant heat.
I once owned a 1969 Porsche 912, which also used an exhaust manifold heat exchanger for cabin heat. It was terrible. I spent two winters in Madison, WI, driving around with an ice scraper in hand to scrape the frost off the inside of the windshield. But, oh, it would go through the snow. In really cold weather (-25-deg-F), when the car was first started it would tend to move in Neutral if the clutch was engaged.
BTW, and back on topic, in 1969, when I was apartment hunting in Madison, many of the advertisements offered “headbolt heater outlets”. I had no idea what they were talking about. Why would you want to heat your headbolts? And what kind of outlet did it take?
Block heater? Freeze plug style? Magnetic element on oil pan? What is available these days?