Block heater for a '95 Explorer

Greetings all,

I am going to be doing a fair amount of driving in the eastern Washington State/western Idaho/possibly into Montana or Idaho in the next few weeks. It has been suggested to me that I may want to have an engine block heater installed on my Explorer- however, I’ve only seen block heaters really used in Canada or Alaska. Would it be worthwhile to have it installed, or can the Explorer cope with temperatures in the -5 to 6 degrees Fahrenheit range without it?


I live in WI and the last 3 cars we bought had them installed. The salesmen did not even know they were there as I had asked about getting one installed and they suggested taking them to an independent shop to have it done. The Windstar has a plug mounted by the bumper with a flip cap on it. Look around for a plug, you may already have one.

I lived a while in ND and it was a necessity. Id say it can’t hurt and will definitely help.

-5 probably will be ok, fresh oil and a good battery are recommended. The block heater replaces a freeze plug so if you need new anti-freeze do that at the same time. Other considerations are will you have a place to plug it in? There are special blue cords that remain flexible in the cold, a nice thing to have.

I plug our cars in 15 degrees and below. Different heaters use different wattage’s and my
understanding is they try to keep a 32 degree engine temp.

Doubtful it gets cold enough for any length of time to warrant one. The one winter I lived in Massena NY, I saw temps drop below -40. I didn’t have access to an electrical outlet for a block heater…so I would drain the oil out of my car (like everyone else did) the night when temps would get real low and bring the oil inside…then refill the next morning. A royal pain. Amsoil was the only synthetic widely available. One of the guys I worked with used it and never used a block heater…So if temps get real bad…an alternative would be a full synthetic oil. Flows very well even at temps of -40. Regular dyno oil is almost a paste at those temps.

5 below Fahrenheit - no block heater

25 below - yes

I used to bring the battery in - less work.

Less work…but NOT the same thing…at -40…if that oil is like paste…you’re doing a LOT of engine damage until that oil warms up…In fact I’ve seen engines seize up because of no oil flow.