Can this be true? Say it 'ain't so!"

Our repair show tells me that there is no engine block heater for a 1998 V70 wagon. How can this be? I NEED one! It was only 28 below last week and the darn thing wouldn’t start. Had this problem last winter, and put in new super-duper tough battery, and was also told “no engine block heater” for that car. So disappointed in this issue. My 1984 240 DL wagon would start after a week of sitting at the airport in sub-zero weather! This one should be the same! Surely it gets this cold in Sweden and the car is designed to handle these cold temps!? Does anyone know about a block heater for this car, or some other cold weather fix? Help!

There may be one that fits in a lower radiator hose. There will always be one that will fit even if it has to be adapted.

Autozone has lower hose heaters in 1 1/4", 1 1/2"’, 1 3/4" and 2" sizes. I am sure other parts stores are the same. Have them pull up a lower hose and see what the inside diameter is.

In addition to the ones that fit into a lower radiator hose, there may still be some models that can be placed into the dipstick tube, after removing the dipstick.

For years I had a heater that fit in the heater hose and acted like a thermosiphon. You just had to leave the heater control on to allow coolant circulation. There are many ways to keep and engine warm. Ford owning Volvo may just have been the cause of eliminating block heaters.

I used the dipstick one on my 59 VW. A pain in the neck but got the job done because it heat the oil.

Plus there are magnetic ones for the side of a steel/iron block.

8 below zero here last night, both trucks started fine without any.

All you need to do is measure one of the frost plug diameters on the engine block. Then go to the parts store with that diameter and they can provide you with an expandable engine block frost plug heater.


Thanks, everyone! I will pass all this great info. on to hubby and mechanic!

Have you tried using a zero weight oil in the winter? If your vehicle calls for 10W-30 or 5W-30 oil, you can use 0W-30 oil in your car (if you can find some) so it can start a little easier in the winter. If your vehicle calls for 5W-20, you can use 0W-20 oil. Zero weight oils like these are usually (probably always) synthetic, so expect them to cost more than regular dinosaur oil.

You’ll probably still want a block heater, but this might help too.

I used a lower hose heater when I lived in North Dakota and they work beautifully.

Careful measuring and pulling out any ol’ freeze plug.
Something could hit the heater you put in there if you pick the wrong freeze plug or there’s just not enough room in there ( usually the reason none are listed ) as a freeze plug heater reaches in about 1 1/2".
Hence , the best option when no freeze plug heater is listed, is the lower hose or magnetic heaters.

The problem I found with the hose heaters was they consume 450 watts, dipstick heaters fry your oil, magnetic oil pan heaters are somewhere in between, as far as energy consumption and effectiveness. Curious, as I have block heater, if anyone still does a 100 watt trouble light near the engine as my folks did in the olden days in Duluth, MN.

It may be too late for the OP but I looked at the web site for WOLVERINE ENGINE BLOCK HEATERS and it appears to be a reasonable solution.

Dipstick heaters also don’t circulate the heat throughout the engine. Heaters that heat the coolant, block heaters and lower hose heaters, do via convection. Dipstick heaters are useless IMHO.

Dipstick heaters are also banned in Canada.

Too many engine fires.


@tester Yes, dipstick heaters are bad news. Too much heat in too small a spot. I’ve had good luck with the heaters mounted in the heater hoses that pump warm coolant around the system. Easy to install. The priciple is the same as a coffee maker, but the fluid is heated to a lower temperature. However, you must leave the heater control valve on full or the fluid won’t circulate and you’ll burn out the unit.

Still, the best is a block heater mounted directly in the block. Our two cars, bought new, had these installed by the dealer, together with heavy duty batteries.