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Is it safe to use my block heater after 80,000 miles not using it?

I live in northern Minnesota and park my car outside. It starts fine on the coldest of days, but am wondering if the reduction in engine wear would be worth using the block heater. My car came from the factory with a block heater installed, but I have never used it in the 80,000 miles I have driven it - is it safe to begin using it now?

Sure, shouldn’t be a problem. I’m in Minnesota too and when it gets down below zero, it can be helpful. It is just a small electric heating element, mounted in one of the frost plug holes in the side of the engine instead of the frost plug. The element itself could burn out through usage but if it did, it just wouldn’t work. Also, I have had one start to leak, but it would do this whether it is used or not. So might as well use it.

You did not say how old it was. Check the electrical cord to see if it is still flexible, and does not crack when flexed. That is the only thing I can think of. As other poster said, if it is bad it won’t work.

It is a 2004, and the cord looks fine.

Thanks for the insights!

Sure, but why worry now? All you’re going to do is increase your electric bill.

Based on posts about the use of Block heaters, they costs 5 to 10 cents per hour to use. If you consider the reduction in idling and gasoline burned, it actually saves you money