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Old 01-21-2013, 09:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
Andyr9981
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Does block heater warm oil??

One would think that if you have a warm block that has been plugged in all night during cold weather..that the oil would be warm also? Not perhaps as warm as the coolant temp obviously..but maybe "slightly" warmer? Im not about to crawl under my rig in freezing weather to touch oil pan and find out, but just was wondering of your opinions on this subject? I know that there are aftermarket oil pan heaters available for our duramaxes..but those in my mind would be more for more constant "uber" cold conditions. My own experiences with my LBZ rig during a cold morning not plugged in..I can definately hear a difference in cranking speed/rpm. Lower obviously. This cold morning in michigan, after having truck plugged in for 10 hours..I noticed the cranking speed was much faster. In my mind this is due to the oil being a bit thinner due to being warmer? I would not think that cranking speed could be affected by just a warm block, and cold oil? My digital coolant readout on my edge tuner showed me 93 degree F block temp upon startup, and fuel temperature in the 50's. I assume this fuel temp is read at or around the CP3 pump. Id like your opinions on this subject. Please keep the "cocky" comments to yourself. Ive dealt with some real idiots on here recently, and I dont wanna hear anything negative if that is all you have to say. I come to this forum for advice..NOT to hear people rant about politics/and or just be an idiot and rant and rave for no reason. -PONCH
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I do not know the correct answers to your questions.
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:23 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The block heater indirectly heats the oil, because as the water jackets in the block get heated, much of that heat gets radiated and heats the oil and pretty much everything attached to the engine. You might consider getting a heavy duty timer though and just have the block heater come on for about 3 hours before you get ready to go. I will save a lot on your electricity bill. The block heater pulls 1200 watts. Having you winter front on will also help keep some of the heat in the engine compartment, since the radiator is still disipating heat.
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:32 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by D.Camilleri View Post
The block heater indirectly heats the oil, because as the water jackets in the block get heated, much of that heat gets radiated and heats the oil and pretty much everything attached to the engine. You might consider getting a heavy duty timer though and just have the block heater come on for about 3 hours before you get ready to go. I will save a lot on your electricity bill. The block heater pulls 1200 watts. Having you winter front on will also help keep some of the heat in the engine compartment, since the radiator is still disipating heat.
I will disagree. Heat rises and most of the oil is at the lowest point of the engine. Also, I have an oil temp gauge, only starts at 100. Doesn't seem to start warming much faster after start up. Coolant is warm, so the oil cooler helps warm it a little faster, but only when engine is running
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Heat does indeed rise, but I would think the oil will tend to be warmer but not as warm as the coolant. The only way to tell for sure would be to install an engine oil temp gauge in the oil pan that goes lower 100deg.
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by iTurdman View Post
I will disagree. Heat rises and most of the oil is at the lowest point of the engine. Also, I have an oil temp gauge, only starts at 100. Doesn't seem to start warming much faster after start up. Coolant is warm, so the oil cooler helps warm it a little faster, but only when engine is running
Heat does rise but conduction is what we are referring too. When you heat the coolant it will transfer that heat into everything it touches. Those surfaces then will transfer that heat into anything they come in contact with.

Yes it may not heat the oil to 100 degrees but it defiantly helps during cold starts.
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for the reply's so far!
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Heat does rise but conduction is what we are referring too. When you heat the coolant it will transfer that heat into everything it touches. Those surfaces then will transfer that heat into anything they come in contact with.

Yes it may not heat the oil to 100 degrees but it defiantly helps during cold starts.
I have to agree with you here, Yes heat does rise, but you are heating the coolant directly with an element not with a hot air blower. The coolant will flow around the engine slowly through the thermo-siphon effect exactly the same effect as convection currents in hot air.

This will pre-heat the entire engine block allowing the thicker oil to flow quicker through the engine.

If you really want to help to pre heat the oil, you could make an additional oil tank with electrical valves and a pre-heater. When you have had the vehicle running, the tank has oil flowing thru it. When you shut off the truck, the valves shut and keep some oil in the tank. When you plug the truck's block heater in, you could plug in the oil pre heater at the same time and heat the oil precharge. When you turn the truck on to fire her up, the valves will open and dump some NICE pre heated, pre pressurised oil into the system.
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by boothybunch View Post
I have to agree with you here, Yes heat does rise, but you are heating the coolant directly with an element not with a hot air blower. The coolant will flow around the engine slowly through the thermo-siphon effect exactly the same effect as convection currents in hot air.

This will pre-heat the entire engine block allowing the thicker oil to flow quicker through the engine.
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agreed. crawl under when it really cold out and the block is plugged in, the oil pan is cold. it has probably been warmed slightly. Guys here that want to heat the oil usually use a magnetic pan heater.
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:29 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iTurdman View Post
I will disagree. Heat rises and most of the oil is at the lowest point of the engine. Also, I have an oil temp gauge, only starts at 100. Doesn't seem to start warming much faster after start up. Coolant is warm, so the oil cooler helps warm it a little faster, but only when engine is running
The radiation of heat through physical contact has nothing to do with heat rising. Heat "rises" in fluids and gases because the warmer substance expands becoming less dense, thus "floating" to the top while being exchanged for cooler more dense substance from above...

Conduction and radiation of heat through direct contact can go in any direction, and metal is very good at it... If you don't believe it, grab a metal rod and hold it by the "bottom" Hold a torch on the top of it for a minute and see what happens...

The engine oil will be ever so slightly warmed by the coolant heater, but not very much. The coolant generally has direct contact with the heated surface and therefore gets much hotter. The heat conducted from the coolant and through the metal surfaces will warm the oil, but it will be fighting the colder metal from the bottom of the pan. In short, the oil in the pan will not be very uniformly "warmed" the cooler oil at the bottom of the pan will be cooling while the warmer oil at the top will continue to get some radiated heat from the warmed block...
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