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heating the coolant is a LOT better then heating the oil. Heating the oil can burn the oil. Besides, warm oil doesn't help the engine start.

heating the coolant using a block heater means the HEAD will get warmer. Most of the water circulates up to the head.

Then when you crank the engine over to start it, the head is warm, top of the block is warm, vavles are already warm, and the truck will start more quickly.
I disagree on all of the above.

I have been using an oil pan heater for years on my truck - never a problem with burnt oil and warm oil DOES help the engine start. The oil heater helps improve oil flow to the HEUI injectors, allowing for easier firing.

I also have used the OEM block heater, again easy starts compared to no plug in.

The main difference I noticed in the oil heater vs. OEM block heater is 500w (oil heater) vs 1000w (block heater).

From any energy consumption viewpoint, the oil heater is better.

My uncle who has been a diesel mechanic for years, has always used oil pan heaters on dumps, bulldozers, tractors, etc. He swaers by them. He always told me if you got a good functioning glow plug system, no need to worry about combustion chamber heat issues.

ButchCassidy1
 

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I disagree on all of the above.

I have been using an oil pan heater for years on my truck - never a problem with burnt oil and warm oil DOES help the engine start. The oil heater helps improve oil flow to the HEUI injectors, allowing for easier firing.

I also have used the OEM block heater, again easy starts compared to no plug in.

The main difference I noticed in the oil heater vs. OEM block heater is 500w (oil heater) vs 1000w (block heater).

From any energy consumption viewpoint, the oil heater is better.

My uncle who has been a diesel mechanic for years, has always used oil pan heaters on dumps, bulldozers, tractors, etc. He swaers by them. He always told me if you got a good functioning glow plug system, no need to worry about combustion chamber heat issues.

ButchCassidy1
You hit the nail right on the head. Cold oil equals extreme duty for the batteries. Although having warm heads, and warmer fuel is a good thing. Keeping that oil thin, allows those very cold batteries to still push enough current to fire-off the truck. Given a choice I would prefer heating the coolant, it transfers to the oil easy enough, but also puts heated air in the cab nearly instantly.

My 15 liter ISX Cummins with 4 brand new batteries can easily tell the difference between 8F and 25F. Plugging it in for about 4 hours makes all the difference in the world. Those batteries grunt really hard at 5-8F, and they can spin that motor like crazy when warmed to 25F.

I've never heard of a block heater heating element cracking or breaking, so someone pulled that rumor out of their hiney.
I think I understand what he was asking. Would be like the same thing as adding cold water to a "boiled over" empty radiator, except in reverse. Although, I do agree that its non sense to think that the small amount of still cold fluid circulating through the block, and heads will cause a problem when it collides with heated engine parts, or heated coolant. If that was the case, then every time the thermostat opened the block would get cracked because of the temp differences...
 

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I don't know much about them,,, LOL. I NEVER use mine. (Except for last winter when it wouldn't start without it, (due to three bad injectors...) When the trucks GP system, and the rest of the motor is healthy, it is not necessary for starting, USUALLY, *Maybe northern Canada, Alaska, ect...) But not for the lower 48 I would say.
However, my truck is starting fine right now this winter, and I have heat within a mile or two literally after starting. I will let it idle for 3-5 minutes just to get the fluids flowing. But when you start and drive it warms very quickly.
So if your doing it to "Be warm" in the cab. The quickest way to get heat is drive it. (Diesels won't warm up much, while idling.) They need to "Work" to build heat.
 
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