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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-01-2013, 03:36 AM Thread Starter
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A Light Bulb and a Blanket

A was listening to the Car Talk guys a few months ago and a caller asked a question about the best and least expensive way to reduce wear and tear on her automobile and thus make the car last longer....those weren't the exact words but something along those lines. The answer was a light bulb and a blanket, strategically placed over the motor during cold winter months.

So to all you gear heads on YC...how much does this make sense to you and if I tried it, would I burn the garage down and my car up?

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-01-2013, 09:01 AM
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Cold starts cause the most wear however I would use an engine block heater on a timer rather than a lightbulb and blanket.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-01-2013, 10:34 AM
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Yeah there are specific things designed to keep your engine warm in the winter such as block heaters and oil pan heaters. A light bulb and a blanket is asking for a fire.

My only guess though is that you would place the light bulb under the engine down on the floor and then put the blanket over the top of the engine to hold in the heat of the light bulb from below. Sounds pretty stupid to me though.

---------- Post added at 12:34 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:30 PM ----------

Although I do find listening to the car talk guys interesting or entertaining I think they are not very smart about actually knowing how to fix cars. I would never call them and ask them what is wrong with my car. It is nearly impossible to diagnose a car that is making a "clunk" "bang" "bonk" "clank" or whatever word people make up correctly without actually seeing the car yourself.

One of my biggest pet peeves is when people expect you to know what is wrong with their car by describing the noise it makes based on their opinion of what it sounds like or where the noise is coming from.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-01-2013, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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I have no experience with block heaters but think I'm interested in finding out more about them. Just did some poking around on google and found a thread from YC.com where blazer and some others talk about installing them. Maybe if I could get the dealer to install an OEM block heater for me I'd use it. There's a few outlets in the garage, so if it's just a matter of pugging in at night..I think I could handle that.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-01-2013, 08:31 PM
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block heaters on a cobalt are the easiest block heater you can ever install. It's simply one bolt and you're done, other than just routing the cord. The problem with block heaters for our cars is though, that the cord has a built in thermostat and the block heater will not run unless it is zero degrees F or lower. So kinda dumb.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 01:48 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blazerlow View Post
block heaters on a cobalt are the easiest block heater you can ever install. It's simply one bolt and you're done, other than just routing the cord. The problem with block heaters for our cars is though, that the cord has a built in thermostat and the block heater will not run unless it is zero degrees F or lower. So kinda dumb.
Thanks...does the thermostat low temp switch setting have something to do with (not) triggering a CEL?

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 11:55 AM
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Don't think I'd EVER trust a lightbulb and blanket to keep from getting a cold start.... lol, and cold starts are so bad because there is no oil in the top of the motor when you first start the car thus why it's bad. once oil gets up there, then there are no problems.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 05:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keegs View Post
Thanks...does the thermostat low temp switch setting have something to do with (not) triggering a CEL?
yep
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