RAM 1500 Diesel Forum banner

41 - 59 of 59 Posts

·
Registered
'18 Laramie CC 4x4, '03 Ram 3500 Laramie Sport QC 4x4 Cummins Smarty, built 47 series trans
Joined
·
6 Posts
My truck has been at dealership last couple weeks for the timing cover leak. I would have hated doing the repair myself. They gave me a new Jeep Cherokee as loaner, what a POS with the 4 cyl engine. I complained about taking forever to warm up. I was informed that I did not have a thermostat issue, the problem was related to our latest recall VB1. Not knowing enough to throw down the yellow BS flag on these trucks, what say you? If it was my Cummins, would toss thermostat in it and be done with it. They did say to stop by next time I need to top off with coolant, they're hoping to see parts available by April. It still stinks after driving it, hopefully it doesn't burn down,it's too cold to be standing along side the road.
They did do a update and I could not be more pleased. There is a night & day difference in acceleration, no delay when cold, the truck has never ran this strong. Actually had the tires breaking loose taking off from stop light in 4wd, kind of caught me off guard. Thanks for the info on pan heater, going to order one!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,988 Posts
No BS retirenak , true , when EGR goes bad ( recall VB1 ) , the coolant gets low in engine and rad
and you lose heat from HVAC .
 

·
Registered
'18 Laramie CC 4x4, '03 Ram 3500 Laramie Sport QC 4x4 Cummins Smarty, built 47 series trans
Joined
·
6 Posts
With coolant topped off, will the EGR affect the heaters ability to put out heat effectively?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,988 Posts
2 separate systems , with coolant topped off you should get heat ,
and save damage to water pump and head gaskets , which is even more important ,
and main reason we should not let coolant go lower than seem in the tank ( degas bottle )
you may have to top it off more than once if it is low in engine and rad , it will come get it in bottle
and it will disappear from degas bottle until air pockets disappear .
------
if EGR is cacked inside , it will keep sending your added coolant down the exhaust ,
( at what rate depends on progression of the EGR internal cracks )
or to intake manifold depending which of the few kinds of failures these EGRs develop.
---
the least damage is from exhaust pressure sent into coolant portion of the EGR raising
pressure of cooling system above 21 Psi , as wtitten on coolant bottle cap , the cap lifts
and coolant spits out from tube that starts under the degas bottle , ends mid height of rad
on passenger side , spits in engine bay , but at least not in exhaust or intake .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
I've been using the block heater this winter, mostly to save some engine wear, quicker warm up, idle reduction.

Here's what i've learned.
1. It's a shock hazard, make sure you try to only use the block heater with a GFCI outlet
2. I've added an outlet timer so it only runs between 3am-6am
3. It's recommended to NOT run the engine with the block heater plugged in, I noticed the temperature jumps very fast if it's idling while being plugged in, I noticed on other block heaters it says don't run while plugged in, i've discontinued idling while plugged in. I noticed within 1 minute the coolant temperature will go from 90F to 150F doing this, premature heater element failure will result.

I normally see in the morning:
90F coolant temp
48F oil temp
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,162 Posts
Interesting about the not running while plugged in. I had never heard that and have been doing for 3 years.

Mine doesn't make temperature changes anywhere near what you describe with the heater plugged in after its running.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,165 Posts
2. I've added an outlet timer so it only runs between 3am-6am
3. It's recommended to NOT run the engine with the block heater plugged in, I noticed the temperature jumps very fast if it's idling while being plugged in, I noticed on other block heaters it says don't run while plugged in, i've discontinued idling while plugged in. I noticed within 1 minute the coolant temperature will go from 90F to 150F doing this, premature heater element failure will result.

I normally see in the morning:
90F coolant temp
48F oil temp
Something sounds fishy, there is no way the stock 400 watt block heater can make that much temperature rise in one minute when it probably the better part of 2 hour to raise the water from say 35°F up to 80°/90°F. Not to mention only the block is heated so the radiator which probably holds half the coolant in the system is probably somewhere between ambient and below what the temp gauge reads. You can't even say idling makes the temp jump up that fast as it usually take close to two miles driving @ 40 mph to get to 150°F.

The block heater element is of a PTC type, as the heater gets hotter, the amount of heating goes down. The heating element sees a lot hotter temperatures when the truck is say pulling a trailer. The reason why they say not to run a vehicle with the block heater energized is thermal shock, a hot element being suddenly lowered in temperature.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
I noticed the temperature rise I logged the coolant temp after start up plugged in vs. plugged in engine off, It was a very large difference in coolant temp, after a very short run time.

It was mentioned the block heater builds up "static" when it's run at idle while being plugged in. Not totally subscribed to that, however it's not a good idea to run the engine while plugged in, full stop.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,988 Posts
Sorry Oil Burner Not believing this theory ...
I remote start my truck while still plugged in all the time ,
the block heater is just an element that warms the coolant in the block ,
not associated to anything else in the truck ,
it cycles off if coolant is warm enough , so it cannot keep heating coolant
hotter than the pre-set temp just because engine runs .
---
the last paragraph in Crash's post would be the only good reason
not to get the cold coolant to ''' thermal shock ' it , a detail I never even imagined ,,
Thanks Crash , I'll keep experimenting anyways , now if my block heater dies , I'll know why .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,766 Posts
I noticed the temperature rise I logged the coolant temp after start up plugged in vs. plugged in engine off, It was a very large difference in coolant temp, after a very short run time.

It was mentioned the block heater builds up "static" when it's run at idle while being plugged in. Not totally subscribed to that, however it's not a good idea to run the engine while plugged in, full stop.
The temp spikes your seeing are from coolant starting to circulate the coolant temps are measured directly at the water pump and without the engine running the temps well vary a lot throughout the system. Thats why the thermal shock Crash mentioned above. Your engine is not actually heating up that quickly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
Discussion Starter #51
Sorry Oil Burner Not believing this theory ...
I remote start my truck while still plugged in all the time ,
the block heater is just an element that warms the coolant in the block ,
not associated to anything else in the truck ,
it cycles off if coolant is warm enough , so it cannot keep heating coolant
hotter than the pre-set temp just because engine runs .
---
the last paragraph in Crash's post would be the only good reason
not to get the cold coolant to ''' thermal shock ' it , a detail I never even imagined ,,
Thanks Crash , I'll keep experimenting anyways , now if my block heater dies , I'll know why .
I agree Kazimodo, as I run mine with the block heater on daily, and not only does it not rapidly heat up, it is theromstated, so it will only heat so much anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
725 Posts
The reason why they say not to run a vehicle with the block heater energized is thermal shock, a hot element being suddenly lowered in temperature.
Ok, I gotta ask ... "who" is "they" ?

Why in hell would we buy a remote start up here in the frozen boonies (and trust me ... it gets cold up here) if we aren't supposed to start the truck while the block heater is plugged in? If we're going out in the cold to unplug it first we may as well just start it while we're there ...

I am going to say that I think "they" are full of BS, and in almost fourty-five years of drive legally (and more while underage), I have yet to burn out a block heater ... I have seen a couple corrode, but not burn out.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,165 Posts
Ok, I gotta ask ... "who" is "they" ?
"They" as in FCA, it's most likely a blanket statement to cover their azzez. The odds of something bad happening are slim to none but just in case your in -40° weather and somehow the block heater is ultra red hot. :-O
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
358 Posts
I remote start mine all the time with it plugged in, it's still working.
Crash you usually have some validity in your statements but not this time.
The block heater is immersed in coolant it can not get red hot unless your engine is out of water and at that point
the block heater is a minor concern.
The coolant is sucking what heat that 400 watt element is producing.
We have never worried about that issue in several decades of block heaters in tractor and trucks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
725 Posts
"They" as in FCA, it's most likely a blanket statement to cover their azzez. The odds of something bad happening are slim to none but just in case your in -40° weather and somehow the block heater is ultra red hot. :-O
When in doubt I read my owners manual ... and so just now I downloaded it and the diesel supplement and read them, searched them, and here's what they say about unplugging the cord
85462


I am sure that some people have driven away without unplugging their block heater cord, but ...

Anyway ... not meant to be an argument, just a good check on reality for me. I plan to plug in and remote start and let it run ..... period.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,165 Posts
Crash you usually have some validity in your statements but not this time.
The block heater is immersed in coolant it can not get red hot unless your engine is out of water and at that point
the block heater is a minor concern.
my attempt of rhetorical sarcasm has failed on this one. :-(
The -40° and red hot scenario was describing the broad CYA that any auto manufacturer would go to.


I am sure that some people have driven away without unplugging their block heater cord, but ...

Anyway ... not meant to be an argument, just a good check on reality for me. I plan to plug in and remote start and let it run ..... period.
After reading the owner's manual, FCA is probably more concerned about grill and/or vehicle damage due to where it's routed than the heater plugged in while the engine is running. That's why I routed mine through the tow hook, it's anchored to the tow hook and the cord in my garage is anchored to the wall. If I do forget to unplug it before I back out, the extension cord just ends up on the ground.
I won't be changing the usual routine of remote starting as I walk out to the garage and hopefully remember to unplug the block heater.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
725 Posts
I bought one of these and on my GMC that I drive in the winter I put it in the LH fender, up high near the front. My extension cord drapes over the mirror on the driver's side, so if anyone drives away with it plugged in they deserve to pay the repairs ...

85463
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,988 Posts
Got one of those too ,
put it in the back as I park in reverse in my drive-way , If I forget it , it should pull out .
25 feet extension cord running along the frame from under hood plug to rear bumper.
( thanks to Malinois for rear plug idea )
as a 2nd precaution I have this sign I put on the steering wheel whenever I plug in block heater .
..
85471
85472
.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
718 Posts
Now that temps have turned cold in my area, I've been experimenting with my block heater, and I'm finding I'm disappointed with it's effectiveness. As some background, I have a pilot's license and my own plane, and engine preheating is IMPERATIVE on aircraft engines at temps less than freezing. Let me say that I understand that there are considerable differences in aircraft engines vs the Ram diesel, and considerable differences in the reasons for preheating both engines as well. But that said, both types of engines (actually ALL types of engines) can benefit from pre-heating when it comes to cold-start-wear, quicker running temps, battery draw on startup, etc.
What I'm finding with the Ram pre-heat is just how little it is doing. I see that even in my garage, plugged in for a full day, oil temps are virtually unaffected, while coolant temps seem to be raised...that is until the engine is started, and that coolant circulates around the cold block. Then within a few moments of start-up, my coolant temp drastically drops again, back to within a degree or two of ambient temperature. I checked the plugged-in block heater with a kill-o-watt meter, and its showing 400 watts as it should. So, although it is working, its not doing much.
Again I compare it to my aircraft: my aircraft has two pre-heat systems, an oil pan heater (400 watts), and individual cylinder heaters, (200 watts @ 50 watts per cylinder). My aircraft engine is 320 cubic inches, or just over 5 liters, but it only weighs half of what the 3 liter ecodiesel weighs. To get the type of heat to actually do something, the Ram heater should be about 800 watts, or at least two ~ 300 watt heaters, one for oil and one for coolant, IMO.
So, I'm considering adding an oil pan heater. Something like this:


Anyone else try a pan heater?
Really? Did you expect anything different from FCA? 415 Watts versus 800 Watts had to save them at least 2 dollars and pass it on to you.

Anyway, I've had to start my truck at -20F with no heat. Didn't like it but it fired and it coughed its way to victory. Long story on that one. Not worth the time. Anyway, any heat is good heat. I've considered the pad heaters but I have other things to spend my money on. Like paying off this truck.
 
41 - 59 of 59 Posts
Top