Anyone install or use a Block or Battery heater in winter on the 3.6L?

YayMud!

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Up here in northern Wisconsin it can get pretty cold in the winter. I called one of our Jeep stores about a block heater for my truck and they told me it was for the diesel. Our other store said it was available for the 3.6 and the labor was about 2-3 hours. Not too bad at my employee cost and probably worth it on the really cold days.

I found a number of threads on this forum of people talking about how difficult it was just to route the cord on the diesel motor that already has the block heater installed. Has anyone tried installing the block heater on the 3.6L yet? Is it a huge PITA and worth the money to have a technician do it?

I have also looked at aftermarket battery warmers and oil pan heaters on Amazon, but I fear a short circuit or those items getting too hot and melting something or starting something on fire. Anyone have good experiences with these options?





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Up here in northern Wisconsin it can get pretty cold in the winter. I called one of our Jeep stores about a block heater for my truck and they told me it was for the diesel. Our other store said it was available for the 3.6 and the labor was about 2-3 hours. Not too bad at my employee cost and probably worth it on the really cold days.

I found a number of threads on this forum of people talking about how difficult it was just to route the cord on the diesel motor that already has the block heater installed. Has anyone tried installing the block heater on the 3.6L yet? Is it a huge PITA and worth the money to have a technician do it?

I have also looked at aftermarket battery warmers and oil pan heaters on Amazon, but I fear a short circuit or those items getting too hot and melting something or starting something on fire. Anyone have good experiences with these options?
Not to disrespect your interest, but I live in VT where it gets very cold and I find that the 3.6 warms up as fast or faster than any other vehicle that I have had (low mass aluminum cylinder block), and starts instantly at any temperature I have encountered since I have had it, which has been down to the low negative teens at least. Just not sure there is a lot of benefit.
 

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The install for the block heater involves removing the belt and pulling the bolts for the AC compressor to uncover the hole the heater fits in. The heater is about $100. The labor to install it is the discouraging factor in having it done.

Zerostart has a 250 watt oil pan heater for about $75. That's what I would look at if you don't want to pay the labor for the block heater install.
 

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I live in a cold climate area too. Never felt the need for it. Keep my oil clean n fresh and use remote start
 
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Not to disrespect your interest, but I live in VT where it gets very cold and I find that the 3.6 warms up as fast or faster than any other vehicle that I have had (low mass aluminum cylinder block), and starts instantly at any temperature I have encountered since I have had it, which has been down to the low negative teens at least. Just not sure there is a lot of benefit.
Not to disrespect your climate in VT, but our coldest (-30 degree or worse) days and parking outside for 10+ hours a day has killed 2 larger than stock batteries in my last car in 3 years. It will probably work fine most of the winter, but there are always a few days that just crush batteries here. Last winter was really harsh as we had almost an entire week of -15 degrees or worse (or as we say here, "time to finally put on your "winter" jacket." :LOL:). I would probably be ok for the first winter or two, but then all bets are off.

The install for the block heater involves removing the belt and pulling the bolts for the AC compressor to uncover the hole the heater fits in. The heater is about $100. The labor to install it is the discouraging factor in having it done.

Zerostart has a 250 watt oil pan heater for about $75. That's what I would look at if you don't want to pay the labor for the block heater install.
I work in the auto industry and we have a few Jeep stores in our family so the labor is not terrible. If I can do it for less with an option like the zerostart heater I would consider it. I just worry about it coming off driving through big hard packed snow banks or dragging on some dirt or a rock off road. I'll have to take another look at how low the oil pan hangs, but if memory serves me right, anything I run over would hit the sway bar first so it should be ok for longevity. I'll also have to compare size of those heating pads because I believe our oil pan is pretty small.

I thought I read somewhere that the Mopar engine block heater heats the coolant and not the oil. Does that sound right? That would seem to work better to me, but maybe not.
 

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It's a dry heater that warms the whole block, so it should warm the coolant, and if it runs long enough should also warm up the oil somewhat.
 
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It's a dry heater that warms the whole block, so it should warm the coolant, and if it runs long enough should also warm up the oil somewhat.
I thought I read something like that. So what do you think Mr. Bill- better to warm the block 1st witht the mopar block heater or the oil with one of these magnetic or stick on oil pan coolers?
 

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As long as the oil is the correct weight for the climate, the block heater should be adequate. If it's really cold, I would have both. I'm not ready to tackle the block heater, or pay for the install, so I bought the oil pan heater to try.
 
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As long as the oil is the correct weight for the climate, the block heater should be adequate. If it's really cold, I would have both. I'm not ready to tackle the block heater, or pay for the install, so I bought the oil pan heater to try.
Just noticed you are in Vegas. Why do you need a block heater?
 

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Just noticed you are in Vegas. Why do you need a block heater?
I don't 'need' one here, but we do get down to 30° during the winter. With the diesel I traded for the Gladiator, I would use the block heater anytime it got below 40° so that I had heat in the cab right away. The remote start takes care of that now. I am also considering a move back up north, someday, and plan to keep the Jeep for a long time.
 
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I don't 'need' one here, but we do get down to 30° during the winter. With the diesel I traded for the Gladiator, I would use the block heater anytime it got below 40° so that I had heat in the cab right away. The remote start takes care of that now. I am also considering a move back up north, someday, and plan to keep the Jeep for a long time.
Gotcha. How long do you need to plug in the factory block heater and does it turn off once it reaches a certain temperature?
 
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Gotcha. How long do you need to plug in the factory block heater and does it turn off once it reaches a certain temperature?
The block heater runs as long as it is plugged in. I'm not sure with the V6, but the diesel heater had to be plugged in for at least four hours. I had mine on a plug in timer that would kick on about five hours before departure.
 

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These are aluminum engines that use 0w20 oil. There is no where in the lower 48 that you "need" a block heater.

Even if you move to the coldest states, it would only be a couple of days per year that is would be worth the money or the hassle.

Remote start will give you heat in about 5 mins in all but the coldest temps.

Use a block heater in Vegas for when it gets below 40? To get heat? You would have heat in 2 mins. That makes no sense whatsoever.

A block heater. In Las Vegas. Still wrapping my head around that one.

Block heaters are for places like the Yukon.

Diesel maybe in Minnesota for ease of starting. A gasser? No need.
 

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These are aluminum engines that use 0w20 oil. There is no where in the lower 48 that you "need" a block heater.

Even if you move to the coldest states, it would only be a couple of days per year that is would be worth the money or the hassle.

Remote start will give you heat in about 5 mins in all but the coldest temps.

Use a block heater in Vegas for when it gets below 40? To get heat? You would have heat in 2 mins. That makes no sense whatsoever.

A block heater. In Las Vegas. Still wrapping my head around that one.

Block heaters are for places like the Yukon.

Diesel maybe in Minnesota for ease of starting. A gasser? No need.
Where I live in Colorado it is between negative 15 and negative 30 degrees Fahrenheit every morning from early-December to end of February. Below is a photo showing negative 25 (that's 57 degrees below freezing); this is common in mid-winter - I only took the photo to send to a buddy in Houston who hates temps below 70 ;) Vehicles hate starting in these temperatures. Modern cars will start, but make bad noises. Everyone who parks outside plugs in their car or truck. When I plug my truck in, it starts right up and purrs. When I don't plug it in, it starts, but screams like a tortured animal. True cold starts are known to be really hard on vehicles.

IMG_0035.JPG
 
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These are aluminum engines that use 0w20 oil. There is no where in the lower 48 that you "need" a block heater.

Even if you move to the coldest states, it would only be a couple of days per year that is would be worth the money or the hassle.

Remote start will give you heat in about 5 mins in all but the coldest temps.

Use a block heater in Vegas for when it gets below 40? To get heat? You would have heat in 2 mins. That makes no sense whatsoever.

A block heater. In Las Vegas. Still wrapping my head around that one.

Block heaters are for places like the Yukon.

Diesel maybe in Minnesota for ease of starting. A gasser? No need.
I hear you on Vegas, but up here in northern WI the temps are much different than Indiana. We get that cold arctic air at least a few times a winter and last winter it lasted almost a week which completely killed my battery that was not even 2 years old and had an additional 120CCA compared to stock. I tried 3 different fully charged jump packs and none of them could even get the car to turn over once. We certainly don't need a block heater every day, but when we do it is a life saver.

Where I live in Colorado it is between negative 15 and negative 30 degrees Fahrenheit every morning from early-December to end of February. Below is a photo showing negative 25 (that's 57 degrees below freezing); this is common in mid-winter - I only took the photo to send to a buddy in Houston who hates temps below 70 ;) Vehicles hate starting in these temperatures. Modern cars will start, but make bad noises. Everyone who parks outside plugs in their car or truck. When I plug my truck in, it starts right up and purrs. When I don't plug it in, it starts, but screams like a tortured animal. True cold starts are known to be really hard on vehicles.

IMG_0035.JPG
I feel your pain brother. Our coldest days in northern WI are usually -30 to -50 degrees before the wind chill. It looks like the record is -55 degrees a touch further north than me when I was in high school. I remember that time as we had wind chills approach -70 and they only delayed school 2 hours. :swear: Nice temp. gauge, by the way. LaCrosse is in WI so it figures that our gauges could read that low. lol
 
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