How does the factory installed block heater work?

Asked by Nov 14, 2013 at 08:23 PM about the 2013 Ford F-250 Super Duty King Ranch Crew Cab 4WD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a new 2013 F250 6.0 and ordered the block heater from the factory. I plugged the
cord in but the truck is still ice cold in the morning.

5 Answers


With this option one of your freeze plugs has a built in heating element. When you plug it in the element warms some of the coolant to help provide heat faster. It won't be toasty right away but the time it takes to get heat should be less than without the option. Perhaps the cord you're using is bad or the element isn't getting warm. Try not using it one time and see if you notice a difference. Also, this feature is designed for you to leave it plugged in over night. HTH. -Jim

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Engine block heaters aren't really heaters at all. Like Jim said they are basically a dead short that somewhat heats up a "freeze-plug" (same as an expansion plug) but it's not big enough or hot enough to heat up the engine to where it's blowing warm air from the heater right away. It's made to keep the engine fluids from freezing in supercold weather not you from freezing. I have seen some aftermarket heaters that splice into your heater hose going to the heater core and they pretty much give you instant heat from your heater but the typical engine "block" heaters do not. Diesel engines especially need the engine block heaters in the winter as diesel fluid will quickly turn to gel when it get near freezing temps or below. They make diesel fluid anti-foaming additives to keep that from happening, especially in the diesel powered big-rigs. That's why you always see semi trucks with their engines running,sometimes all night to keep the engine hot and thus everything including fuel and radiator coolant nice and warm so use the additives and keep it plugged in on cold nights. Kenny/ MrBlueOval

7 of 7 people found this helpful.

Hi Guys, quick question... Do all Super Duty pickups get manufactured "block heater ready? I have a 2005 6.0 and new to the Bend area... Very concerned about how to proceed... Any assistance appreciated...

16 of 16 people found this helpful.

Should i get engine block heater upgrade on new jeep


if you live in a climate where below zero temps are typical during the winter months then I would definitely suggest an engine block heater if available. a factory heater goes in the expansion plugs on the engine block and is the best one to have. You plug it into a standard 110 Volt outlet or into an extension cord (heavy duty) and a rod installed in the block where the expansion plugs are (where your anti-freeze runs inside the block) This rod gets red hot when you plug it in and keeps the anti-freeze or coolant hot thus keeping the engine block warm and gives you instant warmups when it's super cold outside. Last year here in Chicago it got down to 9 below zero and an engine block heater would keep you car from not starting on that frigid morning, so YES, get that upgrade. Good Luck, Kenny/MrBlueOval

6 of 6 people found this helpful.

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