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i have a 2009 Chevy silverado 4x4 ltz with the 5.3 lt vortex in it and it came with a factory block heater and im wanting to know how i can check to see if its working. i tried to touch were the block heater is but the exhaust pipe and the transfer case is in the way. i checked it with a volto meter and it jumped to the other side of the gauge. so i guess its working i plug it in when the temp gets below 30*f
 

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If it's anything like my Cummins I can hear the coolant making noise soon after I plug it in. Once I hear the sound I know I'm good.


1979 John Deere 2640
Woods RD8400
7' Rear Blade
 

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You can check it with an Ohm meter if you have one. It should read near 0 ohms if its good.
 

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You can check it with an Ohm meter if you have one. It should read near 0 ohms if its good.
It shouldn't read near 0 Ohms. It should show resistance but not open. If it shows 0 it would be shorted out. Not sure how much resistance it should show though. It depends on the how many watts the heater is.

I did a quick Google search and people are saying 500W to 1500W which is quite a swing which is odd. I would assume they would know what it is but maybe the range accounts for cars with a 4 banger and big V8s in trucks. Anyhow with those numbers I can give you a range of what you should see with an Ohm Meter by using Ohm's Law.

So 500w and 115V are known. So lets first find Amps. 500/115 = 4.34783 Amps. Then take Amps * Volts = Resistance 4.34783*115 = 26.45 Ohms

On the other end of the range we have 1500W

So 1500W and 115V are known. So lets first find Amps. 1500/115 = 13.04348 Amps. Then take A*V=R 13.04348*115= 8.81667 Ohms.

This tells us if you put your meter on Ohms (the setting that looks like a horseshoe) and put the probes on the two blades not the ground you should get a reading of between 26.45 to 8.81667 Ohms. If you get something outside of that range on the low side would mean it is shorted out and will blow your fuse. Above that range and it won't do much of anything.

This also tells us something else. If you get a reading of around 8-9 you are going to be pulling nearly 15 amps on that circuit. If it is a 15 Amp breaker on that circuit and you have anything else plugged in, if it takes much of a load you will trip the breaker or pop the fuse.

I could run out and put my ohm meter on my Denali but it is -3F out right now and pretty windy. Brrrrr
 
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i have a 2009 Chevy silverado 4x4 ltz with the 5.3 lt vortex in it and it came with a factory block heater and im wanting to know how i can check to see if its working. i tried to touch were the block heater is but the exhaust pipe and the transfer case is in the way. i checked it with a volto meter and it jumped to the other side of the gauge. so i guess its working i plug it in when the temp gets below 30*f
jd1023epro: Does your truck not start without the heater?
 

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It shouldn't read near 0 Ohms.
Yes, I was just trying to give him an idea on what the reading would be without overwhelming him, that's all. I guess it all depends on your definition of "near" also.
 
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My Vortec starts at -10 degrees F.,,, what temp do you have to get to that a gas engine needs heat? :dunno:



(SORRY,,, Virginia does not get below -10F. - ,,,, :laugh:)

Maybe it starts easy because the old cast iron 6.0 is worn and there is no internal friction,,,170K miles,,,,:kidw_truck_smiley:
 
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Here how to check in 8 easy steps:

1) turn key to ON ( do NOT start)
2) note temp reading on gauges
3) turn key OFF
4) make sure outlet used has power
5) plug in block heater to outlet used for step 4
6) read posts on GTT for at least one hour
7) turn key ON (do NOT start)
8) note temp reading on gauges

If temp reading in step 8 matches temp reading in step 2 it does NOT work :banghead:

If temp reading in step 8 is HIGHER than the temp reading in step 2 it DOES work :yahoo:
 

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I would think if the heater blows warm air, then it should be working.
 

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My Vortec starts at -10 degrees F.,,, what temp do you have to get to that a gas engine needs heat? :dunno:

(SORRY,,, Virginia does not get below -10F. - ,,,, :laugh:)

It is not that it won't start, it is a matter of how long it takes to warm up.

Even though it would start, the engine will start happier if it isn't -10.

We used a block heater in our Tundra when we lived in Montana. Started just as easy, but warmed up a whole lot faster.
 
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Discussion Starter #12
My Vortec starts at -10 degrees F.,,, what temp do you have to get to that a gas engine needs heat? :dunno:



(SORRY,,, Virginia does not get below -10F. - ,,,, :laugh:)

Maybe it starts easy because the old cast iron 6.0 is worn and there is no internal friction,,,170K miles,,,,:kidw_truck_smiley:
it will start with out the block heater. i use the heater because im on the fire dept
 

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it will start with out the block heater. i use the heater because im on the fire dept
Makes total sense to me... Quicker "cold" starts and easier on the motor when you go WOT within 15 seconds of startup. As for testing, have you ever heard of a ScanGauge 2? You could run one of those if you're curious about coolant temp and other things your vehicles ECU monitors but doesn't display on the dash. Or you could hook up the heater for 3-4 hours and go back out and see if the needle moves upon start up. I run ScanGauge's on my 3 VW TDI's, very nice tools (or toys depending on who you talk to.)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Makes total sense to me... Quicker "cold" starts and easier on the motor when you go WOT within 15 seconds of startup. As for testing, have you ever heard of a ScanGauge 2? You could run one of those if you're curious about coolant temp and other things your vehicles ECU monitors but doesn't display on the dash. Or you could hook up the heater for 3-4 hours and go back out and see if the needle moves upon start up. I run ScanGauge's on my 3 VW TDI's, very nice tools (or toys depending on who you talk to.)
I was reading on the Silverado form that the block heater has a thermostat on it and will only work when its 0*f or below . Idk if that's for the trucks built in U.S. Mine was built in Canada so idk if that applies to my truck and i can't read the owners manual BC its in French. I downloaded a English version but it does say anything about a block heater
 

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I was reading on the Silverado form that the block heater has a thermostat on it and will only work when its 0*f or below . Idk if that's for the trucks built in U.S. Mine was built in Canada so idk if that applies to my truck and i can't read the owners manual BC its in French. I downloaded a English version but it does say anything about a block heater
Have you considered plumbing in a temro heater? They are an inline coolant heater. Work very well, heats all the coolant and circulates it via convection. I also run one (soon to be two) on my TDI's. Not temperature specific either...
 

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I was reading on the Silverado form that the block heater has a thermostat on it and will only work when its 0*f or below . Idk if that's for the trucks built in U.S. Mine was built in Canada so idk if that applies to my truck and i can't read the owners manual BC its in French. I downloaded a English version but it does say anything about a block heater
It was my impression that they did this on some of the engines but not all, then they did a software change. From what I heard the engine sensors being at one temp when running the block heater was causing codes to get set. My block heater works above 0 degrees. But everything is hearsay and I stopped looking when I figured out mine was working above 0.
 

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Makes total sense to me... Quicker "cold" starts and easier on the motor when you go WOT within 15 seconds of startup. As for testing, have you ever heard of a ScanGauge 2? You could run one of those if you're curious about coolant temp and other things your vehicles ECU monitors but doesn't display on the dash. Or you could hook up the heater for 3-4 hours and go back out and see if the needle moves upon start up. I run ScanGauge's on my 3 VW TDI's, very nice tools (or toys depending on who you talk to.)
I have a diesel Jeep and it will start in any cold temperature that Connecticut throws at it. I use the block heater to shorten the time the cabin heater takes to kick on! Like someone else said, after a few seconds of plugging the heater in, you can hear it sizzle inside the engine.

I also have a ScanGaugeII to check the coolant temp, boost pressure, trans temp, etc. Awesome little gadget, and they aren't too expensive either! With my block heater plugged in, I have it on a timer to turn on about 3 hours before I leave for work. The coolant temperature is about 75 degrees F by then, so it's a very short time until there's heat inside the cabin.
 

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here is a thread about how to bypass the temp. sensor, from the picture provided you can tell by the cord if you have one or not, mine doesn't have the sensor.

DIY: Bypass GM Block Heater Thermostat - Fuel Economy, Hypermiling, EcoModding News and Forum - EcoModder.com

GM has installed an in-line thermostat switch that only allows the heater to work below -18C (0F). This is done to avoid confusing the cold start diagnostic tests, one of which compares the readings of the IAT and ECT sensors at start-up. If certain conditions/discrepancies are present, a DTC is set.

I wanted to use the heater at any temperature, so I bypassed the thermostat switch. Here's how if you're interested in doing the same.

BEFORE BEGINNING, READ CAREFULLY:

1. This may result in setting a P0116 code. Read up about this condition here, post 36 and 42:
 
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