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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi All,

So my beast sat for a about 5 days in the coldest weather so far and it won't start. Battery is good. I'm pretty sure it's because the engine is too F*%*ing cold. Yes, my double attached garage isn't heated : <.

With some searching on the web, I found this product and was wondering what you all thought.

http://www.padheaters.com/index.html

http://www.padheaters.com/description.html

The cost for Heater Model 16 which is the 250W pad for our size of engine is $85 plus shipping(around $7.50 to my location anyway). Not bad. Also comes with a 3 year warranty.


It is certainly easy to install and better than not having any sort of block heater.

Comments?
 

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Define won't start, please.

The obvious first issue is did it turn over?
 

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I was seriously thinking about this as well - I had to jump mine 2x during extremely cold weather (much like you have).

But after my last oil change where I replaced the incorrect Castrol 5W-30 (should have been 0W-30) with Mobil1 0W-40 the issue has not recurred.

It is hard to argue with any product that is going to keep your oil at a warmer temperature, so I may get one of these as well. There is no such thing as oil that is "too warm" at startup.

d-
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Define won't start, please.

The obvious first issue is did it turn over?

Hi jclyman. Yes it turns over and starts but peter's out after 2 seconds or so. After that, it won't fire up but the starter tries. It won't stay running because the 10W60 oil as a lot of people rave about so much is too thick in cold weather. My guess is the oil is probably too thick to go through the oil filter in real cold weather, so it won't circulate. However, I got it to start late afternoon(woo hoo!!!) as the temp rose a bit and drove it around for a while to let her get to proper operating temperature.

Do you have a comment on the block heater?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
This should work fine on our Aluminum pans right?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I was seriously thinking about this as well - I had to jump mine 2x during extremely cold weather (much like you have).

But after my last oil change where I replaced the incorrect Castrol 5W-30 (should have been 0W-30) with Mobil1 0W-40 the issue has not recurred.

It is hard to argue with any product that is going to keep your oil at a warmer temperature, so I may get one of these as well. There is no such thing as oil that is "too warm" at startup.

d-

Ya, I'm gonna switch to a 0W40/50 or 5W40/50 oil for the colder weather also. I never have a problem in my other vehicles, even when I don't use the block heaters and I run 5W30 Mobile 1 in those.
 

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Yes, it should.

I just read an article the other day about a silicone heating pad installation on the underside. I see no reason why that wouldn't work for us as well...

d-
 

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Ya, I'm gonna switch to a 0W40/50 or 5W40/50 oil for the colder weather also. I never have a problem in my other vehicles, even when I don't use the block heaters and I run 5W30 Mobile 1 in those.
Just remember that there are only a handful of oils that are BMW approved.

Castrol 0W-30
Mobil1 0W-40
SynPower 5W-40

Not saying other oils won't work, just no guarantee that they'll provide the protection BMW thinks the engines need...

d-
 

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Hi jclyman. Yes it turns over and starts but peter's out after 2 seconds or so. After that, it won't fire up but the starter tries. It won't stay running because the 10W60 oil as a lot of people rave about so much is too thick in cold weather. My guess is the oil is probably too thick to go through the oil filter in real cold weather, so it won't circulate. However, I got it to start late afternoon(woo hoo!!!) as the temp rose a bit and drove it around for a while to let her get to proper operating temperature.

Do you have a comment on the block heater?
My first move (free advice) would be to change the oil to 0w-30 (for the winter). 10w is probably way too thick at low temps. There is a LONG and excellent post re: oils: http://members.rennlist.com/oil/Motor Oil 101.htm

Personally, I wouldn't consider a heater ... There are a few cars in Finland and other cold places whose owners post here, and I don't think they worry about it (but, I am not sure). BMWs (all) are usually pretty good at starting (with a strong battery) in cold conditions.

My $ 0.03
 

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I don't know for sure, but running for a couple seconds and then dying doesn't sound like an oil issue - it sounds like you have some sort of cold start ignition or fuel mixture issue...

I'd still change the oil, but I'm not sure it would resolve your issues.

d-
 

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I don't know for sure, but running for a couple seconds and then dying doesn't sound like an oil issue - it sounds like you have some sort of cold start ignition or fuel mixture issue...

I'd still change the oil, but I'm not sure it would resolve your issues.

d-
+1. That said, I've installed two block heaters in the past to help cars through Boston winters and would do it again in a heartbeat if I were living in a similar cold-weather winter climate. IMO they're well worth installing and have nothing but good things to say about them.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I don't know for sure, but running for a couple seconds and then dying doesn't sound like an oil issue - it sounds like you have some sort of cold start ignition or fuel mixture issue...

I'd still change the oil, but I'm not sure it would resolve your issues.

d-
So you don't think the oil was too thick to circulate through the Oil Filter to stay running? Things warmed up a few degrees and it started just fine. It ran great after that.

Any comments on the block heater?
 

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I think a block heater is a terrific idea for you, and yes, I think the oil probably was too thick to circulate.

However, oil circulation is not a requirement for the engine to run - it is a requirement for it to run a long time (thinks 100,000KM), so I do not believe it is the root cause of your problems...

d-
 

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Discussion Starter #14
My first move (free advice) would be to change the oil to 0w-30 (for the winter). 10w is probably way too thick at low temps. There is a LONG and excellent post re: oils: http://members.rennlist.com/oil/Motor Oil 101.htm

Personally, I wouldn't consider a heater ... There are a few cars in Finland and other cold places whose owners post here, and I don't think they worry about it (but, I am not sure). BMWs (all) are usually pretty good at starting (with a strong battery) in cold conditions.

My $ 0.03
I tottally agree that changing the oil to a 0WX or even 5WX will definitely make a difference. I still feel that a block heater will only do good for the engine to prevent cold start up wear and tear not to mention you'll get heat faster in the cabin!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
So, after some thinking and reading some useful replies(Thanks!), I'm gonna go ahead and order one of these Pad Heater block heaters and I'll let you folks know how well it works and such.

Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Here is some extra info the Company emailed me:

Oil Pan Heaters<O:p</O:p
Our oil pan heaters are thin, flexible heating pads that are permanently bonded to the bottom or side of the oil pan. The heater has the special adhesive already on it, by simply peeling off the protective backing and pressing the heater firmly in place on a clean, flat surface, the heater is ready to be used. Note the heater must be installed on a smooth flat area, free of grooves and ridges. Only to be installed on metal oil pans.<O:p</O:p
No special tools or skills are required. Everything for a complete installation is included with each heater.<O:p</O:p

An Oil Pan Heater is far superior to a block heater and more efficient as a block heater only "warms" a part of the engine not all the engine.<O:p</O:p

An Oil Pan Heater "heats" the complete engine starting at the bottom.<O:p</O:p
The hot oil heats the crankshaft, which in turn heats the connecting rods, pistons and cylinder heads. Remember "heat" rises.<O:p</O:p
In 2 hours, our oil pan heaters can raise the engine oil temperature 100F / 40C.
By installing an Oil Pan Heater, your vehicle will start easier and there will be less engine wear.

Based on an oil capacity of 5+ quarts, we recommend the model 16 with an output of 250 watts.<O:p</O:p
The model 16 measures 4” x 5” and requires a smooth flat surface on the side or bottom of the oil pan for installation.
 

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Really? It is only 4"x5"? Wow, that's small!

How long is the cord?

Please be sure to post pics of where you run the cord and the overall installation!!

d-
 

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So you don't think the oil was too thick to circulate through the Oil Filter to stay running? Things warmed up a few degrees and it started just fine. It ran great after that.

Any comments on the block heater?
I believe all modern cars have an oil filter bypass in case the filter gets clogged. All of mine (prior to the BMWs) have had one, even my 1955 MG TF1500. Very early VWs didn't have one, though. So I assume BMW has the same thing.

And, I am sorry if I sounded like the heavy oil was your only problem, just that I thought it was TOO thick for your current environment ...
 

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Here is some extra info the Company emailed me:

Oil Pan Heaters<O:p</O:p
Our oil pan heaters are thin, flexible heating pads that are permanently bonded to the bottom or side of the oil pan. The heater has the special adhesive already on it, by simply peeling off the protective backing and pressing the heater firmly in place on a clean, flat surface, the heater is ready to be used. Note the heater must be installed on a smooth flat area, free of grooves and ridges. Only to be installed on metal oil pans.<O:p</O:p
No special tools or skills are required. Everything for a complete installation is included with each heater.<O:p</O:p

An Oil Pan Heater is far superior to a block heater and more efficient as a block heater only "warms" a part of the engine not all the engine.<O:p</O:p

An Oil Pan Heater "heats" the complete engine starting at the bottom.<O:p</O:p
The hot oil heats the crankshaft, which in turn heats the connecting rods, pistons and cylinder heads. Remember "heat" rises.<O:p</O:p
In 2 hours, our oil pan heaters can raise the engine oil temperature 100F / 40C.
By installing an Oil Pan Heater, your vehicle will start easier and there will be less engine wear.

Based on an oil capacity of 5+ quarts, we recommend the model 16 with an output of 250 watts.<O:p</O:p
The model 16 measures 4” x 5” and requires a smooth flat surface on the side or bottom of the oil pan for installation.
Here's a thought I would clear up before I installed one ... I'm thinking it works like a 250w light bulb ... I would be concerned that that much heat would begin to deform the plastic (don't know what kind of plastic it is) belly pan ...
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Here's a thought I would clear up before I installed one ... I'm thinking it works like a 250w light bulb ... I would be concerned that that much heat would begin to deform the plastic (don't know what kind of plastic it is) belly pan ...

Good thought. When the engine is at operating temperature or hotter, isn't it also radiating a lot of heat toward the plastic belly pan?
 
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