It’s been a little chilly around here recently. Nothing serious, just mid-teens at night. But I drive a VW diesel, and they don’t much like the cold. It’ll start and run, but for the first ten or fifteen minutes there isn’t enough extra heat from the engine to defrost the windows or warm the cabin efficiently. If I only have to drive six miles to a school, it’s not good for the engine or oil, bad for fuel efficiency, and not overly comfortable because it’s just starting to get warm by the time I get there. I had a small oil-pan heater similar to this one, but it no longer works, and I need a new oil pan anyway. So I investigated what the possibilities were. None looked particularly good to me for, until I came across FrostHeater, an independently developed aftermarket part that fills a need. (Hmmm, seems I know someone that did something similar. If I could just remember who…)
Basically, it splices into the coolant circulation system with a small pump and a 1kw heater. Put it on a timer, and you get hot water circulating around your engine block starting an hour before you plan on having to leave. Sounds like a pretty good idea, and the reviews I can find are fairly positive. So, I ordered one. When I get it installed, I’ll post how the install went, and how well it works.