Installed Engine Block Heater (EBH) in my 2008 Prius

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PU140-00900-2T.jpgI recently installed an Engine Block Heater (EBH) into my 2008 Prius -- just in time before this artic frigid weather struck New England. The part is a stock Prius Canada part that fits directly into American Prii without modification -- you don't even have to drain the antifreeze or remove an engine block plug like you do in other cars.

The part itself was US$59 from PriusChat Shop and the installation was around $45 (half an hour's labor) at my local dealer, A-1 Toyota of New Haven, CT. I could have done it myself, but I get nervous working underneath a car on jack stands.

Here are some online instructions:

About two hours of 120 VAC juice brings the engine up to around 30°C which I think is a good break-even point. The engine block heater consumes 400 watts so....... 2 hours = 0.8 kWh @ roughly 22 cents/kWh = 16 cents per "charge."

According to my ScanGauge II, even with $1.70 gasoline, I'm saving around 20 cents on each startup with a faster warm-up using less fossil fuels. As the price of gas goes up again, I'll save more -- and I plan on hooking the EBH up to my (future) garage solar panel system. What's more important to me is:

  • Less CO2 emissions for future generations
  • Less wear and tear on the engine, especially in terms of having to crank up at subzero temps
  • Warmer cabin as soon as I get in... brrr!

Today it's -10°C during the daytime in New Haven CT, brrr!

When I lived in Minnesota and Maine, everyone had engine block heaters on their cars and trucks. It's essential equipment for places where it regularly dips to below -30°C in the winter. Engine oil just becomes jelly in terms of its viscosity at that temp.

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This page contains a single entry by Karen Nakamura published on January 16, 2009 12:35 PM.

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