Q: I recently moved to a cold climate and was told I should get a block heater for my car. What is a block heater?
A: A block heater is a heating element that is put into the engine block to heat the antifreeze. By heating the antifreeze, heat is transferred throughout the block making it easier to start the engine in cold weather. To install a block heater, a technician removes a plug in the engine block, puts in a block heater element in place of the plug, and then connects an electrical cord to the element routing it through the grill. When the temperature is extremely cold outside, plug in the block heater ½ hour to 1 hour before starting to warm the engine.