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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 01-19-2009, 01:11 AM   #61
bmwmedic
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Uhmm, just my opinion but I would not use silicone sealer cause it is an insulator, both electical and thermal.
If nothing else, you might try anti seize,cause it has copper metal, but I don't know if it will melt off. What you
want is the same as the heat sink paste on CPUs in computers. Heat conductive.
I am surprised the bmw kit does not come with it. Does anyone know of available source? Or any canadians want to ask your dealers what they use?
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Old 01-19-2009, 07:57 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by bmwmedic View Post
Uhmm, just my opinion but I would not use silicone sealer cause it is an insulator, both electical and thermal.
If nothing else, you might try anti seize,cause it has copper metal, but I don't know if it will melt off. What you
want is the same as the heat sink paste on CPUs in computers. Heat conductive.
I am surprised the bmw kit does not come with it. Does anyone know of available source? Or any Canadians want to ask your dealers what they use?
See my post regarding using the thermal grease that can be bought from any local computer hardware store.

BMW Kit doesn't come with it but does give you the part number that you need to order separately (my dealer did'nt have it and I could'nt wait for it either). See Glen's post above and as per him Bavaria BMW has this stuff in stock.
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:29 AM   #63
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You should be noticing the needle at least move off the very far left just when you start it (IMO). Did you notice if it started easier? That is really the point of the heater. Taking it the same amoutn of time to run to the middle of the gauge is normal. Maybe at -15C it isn't a big deal. Wait until it drops to -20 or lower. When we get that cold, I will provide an update on my installation.


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UPDATE:



So the million dollar question is what are you guys noticing?
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Old 01-19-2009, 11:00 AM   #64
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I don't have it yet, I don't know really if this will make the car heat up quicker...it warms the oil, which makes it lubricate the motor quicker, as it is more viscus at a higher temperature because of the block heater. For hot air, the coolant needs to be warm, which has little to do with the block heater.

I bought a block heater to avoid the 'I hate you' sounds from my car in the A.M...

Last edited by Dreamliner330; 01-19-2009 at 11:03 AM.
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Old 01-19-2009, 04:07 PM   #65
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The block heater should have zero effect on how quickly your coolant warms up (ie, the temp needle will continue on its normal pace). To Dreamliner's point, its sole purpose is to heat the oil so it circulates fast and isn't sitting in the block like molasses. The block heater is a means to avoid accelerated wear in extreme cold weather starts. What you should notice is in extreme cold (-20F or below), the motor doesn't sound like it's trying to destroy itself when you first start it up. With the exception of the slow cranking from a cold battery, if the block heater is working correctly, the motor should sound 'normal' when it turns over rather than grinding metal on metal for a few seconds.
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:07 PM   #66
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Thanks MC and DreamLiner, I understand what you are saying....but given the oil is nice and warm should'nt the engine reach operating temperature relatively quickly instead of taking same amount of time it took before? I suppose it could or couldn't depending on the wattage of BMW's block heater....once engine reaches operating temperature coolant should be performing heat transfer from engine much quicker.
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Old 01-20-2009, 05:31 AM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigfatvr6prik View Post
Thanks MC and DreamLiner, I understand what you are saying....but given the oil is nice and warm should'nt the engine reach operating temperature relatively quickly instead of taking same amount of time it took before? I suppose it could or couldn't depending on the wattage of BMW's block heater....once engine reaches operating temperature coolant should be performing heat transfer from engine much quicker.
It wouldn't make a difference as the temp gauge in your dash only measures coolant temp. If you have an M3 that has an oil temp gauge, you would likely see that come up a little faster than normal. Not much, but a little.
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Old 01-20-2009, 03:45 PM   #68
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Just called Bema and they have them. They said they just shipped one to the States (Dreamliner's?) and are going to call me back with an estimate arrival time. I'm hoping they have the thermal paste as well.
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Old 01-20-2009, 04:01 PM   #69
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^yep, tis was mine...all mine
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Old 01-21-2009, 10:57 AM   #70
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Ordered. Can't wait. Oh, and that one he looked, what do you know, it's headed to Minneapolis. Small world.
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Old 01-21-2009, 11:25 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by Glenn 328is View Post
You should be noticing the needle at least move off the very far left just when you start it (IMO). Did you notice if it started easier? That is really the point of the heater. Taking it the same amoutn of time to run to the middle of the gauge is normal. Maybe at -15C it isn't a big deal. Wait until it drops to -20 or lower. When we get that cold, I will provide an update on my installation.
I thought the block heater is to prevent your coolant from freezing; thus won't crack the engine block(there are freeze plugs, but you don't want them to do what they're suppose to do either).
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Old 01-21-2009, 11:34 AM   #72
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If you are using the correct coolant to water ratio coolant shouldn't freeze to begin with. Block heater is just to keep the motor oil in the engine block viscose so in cold weather oil lubricates instantaneously and their is no metal to metal grind. Keep in mind though most BMW approved oils claim to flow at their said SAE rating well between -35C (for Dealer 5w30 Castrol) to -47 C (for Mobil 1 0w40).

Regardless, I just didn't wanna take any chances + wanted to do this DIY especially because the dealer kept saying BMW's don't need block heaters LOL!
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Old 01-21-2009, 04:54 PM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mc View Post
The block heater should have zero effect on how quickly your coolant warms up (ie, the temp needle will continue on its normal pace). To Dreamliner's point, its sole purpose is to heat the oil so it circulates fast and isn't sitting in the block like molasses. The block heater is a means to avoid accelerated wear in extreme cold weather starts. What you should notice is in extreme cold (-20F or below), the motor doesn't sound like it's trying to destroy itself when you first start it up. With the exception of the slow cranking from a cold battery, if the block heater is working correctly, the motor should sound 'normal' when it turns over rather than grinding metal on metal for a few seconds.
How will the block heater help heat the oil when it's attached to the block - won't it heat the coolant more than the oil?
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Old 01-22-2009, 07:42 AM   #74
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How will the block heater help heat the oil when it's attached to the block - won't it heat the coolant more than the oil?
No.
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Old 01-22-2009, 11:14 AM   #75
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If it warmed up the coolant, then the coolant temp needle would not be at the bottom of the blue indicator...at least somewhat above it.

I am sure indirectly heat is being passed around from the block to whatever it can be passed on to...but mostly to oil.
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Old 01-22-2009, 12:10 PM   #76
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I am sure indirectly heat is being passed around from the block to whatever it can be passed on to...but mostly to oil.
But all the oil is in the sump? So the block is being heated and some of that heat goes to the water jacket around the cylinders.

And don't forget BMW water temp gauges are dampened - if you really want to get the actual water temp use an OBD reader.
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Old 01-23-2009, 10:06 PM   #77
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Well, my block heater came today...it def does heat the oil. I haven't installed it in my car yet, but I plugged it in, and that sucker gets HOT. So, it is working. But as I mentioned, its not a coolant heater, so its not designed to give you heat right away.
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Old 01-25-2009, 12:42 PM   #78
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That got to you pretty quickly.
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Old 01-27-2009, 09:22 AM   #79
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Well, interesting story.

I have an xi...and the oil pan is larger than a standard 'i', so I had to bend the copper leads from the block heater to get it properly seated. I got it installed, and it was -10 last night, the temp in the garage when I started the car was -1...the car was plugged in since I shut it off at 9...I left at 7, so the car was plugged in for 10 hours.

To much surprise, the temp gauge was in the middle of the blue when I started the car and I had heat right away. As I drove, I saw the outside air temp fall to -8 but the car still blowed warm air. I did not believe this was going to happen (see my earlier post) but it did.

anyways, I have some thermal heat transfer paste that has enough left for another install...PM me if your interested in buyin' if off me...

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Old 01-27-2009, 09:37 AM   #80
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Did you finally get my shipment? Canada Post's tracking function is garbage. I am glad it worked.
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