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Unfortunately I don't see an option to make a poll.

I live in Toronto, Ont. Canada and I'm close to buying a 2012 Ford Focus. Most of us know it can get cold here in the Winter months.

I'm just wondering if I should purchase a block heater for my new car.

So questions are:

Do you have one?

If not, will you add one on at a later point in time?

Do you think they're necessary for a car that'll be parked in a garage overnight?

In the summer months, do you have to unplug to block heater? Or does it come on automatically when it senses below 0 temperatures?
 

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No block heater for me here in the temperate corner of Canada. That's the only option I declined.
 

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I didn't go with it either. My salesguy didn't think it was necessary (not that I believe a lot of what salesguys say). Just being on the other side of the lake from you, you obviously know we all get those few days in late Jan/Feb where it is COLD but in my experience, at age 43 and having lived here my entire driving life, taking care of the battery, keeping good clean connections, etc. the car will start.

Yeah, there are always those couple of mornings when the car may not be happy about starting, but I've never run into a time when a car I owned wouldn't (again, with a little care) start. You should be fine without it in my opinion.
 

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Engine block heaters come standard on cars sold in MN, WI, ND, SD, MT & WY. I would think if they are standard in those States, they would also come standard in most non coastal areas of Canada. Check with your dealer or ford.ca.
 

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Engine block heaters come standard on cars sold in MN, WI, ND, SD, MT & WY. I would think if they are standard in those States, they would also come standard in most non coastal areas of Canada. Check with your dealer or ford.ca.
Yeah, I've run into this with previous cars I've bought. Standard on the west side of the lakes but not when you get further east. Makes sense, we are slightly more temperate after weather moves over that much water. We don't quite get the raw extended cold/wind spells you folks in northern MN (and the rest) get but we do get a bunch wet, heavy snow dumped on us. That means a lot of salt and it also means a great new map at the dealerships with little areas highlighed in red. Those would be the areas where the rust-through/corrosion warranty is void.

Man, why do I still live here?
 

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I am not sure if this is the case with the Focus. But every diesel ford builds is actually equipped with the heater element already installed in the block. The difference in the build is whether or not you get the cord. In WA by F350 did not come with the block heater cord, so I just purchased the assembly off ebay and installed it myself.
 

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I am not sure if this is the case with the Focus. But every diesel ford builds is actually equipped with the heater element already installed in the block. The difference in the build is whether or not you get the cord. In WA by F350 did not come with the block heater cord, so I just purchased the assembly off ebay and installed it myself.
True, but diesel is a different animal. Starts to gel at lower temps, which gas or gas/ethanol blend does not do.
 

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Unfortunately I don't see an option to make a poll.

I live in Toronto, Ont. Canada and I'm close to buying a 2012 Ford Focus. Most of us know it can get cold here in the Winter months.

I'm just wondering if I should purchase a block heater for my new car.

So questions are:

Do you have one?

If not, will you add one on at a later point in time?

Do you think they're necessary for a car that'll be parked in a garage overnight?

In the summer months, do you have to unplug to block heater? Or does it come on automatically when it senses below 0 temperatures?
You don't need a block heater in Toronto. Regina, Winnipeg, maybe.
 
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This is one part that I dont get.When you get the 350$ winter package and all you get are the heated seats and mirror.The block heater is NOT included in that package kinda making it dumb.A few years ago ,almost all ford vehicles in Canada came with it as standard equipment.I normally get it installed in my cars ,but in the area where I live plugging my car will be impossible,so I didnt take it the option.And because I already got transmissions issues after only a few days of owning this car ,I wont keep it more than two years.
 

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I got the heater, but mostly because it is the cheapest thing ($35) on the list of options which "trigger" the installation of active grille shutters.
 
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In Canada the block heater is 100$ ,but my car came with the active grille shutter that open up the second I start the car.I'm affraid this this is gonna get stuck closed one day and my engine will over heat.They should work on reliability instead of instally all those BS gadgets that cause more issues than good.
 

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Hey folks, for me - ordering the block heater is a no-brainer. It isn't a matter of whether the car needs the block heater in order to be able to start. For me, it's a matter of what I can do, to make cold starts easier on the engine. I live in Vancouver, BC -- and this is certainly one of the mildest parts of the country, similar to the pacific northwest, say Seattle. When the ambient temp drops to below 32F (0 Celsius) I turn on the electric power to the block heater (from inside of the house) for even as little as 1 hour, before my intended engine start time. Nice and toasty warm, much easier on the engine (getting the oil to flow more readily) on cold start.

Every cold start costs you engine life. That's why vehicles in Taxi service go so long, before engine wear-out.

My only issue with a block heater, on a Ford vehicle, was on a V6 Mystique -- when I discovered that very likely the dealer added a thread-in block heater, as a dealer addition (as opposed to a factory addition). The lazy tech did not take the oil filter off, to provide clear access and visibility for the location where the unit was to mount. The dufus cross-threaded my aluminum block, in installing same! If for whatever reason I could not get a factory block heater installed, I would do the installation myself! I am extremely afraid of dealer techs! (Sorry to paint all with the same brush -- but that's how I feel).
 

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Hey folks, for me - ordering the block heater is a no-brainer. It isn't a matter of whether the car needs the block heater in order to be able to start. For me, it's a matter of what I can do, to make cold starts easier on the engine. I live in Vancouver, BC -- and this is certainly one of the mildest parts of the country, similar to the pacific northwest, say Seattle. When the ambient temp drops to below 32F (0 Celsius) I turn on the electric power to the block heater (from inside of the house) for even as little as 1 hour, before my intended engine start time. Nice and toasty warm, much easier on the engine (getting the oil to flow more readily) on cold start.
If you are turning on the block heater at 32 degrees you're wasting your money, but if that's what you want to do, go for it. Ford's own literature states it's not needed until temps reach sub zero. Block heaters warm the coolant in the block, not the oil in the pan. The heater may blow warm air faster and the coolant is a little warmer as it flows through the engine on start up, but the oil is still at the ambient temp. The heater element warms the coolant within 3 hours and it's not thermostatically controlled, it's either on or off so running it for longer is also a waste. I believe an engine should run for a minute or so before driving in extremely cold temps, but full oil lubrication occurs within seconds of start up and oil reaches it's operating temperature very quickly. I like getting into a warm car so I use my remote starter about 5 minutes before I leave the house (car is garaged) or office when the temps are 20F or lower and only use the block heater at night when temps drop to -15 or lower.
 

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IMHO you don't need it if you are staying down near the lakes (TO). If you spend any time up in Sudbury/North Bay area or further north in the winter, there will be a few days you'll wish you had it. I think that's why its optional equipment around here, most people don't need it but some who travel north a lot will want it.
 

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If you are turning on the block heater at 32 degrees you're wasting your money, but if that's what you want to do, go for it. Ford's own literature states it's not needed until temps reach sub zero. Block heaters warm the coolant in the block, not the oil in the pan. The heater may blow warm air faster and the coolant is a little warmer as it flows through the engine on start up, but the oil is still at the ambient temp. The heater element warms the coolant within 3 hours and it's not thermostatically controlled, it's either on or off so running it for longer is also a waste. I believe an engine should run for a minute or so before driving in extremely cold temps, but full oil lubrication occurs within seconds of start up and oil reaches it's operating temperature very quickly. I like getting into a warm car so I use my remote starter about 5 minutes before I leave the house (car is garaged) or office when the temps are 20F or lower and only use the block heater at night when temps drop to -15 or lower.
If you'll note, I indicate that I turn on the block heater for a very limited period of time -- often only for one hour b4 anticipated start; yes, I know that it is not thermostatically controlled.

Engine block is aluminum; if the aluminum block is raised in temp due to water jackets being heated, then though the oil is carried lowest in the block, the oil certainly is heated - at least a reasonable amount - by the action of the block heater. If it were particularly windy, that amount would be less, due to convection cooling. Obviously, there is also conductive cooling from the bottom of the oil pan. The oil in the contact with the moving parts, particularly in the camshaft journals, certainly is heated up -- plus the oil that remains in the oil galleries, to the extent that in may not run down...

I totally disagree with your statement that the oil temp comes up to normal operating temp very quickly. I have had cars, in past, where it is evident that the water temp comes up to normal temp very quickly, but at-idle oil pressure (a direct indicator of relative oil temp) still stays high for a considerable period of time, until it finally drops when oil temp has come up considerably in temp.
 

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...and only use the block heater at night when temps drop to -15 or lower.
Just want to add, I purchased an exterior timer for the garage and have it set to come on just under 3 hours before I leave for work and on weekends a couple of hours before I generally run errands. If it's going to be really cold I plug in, otherwise if I don't plug in, the timer still switches on and off but doesn't cost anything since there's no load. For those who have a detached garage and can't switch from the house, it works slick. It's a Sylvania and was purchased at The Home Depot.
 
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