Engine & Gearbox DEFA 220V electrical engine block heater

Discussion in '8th Generation (2008-2015) [Acura TSX]' started by i-DSI, Friday 28th Dec, 2012.

  1. i-DSI Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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    For whom it may concern, I want to share my experiences with DEFA electrical engine heater. Built in by myself, in 2.0 i-VTEC 2011. Pictures above show front of car, with connector in lower grille. Resistor is mounted right hand side of the catalytic convertor, where the drainplug for engine coolant is situated. In my previous cars, I painted the little plate behind the grille black. I made this plate myself. Manual of DEFA says to drill a hole in the bumper. Don't like that.
    Took me 3 hours to mount it.

    What is it? How does it work?
    A 220 volt, 550 Watt resistor that comes into the drain hole for the coolant in the engine block.
    A small connector is mounted on the front grille. With the special DEFA-cable (with the small connector), you can connect to the grid.
    Once connected, the coolant (engine block) is warmed up between 30 and 40°C above ambient temperature in approx. 1,5 to 2 hours time. There is no relation or connection with the car's electrical/electronic wiring. +30°C is worst case scenario: parked outside with wind. In the garage you get easily a 40°C rise above starting temp. Even a bit higher if you let it connected for the full 2 hours. I use a timer to get it started in the morning before leaving to work.

    What's the advantage? Why mount this in Belgium?
    I fully admit: you do not 'need' this in Belgium, but it has some remarkable advantages when your car is parked outside:
    1) safety: when freezing, defogging and melting the thin layer of ICE is piece of cake! You can drive off immediately.
    2) comfort/safety: after littarly 500 meters, the heating blows warm air and coolant reaches 50°C while outside it's around 0°C.
    3) engine wear: is a real minimum, don't need to explain the difference between a warm and cold start?
    4) fuel consumption: the amount you pay for electricity is by far cheaper than what you safe by driving off with a pre heated engine
    5) environment: no rich fuel mixture needed in combination with the cold catalytic converter.

    The advantages are higher the colder your climate, the shorter your drivecycles and when always parked outside.
    I had such a DEFA also mounted in my Civic 1.4 I-DSI and it's also mounted in my wife's 1.4 I-DSI. In other words: I'm getting experienced with mounting this stuff and usage.
    In case you would wonder how I know the temperatures of the coolant: I know them in detail because I have a bluetooth OBD connector + Torque OBD app on smartphone. I know what my engine is doing. In Scandinavian countries such heaters are very common and normal.

    Don't hesitate to ask questions in case you have.

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    Last edited: Saturday 29th Dec, 2012
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  2. richsprint Account Closed. ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

    Thanks for sharing that with us I-DSI. Approx how much does it cost to install?

    I guess that is the crucial question, as British people tend to only keep cars for short times so fitting lots of expensive parts isnt economic, also its not cold for long enough to make it worthwhile, same argument applies to Winter tyres.

    couldn't find a UK dealer for Defa, but Webasto are known here:

    Product Advantages

    thanks
     
  3. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

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    Thanks for sharing this I have really liked this type of heaters for petrol cars as the advantages are huge over years of ownership.

    When I saw Honda access selling 8th Generation Honda Accord Parking Heaters I have shown an interested I them initially but the prohibitive price and complex fitting procedure has put me off completely.

    I-DSI does you parking heater come with a remote or a facility to periodically time the heater and its usage time?. Since your is a plug in to a electric source I know you can get automated electrical plugs which can be managed by your smart phone negating a remote.

    If you have a pattern and usage to your car then you can time the heater as per your usage, could you please post some pictures of the kit please?
     
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  4. i-DSI Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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    Hi Richsprint and Ichiban,
    Answers to your questions:
    - Don't worry: pictures will follow.
    - Installation cost: no idea. Maybe I'm the only one in Belgium to have this installed (except for the guy I sold my Civic to:Whistle:)? And I installed it myself. As said: 3 hours. But if I would have to do it again on Accord: 2 hours. An experienced technician will not need more than 2 hours.
    - Built in timerfunction or smartphone timer function: no, I went for the simplest version mainly because I can only use it when leaving from home, and I have a simple mechanicle timer in my garage (leading the electical lead outwards, as wife's car is parked inside). Morning leaving time does not change and if I leave on another time, I simply plug in the mains connector 1 to 2 hours upfront.
    - You can find such heaters online. You first look for the partnumbers you need on www.defa.com, and throw them on Google. German suppliers will come up.
    - I don't believe you can call this an expensive accessory, Richsprint. Cost of e.g. wintertyres or nicer rims is far higher. You're right it's not economical if you don't keep your car for several years and don't use it consistantly. I even use it in full summer period, as the fuel saving and (a bit) less wear advantages are still there. But, honestly, that's more for the sport of it. On hot summerdays, engine starting temp can reach 60°C and higher. And I like that!

    I feel good when my engine runs on icy, cold mornings as if it was a sunny day in July...
    You should not only buy such a heater for the economical part of it. It's the combination of the advantages (environment, comfort, less fuelcost, safety, wear) that makes it worthwhile for me. But you need to be a little bit of a petrol head to get involved in this and plug this in every day. What I am...:Smile:
     
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  5. i-DSI Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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    Pictures added.
     
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  6. ACC-CDI-2T Valued Contributor ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

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  7. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

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    Acura Engine Block Heater (TSX)

    I think I will buy it and get a AC to DC converter job done. attach the other end to a timer and manage it with my smart phone ..

    TSX0011021_med.
     
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  8. i-DSI Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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    Not only in US. My parts are also available as 'local accessory' in Scandinavian countries from Honda. Hondapartnumbers you need for 2.0 i-VTEC (and many other Honda petrols, like my Civic 1.4 I-DSI or the R18 engine):
    TH24402 (Engine heater)
    TH24403 (Connecting kit)
    They are exactely the same as the Defa parts and come in a Defa package but with the Honda partnumbers on the boxes. 220V, 550 Watt. In UK you have different mainconnectors, but that does not change a single thing on the car. The green Defa cable that comes with it needs an adaptor and that's it, no?

    Went through the installation instructions of the US version!! My God. This takes a whole day!? I did not remove my bumper (on Civic I needed to), and the rooting of the cable is not indicated on the Defa manual (see www.defa.com for instructions). But that is not complicated at all. I did not drain the coolant of the radiator, only the block.
    But, I must admit: it is extremely cheap. In Europe you do not find these below 100 euro.
    What I don't like: the way the connector is dangling free in front of the bumper. I like my fixed connector with the small metal plate behind the grille.
     
    Last edited: Sunday 30th Dec, 2012
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  9. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

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    Bud could you find out the part numbers please?
     
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  10. i-DSI Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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    You might be surprised, but the TH...numbers are the Honda partnumbers! Defa numbers are compelety different.
     
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  11. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

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    just checked you are right they are recognised as honda part numbers..


    TH24402 is for £34.75
    TH24403 is for £27.62


    May ring HH to order it.
     
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  12. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

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  13. ACC-CDI-2T Valued Contributor ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

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    I would also like to buy a OEM or DEFA one for my i.ctdi - but it´s too bad that DEFA only offers a 300W - "motor oil heater" and not a "coolant heater" for my engine. I think, the coolant heater version for your petrol engines will be much more efficient for warm up ... :Thumbup:

    (dead link removed by staff)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sunday 15th Feb, 2015
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  14. i-DSI Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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    I know, but there's an advantage: you don't need to drain coolant and bleed afterwards. Safes you time and cost.
    Coolant heaters are indeed more efficient, but the warmth in the oil will be transferred to the engine and its coolant quite fast.
    I did measurements with my heater: oil temp rises maximum 2 to 4°C with block heater after 2 hours, while engine rose 40°C above ambient. But when starting the engine, the oil temp goes up very quick compared to non pre-heated engine. While... the coolant temp decreases by approx. 10°C immediately after starting. But it takes less than 1 minute to get those 10°C back. It's caused by the cold oil entering the block and the water circulating through the cab heater. Not all those hoses can contain warm water from the heating element.
    By the way: your car must be a 7th Generation Accord? Happy to meet a German member here. You must be aware there a (good?) German Accord forums also?
     
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  15. richsprint Account Closed. ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

    Its pretty cheap isnt it, run a cable under the garage door, plug in timer and 'Bobs your Uncle'....tempting...

    Ichiban, how hard do you reckon it is to fit? Does the coolant need draining or can you do a quick swap and top up?
     
  16. i-DSI Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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    No, you can't do a quick swap and top up:Smile:. I have installed these (see start of this thread). Removing the drain plug of the engine (as can be seen on my 3th picture) drains a few liters. Than you need to screw on the house of the heater, and only than you can install the heaterelement into it (with the circlipse, can be seen on the picture also).
     
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  17. ACC-CDI-2T Valued Contributor ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

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    @ I-DSI

    Thx for your info´s !! - it´s nice to meet a belgian member here as well. :Smile: Yes, my car is a 7th generation Diesel, borne in 2004 - the very best incredible reliable car I´ve ever had. I am aware of the german Accordforum (I´am member) - There is running a very similar thread about "engine pre-heating-systems", but to date no simple, cheap and really efficient solution was found for the I-CTDI / I-DTEC´s. The best, but very expensive solution for the diesel seems to be a fuel activated park heating system. I think, the Defa system for the diesel would only be "a small hot drop on a cold stone", cause it has insufficient power and the heater only has metal to metal contact (and no direct contact to the medium). So your coolant heater will work very much better.

    But thanks again :Wave:
     
    Last edited: Sunday 30th Dec, 2012
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  18. Doc Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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    I know I'm a little late to this thread sorry, I like the principle of the device, but I'm a little confused why a coolant heater is better than an oil heater??

    As it's the oil which lubricates the engine, and on the diesel the turbo as well, I thought this would be preferable as it's the warmer oil that would reduce wear?! Wouldn't the warmer coolant just be transferring heat to the oil to help reduce wear anyway?
     
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  19. i-DSI Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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    Hi Doc, it's not at story of 'black and white' in this case.
    Wear occures for many reasons:
    - low (cold) engine temp: petrol condenses on the cylinder walls, comes into the sump, thins out the oil film....
    - low oil temp: very slow to get around the whole engine and no good capacity to lubricate
    First one can be tackled by a coolant heater, second one can be tackled by an oil heater.
    Sure, you're right: no matter what you heat, it will always transfer its heat to the other 'mass' and no matter what you heat, it will heat up your engine quicker in any case.
    But the DEFA oil heater in this specific case can not have the same result as it's only 300 W compared to 550 W. And on top of that, the 300 W element does not touches the oil itself, while the 550 W element sits in the coolant. You can't heat oil anyhow that easy, as it's thick and does not flow like coolant when you heat it. The coolant heater lets the coolant really circulate. My whole engine (block + head) are warm because the warm coolant alwas rises and floats around.
     
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  20. Doc Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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    Thanks I-DSI that makes a lot of sense. I wasn't taking into account the Wattage of each heater. And I didn't realise the oil heater wasn't in direct contact with the oil either, it looks like it heats the sump casing and radiates heat into the oil.

    It's good to know the entire engine block warms up, I was wondering how well the heat would transfer through the coolant system without the engine running. I prefer the thought of warmer oil as opposed to warmer coolant as it the oil which lubricates the engine, but it sounds like the radiated heat from the coolant and engine block would warm the oil up a lot quicker.
     
    Last edited: Friday 18th Jan, 2013
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