Volvo XC70 This wagon/SUV crossover offers the capabilities of an SUV without SUV size.

Engine block heater install

Old 11-21-2008, 12:13 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 2
Default Engine block heater install

Hey allI'm new here but have been driving Volvos since I could see above the dash.

I recently bought a 2000 V70XC with 89,000miles on it (and since I live in AK, I paid a bit more than I would have if I lived in the lower 48...these cares are hard to come by up here!)

AnywayI had a 1998 s70 until I was run off the road a few weeks ago and wrecked itand that car worked great in the -30F temps up here.

Since I'm paying for grad school and just bought the XC I'm faced with a few challenges: How to keep it warm enough to start in the cold temps. I'm looking to put a block heater on it (sooner than later) but I'm not in the mood to pay $300 in parts and labor at a mechanic.

I'm a chicso not super mechanically inclined but I've done a good job of learning, and following the repair manuals for anything that I've needed to do on my s70.

Any recommendations for a block heater? I can get the volvo part online for about $30, but I'm unsure how to do the install myself...I don't imagine it can be that difficult. The other option is a circulating heaterbut again, don't know how to do the install on my own.

I'm definitely going to put in a trickle charger and a battery blanket, hopefully tomorrow after buying the parts, those are simple to install and I think will do a great deal of goof. My concern is when the car will be sitting for 5-6 days in below freezing tempsI don't think that this combo alone will keep it warm.

Also, any thoughts on the best oil to run. I recently was running synthetic 0W-30 in my s70 and seemed to like it fine. What other things should I make sure are fully synthetic.


Old 01-03-2010, 05:20 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1

+1 I'd like to know the installation procedure.
Old 03-14-2011, 11:04 AM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Denver CO
Posts: 78

I wrapped a flexible 6 ft pipe heater around the upper radiator hose and my car has no problems starting in -40 degree weather now and the engine no longer floods with fuel just from the little bit of heat that gets to the intake manifold.
Old 03-14-2011, 09:57 PM
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ed7 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Lansing, MI
Posts: 481

Good idea. Cheap and effective.
If you wrapped the lower hose, the heat would rise through the engine by convection.
On top, you're heating the hose and the radiator. The thermostat slows the flow to the engine. The 120v heat tape should be on sale soon, and it's easier than cutting the lower hose to install a Kat's heater. Thanks for the idea.
Old 03-14-2011, 10:37 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Denver CO
Posts: 78

Yes the bottom would be better. I was trying to stay warm the snow regularly blew sideways and was frame height everywhere except the highways. So I put it on top and it actually did a great job. The car started normally on -40 with another -40 of windchill days. Without it on those days the fuel dropped out of suspension and I got 84 miles on 1/3rd of a tank. After it the same daily trip ran 1/3rd a tank round trip.

Only one week left in North Dakota and after that when it gets dry it will get put on the lower hose. it was so cold that the radiator never got warm enough to get above the lowest large tick mark even with cardboard covering the radiator. The heater well that was a farce. Full winter gear just to get to work.
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