Oil Pan vs. Block Heater: What’s Better? 

Oil Pan vs. Block Heater Difference

In colder countries, a heater is a frequent automotive accessory.

Every automobile owner in the colder countries has a regular habit of plugging in their vehicles at the end of the day.

People in cold countries freeze during the extremely cold winter.

Cars have the same feelings as people when the temperature drops below -25° F. 

As a consequence, the engine oil thickens and becomes unable to work precisely.

It may cause engine ignition issues and degrade the engine to the point of irreparable harm. 

To prevent these issues, automobile owners look for a good engine warmer, often known as Block Heater or an Oil Pan Heater.

These are two kinds of engine heaters that assist the engine in operating effectively – especially in severely cold temperatures.

There are several distinctions between them. As a result, automobile owners are often perplexed as to which is superior. 

As a result, I’ve come to compare block heater and oil pan heater, which one is superior and what you should consider.

Let’s find out which one is superior and best suited to your needs.

Oil Pan Heater vs. Block Heater: Difference

Oil Pan HeaterBlock Heater
Submerges into the oil or will sit on the oil panIt will sit on an engine block or on an engine coolant system
Heats the engine oil directlyHeats the engine coolant system as it sits on the exterior of the engine
Requires the installation by a professionalIt can be DIY installed on your own
Car needs around 4 hours of charging with an Oil Pan HeaterWith Block Heater also, your car will need proper charging to run smoothly

Difference between Oil Pan Heater and Block Heater

Oil pan heaters are designed to heat the oil in your vehicle’s engine. Block heaters, on the other hand, are designed to heat the engine block itself.

There are a few key differences between these two types of engine heaters. So let’s get into details of them right here…

1- Functioning of the heaters

In terms of seating posture, there are two varieties of oil pan heaters. One variant rests on the oil pan and directly warms the engine oil.

The other kind is submerged in engine oil and directly warms the oil.

As a result, an oil pan heater is designed to heat the engine oil. The engine oil thickens due to the chilly temperature. 

The oil’s viscosity rises. As a consequence, the oil is unable to reach every cranny and nook of the engine. The engine suffers lasting harm due to insufficient lubrication.

The oil pan heater warms the oil and converts it to its regular condition.

As a result, automobile owners install the oil pan heater to ensure a rapid start and to preserve their engines in excellent condition.

A block heater, on the other hand, does not directly heat the oil. It is located within the engine coolant system or the engine block.

It warms the engine coolant channels and maintains an appropriate engine temperature. 

As a result, when vehicle owners start their vehicles the next time, their engine gets started in the first attempt only because this heater has already kept the engine oil warm enough.

2- Installation of the heaters

Installing an oil pan heater is a challenging task. Specifically, the kind that submerges in motor oil.

As a result, it would be preferable if you hired a professional to install the oil pan heater.

The block heater, on the other hand, is a little simpler to install since it is located on the engine’s outside. As a result, you may install a block heater yourself. 

However, we recommend that you install this device with the assistance of a pro.

Any installation error might result in coolant system leakage.

3- Charging process and time

The oil pan and block heater both use electricity to heat the engine or oil. 

Both rely on a plug-in cable with a 110-120 volts voltage to deliver the required electrical power.

However, you must charge your automobile at night or at your desired time to have a good start.

Both these devices take around 3 and a half hours of charge to keep your car’s oil or engine oil warm.

So, if you live in a chilly country, plug in your automobile and enjoy a nice dream.

Both heaters are equipped with charging-timer technology. It enables you to set a timer to begin the charging.

Just get the timer set based on your day-to-day car-starting routine, and get a nice night’s sleep. 

4- The pricing factor

When it comes to cost, these valuable gadgets are reasonably priced, and there isn’t much of a price difference between these two devices.

Surprisingly, both the block heater and oil pan heater are affordable to buy.

5- The drawbacks of both the heaters

The block, as well as the oil pan heater, are both very useful and necessary modifications to the automobiles of the colder regions.

However, these devices have certain downsides. Let’s take a quick peek at what’s down there.

  • Block Heater does not warm the engine oil enough to a typical temperature, and the oil remains heavier. It may sometimes result in coolant leakage.
  • Oil Pan Heater is relatively tough to set up. And because it directly heats the oil, many people have concerns about their engine oil burning.

Which is Better: A Block Heater or An Oil Pan?

If you’ve made it this far, you’re aware that the functions of a Block Heater and an Oil Pan Heater are identical.

Its purpose is to warm the oil of the engine at an optimal temperature for the ease of the engine functionality during the cold winter months.

Both devices perform well in their respective roles. As a result, you may not be able to select the best of the two options. 

Any of the two will do the job perfectly. Choose the Oil Pan Heater if you wish to heat the oil of the engine.

You can also buy the Block Heater if you want to heat the coolant system.

The prices are the same for both of these items. As a result, you may get any of them at a reasonable price.

Similarly, there isn’t much to discuss in terms of billing. Both take around 3 and a half charging hours. Both are equipped with a timer.

The installation of the Oil Pan Heater is more challenging than that of the Block Heater.

Though it would be preferable if you hired a professional to install the device.

Finally, the Block Heater and the Oil Pan Heater are the same automotive equipment pieces. They both fulfill the same function. 

So, you can buy any of the two and shield your vehicles from the wrath of winter.

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