Mine is just as i-DSi mentioned. The heater actually sits in the coolant in the block and heats the coolant.
I do not remember what I turned it to, but I changed the setting on the turn-on timer to add at least another hour (maybe it was 2) and now have noticed more of a difference and is closer to what I expected. While the coolant temp gauge still does not register, and the air from the vents is still cool, it is not frigid like before (but still not even close to what I would consider warm). I can also hit DFCO in the neighborhood now as well.
I was hoping for a better defrosting effect right off the bat when climbing into the car, but it still takes to at least out of the neighborhood before there is any start for clearing the windows and probably a good 2-3 miles before the window is completed defogged on the inside (this is after having to already scrape the outside of the windows so I can see). I would love to have a way to have clean windows in the morning...
If you already have power going to the car then add a hot air heater to the cabin i.e. a hair drier on low setting. The other way is a 12 volt heater like from Harbor Freight for $10 and a battery charger that can keep the battery warmed up to.
I don't know what to think. My wife emptied first tank with EBH installed.
- the thing works perfect (as my testing shows), and if used: min.1h.
- approx. 30% of all cold starts where with EBH (rest: @ work, she forgot to plug in...etc).
- compared to first fill: freezing temps and snow. Really cold
- lot of airco use due to defog function
RESULT: fuel consumption rose (!): almost 0,5 l/100 km (see gasslog for orange Civic).
Can I say I should not be disappointed because of:
- the freezing temps that influence a lot the non-EBH starts at her work
- mr. gasstation kept on filling after auto stop (we never do this and it gives a worser mpg result now)
If the gas man overfilled your tank, you should have a "really good" tank next time. It all balances out.
I'd say it's still worth it to have a block heater. In cold temperatures, your mileage will go down... it'll just go down less with a block heater. =) It can be hard to tell what the exact benefit is without an onboard fuel computer or at least a year's worth of data (including outside temperature.)
If there's a place your wife can plug in at work, that could make a big difference!