Civic VX Block Heater Install - Fuelly Forums

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Old 01-23-2008, 04:58 AM   #1
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Exclamation Civic VX Block Heater Install

So with all my spare time I have now having two kids, I decided to install my block heater that I got from NAPA last night.

Something to note: I have an aftermarket header on my VX that made installation easier by only having to remove the upper portion of it for the install. If you have the OEM Cat Converter (I will refer to it as the maniverter) still, you can remove the 12mm bolts holding the header to the block and then remove the 14/12mm exhaust bolts under the car where the maniverter meets the exhaust system.

Parts needed:
NAPA Part# BK 6053231 Engine Heater

Tools I used:
  • 12mm socket and wrench
  • 14mm socket
  • 18mm socket
  • me
  • channel locks
  • drain pan
  • BFH

First I ran the car to warm up the motor, then drained the radiator via the petcock into the drain pan.

After that I removed the upper portion of my header using the 12mm & 14mm socket and wrench when the header cooled down slightly.

Then I removed the OEM drain bolt with the 18mm socket after tapping the bolt with the BFH a few times to ensure that it would come out easily. Make sure you move the drain pan under the portion of the motor that you're working on. There is actually a little hole in the flange on the block to help guide the coolant that comes out.

I then installed the block heater and tightened using the channel locks (I did not have a 24mm socket handy to tighten it with).


Connect the cord and route it out the passenger side of the hood, then reinstall the upper portion of the header.


I ended up putting some tin foil over the cord behind the header to help keep the heat off the cord.

Sorry it's not the best DIY, I didn't feel like taking pictures at the very beginning, not much to see anyways that you can't deduce from the two pictures anyways.

Hope this helps out some people to install their block heaters on their Honda/Acura.
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Old 01-23-2008, 05:40 AM   #2
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Just out of curiosity- how much does NAPA charge for the block heater?
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Old 01-23-2008, 06:40 AM   #3
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Engine Heater

They want $49.59 online. If you go into a store though, just ask to use the account that the city you live in has with the store. That usually works to get a few bucks off the price.
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controversy is an idea thought up by weak people who are too afraid to hear the truth.
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Old 01-24-2008, 11:01 AM   #4
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OOOH. I like it. Wish I could do that. My car is about 1500 ft from our power supply, and we only have extra power on sunny days (off grid solar). Even if I had the wire, the line losses might be too much for a run of that distance. Maybe someday when I put in the hydro generator.
I am curious how it affects your mpg in minnesota. let us know.
How hard are those exhaust bolts usually to crack loose? I have never worked on exhaust because I was always daunted by the rusty bolts, etc. My VX has only 124k, so maybe they are ok. the bolts on top of that manifold/cat are pretty rusty, do you need to take those off?
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Old 01-25-2008, 05:25 AM   #5
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Ok, so I did some calculating today at work.

It costs ~12? per day to run the heater. That's running from 6am-8am and then from 2pm-4pm 5 days a week. 400Watt heater run for 4 hours = 1600Watts or 1.6kWh. 1.6kWh = 12.32?. So now it only takes my car ~1 minute to hit operating temp as indicated by temp gauge instead of ~6 minutes it takes without the heater. I'm not completely sure of the mileage I get while the car is in rich mode warming up, but I'll assume 25MPG and normal operating temp mileage will be 45MPG let's say (due to me not putting in the WAI again for winter). Assuming Gasoline is $3 per gallon it costs me 12? per mile during warmup as opposed to only 6.6? per mile cost during normal operating temp. So I'm saving almost 6 cents per mile for roughly ten minutes each day (2 x 5 minutes...once in the morning and once in the afternoon) in that ten minutes I cover ~10 miles. That means I'm saving 60? in gas every day or $3 every week that I use the heater (which is also one gallon of gas). In order to recoup the cost of the heater, I need to use it for ~13 weeks. Please correct me if any of my math is wrong.

So a block heater is a great investment for the DIY'er or even the type of ecomodder that wants to save gas without cost being an issue (i.e. having a shop install the heater).
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Old 01-25-2008, 05:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James View Post
How hard are those exhaust bolts usually to crack loose? I have never worked on exhaust because I was always daunted by the rusty bolts, etc. My VX has only 124k, so maybe they are ok. the bolts on top of that manifold/cat are pretty rusty, do you need to take those off?
The 12mm bolts (the 9 that hold the manifold to the head)almost never have any issues coming loose. Sometimes the stud will come out with the nut, but you can just thread the whole assembly back in when reattaching the manifold to the head.

Now the two exhaust spring bolts underneath the car are a different story. Typically the 12mm nut on the end snaps the stud. The OEM Bolts are ~$6 each from Honda. You can used long enough bolts from the Hardware store as well.

It is possible, with the right extensions and joints, to remove the coolant bolt without removing the exhaust manifold. But the extra time taken to remove and inspect the Cat converter (since it's attached to the manifold) is more productive than the time trying to fidget with the tight space when leaving the manifold on. It all comes down to personal choice though. Some people just want to get the bolt out and the heater in and don't care to inspect the converter for wear.
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Old 02-02-2008, 04:01 AM   #7
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wow! this is probably one of more legit ways of actually increasing mileage I've seen on this site.

The thing with my car is that I'm using an after market fuel management system and its kinda hard to compensate or tune for cold fuel enrichment. Cause I tune the maps for a desired a/f with the o2 off and editing the fuels maps directly affect cold start enrichment. anyway, if I did this I could easily warm up the car without it running and still run lower a/f's. ( if that makes sense).

hell, you could run a switch to inside the car and warm it up without the car even on. I'm sure it wouldn't kill the battery enough to not be able to start the car.
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Old 02-03-2008, 06:05 PM   #8
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A block heater makes a huge difference to your economy, I found that with my last car. Highly recommended!
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Old 02-04-2008, 01:35 AM   #9
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^ still got that heater??
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Old 02-25-2008, 12:06 PM   #10
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Im in florida...I need a block cooler...just kidding but its hott here.
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