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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

For those living in colder climate, do you plan on installing a block heater? I live in Canada and have relatively short commutes. My understanding is that a block heater could help increase MPG quite a bit on these short commutes. Do you agree or disagree? Do you know where to get a block heater apart from the original Toyota part (which seems quite pricey)?

Thanks!
 

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Any independent mechanical shop should be able to install a block heater.
The block heater warms the engine to make it easier to turn over when starting. Not sure if it would be sufficient to make much difference in mileage. Likely no more than an extra 30 seconds or so warming up would do.
It is easier on the engine though.
I live in Calgary and don't use a a Block heater but I do use synthetic oil which also helps.
If you do use a block heater, you may want to use a timer so it only runs for a couple of hours before you need to start the car.
 

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Hi,

For those living in colder climate, do you plan on installing a block heater? I live in Canada and have relatively short commutes. My understanding is that a block heater could help increase MPG quite a bit on these short commutes. Do you agree or disagree? Do you know where to get a block heater apart from the original Toyota part (which seems quite pricey)?

Thanks!
I do not know about MPG, but my experience with a non-hybrid car was that using the type of heater that heats the coolant for an hour or so gave me instant heat when I started the car in addition to making it easy to start. You might appreciate that during your short commute in frigid weather. Based on the conversations here, it takes a while for the engine to warm up and provide heat.
 

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A block heater will extend engine life, extend oil life, increase gas mileage, and lower pollution. All this while making your drive more comfortable by getting cabin heat sooner. It's a very worthwhile addition.
 

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My salesman was Mansplaining to me that you don’t need one because it has remote start, and because it’s a hybrid it won’t use gas to warm up. Clueless, as he was on run-flats and roof rack. I wasn’t going to give him the $ for it- I’ll get it installed elsewhere if I decide to get one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Where would you buy an engine heater for the 2021 Sienna? I looked it up online, but can't seem to find anything conclusive (except the (IMO) over-priced one on the Toyota website). Thanks!
 

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can't seem to find anything conclusive (except the (IMO) over-priced one on the Toyota
There's no rush. You'll probably change your mind anyway. I haven't used a block heater on a gasoline engine for 40 years. Even Prius owners don't agree.
Using the block heater on my diesel is a pain. Stomping through the snow, in my underwear, an hour ahead of time to plug it in and forgetting to unplug it while driving away. Duh.
 

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I'm in Minnesota, and I can wrap my head around the benefits of the block heaters, but it seems like the reasoning might be dated? I mean the engine is going to have to work harder in colder climates anyways, the oil is going 10,000 miles now so if it shaves a couple percent off the useful life of it, that's fine. It's using a battery to aid in MPG, so the loss there is even less than other vehicles. You can start the van from anywhere 10 minutes before you want to leave, it will warm up the oil before you're using it to drive, and the cabin will be nice and warm. Personally, I'm not gonna add one, it's been awesome.
 

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There's no rush. You'll probably change your mind anyway. I haven't used a block heater on a gasoline engine for 40 years. Even Prius owners don't agree.
Using the block heater on my diesel is a pain. Stomping through the snow, in my underwear, an hour ahead of time to plug it in and forgetting to unplug it while driving away. Duh.
Couple simple solutions: outlet timer to turn on the heater beforehand, and then allow enough extra extension cord so it can be draped over your sideview mirror as un-missable visual reminder
 

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I used a block heater back in the days of 6 volt batteries when you couldn't start your car at 20 below without it. I ran an extension cord out from the basement. When I got home at night I connected it to the heater with the basement end unplugged. I also left the heater and defroster set for max. The next morning I would go down to the basement and plug it in and then unplugged it before I left for work. It worked wonders.
 
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