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Old 11-11-2010, 07:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Block heater for 2009 ML320 Bluetec - specs?

I have a block heater in my 2009 ML320 Bluetec. The dealer installed the cable, too.

But no specs. So I need to know stuff like:

- Power usage?
- Does it have a thermostat or is it a dumb heater?
- Do i leave it on overnight or just plug in in the AM before leaving?
- what else do I need to know??

Any help welcome. Dealer said "there are no specs"...

I live in the snow belt north of Toronto, and have no garage, so this is of some importance to me! Starting at -20C sounds like it is being torn apart.
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:17 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't know the specifics of your block heater, but most of the in-block types are around 100 watt -- about the same as a light bulb -- and have no thermostat. Just a dumb heater. When I lived in Ottawa and had no garage, I used to leave the car plugged in all night during cold weather. The heater certainly won't get hot enough to damage anything -- it actually causes the coolant to circulate slowly -- and it won't make a noticeable difference to your electricity bill.
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:40 AM   #3 (permalink)
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OK, 100W is great - agreed, then I can leave it on. Thanks!
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwillems View Post
I have a block heater in my 2009 ML320 Bluetec. The dealer installed the cable, too.

But no specs. So I need to know stuff like:

- Power usage?
- Does it have a thermostat or is it a dumb heater?
- Do i leave it on overnight or just plug in in the AM before leaving?
- what else do I need to know??

Any help welcome. Dealer said "there are no specs"...

I live in the snow belt north of Toronto, and have no garage, so this is of some importance to me! Starting at -20C sounds like it is being torn apart.
The dealer should be able to give you wattage, but my guess for our engines it will be around 450-500 watts--I guarantee it is much higher than 100 watts( they vary wattage with displacement and I have seen them as high as 900 watts). All block heaters have temp sensors and cycle on/off to keep from overheating your coolant. Plugging it in overnight wont hurt anything( in fact they are designed for it) but will add to your power bill. If you do plug in only in the morning, make sure its for at least 3 hours. By the time you buy some type of timer etc to allow that option and factor in the price, its likely about the same price as being plugged in all night.Since you have no garage, there are a lot of nice little interior heaters to take the chill off the cabin and help reduce window frost while your engine is plugged in .Being from Alberta I have used both options in various vehicles for years and used them daily all winter. Since you are in the snow belt the interior heater option will help a lot with clearing your vehicles windows in the morning.
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Last edited by Vernl; 11-11-2010 at 09:09 AM.
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Mmm. The dealer said "there are no specs". I'm on my own. How weird is that? So now I need to know whether it is 100W or 450W... anyone else any idea how I can find out? Great idea re hater, btw - any suggestions welcome...
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Old 11-11-2010, 09:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by mwillems View Post
Mmm. The dealer said "there are no specs". I'm on my own. How weird is that? So now I need to know whether it is 100W or 450W... anyone else any idea how I can find out? Great idea re hater, btw - any suggestions welcome...
As i said, contact your, or perhaps a different service advisor, ask him specifically how many watts the block heater is. Give him your VIN, ask him to pull up the part number and it will have the wattage. You can not sell an electrical device of any kind in North America and likely Europe as well without specifying its current draw.Either he didnt understand what you meant by ''specs'' or some other miscomunication occurred.I know for a fact the wattage is stamped right on the side if the heater element itself
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Old 11-12-2010, 06:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Any electrician, electrical or electronics technician or electric motor repair shop will have a clamp-on ampmeter with a plug adapter to easily, and quickly, measure the current draw. You will know exactly what ampere circuit you will need and the wattage of the heater. Power = Current X Voltage. Hopefully you will know someone in the business that will check it for free.
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:57 AM   #8 (permalink)
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If you Google around a little, you'll find the general consensus is that Vernl is correct, and most block heaters are around 450 watts. I must be showing my age, as every block heater I have ever used was in the 100 to 150 watt range -- but I haven't used one for over 20 years, so obviously they have grown in power.

The University of Saskatchewan claims that there are few benefits to using a block heater for more than about four hours, regardless of ambient temperature. But they also point out that you won't do any harm leaving it on for longer than that. I pay 8-1/2 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity, so leaving a 450 watt heater plugged in for 4 hours would cost 15 cents, and leaving it plugged in for 10 hours would cost 38 cents. That's $11 a month. You'll probably save that in reduced engine wear alone.
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Old 11-13-2010, 05:33 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Excellent - thanks. I'll do all of the above: ask the service advisor a specific question, and leave in in all night. Even though in Ontario it's twice that price (kWh is the same but then all the transport fees, debt reduction fees, and other excuse fees double the price per kWh :-)
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Old 11-26-2010, 06:27 AM   #10 (permalink)
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100W or 400W - who knows.

"Karen" in Customer Service at Mercedes Benz Canada Customer Service just told me the technical team has no information and the information was not released by Germany. And they will not contact Germany. This unit "has no specifications". "I have no other information". "We are unable to do that". Weasel phrases like that.

This was most entirely unhelpful service call I can recall. A $70,000 car and they are as helpful as the government.

So OK, I'll contact Germany myself. Any good phone numbers or email addresses, anyone?
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