I drive a 2003 King Cab 4x4, with a 3.3 litre engine. I have gone to a K & N air filter, and have recently switched to synthetic engine oil to improve mileage and engine warm-up times. I would appreciate any feedback on the topic of installing an oil pan heater to get the engine temperature up as quickly as possible on short hops in the winter time. I am also interested in any other suggestions to improve fuel economy as I love my truck and it aint going anywhere.
I am located in far Northern Ontario, Canada. The temp for the next three night will be minus 35 degrees celsius. So about twenty below or so fahrenheit. On short hops, my heat gauge doesnt move, hence poor fuel mileage.
"Cool" oil is a lot warmer (say 200 degrees F) than sub-zero temperatures. Heaters typically use 110 VAC power so they are not in operation while the vehicle is in use. The heater is a good idea for your climate but I'm sure that a oil pan heater is not the only solution. Many applications use block heaters that heat the coolant. Block heaters may be a more effective solution as they ultimately heat the entire engine. Some install in place of an engine freeze plug. A Google search indicates that a heated dipstick is also a possibility. I can't say I have used a block heater because I'm living in Tucson, Arizona.
Relative to the spark plug statement above: Hotter or cooler spark plugs have no affect on engine operating temperature.
I use the plug-in block heater on a regular basis, when temp requires it. Rocketman, I have seen you give advice to a lot of people in here. Keep up the good work, I appreciate it. By the way.....minus 40 tonight is the same on both scales. Brrrrrrrrrrr