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Discussion Starter #1
So, in November 2018 or thereabouts, what I'm assuming was the factory installed block heater on my '04 F250 finally kicked the bucket. I replaced it myself as I figured it was a pretty straightforward task. That one lasted all of four months and went bad in March 2019. As the worst of winter was behind me, I waited until August 2019 to have it replaced. That time a shop did it as I didn't want to take a coolant bath again. Once again, the heater made it through the worst of one winter and gave up on life. I picked up my truck yesterday morning from work and the snow caked on the hood told me I had an issue. Double checked the cord and plug tonight. The heater is bad again. The heater is always plugged into GFCI outlets. I use extension cord plug covers and generally try to keep the connection out of the elements.

Thoughts on what might possibly be causing this, aside from the bad luck of getting two faulty heaters in a row? That's my only guess, as the heater is basically a fat piece of wire on a base that threads into a hole. Doesn't seem like too terribly much could happen to such a device, but I've been surprised before.
 

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Have the recent failures been with Ford heaters or aftermarket? If aftermarket, could you post which one?

IMO your best bet would be with the Ford part (3C3Z-6A051-AA), but maybe those too have taken a dive in quality.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The one I installed was a ZeroStart heater from O'reilly's. The one installed by the shop was, I presume, a Motorcraft part as the shop purchased the heater from the local Ford dealer.
 

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The element burning out or the plug connection? -- Hard to tell where our stuff comes from these days - even the brand name stuff

I suppose it depends on where you are and the situation - but I hardly ever use the coolant heater on my '06
Used to plug my 4230 in every day in the winter - had to feed the critters - some heaters lasted a few years, others not so much
 

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Might want to trace the wires back and check for nicks along the way. I replaced the heating element and wiring on mine with OEM, and installing the chord and routing and clipping the right way was awful. Done wrong, there’s a couple places it could run open.

Second thought is how long does this stay plugged in and is it on a timer?
 
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