Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
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.
 

·
Compression Ignition Addict
Joined
·
5,824 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
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.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,495 Posts
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
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,822 Posts
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?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
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
The first two failures were the heater element. I haven't pulled the cord off this one to test it. This winter was fairly mild for Iowa, but past winters I've seen -30F air temps.

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?
I checked the condition of the cord and it looks good. Doesn't rub or pinch anywhere, even coming through the bumper. It does stay plugged in for a few days at a time when it's really cold and sitting at my employer's shop, and there is no timer.
I have thought that high usage could be the issue, but the original heater made it four years from when I bought the truck to when it failed. None of my coworkers seem to have this issue. There are two other 6.0 owners and one 7.3 owner where I work. None of them have replaced a heater in the three years I've known them. We all have our trucks plugged in for at least 80-90 hours a week when it's really nasty outside. No one uses a timer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,822 Posts
How long are these extension chords and are they longer than the other guys? I'm working on a solar power project for my house, and am surprised at how thicker the wires should be when I move the distance of the panels away from the batteries. This would probably be more on the lines of the heating element just not working rather than killing it.

I noticed this when I extended a trickle charger and the extra 30 feet of same gauge wire caused it to not get enough volts, 8 instead of 12, and that helped kill the battery. My next project is going to be a solar power for a single outlet set up on a different circuit in my RV. Doesn't sound like much, but that's really all a few solar panels and batteries can provide for a inverter.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
402 Posts
Not sure when the element went out in my original, but I didn't replace it until 2018 at about 115,000 miles. The Motocraft replacement went out this winter at about 136,000 miles. I only used it here when temps were very cold, so I think they aren't very good. I see no reason they shouldn't last several years, even getting used a lot. I don't remember the last time I had to change the element in my house water heater.

Speaking of solar, just finished plans for a 9.4K system at my house. Should be finished in July.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,495 Posts
Same type of heater that is in your water heater or coffee pot … lol
How often do you need to replace those
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,822 Posts
Speaking of solar, just finished plans for a 9.4K system at my house. Should be finished in July.
If you're using a forum for this, it'd be nice to know which one. I'd be interested in details. House systems here need to automatically shut off in power outages so lineman don't get electrocuted when fixing power during outages by solar power being pushed back in. To me, its more of having power all the time than saving money on an eclectic bill. That's not the case in all places.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,567 Posts
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.
I had a similar problem over the past 2 years ago. The first one made it 10 years, but the truck was from Texas, so it had only 4 years of use up in Canada before it died. The second one was replaced in late winter and failed in December that same year. The replacement failed the following March! All were Ford parts and all looked like new when removed. Ford raised a "Parts Abnormality" for the heaters as it was unusual for them to fail at all. The last one has been in for over a year with no problems.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top