Starting Tip: Preheat Engine w/ Battery Blankets - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 01-15-2017, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
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Starting Tip: Preheat Engine w/ Battery Blankets

Two battery warming blankets wrapped snuggly around an engine and held in place with bungee cords make a significant improvement in starting performance of an old snowthrower stored at cold ambiant temperatures.

'Cold' being defined for this discussion as below 5ºF/-15ºC ('Really Cold' for me begins at -40ºF/-40ºC).

Preheating a pull-start engine can mean the difference between getting it running or not. At the very least, it is highly likely to reduce the number of attempts necessary to start the engine.

In addition to all the benefits of warming a pull-start engine, preheating an electric start engine can reduce wear on the starter, esp the pinion gear. I started preheating my '76 Toro 724 after stripping the teeth off the starter pinion a few years ago - pinions for my model are very difficult to find now.

Battery blankets are available where automobile accessories are sold. They are commonly available in two sizes/lengths, the difference being that the shorter model typically has a 60W output rating, while the longer version is 80W.

One alternative to battery blankets are adhesive heating pads such as those available in different outputs from Kat's. I bought two of their #26050 50W Silicone Hot Pads which measure 2" x 5". These require clean, oil-free surfaces for attachment - the battery blankets continue to be used until such surfaces become available.

Common Sense is Required When Preheating an Engine:

A battery blanket is a electric resistance heating appliance. An engine has fuel in the gas tank, fuel lines and carburetor; fuel vapor occurs around engines. Arcing from a damaged battery blanket has the potential to ignite fuel and fuel vapor.

Battery blankets are manufactured from heat-resistant and cut-resistant material. Still, this material may melt if brought into contact with a hot exhaust or other hot components of an engine that has been running. Do not reinstall the battery blankets on the engine in preparation for the next use until the engine has cooled down after operation. Be careful about snagging blankets on sharp corners or bending them to conform to the engine in a manner that might break the internal heating elements.

.

Last edited by EddyCurr; 01-15-2017 at 02:07 PM.
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post #2 of 6 Old 01-15-2017, 06:14 PM
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Cool To each their own

IMO
Not a diesel engine so I believe a properly maintained gas engine will pose no issues.


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post #3 of 6 Old 01-15-2017, 06:47 PM
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I would definitely consider something like this if it got that cold around here. However, in the four years we have been here it has gotten to -3°f only once and I didn't need to use the blower. My blowers usually do start just fine down imto the single digits.

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post #4 of 6 Old 01-15-2017, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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Probably the kind of tip that might be more relevant to folks in parts of Can and states like AK, ND, MN, ME & WI where temperatures dip a bit lower than in CO and PA.

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post #5 of 6 Old 01-15-2017, 09:09 PM
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All four of my old junks will start quickly below zero,no problem.Synthetic 5W-30 helps a lot.
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post #6 of 6 Old 01-15-2017, 09:10 PM
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Have you tried switching to an extreme cold zero weight oil like 0w-30?
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