97 Astro Block Heater not working

97 Astro Block Heater not working

Postby miniVan [OP] » November 18th 2009, 6:17pm

When it's really cold outside and I plug in the Engine Block Heater, the next day when I come back and I open the hood and touch different parts of the engine, everything feels cold. Also, it seems more harder for the engine to start when it is colder even after it has been plugged in, and it takes like 10 minutes to warm up. Why isn't the block heater even working and what can be done to fix it?
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Re: 97 Astro Block Heater not working

Postby ihatemybike » November 18th 2009, 7:11pm

What kind of block heater is it? Have you confirmed it's drawing current?

I know the instructions for my Kat's Frost Plug type heater states to to use distilled water only as other types of water can leave deposits and cause it not to work.
Aaron

2005 Astro (Gandalf) - AWD, 4.3L, 3.42, 130k+ miles
1997 Astro (Grumpy - $250 Rally Van) - AWD, 4.3L, 3.42, LSD, 2" lift, 31" tires, 335k+ orig engine, $30 eBay fuel pump
Prev Astros:99,97,00,94,87,86
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Re: 97 Astro Block Heater not working

Postby miniVan [OP] » November 18th 2009, 8:12pm

I have the standard GM factory Engine block heater installed with an Orange end plug with two prongs and one ground connection. I don't really know how to look for where the problem is starting from for example: is it electrical with the plug itself, or some type of heating coil isn't working, or is there a fuse connected with this? Although in my other cars I hear a quiet click sound (spark) from the terminals when plugging and unplugging the coolant heater cable, on the van I don't here any faint type of spark or see any slight spark when plugging and unplugging. Does this mean there is no voltage being picked up...why?
Original Poster [OP]
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Re: 97 Astro Block Heater not working

Postby grandamle91 » November 18th 2009, 8:47pm

Showing the the age, i would just buy a new one, 20 bucks at any auto part store
-Evan
MONSTRO 97 Chevy Astro 346k
LQ9
4L80E
NP262
Full float 14 bolt 3.73
Tuned for e85
Headers 4in Exhaust
3500 spindles and hubs
285\85-16
98 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP 253k
***Removed Dead Image***
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Re: 97 Astro Block Heater not working

Postby miniVan [OP] » November 18th 2009, 8:59pm

New cable, connector, or heating element ---> (I don't even know what it looks like or where it is located?)
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Re: 97 Astro Block Heater not working

Postby ihatemybike » November 18th 2009, 9:40pm

Follow the cord and take a picture of what it connects to. There are a few different types of block heaters and they all can go bad.

Also, please edit your profile/signature to include your van's information. This helps us with diagnosis.
Aaron

2005 Astro (Gandalf) - AWD, 4.3L, 3.42, 130k+ miles
1997 Astro (Grumpy - $250 Rally Van) - AWD, 4.3L, 3.42, LSD, 2" lift, 31" tires, 335k+ orig engine, $30 eBay fuel pump
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Re: 97 Astro Block Heater not working

Postby grandamle91 » November 18th 2009, 10:19pm

It should be on the drivers side right by the oil filter on the block
-Evan
MONSTRO 97 Chevy Astro 346k
LQ9
4L80E
NP262
Full float 14 bolt 3.73
Tuned for e85
Headers 4in Exhaust
3500 spindles and hubs
285\85-16
98 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP 253k
***Removed Dead Image***
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Re: 97 4.3L Astro Block Heater not working

Postby miniVan [OP] » November 19th 2009, 1:10am

Thanks...Okey..just so I have an understanding of how it works....the cable probably runs straight to the coil which sits in the engine block. There are also no fuses involved in this, are there? If not, it must be likely that the front end of the cable may have been damaged over time or the coil that sits in the block may need to be replace. Is this right?
Original Poster [OP]
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Re: 97 4.3L Astro Block Heater not working

Postby grandamle91 » November 19th 2009, 6:15am

miniVan wrote:Thanks...Okey..just so I have an understanding of how it works....the cable probably runs straight to the coil which sits in the engine block. There are also no fuses involved in this, are there? If not, it must be likely that the front end of the cable may have been damaged over time or the coil that sits in the block may need to be replace. Is this right?


No fuses, just a cord that runs to a heat elment in the block, there a screws that tightins up a nut that speads up to hold it in. its more then likely the heater is dead. Only bad thing about replace it is you have to drain the antifreeze or you will get a shower
-Evan
MONSTRO 97 Chevy Astro 346k
LQ9
4L80E
NP262
Full float 14 bolt 3.73
Tuned for e85
Headers 4in Exhaust
3500 spindles and hubs
285\85-16
98 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP 253k
***Removed Dead Image***
User avatar
grandamle91
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