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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It is -32 C today where I live and I obiviously need a block heater. Subaru does not make one for the 3.6L in the '08 Tribecas.

I talked to a Subaru dealer parts guy and he said they sell a 'radiant heater for the oil pan' which is a thin panel that is glued to and heats the oil in the pan. He said that a lot of the heavy equipment use this on their diesel engines in this area and it works great and has worked well on Tribecas as well.

Have any of you heard of this method to warm an engine and the pro's and con's of this? I can't wait until Subaru finally comes out with a factory block heater for the 3.6 yet I would prefer to got stock over aftermarket.

Thanks.
 

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Hmmm, I have no experience with any heater type products, but securing it with glue to the oil pan doesn't sound very secure to me over time. Especially since you are glueing a heating element.
 

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While I've never personally heard of it, it appears to be a mechanically/engineering sound idea. As you know, the oil sits in the pan, so a heater for the pan itself would keep the oil warm and more fluid/viscous. Having warm oil will help keep the engine better lubricated during a cold start.

A block heater pre-heats the coolant, so that when you go to start the engine, the warm coolant would be pumped throughout the engine to help warm it as a whole quicker, but the oil is still cold at the start which can still lead to non-ideal lubrication of the engine until the oil itself is up to temp.

So both methods have their pros/cons...seems like if you do in fact need a heater (-32C = -25.6F:eek: ) and this is your only choice, I would give it ago. The only real issue I could think of is that since this sticks to the bottom of the pan, it could potentially come loose.

edit: yeah, it's only -26F, LOL...my calculator seems to have ignored the "minus" and just made it negative of the positive conversion (+32C=89.6F)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Actually, it's about -26 F and pretty cold. It's -46 C (-51 F) with the wind chill factored in.

My concerns was ground clearance being reduced and if driving through snow banks would rip the heating pad off the pan. I haven't looked under the Tribeca yet and don't know if the pan is protected or guarded at all.

I talked to a friend who knows heavy equipment and he said that they work great on the big machines. This application on a passenger vehicle is not quite the same though.

Thanks for the comments and anything else is appreciated.
 

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Yeah I gotta pick one of these up, I havent tried to start mine today. They are $100-130 at Canadian tire, but you can buy em off ebay for $40.
I haven't looked at the pan either, but they recommend that you lightly sand the pan to get to the bare metal to stick the things on, then apply high temp silicone to the edges to ensure nothing peels it off afterwards. If you pick one up before I do, please post and let us know how it fits.
 

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I went in for my oil change and got a the 08 tribeca block heater installed (just in time for summer) since they are available now. It was way overpriced ($200 Canadian) but at least I wont be worried next winter when its -30
 
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