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  #1  
Old 11-24-2009, 10:06 AM
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GM Block Heater Plug Replace?

Does anyone have a newer GM vehicle? They have this stupid temperature sensitive plug on them that only allow current to pass through the block heater at anything colder then -18*C. The dumb cord still has higher then normal resistance below that(as compared to my older truck's block heater) and I don't think it is working properly(although similar resistances to a co-workers vehicle). The higher the resistance, the lower the current, the less heat being produced to warm the vehicle's block.

I wanna chop it off and put a regular plug end on there but I've been warned not to by a few people as it will cause the ECM to register a temperature differential code and cause the vehicle poor performance.

I got this article from the free press. Doesn't make much sense to me.

QUESTION — Recently some of my co-workers have had problems with the GM temperature-sensitive block-heater cord ends. All situations included standard electrical replacement ends installed on the cords after the original end was removed. Apparently the original end has a temperature-sensitive switch in it that prevents power transfer above -18 degrees. The cord is also tied into the onboard computer system at the heater. Replacement of the original end will cause the motor to operate poorly, set engine codes, etc. Apparently the code can be bypassed, but not permanently. What can be done to eliminate this problem?

ANSWER — Our seemingly extra-cold winter temperatures this year are causing more of a problem with these block-heater cords than they did in the past. The factory block-heater cord end turns off above –18 C. If a regular plug is installed — or because the factory plug, outside the engine bay, cannot track the engine’s temperature as the block heater warms it up — the engine temperature gets too warm and codes are set by the engine computer because of a wide temperature difference between the outside air temperature, sensed by the air intake temperature sensor, and the coolant temperature. The best fix is to install a factory block-heater cord and clamp the plug-in end onto the top rad hose. Use a short extension cord to run out to the front of the vehicle. This will keep the engine temperature within the proper range.
External timers and temperature-sensing cords will also work, but the trick here is to not get the engine too warm. By the way, the factory block-heater cord isn’t connected directly to the engine computer. If it isn’t working the way it was designed, the problem is detected by the computer comparing temperature-sensor inputs.

Anyone have any GM connections that they can check? Is there a way to make this stuff work properly for Canadian climates!
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Old 11-24-2009, 11:41 AM
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Im the service manager at a gm dealership, we have had this problem occur a few times for us and there is really not alot we can do for these things cause they are not really set up for our climate, lots of people have been buying the BEARCLAW , its a magnetic heater that sticks to the side or bottom of your oil pan, they work great and anyone can install one, or there is a glue on type that work great aswell, hope this was some help to you as we are trying to come up with a ecu program to bypass it.
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Old 11-24-2009, 12:17 PM
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Why wouldn't GM be issuing a service bulletin or ECU upgrade regarding this by now? Even Daimler/Chrysler does ecm upgrades...
I've been aware of this proble for over a year now - and I don't even own a GM<?
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Old 11-24-2009, 01:08 PM
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Thanks Kenny. You responding to the thread saves me a phone call to the dealership.

Yeah I was looking on buddy's blazer that was a few years old and he's been having trouble with it too.

I don't understand why they had to make such a simple thing so difficult.
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Old 11-24-2009, 01:52 PM
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Hello, I HAD the same cord on my wifes Pontiac G6 and because of the timer/sensor power receptacle that are installed at my work the plug sensed a fault with this block heater cord. I just cut the end off as I didn't/don't think it is tied to the computer and has been working fine so far. Knock on wood.
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Old 11-24-2009, 04:08 PM
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OK, so on the wife's 08 Pontiac Torrent, same plug?
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Old 11-24-2009, 04:08 PM
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i don't plug in if its warmer than -20.... but then again my truck isn't a Duramax....
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Old 11-24-2009, 04:27 PM
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Yes your torrent has the plug
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  #9  
Old 11-24-2009, 05:57 PM
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WTF is the point of this cord? Are they trying to make some half-assed attempt as seeming "green" by having a block heater cord that will only warm your engine below -18 thus saving electricity? What the hell was wrong with the old way? It's plugged in, it's working. It's not plugged in, it's not working. Pretty straightforward....leave it to the idiots in Detroit to screw with a system that already worked fine.

Put a stick-on block heater on a brand new 50 k truck? Like hell, that's the stupidest fix I've heard of....fix it properly GM.
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Old 11-24-2009, 06:37 PM
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where does the plug go to, and is the other end on the block a normal block heater plug?
If so, (and I think you know where this is going), just leave the original cord plugged into the magic box, unplug the end on the heater, and run a new block heater cord to the block heater.
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Old 11-24-2009, 09:30 PM
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Yeah this is a dumb thing. I haven't traced the cord back, but I don't think it would be a simple disconnect. Probably a hard moulded sort of thing.

I wish GM would just fix it proper. Good to know they are working on something. But as stated, why is it not fixed yet?? Especially when they've been using these plug ends since 2005(I think that's what year my friends blazer is).

This cord is on my newer Suburban. Couple that with an underpowered battery from the factory and this thing sucks in the winter. I'm gonna order a newer AGM as soon as I can.
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Old 11-25-2009, 07:51 AM
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Old 11-25-2009, 05:25 PM
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Here's an easy alternative, and you won't have to play around with the factory block heater.

http://www.canadianpolarpad.com

Local product, works very well. Available at Canadian tire.
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Old 11-25-2009, 05:31 PM
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will my 03 duramax have this??
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Old 11-25-2009, 08:23 PM
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No Kawi Dude. I don't think So. My 02 doesn't. Pretty sure my bud's 04.5 doesn't either.

Did they do it on the newer D-max's?

I've heard that those oil pan heaters will prematurely break down the oil as it doesn't let the oil flow if it isn't pumping.
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Old 11-25-2009, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palssonater View Post
No Kawi Dude. I don't think So. My 02 doesn't. Pretty sure my bud's 04.5 doesn't either.

Did they do it on the newer D-max's?

I've heard that those oil pan heaters will prematurely break down the oil as it doesn't let the oil flow if it isn't pumping.
The oil won't get that hot, as it does warm it will convect as well preventing overheating. Pan heaters are excellent for enhancing cold starts.
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Old 11-25-2009, 10:30 PM
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GM put this block heater cord with temp sensor on all vehicles starting in 2006.
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Old 11-26-2009, 04:40 PM
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My 2005 GMC Jimmy has one.... what an ass backwards system.
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Old 11-27-2009, 11:57 AM
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My 2005 GMC Seirra has one aswell.
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Old 02-23-2010, 10:41 PM
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Block heater,temp. gauge + CEL

My 2005 GMC 2500 HD,6L has the same problem described by you guys.If I plug the block heater in when the outside temperature is above -18 degrees Celsius, and then drive it,the temp. gauge drops to the bottom and eventually the check engine lite comes on.I realize it's a OEM software error.I have stopped this from happening on my truck.I start the engine and let it idle for a few minutes and then I turn the engine off.After a few seconds I restart the engine and drive away and everything is okay.The gauge never drops and the check engine lite doesn't come on.If I don't follow this routine and drive away without turning the engine off and restarting it,guaranteed that the gauge wil drop and the CEL will come on after about a 15 to 20 minute drive.Try this proceedure I'm sure it will work for you, if you're having the block heater related problem.Hopefully GM wil come up with a software flash and let us know about it and cover it under a n/c recall!!
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