As engine block heaters aren’t really needed in most places, there are quite a few confusions regarding how much engine block heater installation costs.
Generally, you will have to spend somewhere around 200 USD to 1500 USD if you want to install an engine block heater in your vehicle. There are quite a few factors that determine the overall cost. And we will go through all of them in this guide.
Estimated Heater Installation Prices & Difficulty Levels
|Heater Type||Installation Difficulty||Overall Price|
|Dipstick||Easy||50$ to 150$|
|Oil Pan||Medium||60$ to 180$|
|In-Line Coolant||Hard||100$ to 300$|
|Bolt-On Block||Hard||100$ to 300$|
|Engine Warming Blanket||Easy||150$ to 400$|
|Freeze Plug||Hard||1000$ to 1500$|
Factors That Decide the Installation Cost of Engine Block Heaters
The overall price for installing an engine block heater depends on the following factors:
- The cost of the heater
- Labour charge
- Additional costs like coolant cost, the cost of the tools, etc.
Type of Heater Your Picking & Their Cost
When you are looking for engine block heaters for your vehicle, you will come upon quite a few types of heaters. These heaters can be divided into six types, and their prices vary from each other.
1. Dipstick Engine Heater
This is one of the most common and budget-friendly engine block heaters that you will come across in the market. They are placed directly on the oil dipstick and thus heat the oil directly.
The installation process is very simple, you just have to place them on the spot, and you are done. There is no need for expert help for this one, so you will be able to save money on labor costs.
As for the heating, it is moderate but not suited for extremely cold weather like blizzards and such.
Generally, depending on the price of the dipstick heater, you will have to pay somewhere between 50 USD to 150 USD to install this type of heater in the engine.
2. Oil Pan Heater
If you don’t like the direct oil heating style of dipstick heaters and want a bit more indirect approach, then you can opt for oil pan heaters. As the name suggests, this type of heater will heat the pan, which will later heat the oil, thus heating the engine afterward.
You need to bolt the heater onto the pan. There is also the option to attach it with the help of magnets, but the bolting option is recommended.
The performance is similar to dipstick heaters. Thus, they are good for normal cold/freezing weather. But not for the extreme ones.
If you know your way around a car’s engine, then you can easily attach this to your vehicle’s engine with regular DIY tools. But for absolute newcomers, it can be a difficult task. So, if you don’t understand car engines that well, then seek professional help.
3. In-Line Coolant Heater
When people hear the name engine block heaters, they either think of Bolt on block heaters or the in-line coolant heaters. They are the two most common and overall high-performing heaters on the market with a good reputation.
In-line coolant heaters directly heat up the engine coolant, which makes the engine warm up instantly. They come in standard and circulating versions.
- Standard Versions
For the standard version, it has to be installed directly with a radiator hose, but for the circulating version, there is a pump included that works to cycle warm coolant directly in the engine.
- Circulating Versions
The circulating versions are more effective than the standard ones but at the same time cost higher too.
For the heater alone, you will have to pay somewhere between 150$ to 250$. It is quite difficult to properly attach them, especially the circulating ones, without knowing about the heaters and engines.
That’s why we suggest you go for professional help. The labor cost isn’t that much, somewhere between 50$ to 100$.
Some heaters come with added coolant while some don’t. So, you might also have to spend a few bucks on engine coolant. Therefore, the overall installation cost can come to around 200$ to 300$ if you go with mechanics. If you want to opt for DIY, you can spend maybe 100$ or 50$.
Related: Water Meter Installation Cost
4. Bolt on Block Heater
This is one of the most common and often used engine block heaters in the market. They offer extremely well heat on cold days and are a solid option for those who want to keep their engine warm no matter what.
They heat the engine through direct contact, which heats up the coolant instantly. The application process is a bit tricky but quite easy for those who understand a vehicle’s infrastructure.
Because they are bolted to the engine, it’s easy to do, but the wrong attachment can lead to troubles. That’s why we prefer that you seek a mechanic when adding this heater to your car or truck.
Similar to in-line coolant heaters, you will need to pay somewhere between 100$ to 300$ for installing a bolt-on block heater.
5. Engine Warming Blanket
As the name suggests, this is heater is similar to a blanket and requires you to put it on the top of the engine or directly inside the hood.
Many don’t consider it a proper engine block cooler due to its design. But it works like a well-performing electric blanket and the installation is also quite easy, so many still opt for this one.
The cost for installing something like this will be around 150$ to 400$ at max.
6. Freeze Plug Heaters
If you want to counter extreme cold that turns water into ice in a second, then this is the type of engine block cooler that you should opt for.
Installed directly in the place of a freeze plug in your vehicle’s engine, this heater affects the coolant directly, ensuring instant heat on the engine.
The cost of the heater is very high as you won’t find one less than 1000$. A novice or a DIY mechanic won’t be able to properly attach it to the vehicle’s engine, so you will have to seek the help of an experienced mechanic which will cost quite some money.
Overall, you can expect to spend somewhere between 1500$ for these heaters. That being said, there aren’t many practical situations where you will have to opt for these types of heaters in the first place.
We touched upon every aspect of the engine block heater installation cost. Use this information, and you will be able to calculate how much it will cost you to install one for your vehicle, best of luck!
Hello, I’m Michael Rosales an expert in cars. As a little boy, I have always loved cars. Over the years I became lucky to have the opportunity to work as a car dealer. It was at this stage I became vast in the knowledge of cars, things you need to know when buying cars and how to minimize cost while still getting your dream car.