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Duramax 6600 Discussion Forum for the Duramax 6600 Diesel Engine, including the LB7, LLY, LBZ & LMM engine specific topics.

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  #1  
Old 01-08-2010, 08:52 AM
painthorsemom painthorsemom is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Eastern PA
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Default When to plug the truck in

Okay, I know the manual says to use the engine coolant heater when temps are around zero. I babied our old 96 and plugged it in when temps were around 30 above zero and under. It did help it start easier. I now have 2006 Silverado Duramax LB7 and was wondering if it would hurt to plug the truck in when temps are in the 20s or 30s above zero. Thanks for reading.
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Old 01-08-2010, 09:45 AM
DmaxMaverick DmaxMaverick is offline
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Plugging it in, at any time, won't "hurt" anything. You may see an earlier need for heater replacement in the future, but there is no definitive timetable attributing specific use with specific failure. At the same time, they can fail with the first use under the right (wrong) conditions.

Plug it in when you feel the need. If you have some juice to spare, warm it up. There's nothing at all wrong (or sissy) with having instant cab heat when it's cold. A warm(er) engine and engine compartment is easier on the electrical system, so the trade-off is likely beneficial. The only negative I've ever found with regular use is the accidental drive off, with a forgotten cord still attached. I do suggest some some precaution in this regard, as well as a well protected electrical source. A healthy breaker that's not overrated for the need, some "break-away" method, and regular inspection of the system would go a long way to no regrets.
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Old 01-08-2010, 10:24 AM
painthorsemom painthorsemom is offline
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Thanks, Dmax. I hadn't thought about the need to replace the heater sooner. I had my 96 for 10 years and never had to replace the heater.
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Old 01-08-2010, 11:44 AM
DmaxMaverick DmaxMaverick is offline
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It's hard to say when or why they fail. I've never replaced one because it quit (pre-Duramax). Usually, they begin leaking before they actually fail to heat, or the cord/connector fails, leading to unnecessary replacement. I suspect longevity has as much to do with cooling system maintenance (regular/timely flushing and replacement of coolant) as anything. I've removed them looking like anything from a shiny new penny to something you might find on the ocean floor. Properly used and maintained Dex-Cool has offered the best looking of the bunch, regardless of heater usage. This leads to more efficient heat and longer life (less leaking, etc.), according to my observations. They aren't difficult to replace, just inconvenient unless a cooling system service is already in the plan.
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