How Much Is a Block Heater: Get The True Value!

Debarghya Roy

Have you ever wondered about the actual costs associated with block heater installation? According to industry data, these essential winterizing devices can range from $40 to as much as $120, not including labor.

In this article, we’ll demystify these expenses by breaking down the numerous factors that can impact the final cost of installing a block heater in your vehicle. Stick around – your wallet will appreciate it!

Key Takeaways

  • Block heater installation costs can range from $40 to $120, not including labor.
  • The type of block heater and installer shop can impact the cost. Engine block heaters are typically around $100, while oil pan heaters and battery heaters have varying prices.
  • Dealerships generally charge higher prices for parts and labor compared to independent mechanics for block heater installation.
  • Average professional installation costs around $200 for parts and labor, but DIY installation can be a cost-effective option if you have the necessary tools and knowledge.

Factors Impacting the Cost of Block Heater Installation

The cost of block heater installation can vary depending on factors such as the type of block heater and the type of installer shop.

Type of block heater

The type of block heater plays a crucial role in determining the cost of installation. Different types include engine block heaters, oil pan heaters, and battery heaters, each associated with distinct pricing tiers.

For instance, engine block heaters are generally priced around $100 and are well-liked by consumers due to their efficiency in facilitating car startups. Meanwhile, oil pan heater pads come at varying costs depending on brand and power output but often offer the added advantage of keeping your vehicle’s oil at a manageable temperature during colder months.

On the other hand, battery heater pads provide the benefit of optimizing your car’s electrical system performance though potentially adding more to overall installation cost due to additional labor requirements.

Your location is also a contributing factor – for example; those living in Anchorage may have easy access to block heater installation services while it’s not as prevalent in San Antonio Texas where engine block heaters aren’t commonly needed.

Thus considering specific needs alongside these factors can help determine an appropriate choice for you within budget constraints.

Installer shop type

The type of installer shop you choose can have an impact on the cost of block heater installation. Generally, there are two options for getting a block heater installed: a dealership or an independent mechanic.

The costs associated with these two options can vary.

Dealerships often charge higher prices for parts and labor compared to independent mechanics. For example, the dealer cost for installing a block heater is typically around $189 plus tax for parts and installation.

On the other hand, independent mechanics may offer more competitive pricing, potentially saving you some money.

When deciding where to get your block heater installed, it’s important to consider factors such as expertise and reputation in addition to cost. Independent shops that specialize in vehicle heating systems may be able to offer more personalized service and expertise in this specific area.

Freeze points and other factors

The cost of block heater installation can be influenced by various factors, such as the freeze point of the coolant and other additional features. Some block heaters are designed to withstand extremely low temperatures, which may increase their cost compared to standard ones.

Additionally, certain block heaters come with added features like oil pan heater pads or battery heater pads, which can also impact the overall cost. It’s important to consider these factors when determining the total price for installing a block heater in your car.

Average Cost Range for Block Heater Installation

The average cost range for block heater installation varies between $40 and $120, with professional installation typically costing around $200 for parts and labor.

Typical cost range ($40 to $120)

The cost range for installing a block heater typically falls between $40 and $120. These prices depend on factors such as the type of block heater you choose and where you purchase it from. The most popular options usually hover around $70.

It’s important to keep in mind that this cost is just for the heater itself, not including any installation fees. If you opt for professional installation, which is recommended for novice DIYers, you can expect to pay around $200 in total for parts and labor.

This may vary depending on your location and the specific shop you go to. Keep these numbers in mind when budgeting for your block heater installation project.

Professional installation cost (around $200 for parts and labor)

When it comes to professionally installing a block heater, you can expect to pay around $200 for both the parts and labor. This cost may vary depending on factors such as your location and the specific type of heater being installed.

It’s important to keep in mind that this price is an average estimate, and some installers may charge slightly more or less. By opting for professional installation, you ensure that the job is done correctly and efficiently, giving you peace of mind knowing that your engine will be protected during cold winter months.

Cost comparison at a dealership

Dealerships are famous for offering high-quality installation services, but these often come at a higher price. Here’s a quick cost comparison of having your block heater installed at a dealership.

Engine Block Heater$100
Installation Service$189.00 plus tax
Total Cost at DealershipApproximately $300 plus tax

The above table provides a ballpark estimate of the cost of dealership installation by adding the cost of the heater itself to the dealership’s installation services. The total cost roughly equals $300, excluding taxes. In comparison, professional installation typically costs around $200 for parts and labor. This makes dealership installations more expensive. However, remember that servicing costs can vary, and it’s always advisable to shop around for the best price.

DIY Block Heater Installation

If you’re feeling handy, installing a block heater yourself can be a cost-effective option. Stay tuned to learn the step-by-step process and how it can save you money in the long run.

Steps to install a block heater

Installing a block heater in your vehicle can be done with the right tools and a little bit of know-how. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Gather the necessary materials: Before starting, make sure you have all the tools and materials required for the installation. This includes a block heater, appropriate wrenches or sockets, electrical tape, wire strippers, and heat shrink tubing.
  2. Locate the freeze plug: Find the freeze plug that is closest to your engine’s coolant passages. This will be where you’ll install the block heater. Make sure to consult your vehicle’s manual or seek professional advice if you’re unsure about its location.
  3. Drain some coolant: Use a drain pan to catch any coolant that may leak out as you remove the freeze plug. Loosening other components like the radiator cap can help facilitate drainage.
  4. Remove the freeze plug: Use a socket or wrench to loosen and remove the existing freeze plug from its housing carefully.
  5. Install the block heater: Apply thread sealant to the threads of the new block heater and carefully insert it into the hole left by the removed freeze plug. Tighten it securely but avoid overtightening.
  6. Connect electrical wiring: Strip about half an inch of insulation from both ends of your block heater’s power cord wires using wire strippers. Crimp terminal connectors onto each wire and slide heat shrink tubing over them before crimping them onto each side of an extension cord.
  7. Secure connections: Once everything is connected, use electrical tape or heat shrink tubing to secure and insulate each connection point properly.
  8. Check for leaks: Refill your coolant system with antifreeze or distilled water (depending on climate) and run your engine briefly while monitoring for any leaks around the newly installed block heater.
  9. Test functionality: After ensuring there are no leaks, turn off your engine and test that your new block heater is functioning correctly. You can do this by feeling the block heater’s surface, which should be warm to the touch.

Benefits and potential savings

Installing a block heater in your car can offer several benefits and potential savings. First and foremost, it helps to ease the process of starting your vehicle during cold winter months. By keeping the engine warm overnight, a block heater ensures that oil flows smoothly through the engine, reducing wear and tear on vital components.

This ultimately leads to less strain on your battery and starter, prolonging their lifespan.

In terms of cost savings, having a block heater installed can actually save you money in the long run. Since an engine warms up faster with a block heater, it reduces fuel consumption by allowing the car’s heating system to reach optimal temperature more quickly.

Additionally, using a block heater can prevent unnecessary idling as you won’t have to wait as long for your car’s interior to heat up.

When considering installation options for your block heater, professional installation is generally recommended due to its complexity. However, if you’re comfortable working under-the-hood of your vehicle and have some mechanical knowledge, installing it yourself could potentially save you money on labor costs.

Just make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.


1. How much does block heater installation typically cost?

The cost of block heater installation can vary depending on factors such as the type of vehicle, labor rates in your area, and any additional parts or services required. On average, you can expect to pay between $200 and $500 for a professional installation.

2. Are there any additional costs associated with block heater installation?

In some cases, additional costs may be incurred during block heater installation. These can include the purchase of specialized tools or equipment needed for the job, fees for draining and refilling coolant, or any necessary repairs to the vehicle’s cooling system.

3. Can I install a block heater myself to save money?

While it is technically possible to install a block heater yourself if you have some mechanical knowledge and experience, it is generally recommended to hire a professional technician for this task. Improper installation could lead to damage or voiding of warranties, so it’s best to leave it in the hands of an expert.

4. Are there any long-term savings associated with having a block heater installed?

Yes, having a block heater installed can bring long-term savings by reducing wear and tear on your engine during cold starts and improving fuel efficiency. Additionally, using a preheated engine allows heat to reach your car’s interior faster during winter months, saving time waiting for defrosting while also reducing emissions from idling vehicles.


In conclusion, understanding the cost range of block heater installation is essential for car owners looking to keep their engines warm in cold climates. Factors such as the type of block heater and installer shop can impact the cost, with average prices ranging from $40 to $120.

While professional installation may cost around $200, DIY installation offers potential savings for those willing to tackle the process themselves. By researching options and considering individual needs, individuals can make informed decisions about block heater installation that align with their budgets and vehicle requirements.

About the author

Debarghya Roy: A heating systems author, Passionate about energy efficiency and sustainability, Sharing insights and empowering readers through informative blog articles.