DEFA SafeStart Engine Block Heater replacement


After noticing rather lacklustre performance from my engine heater, I contacted DEFA to see how to see how I could diagnose the problem.  I checked continuity from the power cable and inter-connector all the way to chassis/ground, so power was getting to the unit.

Knut from DEFA provided a handy photo (from my blog!) with instructions to show how test with a multimeter.  (Remember, I can’t take it back to the authorised DEFA agent who fitted it, since Waeco-Dometic sell coolers in Australia, not heaters.)  The heater should present 170-180Ω between pins 1 and 2 and there should be no continuity between Ground and either 1 or 2.  Measuring under the car wasn’t easy, but it was enough to show that the heater was dead.  I checked again after I pulled it out to be sure.

Soon I got a brief message about the replacement, “FEIL : Brudd i sikring Kontaktvarmer”, which seems to translate as ‘Broken fuse in contact warmer’.

About 15 days later I received a new 413840 engine block heater from DEFA Norway under warranty.  They added a 460372 “Installation kit” or heat shield, which wasn’t fitted before. BTW, I have no idea how to use the copper wires to secure the heat shield in the manner of jubilee clips.

DEFA SafeStart replacement and heat shield
DEFA SafeStart replacement and heat shield

To help removal I had purchased a garage creeper.  Unfortunately, despite its low profile design it takes me very close to the under-tray while the car rests on stands.  There is a small service flap in the under-tray secured by three panel pins directly below the mounting point. After a bit of a struggle, the replacement was in place.  A quick test with a power meter on the socket showed 330W, just like the original.

It’s starting to get cold in the mornings.  Already there’s been 9 days in May at or below 0°c.  While the garage rarely gets below 5°c, pre-warming makes a difference, especially with my wife driving to work each day.

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