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Discussion Starter #1
I'm about to move from Waterloo, Canada (where I'm doing my M.A.) to Calgary (where I'll be doing my Ph.D.), and I suddenly got worried about block heaters and starting the Golf in cold weather, especially after reading this, this, and this.

Now, Waterloo can get pretty cold in December (about -10°C), but that's clearly nothing compared to Calgary, which (from what Googling I've done) can get as cold as -25°C (or even -40°C, at times, according to some posters).

Is anyone here from someplace cold? I'm actually from Vancouver, which doesn't get cold (we just have a lot of rain...and hockey hooligans). Anyway, do you have any tips for me about block heaters, oil, or remote starters? Any opinions or advice specific to the Golf?
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
That's good to know. However, is there any specific block heater kit/brand that you could recommend for the 2002 Golf? Google turns up something called the "OEQ Block Heater Kit," but it appears to be for models up to 1998...

Secondly, how exactly is it installed, and what do I need to know about using it? I only ask because I've never lived in an area that required a block heater.

P.S. Alright. Nevermind. I just called the people at Meineke and they said they can do it for $40 plus labour.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have another simple question now: how do you use a block heater? Do you just plug it in and forget about it, or is there a specific timeframe the car should stay plugged in?
 

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The reason you can't find a block heater kit for 99 and on is because in 99 VW stopped running block heater and stopped putting in frost plugs in the engine blocks. Without frost plugs you can't install a block heater. Instead they run an oilpan heater (same idea but nowhere near as effective). So Meineke telling you they can install a block heater for you....well they don't really know what they are talking about.

In Thunder Bay, Ontario where I am lots of nights it will go down anywhere between -30*C and -40*C...car always started like a dream plugged in or not.

As for using the "block heater" it really only needs to be plugged in about 2 hours before you start the car. I just have mine on a timer to come on a 530am and shut off at 8am. So by the time it shuts off its been heating for just over 2 hours. By that point if I don't leave the house then the heat of the day starts to kick in.. Plugging them in all night really racks up a good electrcity bill over winter.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for answering all my questions, Geezir! This really helps. I guess I'll have to cancel my appointment with the Meineke people now. ;)
 

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Just call them and verify if by block heater they mean oil pan heater...though for $40 I doubt it. If I remember right the oil pan heater for my Jetta ran me a decent chunk of change. I'd check the price but all my service records are all back home.
 
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