Product FAQ

Q: How can I maintain acceptable engine temperatures for easy start up or to avoid idling? 

A: If you manufacture or use any engine driven product that must be shut down or idled when not in use, we have a heater for any size engine that will maintain a start ready temperature in the engine that will ensure that the engine will start no matter how cold it gets.

Q: How do I keep an engine from freezing with below freezing temperatures? 

A: When you have an engine that does not use antifreeze, what do you do when the temperature drops below freezing? Some people just run the engine, and some have "pop out" plugs in the engine that lets coolant drain out of the engine when the temperatures drop below freezing. Both of these methods are wasteful and both pollute the environment. They waste fuel or engine coolant and either smoke up the air or spill hazardous liquid on the ground.

HOTSTART can provide heaters for any size engine that will keep them from freezing up and even damaging the engine.

Q: How do you have an engine ready for full power? 

A: Engines on emergency generator sets, rescue boats, fire trucks, standby engines or any engines that not only have to be able to start at extremely cold temperatures but must go to full power (of full loads) in just a few seconds after the start switch is hit must be held at normal operating temperature.

This is what we do at HOTSTART. Not only will we make sure that the engine starts and is able to go to full power instantly, we will also make sure that the batteries are at full cranking power, that the oil is warm enough to be pumped to critical wear points instantly, that the transmission, differentials, gear boxes and hydraulic power units on this emergency equipment are also ready to run at full speed without stalling out or causing damage to the engine.

Q: How can I hold battery cranking power in colder environments? 

A: A fully charged battery has only 40 percent of its cranking power at 0°F. Even if the engine is kept at a starting temperature, you could easily drain the battery trying to start the engine in severe cold weather. As little as a 50 watt battery pad heater (a dim light bulb) placed under your battery and plugged in at night will keep your battery at full cranking power.

Winter driving is usually done in the dark with all your lights on, heater and defroster fans going, and probably your radio. When you stop there is a good chance the battery is not fully charged, and at 0°F you could have as little as 20 percent cranking power left in your battery. HOTSTART manufactures battery heat pads for single or multiple battery installations.

Q: How can HOTSTART products reduce fuel costs? 

A: If you must idle your engine when not in use or if you must idle the engine for a long time after it starts before going to full power, you have a fuel savings problem.

In most cases you can install HOTSTART heating equipment on any size engine and pay for it the first winter season with the dollars saved by not idling you engine. This is a fact. Not only will you save money on the fuel (and oil) and extend the time between oil changes and overhauls, but think of all the air pollution you will prevent from entering the atmosphere. Engines that aren't running aren't polluting.

Q: What kind of damage can occur without pre/post lube systems? 

A: When engines sit for long periods of time, oil drains back to the engine sump leaving surfaces of moving parts free of a protective film of oil. HOTSTART prelube systems circulate oil to these critical surfaces in the engine prior to starting the engine. These same systems will continue to circulate oil throughout the engine after the engine is shut down (postlube). This keeps the bearing surfaces cool. If oil was not still flowing over these surfaces the temperature on the surfaces would continue to get higher due to residual heat stored in the mass of the engine. These elevated temperatures would char the thin coating of oil. Postlubing cools these surfaces down slowly after the engine stops.

Q: Can I remain friends with my neighbors with extended idling? 

A: Are you getting complaints from neighbors because your engines are smoking up the neighborhood when you have to idle them on cold mornings? Are you being asked by the harbor master to dock your boat some place else because you are stinking up the marina? Or are you a concerned citizen and just want to do your part to clean up the air on this planet? HOTSTART can help eliminate these problems.

Q: What engine wear can be avoided with a HOTSTART product for preventative maintenance? 

A: Lots of bad things happen to engines when you turn them off after they have been running. The oil is very thin when it is hot so it flows very easily, and when the engine shuts down the warm, thin oil drains into the oil pan. If the engine sits for a period of time the cylinder walls and pistons drain most of the protective oil back into the oil pan leaving dry surfaces. Meantime, as the hot oil cools and drops below 80°F moisture condenses and sludge is formed on the top of the oil. This sludge contains acids and water which are by-products of combustion.

As the engine cools further the oil gets thicker. The colder the oil gets, the thicker it becomes making it more difficult to pump. When the engine is started the crank must rotate through this very sludgy oil while the pistons move up and down on dry cylinder walls. This will continue, even after the engines starts, until the oil warms enough to be easily pumped to all moving parts. Tests have shown that 80 to 90 percent of engine wear occurs on cold starts. HOTSTART block heaters keep the engine warm, the oil ready to lubricate, and reduces engine wear. More HOTSTART heaters are used as a preventative maintenance tool than are used for a cold weather starting aid.

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