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I've used heating pads - the kind you get at the drug store - to warm my engine. Be sure they're firmly pressed against whatever you want to warm. For the rad, you could wrap the pad & rad in a blanket. Yes, use your block heater - the heat will travel fairly evenly through the metal block and will melt the ice pretty effectively.
Yes, you might have leaks, but then again you may get away with it, depending first on how much antifreeze was in the coolant, and second on how cold it was last night.
As far as coolant mix - are you new to Calgary? Ask any mechanic or shop up there, they'll tell you you need to have more coolant than water if you want sufficient protection against the very low temps you'll experience. 65/35 or even 70/30 are safer bets up there in the frigid north. Be aware, though, that coolant doesn't transfer heat as well as water - not a problem when the weather is freezing, but in the summer you may have to thin it out a bit. Always use distilled water ONLY to mix with coolant - there's a lot in tap water that can cause an acidic condition to develop which will lead to corrosion.
Last edited by sb5walker; 01-14-2009 at 09:04 PM.