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Old 12-23-2012, 01:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Impact of heater on MPGs

On my previous car I always left the heater on and the fan blowing hot air into the passenger cabin after the engine warmed up (in really all weather conditions thanks to the convertible top) as my mechanic friends said this would take workload off the engine cooling system and prolong engine life. With all the talk about cold weather killing MPGs though, is this a good move in the Insight? Or should all the heat be left in the engine to keep MPGs high? Thanks!
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Old 12-23-2012, 02:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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That depends on a number of other factors. Are you using a grill block? What is the lowest temp you are considering? I have a grill block which tends to keep more heat under the hood. I also use the obdii c&c gauge to monitor engine temp. Even at 20F there is enough heat to run the heater and warm up the inside as much as I want.
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Old 12-23-2012, 04:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Operating conditions make the difference: I set my heater low in the sub zero F cold weather and run the 'Defrost' on full for a while upon cold startups; then switch to 'no a/c econo' mode once things are heating up with fans speed on full.
The car warms up a bit faster with less coolant circulated and the extra 'load' of the a/c compressor may likely help initially.
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Old 12-26-2012, 06:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brownoarsman View Post
On my previous car I always left the heater on and the fan blowing hot air into the passenger cabin after the engine warmed up (in really all weather conditions thanks to the convertible top) as my mechanic friends said this would take workload off the engine cooling system and prolong engine life. With all the talk about cold weather killing MPGs though, is this a good move in the Insight? Or should all the heat be left in the engine to keep MPGs high? Thanks!
Check out AbCaRed00 's warm air mod & grill block. He's got other info too about cold weather ops.

I use a couple of his mods for cold weather (insight engines like heat). They work!

Try them, and tell us how many mpg's you get back.

..Bob
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:47 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Thanks for your help!

I haven't tried the mods yet because I want to be sure I can monitor engine heat before putting a block on the radiator, but just leaving the heater off had a big difference. Boston to DC I got ~55.5 MPG on Dec. 22, and DC to Boston I got ~57.5 on Dec. 31 Who would have thought that wearing an extra sweater and a pair of socks would give such a big boost in fuel efficiency
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:16 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Definitely a good idea to have a way to monitor the engine coolant temperature if you're going to do any radiator blocking.

There are folks that block the radiator 100% and use the heater alone to moderate engine temperatures. That's how little heat the Insight engine produces.

It seems the Insight's cooling system was made to climb Pike's Peak at 90MPH in 3rd gear at 3PM on the hottest day of the year.
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:36 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I recommend the OBDIIC&C for this.

BTW, Eli (Bumblebee Batteries) sells them, although he nicely didn't plug this fact .

Sam

Quote:
Originally Posted by brownoarsman View Post
I haven't tried the mods yet because I want to be sure I can monitor engine heat before putting a block on the radiator, but just leaving the heater off had a big difference. Boston to DC I got ~55.5 MPG on Dec. 22, and DC to Boston I got ~57.5 on Dec. 31 Who would have thought that wearing an extra sweater and a pair of socks would give such a big boost in fuel efficiency
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I think that a 2 MPG difference one way, then a return trip a week later is in the noise. There are many factors that cam affect MPG. I am amazed that your two trips were that close, just from a measurement point.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samwichse View Post
I recommend the OBDIIC&C for this.

BTW, Eli (Bumblebee Batteries) sells them, although he nicely didn't plug this fact .

Sam
Fair disclosure, a Scangauge will give an engine coolant temp reading, but if you're in the market for a gauge and own an Insight, you'd have to be positively NUTS not to buy an OBDIIC&C gauge... mine is worth it times four, for the functionality it gives me!
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:34 AM   #10 (permalink)
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As I posted in the 6" x 17" piece of cardboard thread in mpg issues: I'm gonna hold off on the rad block 'till there's money in the budget for the OBDII. Then I'll be in touch with Eli.

With single digit temps the other day and night I had pretty good performance (for a cvt) just with the warm air and grill mods. Averaging 65 mpg round trip on the mountain commute.

Beginning to wonder if a rad block can do much more.

..Bob
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