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How to improve Winter MPG's

winter mpgs

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26 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 25 October 2015 - 08:19 AM

Now that temperatures are going down for Newbies you may have noticed your MPG's go down also.  You can expect 2 MPG drop for each 10*F drop in temperature.  So a temp drop from 70*F to 40*F would be a drop of 6 mpg.

 

Here is what you can do to to get some of that back without spending a lot of money.

 

1. Use some kind of Grill blocking method, Grill Covers, foam insulation or tape. Center Grill opening should be covered all year around, I have been using Grill Covers for three years/ 110K mi. now.  I only remove the lower Grill Cover when going on long uphill grades.            Worth 2-4 mpg's

sml_gallery_143_17_427171.jpg 
 Grill Cover using Clear Packing Tape 
                 
sml_gallery_143_17_291105.jpg 
 Grill Cover using Velcro attachments LEXAN Plastic

 

2. Use 50 PSI in your tires, not much difference in ride quality, but it improves mpg's and your tires wear great. I got 64k mi. on first set and looks like I will get around 70K on second set. Worth up to 1mpg.

 

3.  Oil Pan Heater speeds up ICE heating and heat available for the car heater. The only Oil Pan Heater I could find small enough to fit the bottom of oil pan was a Wolverine Model 9 Oil Pan Heater which you can get on eBay.  I'm going to put another one on the back of block to get  the total wattage to 250 Watts, but enough to raise WT by 40-50*F.  Worth about 2-5 mpg on short trips and you have heat almost immediately. YA! 

sml_gallery_143_17_228583.jpg
sml_gallery_143_17_46800.jpg

 

 

4. Park facing the Sun which will keep ICE and inside of car warmer. If you can use seat warmers instead of heater.  Worth 1-4 mpg.  Make trips during the warmest time of the day.  These are kind of obvious ideas, but they are worth mentioning. 

 

5.  Premium Gas is worth 2 mpg in my experience, but may not be worth the additional cost. That is what I use.  smile.png

 

Paul

PS I will add more as I think of them. 

 









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#2 OFFLINE   drdiesel1

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Posted 25 October 2015 - 02:41 PM

^^^^^ Why not just use the block heater to warm the coolant ?



#3 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 25 October 2015 - 06:12 PM

Good advice!

 

The only trouble with use a heater is that you're robbing Peter to pay Paul, in other words maybe you get an extra 2mpg but you're paying electric to heat the car so one way or another you're paying extra for the savings.

 

-=>Raja.



#4 OFFLINE   x10guy

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Posted 25 October 2015 - 08:27 PM

You are probably using more energy than it's worth in using a pan or block heater.

 

I'd try to take fewer shorter trips if possible.  Try to combine your errands into one longer drive.  Even if you havet to stop for a short period of time, the engine will stay warm for a bit. The longer the engine is warm the better mileage you will see.   Many short trips with a cold engine and electrical system is bad for mileage.

 

Also use the seat warmers instead of the heater.


Edited by x10guy, 25 October 2015 - 08:35 PM.


#5 OFFLINE   cwstnsko

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Posted 26 October 2015 - 05:54 AM

Did this spill over from the Hybrid forum? What's all this talk of short trips with the ICE running? :-)

 

So here's an Energi specific twist on the subject.  In single digit (F) weather, how much benefit do get from a block heater? It seems like most of the heat you put into the engine will be lost during the 1st few miles driving in EV.

Unless you force the ICE to start by selecting EV Later, I don't see a lot of benefit coming from a block heater in an Energi (assuming it is not so cold that the Energi forces the ICE to start immediately)


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#6 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 26 October 2015 - 06:08 AM

While its true we do drive alot of EV in the winter in the Energi Cmax, however, I can see a benefit of blocking some of the grill due to the fact that the ice has a hard time coming up to temperature.  I remember one winter coming back from CT at 12 degrees on the country road where the car was in EV later the ICE temp was having a hard time staying at 1/2 (normal operating temp) due to it cycling off and back on.  The only way it would stay at 1/2 is when the ice was operating almost all the time on the highway.  Robbing heat from it for the cabin wasn't helping matters either.

 

-=>Raja.


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#7 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 26 October 2015 - 06:34 AM

^^^^^ Why not just use the block heater to warm the coolant ?

Having installed FORD ICE Block Heater on my car I can tell you it is almost impossible to do without removing the exhaust manifold. That requires removing the ICE from the car.  We have some members looking at installing radiator hose heaters, but I was looking for a simple solution  that anyone can do. Sticking on a pad to oil pan and block requires little more than a star/torque screwdriver to remove ICE cover.

 

Did this spill over from the Hybrid forum? What's all this talk of short trips with the ICE running? :-)

 

So here's an Energi specific twist on the subject.  In single digit (F) weather, how much benefit do get from a block heater? It seems like most of the heat you put into the engine will be lost during the 1st few miles driving in EV.

Unless you force the ICE to start by selecting EV Later, I don't see a lot of benefit coming from a block heater in an Energi (assuming it is not so cold that the Energi forces the ICE to start immediately)

You have a point there, so maybe for longer trips then with Grill Covers on so the ICE doesn't get cold. I can't see any reason not to have Grill Covers on all year around.

 

Good advice!

 

The only trouble with use a heater is that you're robbing Peter to pay Paul, in other words maybe you get an extra 2mpg but you're paying electric to heat the car so one way or another you're paying extra for the savings.

 

-=>Raja.

If electricity is as expensive as gas why are you driving an NRG? I believe electricity is more efficient than gas. IMO :smile2:

 

Paul  



#8 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 26 October 2015 - 06:26 PM

Hey Paul:

 

Electricity is free for me but I anticipate that any heat I put into the system will be lost before I start up the engine.  I never leave my house and start the engine right away, usually I'm driving EV on the way to the highway about 7 miles if I'm going north in one direction and 20 miles in another direction.  For east would be 10 miles and for west would also be 10 miles.  Only south would be 3 miles to the highway but all in all I try to use EV first to get to the highway not at the closest point to my house but to the furthest direction from my house that is the shortest way to my destination if that makes any sense.

 

Anyway, I did look at the grill this evening while I was changing my oil for the first time (dealer did the first 20k mile oil change) and there are shutters all the way from the bottom to the top.  Are you saying those shutters don't work like they are supposed to and cause inefficiency?  I noticed mine were all open, not sure the circumstances under which they would close but it may be written here, I've read about it in the past...

 

-=>Raja.



#9 ONLINE   RubyMax

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Posted 27 October 2015 - 03:28 AM



#10 OFFLINE   chryssa

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Posted 27 October 2015 - 12:07 PM

Ford block heater was (maybe still is?) an option in some northern states.  If your car is equipped, the plug is neatly tucked away behind the passenger side headlight.  


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#11 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 27 October 2015 - 12:16 PM

Only if you buy the car in a super cold state, Minnesota or Montana not sure which specifically but that is when the heater is included.

 

-=>Raja.



#12 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 27 October 2015 - 12:55 PM

Hey Paul:

 

Electricity is free for me but I anticipate that any heat I put into the system will be lost before I start up the engine.  I never leave my house and start the engine right away, usually I'm driving EV on the way to the highway about 7 miles if I'm going north in one direction and 20 miles in another direction.  For east would be 10 miles and for west would also be 10 miles.  Only south would be 3 miles to the highway but all in all I try to use EV first to get to the highway not at the closest point to my house but to the furthest direction from my house that is the shortest way to my destination if that makes any sense.

 

Anyway, I did look at the grill this evening while I was changing my oil for the first time (dealer did the first 20k mile oil change) and there are shutters all the way from the bottom to the top.  Are you saying those shutters don't work like they are supposed to and cause inefficiency?  I noticed mine were all open, not sure the circumstances under which they would close but it may be written here, I've read about it in the past...

 

-=>Raja.

Here is a pic of CMAX Shutters replacing broken ones on MADMAX, Deer collision.

Shutters
At HWY speeds 60+mph shutters don't open till 215*F and remember operating temp for ICE is 202-212*F. My guess is very few NRG's are getting to those temps which is fine if don't use the ICE, but not so good if you do.
 
 BTW  RubyMax, CMAX shutters are either open or closed and Grill Covers are more aerodynamic than the grill is.
 
Raja you should try experimenting with covering up all three grills with the colder temps and see if that doesn't improve your MPG's, I do it when temps get in the 40's*F here.  If you don't have ScanGauge II/ Torque to monitor WT you can always use MyView Temp Gauge if you are concerned about temps. :smile2:
 
Paul


#13 OFFLINE   bschwerdt

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Posted 27 October 2015 - 12:55 PM

Ford block heater was (maybe still is?) an option in some northern states.  If your car is equipped, the plug is neatly tucked away behind the passenger side headlight.  

 

Can this be installed later as an option?



#14 OFFLINE   timwil56

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Posted 27 October 2015 - 01:44 PM

...heater is included.

 

AK, MN, ND, SD, MT, WI and WY



#15 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 27 October 2015 - 02:40 PM

Can this be installed later as an option?

No, only in fleet use. I installed FORD CMAX/FFH and FOCUS Block Heater on mine.  It was almost impossible to get the plug installed and now it has come lose. Not looking forward to getting it plugged back in, there just isn't enough room to get your hand between exhaust manifold and block. :wink:

 

Paul



#16 OFFLINE   bschwerdt

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Posted 27 October 2015 - 03:54 PM

No, only in fleet use. I installed FORD CMAX/FFH and FOCUS Block Heater on mine.  It was almost impossible to get the plug installed and now it has come lose. Not looking forward to getting it plugged back in, there just isn't enough room to get your hand between exhaust manifold and block. :wink:

 

Paul

 

Oh well.  I guess I'll have to just 'make do' with preheating from the EVSE.  First world problems.



#17 OFFLINE   cwstnsko

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Posted 28 October 2015 - 05:57 AM

I'm in Winnipeg, Canada, so it gets pretty cold here.  C-Max Energis delivered here do normally come with the block heater, but my local dealer sold the Energi I was planning to lease and had another brought in from Ontario for me. Apparently Ontario Energis do not come with the block heater.  We discussed the block heater at the time of delivery and he said the heater was not too expensive, but the labor to have it installed was crazy due to the degree to which the car had to be disassembled to get at it. We also had a discussion about the risk of the car not starting without a block heater on the coldest mornings he assured me that hybrids in general seemed to have the least problems starting in cold weather due to the use of the HVB to start the ICE. I have been following these threads ever since, trying to understand whether a block heater is worth the investment.

After driving the car for several months and understanding how the Energi drive train works, I'm questioning how much benefit block heater would provide.  Unless you purposefully start your drive in EV Later to force the ICE to start, or you live someplace so cold that the car forces the ICE to start, most of the heat you put into the engine with the block heater will be lost during the 1st few miles of EV driving.

To be fair, I haven't owned my Energi over a full winter yet, so I'm still learning, and it's only gotten down to about 30 degrees (F) so far this year. On a 30 degree morning, I am able to pre-heat to 65, leave my climate control set to 65 and still be able to go 15-18 miles without starting the ICE.

I'm sure over the course of the winter this will change dramatically and I will be able to map out fairly accurately the temperature limits where the car forces the ICE to start, and the circumstances where it makes sense to start my trip in EV Later to force the use of the ICE to get the heater working.  Once I know those, it should be able to figure out how frequently I would benefit from having a block heater.


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#18 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 28 October 2015 - 07:05 AM

I'm in Winnipeg, Canada, so it gets pretty cold here.  C-Max Energis delivered here do normally come with the block heater, but my local dealer sold the Energi I was planning to lease and had another brought in from Ontario for me. Apparently Ontario Energis do not come with the block heater.  We discussed the block heater at the time of delivery and he said the heater was not too expensive, but the labor to have it installed was crazy due to the degree to which the car had to be disassembled to get at it. We also had a discussion about the risk of the car not starting without a block heater on the coldest mornings he assured me that hybrids in general seemed to have the least problems starting in cold weather due to the use of the HVB to start the ICE. I have been following these threads ever since, trying to understand whether a block heater is worth the investment.

After driving the car for several months and understanding how the Energi drive train works, I'm questioning how much benefit block heater would provide.  Unless you purposefully start your drive in EV Later to force the ICE to start, or you live someplace so cold that the car forces the ICE to start, most of the heat you put into the engine with the block heater will be lost during the 1st few miles of EV driving.

To be fair, I haven't owned my Energi over a full winter yet, so I'm still learning, and it's only gotten down to about 30 degrees (F) so far this year. On a 30 degree morning, I am able to pre-heat to 65, leave my climate control set to 65 and still be able to go 15-18 miles without starting the ICE.

I'm sure over the course of the winter this will change dramatically and I will be able to map out fairly accurately the temperature limits where the car forces the ICE to start, and the circumstances where it makes sense to start my trip in EV Later to force the use of the ICE to get the heater working.  Once I know those, it should be able to figure out how frequently I would benefit from having a block heater.

If you have Grill Covers on your grills, ICE isn't going to cool off very fast, ALL NRG's should have Grill Covers installed, there is no good reason not too! :wink:

 

Paul



#19 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 28 October 2015 - 10:30 AM

Shouldn't the built in grill covers be closed all the time until the engine temp starts to get to be too high then they crack open or open more to cool but close again once the temp drops?  I see mine as open now with the car sitting in the garage.  What is the open/close logic of Ford for this?

 

-=>Raja.



#20 OFFLINE   stevedebi

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Posted 28 October 2015 - 11:42 AM

Shouldn't the built in grill covers be closed all the time until the engine temp starts to get to be too high then they crack open or open more to cool but close again once the temp drops?  I see mine as open now with the car sitting in the garage.  What is the open/close logic of Ford for this?

 

-=>Raja.

Raja,

I think they are for aerodynamic purposes. They change at higher speeds. Can't recall where I saw this covered, could be here or over on the hybrid forum.











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