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Winter weather car pre-heating


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48 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   ScottB

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Posted 23 October 2018 - 05:18 PM

I bought my 2017 CMAX Energi in April. Now that its cold I would like to preheat the car while still plugged in in the AM. I haven't used value charge yet either. What I did was 15 minutes before driving, I started the car with the fob, had the seat heater on and the heat set to 70F.  The car warmed up, the seat heater did not come on, and I used 17% of my battery charge. The car was plugged in, but the charging was completed about 2 hours earlier.

 

How can I get the car warm before unplugging and still have 100% charge in the battery???  I use 90% of the battery on my drive to work, charge at work and come home. Use very little gas. I now hate to buy gas and I love EV driving.


Edited by ScottB, 23 October 2018 - 05:20 PM.








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#2 OFFLINE   fredf

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Posted 23 October 2018 - 06:31 PM

Under charge setting you have my go times and can set the temp there it will run the heat or AC set it for max and it chooses when to start I have 2 times set since I do leave at different times.



#3 ONLINE   cr08

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Posted 23 October 2018 - 06:54 PM

If you use Go Times, you'll need to use a 240V charger in the winter. 120V will barely do anything below about 45-50f ambient. That's about the only option you have. Remote start is not going to obey any restrictions like Go Times so it'll pull up to 5kw+ for the heater which means for the 120V charger it's only going to do about ~1200w while the remainder comes from the battery as you have noticed.


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#4 OFFLINE   fredf

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 04:07 AM

I have no issues with 110 but my car is in a garage?



#5 OFFLINE   Levi Smith

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 05:15 AM

Yes, as others have said, you basically have a couple options to start with for pre-heating.  None of which turn on the seat heater in my findings even though I think I read something in a manual at one point that sounded like it would.

 

#1 is "Go Times" which is what you want which will use only wall power for heating.  As they've said, on 120V, it will only make the car a "bit less cold".  On 240V it will work pretty well. 

 

#2 is "Remote Start" which is what you did.  There are options on your left menu you can change as far as whether it will auto turn on front and/or rear defrosters, attempt to get the cabin to 72F(I believe those are the defaults) or if you want it to just go with the last used HVAC settings, or manual defrost, etc...  It will just attempt to get the cabin there using whatever means it has.  So, it will be happy to pull the few KW available from the wall, then add another couple KW from your battery and fire up the ICE and burn some gas as well.

 

 

For Go Times, you'll set a time you want the car ready and it will start pre-conditioning 15 minutes before that time and continue for 15 minutes after.

 

For Remote start it will run for 15 minutes by default I believe(You can make the time shorter) and at least with the fob you can repeat that up for a total of 3X(so it if it's set for 15 minutes you can click the buttons 3 times in a row and it will run for up to 45 minutes). 

Not sure if you can do more than 15 minutes using the app/web.

 

 

Also, if you haven't noticed, if you use the heater while driving to work, you'll notice your battery depleting significantly faster.  Below around freezing it seems like it uses the battery about twice as fast for me.(cuts the range about in half)  Well, in EV mode anyway.  If you're running the ICE anyway you'll get more free heat from that.



#6 ONLINE   cr08

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 05:21 AM

Also, if you haven't noticed, if you use the heater while driving to work, you'll notice your battery depleting significantly faster.  Below around freezing it seems like it uses the battery about twice as fast for me.(cuts the range about in half)  Well, in EV mode anyway.  If you're running the ICE anyway you'll get more free heat from that.

 

I know lately here with morning temps being around mid 30s I have been running EV Later into work just for the sake of having heat and not terribly depleting the battery. Otherwise with my lunch run and commute home I wouldn't have enough charge to make it the whole way with the battery being sucked down for heat in the morning drive in. Thought now I'm waiting to see how long it takes for the oil maintenance mode to kick in as the temp gauge has never gotten near half way with the 4.5 mile drive I have.



#7 OFFLINE   Levi Smith

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 05:31 AM

I know lately here with morning temps being around mid 30s I have been running EV Later into work just for the sake of having heat and not terribly depleting the battery. Otherwise with my lunch run and commute home I wouldn't have enough charge to make it the whole way with the battery being sucked down for heat in the morning drive in. Thought now I'm waiting to see how long it takes for the oil maintenance mode to kick in as the temp gauge has never gotten near half way with the 4.5 mile drive I have.

 

How long in time is your 4.5 mile drive?  Seems like you wouldn't do too bad with pre-heating and just maintaining the heat for a little bit on the way in.  

The other piece is that if you're starting out with a full battery and you do EV Later, it's still going to use up 5% of the battery before it switches to ICE for power so it would definitely not give much time to try to get the ICE up to temp.

 

Dunno, I could see it going either way, but might be worth flipping it, just doing EV in the morning and then using ICE for the way home.  That's what I usually do, though it also better corresponds to not hitting the battery as hard with more uphill on my way home.

 

For that matter, I've tried leaving things a bit more "auto" like a normal person would just to see how it works.  at around 35F the ICE kicks on just about immediately if the heater is set to 65 and not pre heated, but shuts off after a few minutes.  And I *thought* stayed that way(it did for a few drives I've done) but this morning at slow speed in town it fired the ICE back up for some reason which seemed odd as the climate control was only drawing 1 or 2KW for heating...



#8 ONLINE   cr08

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 06:15 AM

How long in time is your 4.5 mile drive?  Seems like you wouldn't do too bad with pre-heating and just maintaining the heat for a little bit on the way in.  

The other piece is that if you're starting out with a full battery and you do EV Later, it's still going to use up 5% of the battery before it switches to ICE for power so it would definitely not give much time to try to get the ICE up to temp.

 

Dunno, I could see it going either way, but might be worth flipping it, just doing EV in the morning and then using ICE for the way home.  That's what I usually do, though it also better corresponds to not hitting the battery as hard with more uphill on my way home.

 

For that matter, I've tried leaving things a bit more "auto" like a normal person would just to see how it works.  at around 35F the ICE kicks on just about immediately if the heater is set to 65 and not pre heated, but shuts off after a few minutes.  And I *thought* stayed that way(it did for a few drives I've done) but this morning at slow speed in town it fired the ICE back up for some reason which seemed odd as the climate control was only drawing 1 or 2KW for heating...

Preheating unfortunately isn't much of an option for me. I'm stuck with the 120V charger for a while yet. Installing a 240V circuit is going to be a process and a significant cost outlay at my place (one current 120V circuit to the garage shared between overhead lighting, garage door opener, and a few outlets. Running new wires would need to run outside the house and potentially through or under our sun room. Breaker panel is also full and would either need replacing or rearranging to add a new 240V breaker). Believe me, I'd LOVE to have Go Times actually do something in the winter time. Last year when it got really frigid here with single digit temps I left mine in Auto mode overnight vs my normal EV Now and the moment I got up in the morning I opened the garage door from my bed and remote started while I got ready (usually takes me about ~10 minutes from getting out of bed to walking out the door).

 

The drive itself is probably about 10 minutes at minimum. 15 if I am hitting all lights. The main road I drive on the majority of the way is a 45mph speed limit with a ton of lights, all flat.

 

I would consider the thought of swapping to using the ICE in the afternoons however with the sun and decent 50s temps I have often not needed to use the heat as the cabin has been sufficiently warm when I leave. Maybe later in the winter season I may entertain the option though.

 

I do have the issue where even hitting EV Later the moment I start it, the ICE doesn't kick in til I get about .5 miles down the road right about the end of my subdivision. I could try the next few mornings pressing the accelerator while in park before I pull out of my garage to get it going earlier and see how that affects things.



#9 OFFLINE   Levi Smith

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 06:21 AM

Preheating unfortunately isn't much of an option for me. I'm stuck with the 120V charger for a while yet. Installing a 240V circuit is going to be a process and a significant cost outlay at my place (one current 120V circuit to the garage shared between overhead lighting, garage door opener, and a few outlets. Running new wires would need to run outside the house and potentially through or under our sun room. Breaker panel is also full and would either need replacing or rearranging to add a new 240V breaker). Believe me, I'd LOVE to have Go Times actually do something in the winter time. Last year when it got really frigid here with single digit temps I left mine in Auto mode overnight vs my normal EV Now and the moment I got up in the morning I opened the garage door from my bed and remote started while I got ready (usually takes me about ~10 minutes from getting out of bed to walking out the door).

 

 

Sounds like you are in a similar boat to me.  I'm only on 240V by making a 240V outlet box that's fed from the 120V in the garage and then a heavy duty extension cord from another 120V basement outlet on the other phase.  The box has relays in it to make sure the 240V outlet doesn't do anything unless both legs are powered.  I was a bit concerned about it, but I've checked a few times and nothing has felt hot.

 

Hopefully in the next month or so I'll get a real outlet as my wife is adding an attached garage and the electric is getting re-routed and in the process we're going to jump to 400A service which will allow at least 50amps to each garage besides our existing(full) 200 amps.



#10 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 08:08 AM

To fill in your blanks, so you know this detail:

 

but this morning at slow speed in town it fired the ICE back up for some reason which seemed odd as the climate control was only drawing 1 or 2KW for heating...

 

If you start the ICE and have the car in auto mode driving on EV mode the car will churn the ice every so often to keep it "warm" and in the ready state so to speak.  So if it cools off too much it runs it for a minute and goes back to EV mode.  Says its for system performance or something like that.

 

If you never use the ICE then it won't start it unless the temp is below 0F.  Its possible to drive on EV in Auto mode at any temp 0F and higher without heat.  If you demand heat at any temp that's cool enough (in the 30's for sure), the ICE will start unless you switch it to EV Now.  That would lower the threshold for the ice to start.

 

If you want to run heat it may be a good idea to run the ice to generate some heat.  Once the ICE is warm enough you get free heat as seen from the climate draw screen.  Then you could switch to EV mode to use the battery and double tap the EV button to switch to EV later and fire up the engine to churn the antifreeze with any hills and go back to Auto to switch back to battery for level roads.

 

Heat on the battery is demanding, you could easily add 30 amps draw on top of what you press on the accelerator.  So if you are limiting yourself to 2 bars of power so as not to stress the battery think of the heat taking at least 1 bar already so now at 1 bar you could be drawing as much as 2 bars.  Depends what you want to do with the battery but in my opinion the battery wear and tear should be limited to moving the car not heating it so you get more useful life out of it.

 

I've said this before and I can say it again, if you dress warm enough you don't need heat imagine you walked to work after you parked somewhere you need to wear warm shoes (forget sneakers), long johns and several layers on top with hand gloves.  If you have that when you get into the car you'll soon find out you get used to it and its not an issue.  The fact that you're used to heat in the car is what makes it difficult to understand or deal with in the beginning, but if you slowly get used to it then its not so bad to be honest.  Slowly getting used to it means not using heat from now as the temps slowly get colder and colder you'll be well accustomed by the time you hit the 20's.  I'll say that anything in the 20's upwards is easily manageable without heat in the car, you have to be well seasoned to drive at 0F with no heat.

 

At the end of the day if you really want heat, start the engine and pay for some gas.  Its better than paying for electricity and wearing out the battery cycles with heat.

 

-=>Raja.



#11 OFFLINE   Levi Smith

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 08:21 AM

I've said this before and I can say it again, if you dress warm enough you don't need heat imagine you walked to work after you parked somewhere you need to wear warm shoes (forget sneakers), long johns and several layers on top with hand gloves.  If you have that when you get into the car you'll soon find out you get used to it and its not an issue.  The fact that you're used to heat in the car is what makes it difficult to understand or deal with in the beginning, but if you slowly get used to it then its not so bad to be honest.  Slowly getting used to it means not using heat from now as the temps slowly get colder and colder you'll be well accustomed by the time you hit the 20's.  I'll say that anything in the 20's upwards is easily manageable without heat in the car, you have to be well seasoned to drive at 0F with no heat.

 

 

 

-=>Raja.

 

Eh, as I've said before, I've done the no heating option. You can get more used to it, but it still kinda sucks and somewhat less safe, but it really comes down to the individual person and driving conditions.

 

It's one thing to head out on a sunny 40F day and not have a lot of breathing going on.

 

It's another to head out in the dark below freezing and need to have the windows open just to avoid the windows fogging normally, let alone if there is: a dog in the passenger seat breathing towards the window, a pizza in the passenger seat, or just plain I accidentally let out a sigh and fog up the window right in front of me.  Or around here, simply going through a valley quite frequently will suddenly fog over the windows with the temp/moisture changes.

 

I also don't equate it to taking a walk as personally, when walking I'm in the process of getting at least a bit warmer from the exercise.  In the car, I'm just sitting still and getting colder.  

 

I've also yet to find gloves that operate the controls as well as my skin.

 

 

To sum up:

Sure, if you want to really dress for the cold and just pop out during the day for a couple errands above freezing, then yeah it's not that big a deal.  

If you're heading to work before daylight and it's below 20F, it's pretty darn cold.


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#12 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 08:41 AM

FWIW, you don't need to roll down the windows to prevent fogging, I've said this before, you just need to crack both front windows 1/4 inch to get some replacement air in there and in most cases you won't fog up at all.  There are some really humid days with rain where its hard not to fog up, but with these types of days you need to keep using the defrost with AC and every time you turn it off the window will start fogging back up even with heat.  I was driving yesterday and it was one of those days.  I had heat on because of several hours of driving and running the engine, but I had to keep turning the defrost on to clear the windows.

 

On dry days a little air from the crack in the front windows will allow you to breath normally and not fog up your windows.

 

I have no dogs and will not have a dog in my car to scratch up the seats so not an issue for me, your conditions are certainly different.

 

Try using the brown jersey gloves that are lined inside, those work pretty well for me.  You can also get heated gloves with batteries if that helps, I never tried those but seen friends with them.

 

-=>Raja.


Edited by rbort, 24 October 2018 - 08:42 AM.


#13 OFFLINE   Levi Smith

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 08:49 AM

FWIW, you don't need to roll down the windows to prevent fogging, I've said this before, you just need to crack both front windows 1/4 inch to get some replacement air in there and in most cases you won't fog up at all.  There are some really humid days with rain where its hard not to fog up, but with these types of days you need to keep using the defrost with AC and every time you turn it off the window will start fogging back up even with heat.  I was driving yesterday and it was one of those days.  I had heat on because of several hours of driving and running the engine, but I had to keep turning the defrost on to clear the windows.

 

On dry days a little air from the crack in the front windows will allow you to breath normally and not fog up your windows.

 

I have no dogs and will not have a dog in my car to scratch up the seats so not an issue for me, your conditions are certainly different.

 

Try using the brown jersey gloves that are lined inside, those work pretty well for me.  You can also get heated gloves with batteries if that helps, I never tried those but seen friends with them.

 

-=>Raja.

 

Yup, the repeat fogging is what I run into just about every time.  I tried just using the heat as needed to keep from fogging a few times again in the past couple weeks, but it's just like you describe and just gets to be annoying turning it off and on every few minutes.

 

And yes, you don't generally have to have the windows open a lot, but it's amazing just how much fast moving freezing air hits me pretty much whichever way I've tried even with just a couple cracked windows when it's 20F outside.

 

Gloves are a different issue.  I like the thin neoprene ones best, followed by the jersey ones with the little nubs on them.  At least with those there's some chance of pressing buttons, etc.  I have heated gloves because my hands will get cold even with full ski gloves when I'm out in the cold for too long, like bike rides at 20F.  But those are just like ski gloves(Cause that's basically all they are but with batteries and some wires) in the fact that they're both awkward as heck to do anything other than rudimentary grasps.  And they don't slide off and on super easy.  They're not worse than other ski gloves, it's just not something I want to be messing around with when it's already cold and I'm trying to keep a 2 ton vehicle with too much rear weight bias at speed on slippery roads under control.



#14 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 09:33 AM

Wait a minute, you mean to tell me you can bike ride in 20 degree weather but a slight breeze of cold air from a cracked window gets you???!  Try putting a scarf on your neck, maybe that's the issue that would help.  Also feet are very important, many people overlook that.  You could be dressed warmly but wearing sneakers, and when your feet get frozen the rest of you feels cold.  Try boots or some shoes that are waterproof and don't breath like sneakers, those will keep your feet much warmer when driving around with no heat.

 

I've done everything, from using heat, to preheating and to driving with heat on the battery.  I came to the conclusion that if the engine runs, then once the coolant is up to temp to provide heat that's when I get some heat if necessary, sometimes its not even necessary.  If I'm driving 100% EV then its no heat and I dress for it.  I also found that preheating is a waste of electricity if you don't intend to use heat.  Whatever warmth you get will be gone in the first couple of miles down the road and you spent alot of energy trying to get it.

 

As for the gloves, use the brown jersey gloves with the padding inside, not the plain ones without.  You can drive easily with those and operate buttons or whatnot.  If you need to take one off for some reason, maybe to do touch screen commands, you can bite the tip if of one finger end and pull your hand out easily.  You're making a big thing out of it, trying to keep a 2 ton vehicle on the road, etc.  Just hold the steering wheel and concentrate on your driving gloves or no gloves doesn't make a difference if you use the ones I recommended.  I'm not talking thick ski gloves here.

 

-=>Raja.



#15 OFFLINE   Levi Smith

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 09:42 AM

Wait a minute, you mean to tell me you can bike ride in 20 degree weather but a slight breeze of cold air from a cracked window gets you???!  Try putting a scarf on your neck, maybe that's the issue that would help.  Also feet are very important, many people overlook that.  You could be dressed warmly but wearing sneakers, and when your feet get frozen the rest of you feels cold.  Try boots or some shoes that are waterproof and don't breath like sneakers, those will keep your feet much warmer when driving around with no heat.

 

I've done everything, from using heat, to preheating and to driving with heat on the battery.  I came to the conclusion that if the engine runs, then once the coolant is up to temp to provide heat that's when I get some heat if necessary, sometimes its not even necessary.  If I'm driving 100% EV then its no heat and I dress for it.  I also found that preheating is a waste of electricity if you don't intend to use heat.  Whatever warmth you get will be gone in the first couple of miles down the road and you spent alot of energy trying to get it.

 

As for the gloves, use the brown jersey gloves with the padding inside, not the plain ones without.  You can drive easily with those and operate buttons or whatnot.  If you need to take one off for some reason, maybe to do touch screen commands, you can bite the tip if of one finger end and pull your hand out easily.  You're making a big thing out of it, trying to keep a 2 ton vehicle on the road, etc.  Just hold the steering wheel and concentrate on your driving gloves or no gloves doesn't make a difference if you use the ones I recommended.  I'm not talking thick ski gloves here.

 

-=>Raja.

 

Yes, I can ride my bike in 20F weather.  But that's closer to running at 0F temps.  Which is to say:

a)I'm doing the running/biking/hiking in the cold/snow because the activity is fun.  I'd just as soon not be frozen.

b)I spent probably close to 15 minutes layering up every part of my body in clothing to be able to do said activity without freezing to death.

c) The activity generates warmth so I've got blood flowing and at least while running, I feel about 20F warmer than if I was just standing around.

d) It'll take me about 20 minutes after I get back in to get all the stinking sweaty clothing off, take a shower etc.

 

Yes, I know all about the feet, my feet and hands get cold sooner than most people's.

 

To me, there's a BIG difference between going out and generating body heat and all the work required to be able to do that, as opposed to just sitting in a car with little blood flow, feeling freezing, and/or wanting to be able to use the touch screen, or try to adjust something easily and thinking...  "how many pennies am I saving by doing this when I could be comfortable with the press of a button?"

 

 

Enjoy your drive Raja!


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#16 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 10:39 AM

OK, totally agreed, so I'd say start the engine forget about EV when you're cold!!

 

-=>Raja.



#17 OFFLINE   fredf

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 05:25 PM

I also have a small heater that I put on the back seat when it is folded down on a board.

 

Something like this well it is really cold as in teens and lower

 

https://www.google.c...991933166666977

 

 

blacks-honeywell-ceramic-heaters-hce100b



#18 OFFLINE   Levi Smith

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Posted 25 October 2018 - 04:16 AM

I also have a small heater that I put on the back seat when it is folded down on a board.

 

Something like this well it is really cold as in teens and lower

 

https://www.google.c...991933166666977

 

 

blacks-honeywell-ceramic-heaters-hce100b

 

Yeah, I haven't tried it myself, but with my experience in rooms, I would certainly think this would be a much more efficient way of heating the car...  Seems like 1KW or so ought to be enough to heat it up pretty good, but it's not with the coolant heater built in.



#19 ONLINE   cr08

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Posted 25 October 2018 - 04:25 AM

Yeah. Sadly going the coolant heating route isn't the most efficient energy use wise but I can certainly see why they used it. Greatly reduces the complexity versus adding a whole new heating method in addition to being able to utilize engine heat. They can continue to use the same HVAC box in the cabin as the Escape or Focus with zero modifications. Then under the hood just a few extra valves, a second water pump, temp sensor, and a heating element. 



#20 OFFLINE   ScottB

ScottB

    New Member

  • C-MAX Energi Member
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  • 29 posts
  • Region:U.S. Northeast
  • LocationMassachusetts
  • My C-MAX:2017
  • Current Vehicle:2017 CMAX Energi Titainum

Posted 26 October 2018 - 09:03 AM

I drove to work today with no heat and the outside temp at 32. It was chilly in the car but I wanted to give it a try. I did turn the seat heater onto full, which helps a lot.

 

Does anyone know if the seat heater's current draw is monitored by the Climate power display?  I couldn't see the display move when turning on or when turning off?  Either its really low current, or it is not monitored. I do think it reduced my range by 2-3 miles. I just made my 24 miles on a freshly charged battery. Usually I have 2-3 miles extra.

 

If I turn on the climate heater, the climate display shows a huge current draw initially and then slowly goes down over time. 










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