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Old 11-19-2018, 10:47 AM   #11 (permalink)
Isaac Zackary
Full sized hybrid.
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Colorado
Posts: 602

Suzy - '13 Toyota Avalon Hybrid XLE
90 day: 37.18 mpg (US)
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Originally Posted by oil pan 4 View Post
Get a block heater or 2.
That is the fastest easiest way to do it.
Originally Posted by redpoint5 View Post
...Can you put a higher wattage block heater in? An oil heater would help too...
Ok! I'll see what I can do to add a tank style block heater on the Avalon. I've used 1,500W tank heaters on my other cars before and they work great when you can plug them in. Not a solution for where I can't plug in, but not so expensive that it wouldn't be worth it for where I can.

Let's see here. I believe the current block heater is 200W. If I got a 1,000W tank heater that would be 1,200W. With 50 to 100W for the oil pan heater I'd still have some juice left (using a standard outlet) for a battery heater for both the traction battery and perhaps the 12V battery.

Originally Posted by redpoint5 View Post
I personally wouldn't idle to warm up.

Get a temperature gauge so you know what coolant temperatures are doing, and set an alarm for some upper limit, like 215 F. Then grill block in a way that you can quickly add/remove it. I use foam pipe insulation wedged in the grill slats.

You could add insulation to the engine, like a blanket or something, to retain more heat.
Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Assuming we're talking about the Avalon and not the VW, get a Scangauge/Ultragauge/Torque app or whatever so you can watch the coolant temp, and block the crap out of your grille!
That would be a good idea. I'll see what I can do to get an easier to read gauge and perhaps a light of some sort. I guess foam wedges would work just fine, at least for now. I think I'll go get some pipe insulation right now.

I bet I could run around town with it completely blocked off. And when I go on the highway up mountain passes, I could figure out how much blockage I need to take off to keep from overheating with the temperature gauge.

I'll see what I can do about a blanket too.

Originally Posted by oil pan 4 View Post
I put a little space heater in my cars.
In my leaf it deices the car and makes the ride bare able with no heat.
Yep! I've been doing that too at home. When I had my Leaf I would use the preheat function with the car plugged into a 240V source.

Originally Posted by Ecky View Post
My Insight suffers from this as well. The engine even has exhaust heat recovery - there's a water jacket over the exhaust. When it's below freezing and I turn on cabin heat, I start losing coolant temperature, nevermind when it's 20 below zero. Cabin air recirculation helps but then my windows fog up. A 100% grille block helps, but isn't enough. Pre-warming the engine helps, but doesn't stop it from cooling back off after I'm driving.

And before you ask, my thermostat is fine, it's only when running heat.
I know right! With the Golf I was having that problem. Many said it was the thermostat, but I knew the thermostat was fine. It was that tiny diesel engine that couldn't keep up with the cold. On the Avalon it warms up quicker and better and stays warm so far. We'll see what it does at way below zero. But on the other hand it still takes time to warm and it uses much more fuel to do so. Plus, once it has warmed up the engine will shut off until either the hybrid system says it needs more engine power or until the engine cools down to a certain point. So the warmer I can keep things going the less fuel it should use.

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