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Old 09-24-2012, 11:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Cold = Bad, What to do?

I have a two-option commute in the morning. I can take the highway since I wake up earlier and beat most of the traffic. Or I can take the back roads.

I'm stuck between two logical conclusion, which will only be resolved once I learn which one lies on faulty assumptions.

Take the highway. The engine warms up faster (it's a whopping three miles varying from 40-55MPH depending on traffic conditions). Back roads would never reach operating temperature (four miles) and the engine runs rich the whole time. The engine also is definitely hesitant to shut off (for engine-off-coasting) when it is colder. I've observed this directly.

Take the back roads. The highway forces the car to run rich the whole way at higher speeds.

I know that if I need to run the cabin heat the highway is better because there's no forced-idling-to-heat-the-cabin like there would be at stoplights on the back roads. Unless that's somehow wrong too...

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Old 09-24-2012, 11:32 AM   #2 (permalink)
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sounds like you need a plug in engine heater and a grill block to keep your temps up. and maybe a good fluffy jacket.
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Old 09-24-2012, 01:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Agreed: coolant heater & partial grille blocks first. Assuming you have some place to plug in.
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Old 09-24-2012, 01:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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coolant heaters kick butt. warm/hot air almost instantly, windshield partly defrosted already as the heat rises from the heater core and slowly warms the windshield. Oh yea and the engine is warmed. Throw on an oil pan heater as well.

Is it now officially fall as I have noted a couple what do I do in the colder weather threads?
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Old 09-24-2012, 01:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thank you, but, between the two existing options, which is better?
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Old 09-24-2012, 02:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Only you can answer that - through trial & error given your specific routes & circumstances.

A coolant heater would permit full hybrid functions to work ASAP. (Engine off coasting, EV mode, etc.)
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Old 09-24-2012, 05:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Get on the Highlander Hybrid forums (there must be one or two?? to learn what types of heaters you can instal where, on your vehicle.

I balked at doing one for years, finally learned I can install into a threaded drain plug on back of engine next to oil filter. Bought and will install soon.
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Old 09-24-2012, 08:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hot air intake makes my car warm up faster. A fiberglass engine blanket keeps it warm in the parking lot in the winter.
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Old 09-24-2012, 10:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Your back road route is 33% longer. To me the choice is obvoius, use the highway.

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Old 09-25-2012, 08:57 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I expect you should be able to get "total fuel consumed" from your on board computer. You might have to do some math to get that number. That would answer your original unaltered question.

I still say, get a block heater. Get a shop or dealer to install it if its not a job you want to do yourself.

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