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Old 12-19-2008, 04:33 PM   #61 (permalink)
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I have a feeling it will have less of an effect on my FE than someone who travels shorter distances might experience.

Let's see here:
My metro seems to stay in cold start mode (as Suzuki intended) for about 5-6 miles or 9 minutes of driving time. About 9 minutes until the gage says it's up to full operating temp. My morning commute is 70miles one way, with traffic, 90 minutes. My car is in cold start mode for say, 10% of the morning operating time. I don't know how much additional fuel the designers added when in cold start mode.

With Kat's heater, the time it takes the engine (at least the gage) to come up to full operating temp is reduced to about 1 mile or 2 minutes. About 2% of my drive time is spent in cold start mode.

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Old 12-19-2008, 04:39 PM   #62 (permalink)
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You would have to collect data on your FE with a cold engine VS normal operating temp, figure out the savings of reaching OT earlier, and then figure out how much you spend on electricity running the heater to determine if there is a cost savings. Of course even if you weren't saving money you are still burning less fuel, and are more comfortable for those first nine minutes.
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Old 12-19-2008, 10:48 PM   #63 (permalink)
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my engine is not at operating temperature until about 6-7 miles down the road, and thats at 55mph...
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Old 02-08-2009, 06:03 PM   #64 (permalink)
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Mr. BBS

I have today copied your KAT heater can install "exactly" on my 92 XFI.

Only difference is that the outlet hose from the heater can runs through my fuel warmer before entering the heater core in the firewall.

I've run the engine to operating temperature then removed the hose from the top of the heater can where I have observed coolant overflowing from the can.

Currently after a test drive to get more heat in the system, the hose from the top of the can to the firewall is still cold so I'm still unwilling to plug in the heater.

I'll drive the car to work tomorrow. Then check for uniform heat again.

Any suggestions would be welcome.

Thanks for the images.

Trevor Heath
60 mpg + in a Geo Metro XFI
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Old 02-09-2009, 08:48 PM   #65 (permalink)
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Well.....the "BBS" install does not work.

When I arrived at work....the KAT can and the output hose were just warm but enough so that it was clear the coolant was flowing so I plugged the can in to an extension cord.

It remained plugged in for 10 hours, controlled by the in-built thermostat.

The output hose and the can remained hot all day.

However, on the drive in and the drive home, the heater in the car no longer works.....stone cold. Additionally, it took longer for the car to get up to normal operating temperature than the "old" in line 25W KAT heater.

So it's back to the drawing board (or the in-line KAT heater)

TH
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Old 02-18-2009, 10:48 PM   #66 (permalink)
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Success!

The heater hose from the top of KAT heater can is now Y'ed into the hose running from the Thermostat to the intake manifold.

The heater can input hose is now coming from a "T" in the lower radiator hose at a point just at the base of the battery.

End result is everything is now working correctly, coolant in now flowing in only one direction!

Using a timer both at home and at the office, the car is at full operating temperature at time of departure.

The old in line KAT heater just kept things "warm"

I can report an approx 3 mpg increase in fuel mileage from the first two tanks of gas.

(now approx 9.3 gallons for 550 miles)

TH
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Old 02-19-2009, 11:05 AM   #67 (permalink)
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Well I decided to do a little math to see if it would make much sense for me to get one of these. I currently get around 33 miles per gallon on my daily commute to and from work (about 25 miles each way), and have gotten as good as 42 miles per gallon driving for long trips on the highway. I just bought my car in January so it's been all winter driving. I attribute the really good mileage on the long trip to keeping the car warm and just running in "steady state" the whole time, as well as not having to deal with the short run to and from the interstate on both ends of my daily commute.

Back of napkin math time:

If I assume half of the mileage difference is from running cold, I could stand to save 4.5 MPG only on my way to work every day (no electric plugs at work) which equates to an overall increase to 35.25 average MPG on my daily commute. That would save about 0.1 gallon of gasoline per day. I have paid $1.82 per gallon on average since buying the car, so I could stand to save 18 cents per day using the block heater. My electricity at home costs about 10 cents per kWh, so if I run a 1000W block heater ($32.58 shipped) for an hour I spend 10 cents heating the car up. That's a net savings of 8 cents per day. That means it would take 407 days to pay off the cost of the 1000 watt heater on Amazon.

Worth it? I'm not sure. If I had a plug at work it probably would be, but I think I'll just live with being a little cold for the first few miles for now. I'm not sure that one of these heaters will even last for 407 cycles as evidenced by the premature failure listed earlier, and my car might not last another 407 cycles either (20,000+ miles). I think there are lower hanging fruit for me. Has anyone quantified the real MPG savings from their block heater?
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Old 02-19-2009, 10:10 PM   #68 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwyler View Post
Worth it? I'm not sure. If I had a plug at work it probably would be, but I think I'll just live with being a little cold for the first few miles for now. I'm not sure that one of these heaters will even last for 407 cycles as evidenced by the premature failure listed earlier, and my car might not last another 407 cycles either (20,000+ miles). I think there are lower hanging fruit for me. Has anyone quantified the real MPG savings from their block heater?
As to that point, keep in mind it would not be difficult to remove it and transfer it to a new vehicle.
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Old 02-19-2009, 10:58 PM   #69 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwyler View Post

Worth it?
Benefits are hard to quantify

Clearly though there are three area's

Improved Fuel mileage which can be quantified

Occupant comfort....very easy to quantify

Reduced engine wear from warm start-ups very difficult to quantify

But yes if you are only 17% above EPA I'd say you do have lower hanging fruit to look at. When you are up to 30% it gets a little harder to find savings......

Just how many KAT heater failures have you seen documented?

I have seen just one.

TH
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Old 02-20-2009, 07:43 AM   #70 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrevorHeath View Post
Benefits are hard to quantify

Clearly though there are three area's

Improved Fuel mileage which can be quantified

Occupant comfort....very easy to quantify

Reduced engine wear from warm start-ups very difficult to quantify

But yes if you are only 17% above EPA I'd say you do have lower hanging fruit to look at. When you are up to 30% it gets a little harder to find savings......

Just how many KAT heater failures have you seen documented?

I have seen just one.

TH
I've only seen one as well, but I've only seen a handful of glowing reviews to balance it out. I just have my doubts how long a 33 dollar (shipped no less) encased heating element will last in fairly extreme conditions. That being said, it was colder than a witches t@t this morning and it took about 12 miles for my car to even show a temp on the needle, so I'm ordering one and installing it ASAP. The comfort level is going to trump any payback rationization I can calculate. My hands are still numb as I type this. Grille block going in tonight as well, hopefully that'll help keep the heat where it belongs.

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