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Old 11-24-2008, 10:49 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Has anyone tried making/using a catalytic converter warmer?

I was topping off my tires this morning in the balmy 24deg NJ weather and started wondering if a catalytic convertor warmer has been tried to help shorten a vehicles warmup stratagy thus increasing initial drive mpg?

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Old 11-24-2008, 11:22 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Depending on the year of your car it may or may not even know if it has a catalytic converter. Generally 95 and below dont know if they have one.

My 97 doesnt adjust anything for the efficiency of the cats just for the engine to warm up. It will set a code if they are not operating at efficiency (missing/broken) though.
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Old 11-24-2008, 12:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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We've got an 09 Escape Hybrid and I have noticed that on mornings below 30deg we take a disturbingly huge fuel economy hit during the vehicles warm up stratagy.

On our 6 mile morning commute to work we get...
34 MPG at 50 - 70 deg
32 MPG at 35 - 50 deg
27 MPG at 27 - 35 deg
Haven't driven in temps below 27 yet but winters not fully here yet.
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Old 11-24-2008, 01:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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warming the catalytic converter will ONLY clean up exhaust gas better before the cat warms up, it will not warm up or affect the engine
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Old 11-24-2008, 01:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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A block heater will get you back over 32 MPG.

One way to reduce fuel consumption during warm up would be to mess with your idle speed control actuator. You take a good FE hit when the engine idles in the 1500-2000 rpm range for a while. But that's the price to pay to get quick cat light off.
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Old 11-24-2008, 01:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dichotomous View Post
warming the catalytic converter will ONLY clean up exhaust gas better before the cat warms up, it will not warm up or affect the engine
Ditto. The engine will still be cold and it'll still be idling at 2000+ rpms. Stick to using a block heater.
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Old 11-24-2008, 01:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dichotomous View Post
warming the catalytic converter will ONLY clean up exhaust gas better before the cat warms up, it will not warm up or affect the engine
You'd hear no complaints from me about that
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Old 11-24-2008, 01:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trebuchet03 View Post
You'd hear no complaints from me about that
right but the amount of energy to heat up that cat would put more strain on the electrical grid, if you live where its main hydropower or clean energy great, but if you have coal fired electricity, bad
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Old 11-24-2008, 02:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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hmm...trying to warm up the cat to 600C pre start would seem to be next to impossible in a energy/pollution efficient capasity unless I used solar recharged batteries to power it. But then it wouldnt be financially affordable.

Can a catalytic convertor be safely wraped with some type of exhaust wrap to decrease its warm up time and reduce pollution?

I'm going to have to see if my townhome assoc. will let me run underground electric to my parking space so I can use a block heater.
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Old 11-24-2008, 03:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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You could wrap your exhaust manifold and pipe in heat wrap. I wouldn't wrap the CAT though.

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