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Old 11-20-2018, 09:05 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Well I got a couple pieces of cardboard and stuck them in front of the radiator. I only put a couple clips back in to hold the plastic piece that goes above the radiator. That way I can get in there and slide one cardboard piece over and reveal up to 50% of the radiator. I also left some cuts to let air into the top part that apparently cools the electric drive since even after a short drive that radiator felt warm, so I figured it probably needs to be partially uncovered, whereas the radiator for the engine can be covered up to nearly 100%.

I also like the idea of bicycling instead. I need to get my ol' 27" ten speed fixed up. It has a broken spoke on the rear on the sprocket side and because of that the rim isn't straight. So I have to adjusting the rim brakes to where they either rub or to where they don't brake. Right now I kind of have them in the middle, but the rubbing is still noticeable, enough to make pedaling harder than normal, and they don't brake like they should. The front derailleur is also a little out of whack. But that shouldn't be hard to fix.

And I need to get a headlight, especially if I'm going to be driving around at night. I did put a Schmidt's Original Nabendynamo on my wife's bike. Kind of expensive, but very nice and robust. I think I'd like to do the same to my bike. It may be overkill, but I guess I like overkill. I also got her a lamp that has a capacitor that keeps the light lit for as much as a minute after pedaling. It would be nice to have the same on mine. Anything that doesn't include batteries that can freeze would be a good idea. I've tried battery lights and they always end up dying after a few months or even weeks. Or I could try a helmet light and keep it inside where it's warm.

I kind of wish I had something with wider tires for the snow. Those fat tire bikes seem kind of expensive. I don't think I can convert my bike with it's skinny tires to fat tires without major welding. At least I can use it when there isn't a lot of snow. But regardless, I also need to get ahold of some fenders. Melting snow spray is one reason I don't drive it much.

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Old 11-22-2018, 02:34 AM   #22 (permalink)
Full sized hybrid.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemmy View Post
Diesels are bad polluters for nitrous oxides and particulates, which kill 20,000+ people a year in the UK, and when they're cold they're particularly nasty.
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Once you've unsuccesfully given CPR to a 13 year old girl having a severe asthma attack who died in your hands, then you start to get a little bit conscious of unnecessary air pollution in the urban environment.
Good points. Although I imagine it is possible to get diesel emissions down just as low as gasoline emissions. But regardless, internal combustion engines are polluters.

Which is why I at first changed out my Diesel for a Nissan Leaf. We have a hydro electric dam nearby, so I figured most of the power here comes from there. Although there's no way to know for sure.

But after a while I had to drive much farther than what the Leaf can do, although I did put it through some long trips, including a 400 mile trip and a 700 mile trip.

I had the chance to buy a newer VW diesel. The emissions would be better than the 1985 VW, but of course the problem is that they don't meet the legal emissions standards. So I decided against it. And other diesels, like the Chevy Cruze, just didn't seem to be the right choice either.

So I ended up getting a 5 year old 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid instead. I almost went for a Prius Prime with it's $9,500 in tax credits here in Colorado, so the engine could be shut off for those short cold trips. But the Avalon seemed to fit us better, and was less expensive. I kind of need 5 seats and having a spare tire on long trips out in the middle of nowhere is a good idea.
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Old 11-22-2018, 02:59 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Insulate the block, head and oil pan. I used fiberglass cloth.
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Old 11-26-2018, 12:25 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I personally wouldn't idle to warm up.
I don't, as it doesn't really help when the heating is on as well (for defogging)


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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
Same here, and it doesn't even need to be that cold.
Idling, the coolant temp drops when you stop & the heater is on.

Driving it, the temperature goes up pretty quickly though.
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Old 11-26-2018, 01:01 PM   #25 (permalink)
Full sized hybrid.
 
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I got a ScanGauge in on Friday and have been monitoring engine temps this weekend. So far I haven't seen engine temps over 186°F, even with the radiator nearly completely closed off going down the highway uphill. But around town engine temps will drop down to as cold as 125°F, and it's not even winter yet!

Right now it's 8°F outside. Getting in the Avalon right now with the engine plugged in all night I see the engine temp is 46°, almost 40° warmer than ambient temperature. I also notice that the engine cools off fast, especially where I can't plug in. I also went to the store in 35°F weather. Coming out of the store the engine was at 75°F. Saturday night, as with many days each month, I didn't have any place to plug in at all at the place I stayed.

I think trying to wrap the entire engine and transmission would be a great idea. There is no belt on this car, just a single pulley that I should be able to cover up or something. The problem is working around the exhaust. I need a material that won't catch on fire.
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Old 11-26-2018, 02:06 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Goldilocks trips

Issac, I'm trying to understand why you still have trouble with trips that are too short for engine warmup and too far or too cold to bike. Did your LEAF not have CarWings/ Nissan Connect? The remote preheating function in EVs is awesome. My i-MiEV can melt 2" of snow off of the windshield within 30 minutes, and of course doing it while plugged in means near zero impact to the battery.

Or did you give up the LEAF because it couldn't handle the long trips?
A used first-gen EV can be the perfect car for local errands or average commutes. Sure, in summer my i-MiEV can do two of my hilly 35 mile round trip commutes, but in winter that round trip better not include any serious side excursions. However, with plugging in at work, I could commute in my skivvies in a blizzard if desired. Gaining L1 (and later upgrading to L2) EVSE at work was the functional equivalent of doubling my battery capacity on weekdays.

Battery design is a leading reason why I picked an i-MiEV over the LEAF, and it delivered the full OEM-rated battery capacity up to 94,000 miles, as Mitsu under-rated the battery by 20%. I'm now at 24% degradation and beginning to feel the loss, so I salvaged a newer low-mileage battery for pack replacement shortly after the OEM warranty against full pack failure expires at 100,000 miles, which will be sometime this winter. Since Nissan has made it near impossible to swap late packs into early cars, the early owners are at Nissan's mercy for replacement pack pricing. We have a couple of local 2011 LEAF owners with less than 30 miles of range even before winter sets in. Mitsu has been EVen less forthcoming about pricing and terms for out-of warranty pack replacement, but the need just hasn't arisen for many yet.
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Old 11-26-2018, 03:35 PM   #27 (permalink)
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I might be missing something, but isn't using electricity to melt snow rather undermining the environmental credentials of an electric car?
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Old 11-26-2018, 05:26 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Not in Washingon (state, not DC). They're mostly hydro/renewable.

The point isn't just to melt snow either, it's to warm the cabin while still plugged into the grid, thereby retaining full EV range upon departure.
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Old 11-26-2018, 06:32 PM   #29 (permalink)
Full sized hybrid.
 
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Issac, I'm trying to understand why you still have trouble with trips that are too short for engine warmup and too far or too cold to bike.
So a lot of my driving is, 30, 50, 70 or more miles somewhere, then short drive here and short drive there, short drive here and short drive there, then the 30, 50, 70 or more miles back home, with my wife. So saying, "Honey, I'm going to throw a couple bikes on the car so we can ride around all day (or all night) in the next town in sub-zero weather" isn't exactly appealing. There are a few places I/we could use a bike. But it wouldn't work well in every situation. A bike rack would be a step in the right direction though for the summer.

A lot of people don't get why we drive so much, but most of it not work related at all. Family and other obligations make us much needed elsewhere. So it is what it is. We have to drive far, all over the state of Colorado and do it often.
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Did your LEAF not have CarWings/ Nissan Connect? The remote preheating function in EVs is awesome. My i-MiEV can melt 2" of snow off of the windshield within 30 minutes, and of course doing it while plugged in means near zero impact to the battery.

Or did you give up the LEAF because it couldn't handle the long trips?
A used first-gen EV can be the perfect car for local errands or average commutes.
We loved our Leaf! The preheating was awesome even after AT&T dumped 2G and the CarWings stopped working. I'd just go program it manually, sometimes a few times a day. But since we started to do a lot of long distance driving it didn't make sense to keep the Leaf, especially with the cold weather. We drive through a lot of long, uninhabited portions of highway where the only way to charge an EV is with a generator. Trying to make it to the next destination wasn't always so easy in the Leaf, and sometimes it was downright impossible.
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Sure, in summer my i-MiEV can do two of my hilly 35 mile round trip commutes, but in winter that round trip better not include any serious side excursions. However, with plugging in at work, I could commute in my skivvies in a blizzard if desired. Gaining L1 (and later upgrading to L2) EVSE at work was the functional equivalent of doubling my battery capacity on weekdays.

Battery design is a leading reason why I picked an i-MiEV over the LEAF, and it delivered the full OEM-rated battery capacity up to 94,000 miles, as Mitsu under-rated the battery by 20%. I'm now at 24% degradation and beginning to feel the loss, so I salvaged a newer low-mileage battery for pack replacement shortly after the OEM warranty against full pack failure expires at 100,000 miles, which will be sometime this winter. Since Nissan has made it near impossible to swap late packs into early cars, the early owners are at Nissan's mercy for replacement pack pricing. We have a couple of local 2011 LEAF owners with less than 30 miles of range even before winter sets in. Mitsu has been EVen less forthcoming about pricing and terms for out-of warranty pack replacement, but the need just hasn't arisen for many yet.
The battery never was a real problem in the Leaf for us personally. I figure the cold weather does a good job at preserving any EV battery. But I do think I'd try to get a better EV the next time around.

We did try to make the Leaf work and made several +150 mile trips in the Leaf, including a 400 mile and a 700 mile trip. It can be done during the summer, but it was still a bit of a pain having to charge only from L1 all night and part of the day in some areas.

I did try to get a Prius Prime instead of the Avalon. That way the engine could be shut off for certain smaller drives and then used when most needed, on long drives. But the problem was getting the federal tax credit of $4,500 and the state of $5,000 to somehow go towards the down payment on the cheapest $25k Prime I could find in the USA. But I just couldn't get my money to work like that so I got a car I could afford after selling the Leaf and the Bug. Plus I figured I needed 5 seats and a spare tire. And there's nothing in the manual against putting on snow chains on the Avalon. So the Avalon won.

I often wish I had an EV again. But I don't see the point in having two cars right now, except that my insurance actually went up after going to just one car. (They told me because the cost to insure the last car I took off was actually cheaper than what they were giving me in the multiple car discount.) Oh well!

The idea of having an EV for around town and an ICE for long distances has also crossed my mind. But I think biking around town and using the ICE for those long distances makes more sense. It's when we do short trips elsewhere that are the main concern. I want the Avalon to last as long as possible. The longer it lasts, the cheaper it will be to own and operate. I think figuring out a way to keep the engine warm would help me do that.
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Old 11-27-2018, 05:30 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Make a warm air intake helps also little with warmup times.

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