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Old 12-30-2013, 12:24 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I'm not sure how you determined a block heater isn't worth doing on the Vibe.

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Old 12-30-2013, 02:17 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Oh I will still use it but the value deminishes after 2.5 hours, if saving money on energy was the only factor. My car warmed up by 38 deg C when it was plugged in for over 5 hours which is around 27 cents of electrical energy, which seems to have knocked off about 13 cents of fuel consumption when compared to warmup in the driveway to the same temperature.

My plan is to warm up the engine for 2.5 hours with the blockheater and I hope to break even the moment that the car is started. I know that a savings will also be realized from a warmer engine start and rolling down the road. which has not been measured yet. I intend to conduct a few averaging runs in January back and forth work in an attempt in getting some plots

I am still sorting out my data collection techniques but I am getting results. Even if it just monitoring the LPH as I cruise up down these hilly roads of Nova Scotia.

I just came into the house after sealing the gap around the front and two sides of the hood. I expect that it will take a few kms to get that money back. At least it will slowdown the loss of heat in the driveway and maybe better aero... But on the other hand I burn 600 dollars of fuel a month just in that car.


I am fairly impressed my efforts so far. I am very close to my summer MPG's.
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Old 12-30-2013, 04:24 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Gotcha - thanks for the explanation.
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Old 01-26-2014, 05:03 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I now have a simple warm air intake that is pulling the air in from the highest part under the hood for now. Things are too tight to run a hose back to the exhaust system. Today i removed the roof rack and filled the gaps in the roof with foil tape coated with a layer of black electrical tap for now. Now to find out how well I do in these super cold, windy drives.
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Old 05-09-2014, 12:27 PM   #15 (permalink)
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My 100% grille block is working fine and coolant temperature only peeked at 102(216) @ 100% fan operation. Nova Scotia did enjoy some very warm spring days. I saw IAT at 44(111) at idle or low engine speed.

I did enjoy some real good numbers which have since fallen in the last three to four tanks, however have maintained a good average. I have a couple of ideas in order to remotely control my grill blocks using a cable operate louver. another idea or two to get maintained higher temperatures into the engine intake.
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Old 05-09-2014, 03:19 PM   #16 (permalink)
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FWIW, even here in Arizona (2300' altitude, 110F summers), I used an engine-block heater in my 2009 Vibe during winter months to ensure the engine oil was 'ready-to-go' immediately early in the morning (0400-0500am)...and used 5W30 synthetic oil from day one.
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Old 05-09-2014, 09:23 PM   #17 (permalink)
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i am running Mobil 0w-20 synth in my car now. I run it for about 10000 miles. I

was interested in using the blockheater during the winter and enjoyed easier starts and faster warm up in sub-zero temps. I instantly became inspired to use it for atleast three seasons, however have second thoughts.

My power is 14 cents a KWh... so I am reassessing the FE advantages of my blockheater.

With my heater at 400 Watts it will burn through 1 KWH in 2.5 hours, which right now is equal to about 100 cc's of fuel (3.3 us fluid ounces) in cost.

Right now, without the heater plugged in it takes about 4kms and 375 cc's of fuel to get my warmed up indication from my engine monitor. What is good, is my route is within an area without traffic lights and requirement for (Slowing To Obvious Pauses) might be required only 2 times if i am very unlucky.

However, with your contribution, your post reminds me to evaluate this officially, as see if there is a tangable advantage of three season operation.

Every morning next week i will run it for 2.5 hours. and then each week reduce the time by 30 minutes. I wil record ambient temp, coolant temp. IAT temp, distance and fuel consumption to warm up indication.

What other data would be useful?
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Old 05-09-2014, 10:56 PM   #18 (permalink)
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If you can, check & record the oil temp(*) immediately upon engine start; that will give you an idea of how much you can either (a) cut back on wattage or (b) cut back on time (both = $).

(*) alternatively, coolant temp...oil is in the sump, but coolant is throughout engine block.
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Old 05-27-2014, 08:39 PM   #19 (permalink)
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90 day: 61.98 mpg (US)

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Any update on the block heater testing?
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Old 06-10-2014, 09:39 PM   #20 (permalink)
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So far I have excuses rather than results. I just got my brakes repaired with a new bracket and sliders in order to get ride of the drag issue on my left rear caliper. I have been noting when torque tells me when the engine is at operationg temperature.(70 deg C)curs very close to 4 kms +- 200 meters, and 300 cc's +-30cc's, but i have left the logging to the torque application for now as I wait for a stable weather pattern. We been getting frosty mornings up to only a week or two ago.

Which is about 7.5 L/100km, not bad compared to my current three tank average of 6.1L/100kms.

With those numbers in mind I only have a 1.4L/100 km benefit range over those 4 kms at best or 56 cc's which works out to about 0.5 Kwh of power. 1.25 hours of plug in time. I suspect that engine will only heat up to 20 to 30 degrees so warm up will still be needed.

I will have the opportunity to use this for only 4 cold starts per tank. 90 percent of my trips are long 100 kms each way. The grill blocks are very effective at keeping the engine fairly warm in my afternoon drive home and I see the benefit there too.

I intend to wrap up this experiment this month, with real numbers. Sometimes I just wish I could parse the datat right off my torque logs quickly and easily. I have over 6 months worth of logs of nearly every trip, all in rather large CSV files.

In other news. the grill blocks are doing a fine job. Today on the way home I peaked engine temperature at 111 degrees with the radiator fan at full speed. with an ambient temperature of 24 degrees C, and IAT averaging high 30s to mid 40s with no problem at all.

interesting fact thought.... the temperature guage on my car finally moved signicantly off the center (splits the two horizontal lines on the coolant symbol 95 degrees) and lifted to 3/5 (106 Deg C)mark. According to the guage the car does not panic until north of 4/5.


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