Go Back   EcoModder Forum > EcoModding > Off-Topic Tech
Register Now
 Register Now
 

Reply  Post New Thread
 
Submit Tools LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 09-26-2012, 07:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
Easter McoModder
 
SwamiSalami's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: West Texas, US
Posts: 363

'99 Subaru OLL 2.5L - '99 Subaru Outback Legacy Limited
90 day: 22.57 mpg (US)

Rabbit - '08 VW Rabbit S
90 day: 32.93 mpg (US)
Thanks: 212
Thanked 28 Times in 26 Posts
Prepping For Alaska!

It goes without saying that living in Anchorage will be cold. While living in extremely cold temperatures will be difficult for me and the "fam," it will be even colder for our Honda Element. Current advising includes: battery blanket, studded or snow tires, and a block heater.

I'm just wondering, though...in terms of warming the engine via block heater and batter blanket, how will this benefit me when leaving any location other than my house? For instance, if I've been at work for 10 hours and the truck's been parked outside or even inside without access to a plug, what's the point? Is it worth installing all this stuff just for a morning commute, especially considering the likelihood of coldness in the evening?

Who's dealt with this (surely I'm not the first one)?

  Reply With Quote
Alt Today
Popular topics

Other popular topics in this forum...

   
Old 09-26-2012, 08:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
 
2000neon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 596

VX - '94 Honda Civic VX
Team Honda
90 day: 47.95 mpg (US)
Thanks: 133
Thanked 89 Times in 66 Posts
I can't make any comments on a block heater as I have never/ used one. But I think it would definitely be worth some engine bay insulation, Belly pan, grill block, sealing gaps, etc. It will help the motor to warm up faster, and hold heat a lot longer after shutdown. If the Element doesn't have any insulation directly on the bottom of the hood, I would suggest finding some off of another car.
__________________

  Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to 2000neon For This Useful Post:
SwamiSalami (09-27-2012)
Old 09-26-2012, 09:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
(:
 
Frank Lee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: up north
Posts: 12,732

Blue - '93 Ford Tempo
Last 3: 27.29 mpg (US)

F150 - '94 Ford F150 XLT 4x4
90 day: 18.5 mpg (US)

Sport Coupe - '92 Ford Tempo GL
Last 3: 69.62 mpg (US)

ShWing! - '82 honda gold wing Interstate
90 day: 33.65 mpg (US)

Moon Unit - '98 Mercury Sable LX Wagon
90 day: 21.24 mpg (US)
Thanks: 1,571
Thanked 3,505 Times in 2,194 Posts
I've long been advocating engine blankets. Heat rises ya know, so it's good to keep it from going out the top. Combined with a grille block and you turn the engine compartment into an "upside down box" which retains heat much better than stock. Search my other posts on blankets.
__________________


  Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Frank Lee For This Useful Post:
SwamiSalami (09-27-2012)
Old 09-27-2012, 01:26 AM   #4 (permalink)
aero guerrilla
 
Piwoslaw's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Warsaw, Poland
Posts: 3,541

Svietlana II - '13 Peugeot 308SW e-HDI 6sp
90 day: 58.1 mpg (US)
Thanks: 1,056
Thanked 630 Times in 396 Posts
Grille block and engine belly pan!

Even if you can use the block heater only on half of the trips, it's still worth it. Evenings may be cold, but mornings are even colder, and with enough insulation there might still be some heat in the engine bay after 4 hours. Also, there is always a chance that you'll find a plug somewhere (parking lot, friend's house, etc.).

You could look into things like a coolant thermos (gen 2 Prius) or using exhaust to warm coolant (gen 3 Prius), we'd all benefit from your experience and a detailed how-to with pictures
__________________
e·co·mod·ding: the art of turning vehicles into what they should be

What matters is where you're going, not how fast.

"... we humans tend to screw up everything that's good enough as it is...or everything that we're attracted to, we love to go and defile it." - Chris Cornell

Piwoslaw's Peugeot 307sw modding thread

  Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Piwoslaw For This Useful Post:
SwamiSalami (09-27-2012)
Old 09-27-2012, 02:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
EcoModding Apprentice
 
Saskwatchian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Saskatchewan
Posts: 114

Eric's Explorer - '01 Ford Explorer Sport 4x4
90 day: 19.05 mpg (US)

E's V - '07 Nissan Versa SL
90 day: 33.11 mpg (US)
Thanks: 12
Thanked 25 Times in 18 Posts
Most parking lots in Saskatchewan have plugins for your vehicle, I would imagine it would be the same in Alaska.

Battery blankets are often neglected. I don't think they would help with FE but sure make cold starting easier and prevent battery damage from the cold. Whatever you do make sure not to drain your battery as a weak battery will freeze and die really quick in the winter.

Block heaters will obviously make it possible to start your car and aid in warmup.

Engine blankets and cardboard grill block will help with warm up and retain heat better. You will also get less ice buildup on your hood when you park.
__________________
  Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Saskwatchian For This Useful Post:
SwamiSalami (09-27-2012)
Old 09-27-2012, 03:38 AM   #6 (permalink)
.........................
 
darcane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Buckley, WA
Posts: 1,586

Ninja 650R - '06 Kawasaki Ninja 650R
90 day: 52.02 mpg (US)

B*tch - '01 Honda Civic HX
Team Honda
90 day: 38.09 mpg (US)

Ms. Hyde - '06 Cadillac CTS V
Sports Cars
90 day: 16.93 mpg (US)
Thanks: 375
Thanked 480 Times in 311 Posts
Anchorage isn't too bad, it doesn't get the bitter cold you get in central Alaska. I grew up just north of Anchorage and went to college in Fairbanks.

In Anchorage, I don't remember many places having plug-ins available, but in Fairbanks they were everywhere.

I recommend synthetic oil in the engine, tranny, and differential(s). I remember starting my truck once and leaving it in neutral to warm up but when I let the clutch out it still lurched forward and died because the oil in the tranny was so thick. That stopped when I changed to synthetic oil in the tranny.

I used a grill block long before I worried about fuel economy. My engine couldnt put off enough heat to warm up the cab of my truck without it. My truck was pretty old though, your Element won't have that problem but would still benefit from the grill block.

Watch out for the moose!
__________________
2001 Civic HX Mods


Past Cars:
CTS-V

2003 Silverado Mods
  Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to darcane For This Useful Post:
SwamiSalami (09-27-2012)
Old 09-27-2012, 08:57 AM   #7 (permalink)
Easter McoModder
 
SwamiSalami's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: West Texas, US
Posts: 363

'99 Subaru OLL 2.5L - '99 Subaru Outback Legacy Limited
90 day: 22.57 mpg (US)

Rabbit - '08 VW Rabbit S
90 day: 32.93 mpg (US)
Thanks: 212
Thanked 28 Times in 26 Posts
Thanks for all the great posts and replies.

I want more, though.
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2012, 02:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
Smeghead
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: South Central AK
Posts: 933

escort - '99 ford escort sport
90 day: 42.38 mpg (US)

scoobaru - '02 Subaru Forester s
90 day: 28.65 mpg (US)
Thanks: 32
Thanked 145 Times in 97 Posts
I live about 60 miles from Anchorage. Most parking lots do not have places to plug in. Most people around here just get by with a single block heater. They leave it plugged in all night though.

I suggest an oil pan heater, coolant heater. A battery blanket is not really necessarily as this area of Alaska does not see the bitter cold. connect those to a timer that turns on about 1.5 hours before your commute, the purpose of the coolant heater is to get you warm air instantly, use just enough time to get that.

Good winter tires is a must. studded does not seem much better than a good snow flake rated tire. Michelin x ice, or hankook Ipike rock. Both have a 45-55 psi max rating, I noted no decrease in mileage with the Ipike on my civic. I did have to drop the pressure slightly as I would get wicked wheelhop if the tires spun at 55psi but if I dropped them to 48 they were fine.

Even if you cannot plug in during the day it is worth it for even just the morning commute.

Insulation helps for about 5-6 hours but after that with any kind of air movement it is ineffective. (This is based on my experience with aircraft which are more tightly cowled than cars).

If you have any other questions about Anchorage or the Valley PM me.
__________________

Learn from the mistakes of others, that way when you mess up you can do so in new and interesting ways.

One mile of road will take you one mile, one mile of runway can take you around the world.
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2012, 04:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
...beats walking...
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: .
Posts: 6,191
Thanks: 179
Thanked 1,521 Times in 1,122 Posts
...and KEEP a long (50-feet) heavy-duty gauge extension cord in your car, you MIGHT be able to plug it "in" when having to park the vehicle while away from your house.

...the extra "added" heat going into the engine will make "restarting" a LOT easier on both the battery and engine in COLD COLD COLD weather.
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2012, 05:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
.........................
 
darcane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Buckley, WA
Posts: 1,586

Ninja 650R - '06 Kawasaki Ninja 650R
90 day: 52.02 mpg (US)

B*tch - '01 Honda Civic HX
Team Honda
90 day: 38.09 mpg (US)

Ms. Hyde - '06 Cadillac CTS V
Sports Cars
90 day: 16.93 mpg (US)
Thanks: 375
Thanked 480 Times in 311 Posts
Bestclimb is spot on. Oh, and 60 miles? That must put you around Big Lake then? I grew up in Wasilla, and my family is still in that area. I hardly recognize it every time I go back.

I would say oil pan heater or synthetic engine oil is needed, both would be nice.

As for the tires, studs are counterintuitive, they are more beneficial in more moderate climates. Most of the time up there, when it's icy, it's cold enough that it's not real slippery. Ice is worst when temps are right about freezing, and those are the conditions where you really want studs. Plus, the roads get cleared regularly and sanded. When it's snowy, studs do almost nothing, it is all about what tire you have. Most people have a set of winter wheels and summer wheels, especially if you run studs. As long as you're not off-roading, 2WD is all you need.

__________________
2001 Civic HX Mods


Past Cars:
CTS-V

2003 Silverado Mods
  Reply With Quote
Reply  Post New Thread


Tags
alaska driving, block heater, cold weather

Thread Tools




Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.5.2
All content copyright EcoModder.com