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Suggested tips for cold weather driving?


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52 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   ERPriest

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 01:35 PM

As the temperature drops and my first Chicago winter with my new C-Max is settling in, I am discovering that this car doesn't especially enjoy the cold.  The engine now takes quite a while to warm up and stays in ICE mode for much longer than in the warm weather.  When it does finally get warm enough and shift to EV, the engine temperature quickly drops back down and we are in ICE mode again.  This seems to be especially problematic for short trips.  My average MPG is taking a big hit.

 

Any tips for C-Max hybrid driving in the cold?









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#2 OFFLINE   fotomoto

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 02:09 PM

MOVE!    :)

 

Seriously, watch the HVAC temperature.  Many times the ICE will come on just to provide cabin heat.   Use seat warmers (SEL owners) to offset lower cabin temps.  Avoid short trips as much as possible.    Find a route that gets the ICE up to full temp ASAP.  

 

Others will have more tips.   Good luck! 



#3 OFFLINE   zhackwyatt

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 02:15 PM

MOVE!    :)
 
Seriously, watch the HVAC temperature.  Many times the ICE will come on just to provide cabin heat.   Use seat warmers (SEL owners) to offset lower cabin temps.  Avoid short trips as much as possible.    Find a route that gets the ICE up to full temp ASAP.  
 
Others will have more tips.   Good luck!

I think the middle hybrid display is good for finding this out.  Sometimes I"ve been surprised by the engine on due to climate settings being displayed when I didn't realize that my climate settings required heat.



#4 OFFLINE   fbov

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 02:59 PM

There are two approaches, change how you're driving, and modify the car.

 

The latter is to simply block off the front grill, improving aero drag and reducing the amount of cold air to the radiator and engine compartment. Look for work by Recumpence and ptjones, confirming engine temp is OK, and mileage rises.

 

Others have hit on the driving changes to some extent. As I just noted to someone else, there are several stages to warmup.

Stage 1: cold - ICE on continuously, turns off when warm, not hot

Stage 2: warming

warming 1 - EV only available with heat OFF

warming 1a - ICE will come back on and stay on

warming 2 - EV limited to 1 bar with heat ON

Stage 3: hot- full EV available and ICE turns on/off with throttle

 

I drive uphill for most of my first mile in the morning. I run defrost max until I hit the main road; turn heat off and I can EV. I take this as far as I can, and get a long second warmup run as a result. After the second ICE warmup run, I can EV with the heat ON, but only use 1 bar, perfect for a long flat run. From here, I play with heat and throttle but retain the 1-bar limit until I'm a good 5-10 miles from home...

 

And that's on a 25F day. Haven't had any lower, yet...

 

Have fun,

Frank


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#5 OFFLINE   Adair

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 04:23 PM

Hi ERPriest,

 

I live in Michigan, near Ann Arbor, and we had our first (light) snowfall yesterday and our first 20* morning today. I drive 17.3 miles to work each day at 7:30 am over back roads, thru 1 small town w/ 3-4 stopsigns and 2 lights along the way.

 

When I leave in the morning I use the bun warmers until the engine is warmed up. I only turn the defrost on at this point if I can't see out the windows. As soon as the engine warmed to about 1 bar (on the My View screen) I turn on either the defrost or the upper fan, set on 73* and about 3 bars of fan blowing. (My tolerance for cold has diminished this year )  By this time I can get into EV for short periods, but once the engine is fully warm, EV is a little more available. (There were a couple of trips last winter when the temps were near 0* that I couldn't get into EV at all.....but that was right after I got my C-MAX.)

 

Until today, with the temps in the 30s, I was able to get about 44.5 mpg average for the round-trip....with the return being at 5pm, warmer, and I always get better mpgs on the return, because it's more downhill. We'll see what today brings. I don't know what the temps are out now.

 

I have ordered gas pods from Aerohance in hopes that they will help me get better MPGs this winter than I did last.

 

Regardless of the miles, I love my C-MAX. I got great MPGs over the summer. As for winter driving, we had several snows last year, and I never felt *unsafe* driving my car.....and I came from a Jeep Liberty to the C-MAX.

 

Good luck, and keep us posted on how it's going.

 

I'm sure others will chime in here with more information.



#6 OFFLINE   drdiesel1

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 04:23 PM

Some use grill blocking to reduce warm up's and help keep it warm longer. Reduce you heater temps. I use 78° for both A/C and heat to reduce demand on the system. As meantioned, use heated seats if you have them. Check your tire pressures too.

I run 51 (tire rating) in mine.

 

As the temps drop, so will tire pressure. Change your oil and use 0W20 full synthetic oil. I did @ 500 miles and now have 4000. My ICE is no longer loud when it kicks on. Add some Techron to the tank to clean the fuel system and carbon deposits. Charge your 12V with a micro processor charger to keep it @ maximum SOC. I charge mine at least every 3 months.

Cold weather will require more frequent service and help reduce damand.


Edited by drdiesel1, 12 November 2013 - 04:26 PM.


#7 OFFLINE   Laurel

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 08:03 PM

I'll second what Adair says.  Turn your seat heat up, don't power up any fans etc.until car is warmed up.  Wear your toque and gloves and you're good to go.  The car is nice and solid and safe in the winter.  The mileage will get better with the Spring thaw LOL.  Do you put snow tires on Adair?  My Tip drives like a Jeep with her snow tires on.


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#8 OFFLINE   Adair

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 08:31 PM

No Laurel, I don't have snow tires......just what came with the car. I never felt the need for them last year. I suppose if we still lived in Duluth I'd reconsider, BUT, if we still lived in Duluth I'd be crazy, so it wouldn't matter.


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#9 OFFLINE   Laurel

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 09:49 PM

We didn't need snow tires last year either, but we had my husband's SUV so I didn't feel any pressure to put them on.  We are now a one car family so I thought I should buy them just in case. They make the car ride sort of rougher and they whine a bit, but I am getting used to it.  We want to go up to the mountains and cross country ski so we will need them then.



#10 ONLINE   ptjones

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 07:32 AM

I hate to repeat myself, but Grill Covers make a big difference during the winter. If you had a ScanGauge you would be amazed at the difference. Even with the Grill Covers on last nite outside temp 43degrees it took 12mi at 50-55mph to get to 200degrees coolant temp. Without Grill Cover it probably wouldn't have made it to 160degrees. This morning it was 33degrees outside and garage temp was 63degrees and still only got to 147degrees with no heater on my 2.4mi. drive to work. It is such a simple thing to do, I don't know why everyone hasn't done it. :)

 

Paul


Edited by ptjones, 13 November 2013 - 07:52 AM.

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#11 OFFLINE   Adair

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 08:25 AM

Paul, do you take them off when the car goes in for service or leave them on? If on, have any Ford people made any comments?



#12 ONLINE   ptjones

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 09:40 AM

Paul, do you take them off when the car goes in for service or leave them on? If on, have any Ford people made any comments?

My service manager at FORD is fully aware of what I'm doing and he has been helpful getting info from FORD on operating temps in the past. I leave my covers on and everyone looks at them. They can't believe the MPG's I'm getting. They have confidence by now that I know what I'm doing. After reading all the info on the ICE system, It is designed to protect itself no matter what happens. I have not been able to get coolant temps above 236degrees which is still below the top white line on the Smart Water temp Gauge under the worst conditions! :)

 

Paul


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#13 OFFLINE   mtb9153

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 02:08 AM

Don't mean to rub it in but we're partying smiley-party0003.gifon the west coast near 80degree's today by mid day.  Don't have ICE temp issues, but if we don't get some decent rain this winter we are screwed next summer.


Edited by mtb9153, 14 November 2013 - 02:11 AM.


#14 OFFLINE   Adair

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 04:56 AM

You're breakin' my heart mtb9153! It was 21* on my way to work and 32* on the way home. And before long, that will seem warm. UGH!


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#15 OFFLINE   fbov

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 10:08 AM

I'll trade a little cold and snow for mudslides, wildfires and earthquakes any day... no one gets off scott free!

 

And we had a new record low for the day yesterday!

 

Frank


Edited by fbov, 14 November 2013 - 10:33 AM.


#16 ONLINE   ptjones

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 11:08 AM

I'll trade a little cold and snow for mudslides, wildfires and earthquakes any day... no one gets off scott free!

 

And we had a new record low for the day yesterday!

 

Frank

I thought you would have Grill Covers by now. LOL :)



#17 OFFLINE   Edsel

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 12:43 PM

I hate to repeat myself, but Grill Covers make a big difference during the winter. If you had a ScanGauge you would be amazed at the difference. Even with the Grill Covers on last nite outside temp 43degrees it took 12mi at 50-55mph to get to 200degrees coolant temp. Without Grill Cover it probably wouldn't have made it to 160degrees. This morning it was 33degrees outside and garage temp was 63degrees and still only got to 147degrees with no heater on my 2.4mi. drive to work. It is such a simple thing to do, I don't know why everyone hasn't done it. :)

 

Paul

 

What's the break even point mileage wise for your grill covers?



#18 OFFLINE   Recumpence

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 08:55 AM

The biggest gains are found in two areas for cold weather;

First, do not let the engine warm up in the driveway. Turn on the car and start driving to get the most use out of the running engine.

Second, do not use the heater until the engine is warmed up. This keeps the EV driving more useable.

These two things make a world of difference.

So, where are you located? I am Mchenry.

Matt

Edited by Recumpence, 28 November 2013 - 10:56 AM.


#19 ONLINE   ptjones

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 09:34 AM

What's the break even point mileage wise for your grill covers?

Immediately, your CMAX heats up faster so you can turn on the heat! LOL  And it is nice for your MPG's to go up immediately.  Depending on the cost of gas, probably 30k-50kmi., also it's nice to be able to go another 20-40miles on a tank of gas. :)

 

Paul



#20 OFFLINE   userw014

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 07:46 PM

Any suggestions for improving efficiencies for short haul commuters?  When the weather was only chilly (35-45F), I could still do my daily commute in an Energi EV both ways with the defroster on - just barely. (My EV range with the defroster on drops from 21 miles to 11 miles, and my commute is about 9 miles round-trip.)  I did try driving with the windows down a little for air-circulation so I wouldn't need the defroster, but that doesn't work when the weather gets cold - my eyes water up.

 

However, it's been getting cold lately (15-20F) - and the ICE comes on a lot but mostly when I first move the car in the morning.  I've been watching my average gas mileage drop and drop.  It's down to 165MPG now.

 

My commute involves driving down a longish (for SEL* Michigan) hill to cross a river, and then back up again to work - and then back at the end of the day.

 

 

*SEL = South Eastern Lower Michigan.  A state made of two major peninsulas has potentially) 8 quadrants, although I think the UP is satisfied with East and West.








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