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CMAX Grill Cover Testing, 2-5 MPG Gain

MPG grill cover test

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244 replies to this topic

#21 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 06:59 PM

I tried something different for closing the grill openings.

The cure all Duct Tape!

Half width fits between the grill members and black is hardly noticeable.

 

I have been driving this way for several days and am amazed that the duct tape strips are staying put!

I have seen my mpg go up, but since it has also warmed some here I cannot say exactly how much.

I left the top slot open but covered the rest including the lower all black grill.

Checking the water temperature it still is below 1/2 on the gauge often, so maybe I can do more, but am being cautious.

 

attachicon.gifIMG_7007s.jpgattachicon.gifIMG_7008s.jpg

Good Job but you need to close off the hole thing, you're safe to 70deg.F anyway. If the temp gauge doesn't go to the middle it means you are not getting to180deg.F and you need to get to 206deg.F. If you are worried get a ScanGauge and you will see exactly what temp you are at. You wouldn't believe how cold the ICE runs. Then you will want some Grill Covers. :)  









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#22 OFFLINE   robodog61

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:00 PM

Hello PT Jones.  I have some weird data with the Ford and grill covers and my Prius with foam blocking.  The Prius comes up to temp much quicker.  I can get to 180 fairly quickly and the max temp I have seen is about 193.  I think that is the normal temp range for the Prius.  It is very stable around that temp with outside air temps from about 10 degrees to the mid 20's.  I have noticed that the Prius engine runs more often and spends less time than the Ford in EV mode.  However, with scan gauge I can tell that the gallons per hour is quite a bit lower under load that the C Max.  With the foam covers and driving in mix of local and highway, I can run the heat and get about 50-51 mpg.  I think that is about 2-5 mpg more than before I installed the foam

With the C-Max, I tend to take it on shorter trips.  Even on a 15 mile trip, the water temp never went above 180 and was usually about 150-170.  It spent a lot of time in EV mode, but when the engine ran, it took about 2-2.5 GPH vs. 1-1.5 with the Prius.  I really couldn't run the heat since the WT was so low. With this extreme cold and the grill covers on, I have been getting about 40 mpg and that is driving in order to maximize my mpg.

 

These are just some observations about the differences between the 2 cars.  I don't know how I can get the WT higher in the Ford on local trips, even long ones.


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#23 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 10:11 AM

 

 

Hello PT Jones.  I have some weird data with the Ford and grill covers and my Prius with foam blocking.  The Prius comes up to temp much quicker.  I can get to 180 fairly quickly and the max temp I have seen is about 193.  I think that is the normal temp range for the Prius.  It is very stable around that temp with outside air temps from about 10 degrees to the mid 20's.  I have noticed that the Prius engine runs more often and spends less time than the Ford in EV mode.  However, with scan gauge I can tell that the gallons per hour is quite a bit lower under load that the C Max.  With the foam covers and driving in mix of local and highway, I can run the heat and get about 50-51 mpg.  I think that is about 2-5 mpg more than before I installed the foam

With the C-Max, I tend to take it on shorter trips.  Even on a 15 mile trip, the water temp never went above 180 and was usually about 150-170.  It spent a lot of time in EV mode, but when the engine ran, it took about 2-2.5 GPH vs. 1-1.5 with the Prius.  I really couldn't run the heat since the WT was so low. With this extreme cold and the grill covers on, I have been getting about 40 mpg and that is driving in order to maximize my mpg.

 

These are just some observations about the differences between the 2 cars.  I don't know how I can get the WT higher in the Ford on local trips, even long ones.

The reason the GPH is high is you have a Lithium ion battery with about twice the capacity of the Prius and it can be charged faster too. This takes alot of power from ICE for a short time. I have been able to get 70%EV Mod around town which leaves 30% of the time for fast charging.  I believe FORD has over cooled the ICE and if you didn't need to use the AC you could leave the covers on all year long for city driving. If you have all the grill openings blocked off I don't know what else you can do. The thermostat is fully open at 202deg.F.  Maybe Oil pan heater or engine block heater would help.


Edited by ptjones, 27 January 2013 - 05:18 PM.


#24 OFFLINE   hybridbear

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 11:31 AM

I tried something different for closing the grill openings.

The cure all Duct Tape!

Half width fits between the grill members and black is hardly noticeable.

 

I have been driving this way for several days and am amazed that the duct tape strips are staying put!

I have seen my mpg go up, but since it has also warmed some here I cannot say exactly how much.

I left the top slot open but covered the rest including the lower all black grill.

Checking the water temperature it still is below 1/2 on the gauge often, so maybe I can do more, but am being cautious.

 

attachicon.gifIMG_7007s.jpgattachicon.gifIMG_7008s.jpg

How has the tape held up?



#25 OFFLINE   jchaddpete

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 03:37 PM

Can someone suggest where Grill Covers can be purchased?  Apparently, my Ford dealership isn't aware that they make a difference in mpg during colder temps so I suspect they're not available as a Ford product.

Any advice would be appreciated.



#26 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 03:52 PM

Can someone suggest where Grill Covers can be purchased?  Apparently, my Ford dealership isn't aware that they make a difference in mpg during colder temps so I suspect they're not available as a Ford product.

Any advice would be appreciated.

I came up with the idea for Grill Covers and believe I'm only place to get them. :)  Message me and I will give you the details. Also I have a few threads on this topic here.

 

Paul



#27 OFFLINE   Jmonty

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 01:12 PM

I tried something different for closing the grill openings.

The cure all Duct Tape!

Half width fits between the grill members and black is hardly noticeable.

 

I have been driving this way for several days and am amazed that the duct tape strips are staying put!

I have seen my mpg go up, but since it has also warmed some here I cannot say exactly how much.

I left the top slot open but covered the rest including the lower all black grill.

Checking the water temperature it still is below 1/2 on the gauge often, so maybe I can do more, but am being cautious.

 

attachicon.gifIMG_7007s.jpgattachicon.gifIMG_7008s.jpg

 

 

very interesting..  i was wondering about duct tape but i was concerned about the residue when it comes off.  you know how sometimes it leaves like a tan colored adhesive gunk?

 

i'm about to head out on another trip to MI from CO and was thinking that'd save me a few MPGs, but i go 3-5 MPH over the speed limit so i only expect ~38 mpg at best.



#28 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 05:09 PM

very interesting..  i was wondering about duct tape but i was concerned about the residue when it comes off.  you know how sometimes it leaves like a tan colored adhesive gunk?
 
i'm about to head out on another trip to MI from CO and was thinking that'd save me a few MPGs, but i go 3-5 MPH over the speed limit so i only expect ~38 mpg at best.


I have used clear packing tape and it can leave a little residue that is easily removed with lacquer thinner. Remember to monitor MyView temp gauge. We can get you covers when you are ready.

Paul

#29 OFFLINE   Jmonty

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 05:26 PM

Thanks, man. I'll consider that.

I got some black tape on, not very neatly but it should hold.

After this trip I'll have roughly 18k miles total, with just ~6k on the interstate going cross country. So, it turns out that this car will have served me well because most of my driving is city where better MPGs are easier to obtain, stock.

#30 OFFLINE   Jus-A-CMax

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 09:20 PM

Hey Paul, did you end up taking off your covers in the heat of AZ/TX? Can't remember if you reported on that or not...



#31 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 11:14 PM

Hey Paul, did you end up taking off your covers in the heat of AZ/TX? Can't remember if you reported on that or not...

No, I left them on all year long. Now with the update it runs about 10degrees warmer than before because shutters don't open till 215degreesWT, before they started to open at  190degrees. Remember operating temp for ICE was 202-212degrees, but my last AZ trip I was interchanging about every 100mi. full cover for cut out cover with no obvious difference in MPG's. My take away from this is it is very important to get to 202degreesWT for max MPG's , but getting as high as 237degreesWT has little to no effect on MPG's  BTW it is still hard to reach 200degrees in the summer time and full covers with city driving. :) 

 

Paul



#32 OFFLINE   Jus-A-CMax

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 12:58 AM

Bad news, I have similar covers with middle and lower. Tonight the overheat warning came on with the outside temps at 33F!!! This was during a 3 bar burn climbing Sherwin grade at 66 mph set on eco cruise. Maxine was fully, fully loaded and it came on after 5 minutes of this moderately hard burn. I was shocked it came on at that speed and especially at that temp.

Took me 30 secs to process this "wtf" moment and  I backed down to a 2 bar burn and the temp dropped back to middle. That was scarier than running out of gas.

I checked Maxine when I got to town and nothing appeared out of ordinary and the engine functioned fine.

So yeah, it is possible to push it over...even in freezing ambient temp!

 

ps I have climbed at those speed, load and temp, no issues back then. Scary.


Edited by Jus-A-CMax, 24 December 2013 - 01:01 AM.


#33 OFFLINE   Adair

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 07:00 AM

Yikes Jus!!! Glad everything was ok! That's the very thing that scares me about the grill covers.



#34 OFFLINE   Jus-A-CMax

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 11:28 AM

Yikes Jus!!! Glad everything was ok! That's the very thing that scares me about the grill covers.

I really do not need to use covers but since I was going to the snow ala MN temps I thought I would try them. It works pretty good@2bar burn going up most grades but Sherwin is special, its a steep and very long grade. Maxine has the energy for sure...but who knew this would happen. I'll leave the covers on for the trip and see.



#35 OFFLINE   Adair

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 12:47 PM

So it was the 3 bars AND the grade that caused it? What is Sherwin? 7% ? I know you've said but I don't remember.



#36 OFFLINE   bemyax

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 12:48 PM

I'll have to see if this stays on in the car wash. It's the snap-around pipe wrap you can get for a couple dollars at Wal-Mart. Since it was still dark and -18F when I did this, a nicer day might yield better looking results. I had to clip angled notches for the vertically oriented members. It might not show in the pic, but the lower grill openings are full of snow and it's way too cold to lie on the ground. 

 

From everything I've read here, tiny changes can make statistically significant changes in the vehicle performance. So I'm thinking these "covers" will also alter the aerodynamic shape along with the better temperature curve I'm after. No data collection expertise or capabilities here. I'm going to crudely follow your lead. 

 

David 

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#37 OFFLINE   Adair

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 12:56 PM

Thanks for posting that David! This is something I've considered. Someone  (fotomoto?) mentioned that this had been done by Prius owners with great results. Do you have 2 different diameter wraps?



#38 OFFLINE   bemyax

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 01:32 PM

The 3/4" diameter was the only size at my store. I had to try to jam the two tube sides into the same in-between grill slot with my frozen fingers. A garage would have been nice. 

 

For three dollars (US) it couldn't hurt to try. The seven-day forecast for northeast Iowa doesn't show us getting slammed with frigid temps soon, maybe just a little below zero a couple of times. It's really a band aid type solution, so if they get blown off in the car wash, I'll just replace them. (Add: I hit the highway a 65mph and I couldn't see where they moved around, but a longer trip would produce better evidence of them working loose.) 

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#39 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 04:24 PM

Bad news, I have similar covers with middle and lower. Tonight the overheat warning came on with the outside temps at 33F!!! This was during a 3 bar burn climbing Sherwin grade at 66 mph set on eco cruise. Maxine was fully, fully loaded and it came on after 5 minutes of this moderately hard burn. I was shocked it came on at that speed and especially at that temp.

Took me 30 secs to process this "wtf" moment and  I backed down to a 2 bar burn and the temp dropped back to middle. That was scarier than running out of gas.

I checked Maxine when I got to town and nothing appeared out of ordinary and the engine functioned fine.

So yeah, it is possible to push it over...even in freezing ambient temp!

 

ps I have climbed at those speed, load and temp, no issues back then. Scary.

I think it is important to figure out what happened. Jus doesn't use my Grill Covers; not all covers work the same.

 

1.  Jus what temp did you get too? MyTouch temp gauge and ScanGauge?

2. What type of gas? Reg,Premium or Pure Gas

3. How tight does your grill cover fit?

4. What temp were you running before you started climbing?

5. Were you using the heater? You can adjust ICE WT with heater.

 

I think this event is important because the ICE computer notified you that there was a problem, so the system worked the way it was supposed to. The Handbook explains what happens as ICE temps reach unsafe levels and computer takes actions to protect the ICE. Jus activated the first step, which no one has reported before. If the computer works like it is supposed to Jus could have kept going and the worst that could have happen is the ICE would shut down. After cooling down it would restart and go until it heated up again. No harm no foul.

 

Paul



#40 OFFLINE   Jus-A-CMax

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 10:14 PM

These are not ptjones grills, jus want to make that clear. I built these myself, they are tight and removable, and unless Paul had vent holes in his grills, they are essentially similar. I have no use for grill covers in Los Angeles since temps are mild almost 365 days, but I made these to play with for the trips up north.

Adair...yeah, if I kept the burn at 2 bars and not gun it (I decided to try Mcgyvers trick), I think I would have been OK.

 

The engine had been running about 2.5 hrs since Mojave, pulse & glide and ambient temp was low, myview gauge showed middle bars. That was OK. Everyone knows I use premium. Cabin temp was 70 for me and the wifey had 75 on hers. 3 bar acceleration from the bottom of Sherwin. It was climbing nicely at 66mph at 3 bars, it was kinda sweet to drive... then OOOPS.

 

Here's the deal, I now strongly believe the grill covers are too much for the load & grade and speed. Not even below 30f could sustain the heat at those loads. This is easily repeatable if anyone wants to try.

 

I am posting this as a cautionary note to those who drive with grill covers or anyone who tries to block the middle & lower grills...there IS A LIMIT.


Edited by Jus-A-CMax, 24 December 2013 - 10:17 PM.

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