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Guest Message by DevFuse

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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

#41 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 11:11 PM

I wish we knew what temp this happened at on both gauges to educate Grill Cover users. Jus were you using inside or outside air? BTW Jus Grill Covers are worth about 2mpg at 70mph, well worth any potential problems IMO when all you need to do is slow down to two bars. I also supply a summer cover that solves this problem in about 15 sec.

Paul







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#42 OFFLINE   Recumpence

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Posted 25 December 2013 - 11:19 AM

I call tell you I have all three grille openings covered with my own covers. The center and upper grilles are completely air tight sealed and the lower grille is open with a 1.5inch by 3 inch opening. I have no issues what-so-ever in winter. In summer I open up the center grille with an opening about the size of half my palm.

 

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#43 OFFLINE   bemyax

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Posted 25 December 2013 - 11:59 AM

Because you folks have monitored temperatures with varying configurations and climates, I figure watching the user gauge will be sufficient. My only concern in hot weather is if we are corrupting some kind of highly tweaked airflow dynamics under the hood. I can't provide a link; my recollection from my 2000 Focus was that we could create unintended hot spots in the engine. 



#44 OFFLINE   BobJustBob

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 09:31 AM

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.

 

 

Hi David,

 

I also am giving grill covers made of foam pipe insulation a try.  I bought 1/2 inch diameter black foam pipe insulation at Lowe's.  It comes in 5-foot sections, which cost 99 cents each.  I used 2 1/4 sections and sealed all openings in my lower and middle grills.  Unlike you, I cut the insulation in roughly 4 inch lengths to fit the area between the vertical support members.  (I tried to take a photograph of my covers, but am having difficulty with my digital camera.)  I made sure to make each length about 2 or 3 mm longer than the section I was trying to fill, to make for a really tight fit.  Due the flexible nature of the foam, it would "flow" over the vertical support post and almost merge with the edge of the foam in the adjoining section, thus creating a tight seam.

 

Because the foam is black, it is hardly noticeable when one steps back from the automobile. 

 

I installed mine on December 24th, so it is too early to tell how successful the covers will be in increasing my cold weather gas mileage.  I was getting desperate--last winter was fairly mild, but this year we have already had two brutal Arctic air blasts come roaring through, and my gas mileage was plummeting.



#45 OFFLINE   bemyax

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 11:30 AM

Bob @BobJustBob, 

 

That sounds like a definite improvement in materials. The larger size hasn't moved around in the car wash or the highway maybe because they are a tight squeeze. Since Matt @Recompence covered his top grill, I'll try that, too. While taking a long (100 mile) highway drive yesterday, the gauge went to center, and stayed put. But the air temperature was right around freezing. I'll repeat that drive when we go subzero again, to see if I can observe the thermostat opening and closing. Before the cover, when I would run into the convenience store for coffee in sub-zero, it was just like starting all over. :facepalm: 

 

I think our original topic was miles per gallon related to operating temperature. Since I've been tinkering with using E10, pushing up the tire pressure, and working harder at manipulating the CVT into lower ratios there's no way I can even get a seat-of-the-pants sense of how my MPGs are affected by this. Will have to leave that to the scientists.  

 

David 


Edited by bemyax, 28 December 2013 - 11:34 AM.

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#46 OFFLINE   marshtex2

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 01:32 AM

I covered the middle and lower grill on my 2013 C-Max Hybrid last July in El Paso, TX, 70 to over 90 degrees F ambient, following discussions with Paul Jones.  I found a cheap and quick way of doing this with a layer of thin film sold to cover and protect carpets in work areas and this very much sealed off the grill. 

 

Through Ford tech reps Jones found that the thermostat is fully open at 202 degrees, so normally the coolant should be approximately 202-212 degrees.  He pointed out that the coolant reservoir cap has 21 psi stamped on the top and that a 50/50 mixture of water/coolant at 21 psi boils at approximately  285 degrees F.  

 

With my sealed off grill, engine operating temperature was not troubled, it got up to thermostat opening a little quicker, perhaps, but it stayed within acceptable operating range for the pressure tight system, most I ever saw was 215 deg. 

 

The air conditioner seemed to work OK, however, when I would switch it on to Max AC it would start blowing hard and cold but the chill went away in a very few minutes.  Before I dare take the C-Max in with an AC complaint with the grill covered, I peeled the cover off.  Then giving the Max AC a test, I found that it worked just fine; lots of cold air blew and blew.  So my style of grill cover did interfere with the function of the AC system.

 

I did not detect a noticeable difference in mpg in my mostly suburban area driving.



#47 OFFLINE   hybridbear

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 08:23 AM



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.) 

1/2 insulation fits between the grille slats. See pics of on our FFH and on my parents' C-Max Energi

IMG_4623_zps87aba5a6.jpg

IMG_8741_zps651cd9c8.jpg

 

Squeezed between the slats the foam will not move. Since it also hooks around the slats with the slits I cut in it to match them it is quite solid. I've driven 70 MPH on the interstate and washed the car numerous times with no movement of the foam. I've observed that the change in peak coolant temp is pretty small, maybe 10 degrees F. The big improvement is in how quickly the ICE gets warm. Less than 3 miles at 60-65 MPH will get the coolant temp from 20-30C up to 80+C. Engineering Test Mode is really useful for monitoring coolant temps as it allows you to see the exact temp in Celsius instead of just the vague temp gauge on MyView. I use ET Mode every time I start the car until the ICE warms up. Once the ICE is warm then I turn it off so I can see the Empower, etc screens again.

 



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.

That kind of grade would cause overheating in many cars in summer. A grille cover restricting airflow is just too much. I'm glad the car warned you Jus. How long had you been doing the 3 bar burn when the ICE got hot? We don't have much in the way of hills in MN but there is one freeway stretch where I'll climb with a 2 bar burn for a couple minutes at 60-ish MPH and that will get the coolant up over 90C. Usually it settles in around 80-84C with full grille blocking and MN temps of <20F. Once I finish that climb and go back to alternating EV mode with ICE charging the coolant temp quickly drops back to 80-84C. In the city I've seen it hit 90C with outside temps 25F and 20+ miles of city driving. However, mostly in the city the coolant temp struggles to reach 80C and maintain 80C even with full grille blocking in MN. The time it hit 90+ C was a rare occurrence where I was driving in an area with a ton of stop signs so there was minimal EV run time. During the stretch where the coolant increased in temp so much my SOC also went from being <20% to >55% because of how much the ICE was running.

 

The Prius does much better than the Fords at getting hot and maintaining heat in the winter. The Prius will quickly reach 193-195F coolant temp even with ambient temps of -10F. In the city the Prius will maintain 175-190F coolant temp with the heat running and outside temps <20F. Ford should learn from Toyota's design and improve the FFH and C-Max for the next gen so that they work better in cold climates.

 

Here's a pic of the Prius grille blocking

IMG_8713_zps6dc21ba4.jpg

 

Sorry for the mix of Celsius and Fahrenheit... Since I monitor coolant temps in the Fords with ET Mode I use Celsius there because that's the display in ET Mode. I've gotten pretty good at converting Celsius from ET Mode to Fahrenheit in my head by doubling the C temp, subtracting 10% and then adding 32. The Prius temps are monitored with the ScanGauge so there I talk temps in Fahrenheit.

 



Hi David,

 

I also am giving grill covers made of foam pipe insulation a try.  I bought 1/2 inch diameter black foam pipe insulation at Lowe's.  It comes in 5-foot sections, which cost 99 cents each.  I used 2 1/4 sections and sealed all openings in my lower and middle grills.  Unlike you, I cut the insulation in roughly 4 inch lengths to fit the area between the vertical support members.  (I tried to take a photograph of my covers, but am having difficulty with my digital camera.)  I made sure to make each length about 2 or 3 mm longer than the section I was trying to fill, to make for a really tight fit.  Due the flexible nature of the foam, it would "flow" over the vertical support post and almost merge with the edge of the foam in the adjoining section, thus creating a tight seam.

 

Because the foam is black, it is hardly noticeable when one steps back from the automobile. 

 

I installed mine on December 24th, so it is too early to tell how successful the covers will be in increasing my cold weather gas mileage.  I was getting desperate--last winter was fairly mild, but this year we have already had two brutal Arctic air blasts come roaring through, and my gas mileage was plummeting.

Putting it between the vertical supports might allow your pieces to come out from air pressure at high speeds or from water pressure at the car wash. Notching the foam to hook around the vertical support bars will keep the foam securely in place. Dark colored foam that runs in one piece all the way across is also less visible that many pieces. See my pics above. The Prius was the first car that I blocked. Thus, it looks the worst because I didn't know what I was doing back in October as well as I do now. At some point I will redo the Prius grille so that it looks better and isn't in so many separate pieces.


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#48 OFFLINE   marshtex2

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 01:37 PM

Has anybody with a Scanguage noticed what the water temp it shows when the overheat warning light has come on?  I have never seen anyone report a Scanguage water temp that would seem to be getting into a danger zone.



#49 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 02:45 PM

It is important to know that the radiator doesn't do anything until the thermostat starts to open at 182degrees and I'm guessing fully open at 202degrees given that is the operating range. The only cooling that is being done is by the ICE radiating heat and air flow pulling it away down under the car. Unlike foam my Grill Covers allow some air flow which gives it a larger OT range. When temps get to hot you just install Summer Cover in about a minute.  

 

Has anybody with a Scanguage noticed what the water temp it shows when the overheat warning light has come on?  I have never seen anyone report a Scanguage water temp that would seem to be getting into a danger zone.

Jus is the only member that has been able to get hot enough to make this happen and he doesn't know the temp. I have been able to get to 237degrees during the summer in AZ and not get that message. If anyone has this happen all they have to do is slow down to 2Bars and problem temperately solved and then remove cover and install summer cover. BTW Grill Covers improve MPG's  by better aerodynamics by about 2mpg's at HWY speeds. :)

 

Paul 


Edited by ptjones, 19 January 2014 - 04:47 PM.


#50 OFFLINE   Plus 3 Golfer

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 06:37 PM

Has anybody with a Scanguage noticed what the water temp it shows when the overheat warning light has come on?  I have never seen anyone report a Scanguage water temp that would seem to be getting into a danger zone.

You need to know the algoritm used in setting alarms / DTC and then maybe one can figure out what the threshold temperature is for triggering. It's likely not one instantaneous value. Usually, there is a sampling rate and a time constant used to compute a weighted average value. When the weighted average value exceeds the threshold, an alarm or DTC is initiated. IIRC, the threshold for the PCM to limit fueling on over temperature is 270F (I read that in either the service manual or perhaps the OBDII operations manual). So my guess is that the over temperature warning threshold temperature would be between say 240-260F.

I have seen instantaneous temperatures climb into the mid 230F with covers and ambient temp near 70F at 67 mph going up grades and then fall back to low 220F once over the crest of the hill.
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#51 OFFLINE   Jus-A-CMax

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 01:35 AM

hybridbear/ptjones - sorry guys, got no scangauge to report temps. For all intent and purposes, the 2 bar burn up the hills were fine, it was only when it settled on the 3 bar and kept at the 66mph that it went into overheat. That could be on the buy list for 2014. Like I posted before, its either a golf club or these car toys, I prefer the golf clubs.

 

Here is the link: https://maps.google....&sz=13&t=m&z=13 that you plug into http://www.gpsvisual...m/profile_input

 

I suspect it was around mile that it overheated and I dropped back down to 2 bar burn and it was fine. Temp stayed at around 1/2 to 3/4 and within the white bar range limit. Prior to that, it was P&G jus before the steep climb. Normally, I would sit on a 2 bar burn and enjoy the music going up this grade. Coming back the temps were much higher at 50F-60F and I just stick to the 2 bar burn and occassionally 3 bar burn for short periods and keeping an eye on the gauge - Maxine performed fine :)

 

PS This is an awesome grade coming down though....

 

On a side note, I kept the grill covers on this morning, it was around 48-50F this morning in my drive to work, Maxine was behaving weird with the covers on, the warm up cycle would come on intermittently - usually when stopped at the lights for about 5 miles. I can't recall the warm up cycles being on so often with the covers off. I was using surface streets and mostly EV when I could. SOC was high. In contrast, typically, ICE would burn 0.04 gas and be ready without the grill covers. Consequentially, my MPG to work was like 63MPG with 20.4 miles and 0.32 gas burnt. I always scored 70s and gas around 0.24 to 0.28 depening on traffic and light timing.

 

May be its Maxine and the high SOC and cold, she behaves weird like limited 1 bar EV burns (cannot exceed 1 bar otherwise ICE is on and the SOC is almost full) and yet the ICE would still continue to warm up (outside temps were 26F back then). Strange.


Edited by Jus-A-CMax, 31 December 2013 - 01:44 AM.

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#52 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 11:48 AM

I'm wondering if Maxine is still learning. Also several members have noticed ICE wants to stay on when cold till it reaches 128degrees which i noticed this morning on MadMax. The Family is back together, YA! :)  :yahoo: :shift:  I'm working on improved Grill Cover to solve potential over heating problem.

 

Paul


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#53 OFFLINE   Jus-A-CMax

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 11:54 AM

I'm wondering if Maxine is still learning. Also several members have noticed ICE wants to stay on when cold till it reaches 128degrees which i noticed this morning on MadMax. The Family is back together, YA! :)  :yahoo: :shift:  I'm working on improved Grill Cover to solve potential over heating problem.

 

Paul

 

I thought about the :airquote: learning curve as well..the route is exactly the same so is this CMax smart enuf to record engine temps with the GPS? I might as well keep it on and see what happens the rest of the week.

 

 

Well :congrats:   Paul...and YES...I AM SHOUING BECAUSE I KNOW EXACTLY HOW TO FEEL TO HAVE THE FAMILY BACK TOGETHER AGAIN.... :rockon: .... :happy feet:.... :victory: ...... :dance:


Edited by Jus-A-CMax, 31 December 2013 - 11:56 AM.

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#54 OFFLINE   Recumpence

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 04:08 PM

I have noticed in very cold weather that my engine runs until coolant reaches 108f. At that point the engine shuts off. However, if I am not careful and the engine starts again, it will not shut off until 128f. It is really weird.

Matt
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#55 OFFLINE   Jus-A-CMax

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 04:17 PM

I have noticed in very cold weather that my engine runs until coolant reaches 108f. At that point the engine shuts off. However, if I am not careful and the engine starts again, it will not shut off until 128f. It is really weird.

Matt

That may be what I am seeing too whilst I was driving around town <= 26F ambient. Darn..I need to get scangauge. Happy New Year Matt :)



#56 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 12:26 AM

Today tested the cooling system by driving 50mi out and then back on Fwy 50 to 70mph. I started with the whole front end and hood taped up, no air leaks, OT 49*F. It took 25mi to get to 200*F and kept climbing to 230*F up hill and 220*F down hill. Turned heater on and lost 15*F to start and then settled on 5*F. On the the way back I took tape off hood and head lights. This made no noticeable difference in temps. Next I took tape off top grill and saw a 5*F drop in temp. So with both center and bottom grills taped off temps were 215*-225*F after 25mi with 50*F OT on the Fwy.

Paul


Edited by ptjones, 03 January 2014 - 03:55 PM.


#57 OFFLINE   Tree63

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 07:26 AM

I've also noted the 2 stage engine warm up, especially since the FE related TSB upgrade.  Another Forum suggested one was for EV OT and other was ICE OT.

 

With -20C/-2F plus windchill yesterday, the pipe insulation covering part of upper grill kept car cosy though of course FE took huge hit - from 6L/100km to 8L/100km when driving 80% city. 

 

Don't know about an engine hot spot but interior temp seems to go beyond the 21-22C setting that I use.  Anyone else seen this?

 

Also - door handles seem to be temp sensitive - would open only with glove-free hand yesterday.


Edited by Tree63, 03 January 2014 - 07:26 AM.


#58 OFFLINE   hybridbear

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 09:00 AM

I have noticed in very cold weather that my engine runs until coolant reaches 108f. At that point the engine shuts off. However, if I am not careful and the engine starts again, it will not shut off until 128f. It is really weird.

Matt

Check out what I've documented for warm up stages here


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#59 OFFLINE   Jus-A-CMax

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 03:07 PM

Good stuff hybridbear!

 

How did you manage to get all the data on the FFH stages?

 

Also, does anyone know if this is the same for our CMaxs? I'd like to PIN the link here if they are the same.


Edited by Jus-A-CMax, 03 January 2014 - 03:07 PM.


#60 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 03:54 PM

I spent the afternoon running errands about 50mi OT 37*F and averaged about 48mpg going 35-55mph with the whole front of car taped up. Top temp was 215*F at 55mph after an half an hour and turned heater on to drop to 210*F. Max intake air temp about 90*F. :)

 

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