Worst Mileage Yet, Block Heater Dreams
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Thread: Worst Mileage Yet, Block Heater Dreams

  1. #1
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    Worst Mileage Yet, Block Heater Dreams

    Well, this morning it was -30C (-22F) in Ottawa. Dayum frigid. I had my oil "heater" plugged in over night but the little 1.4L still took the better part of 10 minutes on the road before the temp gauge moved, and that was after letting it idle for about 2 minutes while I unplugged and put away the extension cord (since buying the car I have NEVER idled it to warm it up, just easy driving for the first few minutes). I had the recirc engaged, the fan on low and the heat on full. My gauge cluster was iced over enough that it was difficult to read my mileage, not to mention the LCD displays take 3-4 seconds to react to a change in this kind of cold.

    I filled up last night before coming home. The gas station is about 1km from my house, so since filling I drove home and parked/plugged in, idled for ~2 min this morning while unplugging and then drove to work (about 23km/15mi) in this brutal cold spell. The car is reading 6.6L/100km (36 MPG), by far the worst start to a tank of fuel I can remember, but all things considered not bad at all. It will be interesting to see my mileage for this tank once this cold spell passes.

    I'm seriously considering a block heater upgrade… this OEM unit doesn't even turn on until its -18C (0F). Handy for saving electricity, yes, but not so good for preheating an engine. I'm running full synthetic Mobil1 so oil flow isn't too much of a concern, but driving half way to work with a cold engine running rich, burning extra fuel and generating no cabin heat certainly is. I bet pre heating the engine would make a significant improvement in winter mileage.
    '12 ECO MT

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  3. #2
    1st Gear jstoner22's Avatar
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    I've been in similar weather to you the last few days and just noticed the same thing with the screens. They don't flick over right away, its a slow process of fade out-fade in.
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  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jstoner22 View Post
    I've been in similar weather to you...
    Except about 10C warmer. I have ice forming at the base of my windows throughout the house, and have actual icicles forming on the bottom of my front door where there's a tiny draft through the weatherstrip... my boots sitting nearby were cold when I put them on this morning! Must - Get - Block - Heater

    I grew up in Port Perry, went to Durham College in Oshawa. I moved to Ottawa in 2009 after spending most of my life in Durham Region (work evaporating in the Automotive Industry). Ottawa isn't that far away, but man, it is noticeably colder here. I was in Port a couple of weeks ago visiting family, I left behind 5-foot snowbanks in my driveway in Ottawa to see green lawns in the GTA! A few degrees makes a big difference.

    Where in Whitby are you?
    '12 ECO MT

  5. #4
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    I had the recirc engaged, the fan on low and the heat on full.
    Do you wait til the temp gauge moves before turning on the heat? With my car, with much warmer temps, if I just blast the heat as soon as I start it, the engine never gets a chance to warm up. I wait til the gauge is just below 1/4 before turning the heater on.

    And just for the record...man that's cold. It was 10F here this morning.
    Last edited by jblackburn; 01-23-2013 at 10:54 AM.
    2012 Cruze 1LT 6M


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    1st Gear jstoner22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Angel View Post
    Except about 10C warmer. I have ice forming at the base of my windows throughout the house, and have actual icicles forming on the bottom of my front door where there's a tiny draft through the weatherstrip... my boots sitting nearby were cold when I put them on this morning! Must - Get - Block - Heater

    I grew up in Port Perry, went to Durham College in Oshawa. I moved to Ottawa in 2009 after spending most of my life in Durham Region (work evaporating in the Automotive Industry). Ottawa isn't that far away, but man, it is noticeably colder here. I was in Port a couple of weeks ago visiting family, I left behind 5-foot snowbanks in my driveway in Ottawa to see green lawns in the GTA! A few degrees makes a big difference.

    Where in Whitby are you?

    Ya Whitby isn't too too bad. Between -13 and -20 all week before wind.
    I found myself in Sudbury those within the last few days. Now that was cold haha -50 with wind.

    Driving home from Sudbury, it was so cold the condensation from the exhaust was freezing as it left the tip! I have a 8" icicle coming out of it haha

    I'm right by the AMC plaza. Went to Durham myself actually 2006-2012.

    We lost all of our snow here in one day last week. We had one day where is was 12degrees. ....then winter came back with a vengeance.
    I'd rather have your 5ft snow banks! If its going to be cold, there may as well be snow on the ground.
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    Off-Road Champion Aussie's Avatar
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    Talk about opposites, in my carport in Sydney's west last week it was 47C (115F) and my Diesel Cruze ran at 85C the same as it runs when temp is around 0.C.

  8. #7
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    We had -12*F yesterday, with recir on, heat at max, drove a mile and half before switching the blower onto lo, started get heat. After 3 miles, plenty of heat, but only up to blower speed 3, really can't complain with our 2012 2LT with the 1.4L. Wind chill was around -30*F, but that doesn't count, just absolute temperature does.

    It was 41*F here last Friday, then the winds shifted. Really don't know where this cold air came from. But certainly not the Arctic. According to reports I constantly hear on the news, all that ice is melted. But the wind was coming from the north. Could be from Siberia.

    Wonder if your electric thermostat froze up.

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by jblackburn View Post
    Do you wait til the temp gauge moves before turning on the heat? With my car, with much warmer temps, if I just blast the heat as soon as I start it, the engine never gets a chance to warm up. I wait til the gauge is just below 1/4 before turning the heater on.

    And just for the record...man that's cold. It was 10F here this morning.
    he said he drove 10 min just for the needle to move with the fan on "low". so thats 10 min of driving with little to no heat. now he should wait for it to get to 1/4, if it ever does, before turning on heat in -22 weather. brutal blue angel, just brutal, sorry man. -20 in mpls, mn tonight. cant wait to drive to work at 7 am. i know these are extreme temps but still brutal that you have to wait 10 min just for needle to move. actually i think ill just drive my truck thats sitting in the garage tomarrow.
    Last edited by jdubb11; 01-23-2013 at 09:56 PM.


  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdubb11 View Post
    he said he drove 10 min just for the needle to move. so thats 10 min of driving with little to no heat. now he should wait for it to get to 1/4, if it ever does, before turning on heat in -22 weather. brutal blue angel, just brutal, sorry man. -20 in mpls, mn tonight. cant wait to drive to work at 7 am. i know these are extreme temps but still brutal that you have to wait 10 min just for needle to move. actually i think ill just drive my truck thats sitting in the garage tomarrow.
    If you blast the heat just starting off, that needle won't move. That was my point.

    Actually, my Cruze warms up faster than our Toyota and WAY, WAY faster than my old Honda did. Cars in the 80's-90's seemed just to take forever to make heat.
    2012 Cruze 1LT 6M


  11. #10
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    With temps that cold 2 minutes of idling might as well be 2 seconds. If you let it sit about 5 - 10 minutes and then go it'll probably be much better. Also, I would get you some carboard or something that you can shape and pop your hood and block off the grill with that cardboard and some tape or zip ties or something. That much chilled cold air going being forced over your radiator with a barely started engine is just going to force the water temp to be super cooled. While it's warming up for the first 5 minutes I would leave the thermostat all the way on cold and the blower off, then once 5 minutes goes by flip it to warmer and low. It's just the nature of thermodynamics....

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