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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, I need the low down on how this plug in the car stuff works. One: I live in Wisconsin, so you know darn well it gets cold. Two: I keep it in the garage nearly every night. Three: my biggest problem is the lag.

I was hoping plugging it in would reduce the lag. I have read you shouldn't let it idle too much, so I generally hop in and now that it's winter slowly drive away.

I know she is a bit slow to respond right upon starting, but this is ridiculous. She does the stupid whiny transmission thing, it takes forever and a day to get up to operating temp). Mind you it's only just below 30 degrees here right now, I'm scared for real winter.

So how do I do it & what is recommended? Thanks!
 

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plug it in whenever you want.

its only a oilpan heater, not a block heater

you wont get operating temperatures that much faster because its just keeping the oil warm not the coolant as in block heaters

i went thru one winter w/o plugging it in cuz the heater cord plug was recalled, and didnt have time go in

started normal all the way down to -51f

the owners manual is kinda vague on whether the ctd has thermostat in the cord or not...the 1.4 gas DOES, cant remember if the ctd does or not....if it does, it doesnt turn on until 0f...otherwise its on when plugged in

when plugged in, theres no noise like a block heater, no light or anything...i can feel warmth on the tip of the dipstick when it is plugged in, so it does work.

im using 5w30 synthetic, i dont plug in until -5f, and not always, its just not that noticeably different
 

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its -4f here right now

not plugged in

im aboot to go drive 500 miles to work

ill start it, clear the windows, and be rolling within 2 mins of startup

drives fine, dunno if something is off trans wise with yours or youre not happy with it as it comes from the factory.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Huh. I dunno how to explain it then, she just doesn't "go" with the flow. I was hoping that the plugging in would help with the go!

This morning was the coldest it had been & when I went to get onto the highway she was slow to respond, she shifted terribly hard, and just all about "angry" about this. I had drove down and around my road and she was "angry" as well.

I was just hoping plugging it in would result in being less angry about winter. Does that make sense?
 

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Huh. I dunno how to explain it then, she just doesn't "go" with the flow. I was hoping that the plugging in would help with the go!

This morning was the coldest it had been & when I went to get onto the highway she was slow to respond, she shifted terribly hard, and just all about "angry" about this. I had drove down and around my road and she was "angry" as well.

I was just hoping plugging it in would result in being less angry about winter. Does that make sense?
You may have some other issues going on, might be time to take to your mechanic. If your car is sitting in a garage and you are having those issues something else is likely going on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Meh, there's no lights on yet. I have no idea what's wrong with her. I have just noticed it since it's gotten cold. She does sit in the garage (it's connected, but not heated) And I just assumed it was the diesel and how they work. The transmission thing went away for awhile and now it's back again.

If she has issues she is hitting the road. This car has been in the shop & has had more issues than my 2007 Cobalt ever had & I bought her with water in the radiator in 30 degree weather.
 

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If its cool enough, mine feels like its dragging until it warms up. I think the torque converter locks way up and the computer holds it in a lower gear longer. It almost feels like resistance. I wouldn't expect that unless its 20ish or colder. As for the hard shifting, tough to tell since I'm not driving your car. Mine does, however, shift hard from time to time. It always seems to work itself out though, but the hard shifting is occasional, id say. Not super rare. I notice it more if ive been driving the car hard a lot lately then go back to being less hard on it. Also during really cold mornings. Honestly I think the transmission learns your driving over time and adjusts and sometimes its not perfect.

Not sure how helpful this is, but hope it helps some!
 

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Oh and no plug here and I'm 30 miles south of the border in Vermont so it can get chilly sometimes. I do throw in power service, the winter stuff, when the temperature is expected to drop well below normal just as insurance. Only below normal temps though since the gas stations should winterize diesel for seasonal weather. So for example we may get down to around 10 later this week. Ill put some in, but id never bother doing that for 10 degree if it were winter.
 

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Huh. I dunno how to explain it then, she just doesn't "go" with the flow. I was hoping that the plugging in would help with the go!

This morning was the coldest it had been & when I went to get onto the highway she was slow to respond, she shifted terribly hard, and just all about "angry" about this. I had drove down and around my road and she was "angry" as well.

I was just hoping plugging it in would result in being less angry about winter. Does that make sense?
How many miles? Do you have original Transmission Fluid? If over about 35k miles, your fluid is probably shot. It's definitely NOT a lifetime fluid fill. Mine looked darker than some of the darkest Engine oil at 44k, and it shifts much better with new fluid.

Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk
 
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I never plug mine in. It seems to hold the lower gears when its cold to maintain higher RPMs possibly to warm it up faster, not sure if that is what the OP is feeling. It usually starts shifting normally after a couple miles.
 

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64,400 <-- original fluid, yes I know I need to get it changed. I went to the dealer for this transmission issue, they came back with the back brakes were shot (which they were, I replaced though), and "not advised to change the fluid at this time". But, I think it's what is going to have to be done.

I suppose yes, "dragging" would be the better word for it. And the shifting thing yes! the exact same thing. This is my first winter with her & I wasn't expecting such a drastic change. I call it "angry" cause I don't know how else to describe it. If this is all normal I'm going to start with the transmission fluid & go from there.
 

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Definitely do the trans fluid first.

Most vehicles when very cold will drive a little differently. They’ll be louder, make more noises and shift different. If it’s reasonable and goes away when warm then I wouldn’t worry about it.

As far as the operating temp, diesels just take longer to warm up in cold weather. It’s just a characteristic of them. That’s why they put in the electric heater for the hvac system in this car. I think it does a good job and in the single digits it can get the interior of my car relatively comfortable within 5 minutes.
 

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I have had my car since 2014 and in the winter it is also very slow untill it warms up. I auto start it when its cold and its still slugish for about 10 min of driving. Changed the trans fluid at 30,000 with Amsoil.
 

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Change the ATF, Amsoil is really good and it did improve my transmission feel.
The OEM oil pan (block) heater is only 125 Watts, there is no thermostat on the 1st gen diesels.
I plug mine in all the time when its below freezing. It does give the engine a bit more heat. About 20F above ambient temperature.
My transmission on colder days is still sluggish out of the gate and the engine revs higher and shifts later for the first couple miles.

If you want to add more heat to your CTD read this thread:
http://www.cruzetalk.com/forum/201-...coolant-heater-circulator-install-thread.html
 
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There's going to be some more cold days coming this winter for sure and I'd like to plug mine in for those nights. I would like to save some money on the electrical bill where I can so I was going to set up a timer to have it come on sometime in the early morning hours. Anyone have an idea of how long is long enough for it to heat up adequately? I was thinking a few hours at least.
 

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FWIW, gas Cruzes hold gears longer and don't lock up the torque converter either when cold. It's just the way that the transmission programming is done...the quicker the car can get to operating temp, the more efficient it will be. Common for cars with Aisin transmissions as well. ATF is also quite thick when cold, so it makes for rough shifts and high resistance when coasting.
 

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There's going to be some more cold days coming this winter for sure and I'd like to plug mine in for those nights. I would like to save some money on the electrical bill where I can so I was going to set up a timer to have it come on sometime in the early morning hours. Anyone have an idea of how long is long enough for it to heat up adequately? I was thinking a few hours at least.
an actual block heater is good enough plugged in at -15c for one hour to get the difference you need

ive notice ZERO difference (seat of the pants wise) with the oil pan heater in the ctd

if you pull the dipstick, the tip is warmer than further up the dipstick, so it is working, but none or .0000001% of that heat is being transferred to the trans or anything

youre not gonna notice any seat of the pant difference
 
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