Extra Auxiliary Heater in Prius for climate demand?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Technical Discussion' started by dig4dirt, Jan 10, 2020.

  1. dig4dirt

    dig4dirt MoonGlow

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    Wondering on thread title, more so for PRE Gen4/Prime models

    Was trying to go off another thread and figure to start new thread on subject.

    Wanted to see if a 2015 Gen3 Prius liftback and a 2014 Prius "c" has any
    "extra" auxiliary electric heating for colder temps when heat is set to "HI"

    Well, not sure where it stands....inconclusive so far?

    To start, I have recently installed engine block heaters in both my Prius.
    So I am still learning a bit where they stand.
    And in my area, im not sure if mother nature knows that it is winter, been hitting 60f more than below, lol
    damn global warming!

    This morning ~30f and in my Gen3 coolant temp started at ~55f
    Took the kiddies to school and turned on heat when coolant temp was at 80f
    I was actually getting some slightly warm air. (climate set at 72f)
    At this point was totally shocked that I even got any warm air.
    I then proceeded to go past 85 to "HI" on climate and warmer air was coming out.
    And by ~105f coolant temp I was basically getting hot air out of top middle vents.
    I was a bit confused, but never really used scan gauge much in my Gen3 (normally keep it in my "c")
    I just know that on cold days/winters in the past it would take a long time until getting warm/hot air.

    My Prius "c" also this morning around 930am for the most part everything the same.
    coolant temp after ebh was about 60f
    I proceeded to turn on climate (72f) around coolant temp of 70f (about 20 seconds after startup)
    started with slight warm air out of middle top vent.
    I was a bit boggled instantly, and then I turned climate up to "HI"
    about 85-90f coolant temp and the air was starting to turn really warm and after 100f
    def was blowing just about hot.

    I am a bit dumbfounded by this first preliminary testing.
    But again, first time using ebh engine block heaters, AND
    first time parking in my garage, which also adds to possible inconclusiveness.
    And may even use that aux heater at any time when temps are low and climate control is on?
    OR, the Prius engine is just very efficient at producing heat? thought it was basically opposite?


    Im at work until 7pm today, so when I leave in my "c" I will also be testing,
    and this will be with out any ebh.....BUT outside temp will be around ~45f after a high of ~52f today.

    Any thoughts?
    Sure others have replaced rads and what not to know if wires or anything extra in them.

    Also any thoughts on if what where and which models/years have the insulated tank for coolant heat retainer?
    I never read any other this info but also have hear about it.
     
  2. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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  3. dig4dirt

    dig4dirt MoonGlow

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  4. dig4dirt

    dig4dirt MoonGlow

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  5. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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  6. Ed Beaty

    Ed Beaty Active Member

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    Excellent article, Jimbo Palmer, and a very good primer on how the Prius HV system works.
     
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  7. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    -30-55 degrees in Pennsylvania??? I don't think so.
    I believe your thermometer wrong.

    You should check for blockage at the heater core, or possibly a damaged engine thermastat.

     
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  8. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Look closer, that's not a - sign.

    @dig4dirt Sounds like you are getting the normal proper block heater experience. Your c has a heat harvester in the exhaust- I'm not sure the other models of Prius had those, but it seems to be a very effective gadget.

    We did not put a block heater in ours- I am a strong proponent of the technology, but since ours is in an unpowered lot most of the time it wouldn't get enough utilization to matter.
     
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  9. dig4dirt

    dig4dirt MoonGlow

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    Yeah used the ~ sign, meaning "about"
    whole different story if it was negative lol
     
  10. dig4dirt

    dig4dirt MoonGlow

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    I only did the block heater since of our record short trips of 1.1 round trip in Gen3 to school 3 times a day,
    and my commute of 3 miles to work, 6 miles round trip.AND finally parking in garage lol.
    First 5 years of ownership and did not have ebh
     
  11. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    There was a company that made and "instant heat" unit for the real VW's.
    It hooked directly to the battery, and AFTER you started the car, you turn it on and you
    had almost instant heat. Then when the exhaust was hot enough, you could turn it off.
     
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  12. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Several companies. Stewart-Warner produced kits for USA-dealer-installed aux heaters for VWs for many years.

    Eventually VW noticed and offered it as a factory option. Eberspächer was the OEM for the factory option, and they still produce auxilliary heater kits for aftermarket installation to this day.
     
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  13. dig4dirt

    dig4dirt MoonGlow

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    Part 2 of that article... Mastering Hybrid HVAC Systems, Pt 2 — Toyota Prius - AVI OnDemand
    says Gen3
    Speaking of winter, a much larger PTC heater is used on this model. To help with emissions and heater core operation, on the Gen III cars, the hot coolant storage tank from the Gen II models has been replaced with a system that uses heat from the catalytic converter to heat engine coolant

    But wait there's more!

    For the Gen III Prius, the term “fuzzy logic” from the Gen II Prius has been upgraded to “Neural Network Control.” Quoting the definition for the term from Toyota’s service manual: “This control is capable of effecting complex control by artificially simulating the information processing method of the nervous system of living organisms in order to establish a complex input or output relationship that is similar to a human brain.”


    NICE!
     
  14. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Why all the fuss for a warm car & engine when you're aren't living in a location that gets very cold in the first place? Engine block heaters were designed for places like the far north with long periods of extreme sub-zero temperatures where you had to install an Engine Block Heater to keep the coolant from freezing and ruining your engine block, water pump, etc.

    As someone who works outside every day in the rain and sometimes snow, the temperatures that get down into the 30's are not that cold if you dress appropriately. Where I live we're in the low 40's most of the year and most of the people I know who complain about being cold are not getting enough exercise and not taking care of their body in order to have a happy healthy long life. And granted, every time I head out into a garden to work, the first 10 minutes are miserable, but just like a car, after that everything warms up and I have no issues felling relatively warm for the rest of the day.

    If you don't think a Prius will not heat the car up enough, put on warmer clothes and get your heart pumping more more, aka: live a way less sedentary life!
     
  15. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    Folks, don't forget (or miss) why @dig4dirt started the thread. It's not about the block heater or about making heat per se. He just mentioned the block heater because it's clouding the issue which is his attempt, by testing, to confirm the existence of a resistance heater in the radiator or some other part of the cooling system that comes on in low temperatures with max demand for heat.

    I think if I was doing these experiments, I would not plug in the block heater so as not to inject variables that can confuse the results.
     
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  16. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    Obviously, you never had to work in the cold!
    It's freezing when it hits the 60's! I was in Germany, It gets cold! You do NOT warm up after 10 minutes.
    OR 10 hours!
    30 degrees is freezing, and it gets cold in Pennsylvania, and stays cold for days, weeks at a time.
    If you put it on recirculate, it keeps the colder air out and heats faster.
    I searched for the type of heater they had for the real(air cooled) VW's, but couldn't find it. I guess they
    just don't make it anymore.
     
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  17. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    I warm up after 10 minutes of gardening, as long as it's not in the 20's, I'm good to go for hours. The real issue is all the ways capitalism makes money off of making people "comfortable." It's so out of control that there's so many fragile people who don't go outside for more than a minute or two... This is not normal or healthy and leads to getting sick way more often...

    About 15 years ago in UK they created an outdoor preschool & kindergarten for the littlest kids. All day every weekday their parents would drop them off in the morning and pick them up in the afternoon and these kids were outside the entire time learning about environmental science, gardening and most of all play!

    They quickly found out that these kids were much healthier and got sick less often then kids trapped inside. We've alot to learn about staying healthy in a society that's more interested giving you meds for whatever your problem is, as well as wearing only one layer of clothing year-round. And exercise... Well, given the current obesity epidemic, exercise is just something you think about but never do.
     
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  18. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    All of that, still to decide on the speed of one fan and the position of three flaps according to whether I want it warmer or colder. You can tell it's a neural net from the way it keeps making the choices I wouldn't, just like I had another annoying human sitting in the car. :)

    In every generation of Prius where I know the answer, the answer is "yes, there's a supplemental electric heat element". Early on (Gen 1 and I think 2) there could be two, depending on the market climate: one PTC element built right in to the heater core, and one mounted in the duct to the footwell air exits. I think the Gen 3 liftback just has one big one; it can come on at three levels, which you can play with in Techstream. I don't know about the c for sure, but it would be weird if it didn't.

    Gen 3 liftback has an "ECO" mode that, among other things, disallows the electric supplemental heat. So if you want that function enabled, you can't be in ECO.

    The element itself is in the neighborhood of 700 watts. This is a small fraction of the roughly 5300 watts of heat extractable from the coolant once the engine is warm. So it is a pretty subtle effect. I have never been able to feel it in the air blowing on my hands or face and say "yeah, that's noticeably warmer." But it is noticeably faster at starting to defog the windshield when the engine is cold. So I do exit ECO mode when doing that.
     
  19. dig4dirt

    dig4dirt MoonGlow

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    Seems like the "eco" mode at "HI" escaped me for this test, as I always am in that eco mode for both cars.

    Gonna give it another go in an hour when I leave work
     
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  20. dig4dirt

    dig4dirt MoonGlow

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    Last night when I left from work I was able to get slight heat out of the front center vents after turning on my car.
    Coolant temp 45f
    Not enough to be considered warm, but it was from the start and grew as the coolant temp rised,

    But with that measure and I dont think that you could pull any heat out of coolant at 50f or so,
    I have to assume that the "c" version has to have the ceramic heating also.

    Just hard to find the part, but I will keep searching.
     
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