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It does get cold here in South Jersey, I'd like to add an engine block heater for those cold mornings of winter. I have the AC power on a timer which turns on my small nite lights out side the garage. If you look at the Toyota.CA (Toyota Canada) they have a very nice Prius web site and it does list and recommend the use of the engine block heater. Canadian part # C014000885. For a few watts the engine is preheated, reduces warm-up when starting off in the AM.
I have tried thru my local dealer to purchase one, they can't find the item.
Any one out there have a USA part number?
Has your USA dealer installed it for you? :idea: :?: :?:
 

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> It does get cold here in South Jersey, I'd like to add an engine block heater for those cold mornings of winter.

Cold?

We call that "warm" here in Minnesota.

To date, I've never seen a post mentioning a confirmed benefit of having a block heater. I personally don't think it will buy you much, perhaps shave off just a few seconds of warmup. That's it. The real benefit comes with how quickly you shift into Drive. Turning the key, then immediately driving away (slowly, of course) will result in a greater gas saving than idling in the driveway for a minute. (You'll find that heat comes out of the heater quicker that way too.)
 

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Gene, unless your electricity is predominantly solar, wind or water generated, you won't be doing the environment a favor by using a block heater. The Prius generates a lot of waste heat, just like any other car, during warm-up especially. Let this heat the engine. You only need a block heater if there's a risk of the engine coolant freezing. Make sure you have the right oil and drive off right after you start the car.
 

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I agree, I havn't spent but a winter here, on the Great Lakes where I lived we did get -20 temps for days (weeks) on end. Snow measured in the feet. The Prius has such a tiny battery I was wondering about my visits North. You have never had a problem with the vehicle hard cranking?

It would hurt to have my neighbor ask why I have to pulg my Prius in for the night.
 

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> You have never had a problem with the vehicle hard cranking?

Nope.

In fact, Prius actually starts up easier than a traditional vehicle. It's the powerful battery-pack and powerful motor that provides the cranking. The little one just feeds the computer & accessories.

Traditional vehicles rely on a battery that's just "adequate" to feed a motor that's only big enough to barely crank the engine fast enough for a spark to take over. The hybrid system doesn't struggle like that. I've personally had my sit outside all day when it was -13 F degrees out. It started afterward without any trouble what-so-ever.
 

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I was wondering, if One would install a block heater, and connect it to the NiMH battery (the Big one) and make it on a temperature basis i.e. if the engine is very cold, the heater runs of course, only when the car is in the Ready position. This will make the heating even quicker. What do you think about that ?

Of course, afterwards the ICE is going to run longer, to recharge the battery, but you are not driving that fast in the winter and you probably have enought power since the ICE has to run anyway to stay hot enought.
 

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The main thing that needs to heat up quickly is the catalytic converter, not the engine. A block heater doesn't get anywhere close to hot enough to make the catalytic converter start working. By the time the cat is hot enough, the engine is plenty hot from efficient direct burning of fuel as opposed to inefficient electric heat.

There's also a more practical concern. The Prius computers carefully monitor current flow in the battery. Any unexpected flow will cause them to disconnect the main relay because they consider this to be a hint of dangerous conditions. Nobody's discovered how to reprogram the computers (at least nobody has reported doing so on the net). Since the computers are in charge of so much safety, it's probably not a good idea to try reprogramming them anyway.

The computers are also responsible for carefully maintaining the charge level in the battery to extend the useful life of the battery. So even if you pulled power out of the battery in a manner undetectable to the computers, it would throw off the power maintenance which could seriously shorten the life of the battery. It would also void the warranty, so you'd have to pay for the new battery.
 

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Gene said:
It does get cold here in South Jersey, I'd like to add an engine block heater for those cold mornings of winter. I have the AC power on a timer which turns on my small nite lights out side the garage. If you look at the Toyota.CA (Toyota Canada) they have a very nice Prius web site and it does list and recommend the use of the engine block heater. Canadian part # C014000885. For a few watts the engine is preheated, reduces warm-up when starting off in the AM.
I have tried thru my local dealer to purchase one, they can't find the item.
Any one out there have a USA part number?
Has your USA dealer installed it for you? :idea: :?: :?:
I haven't installed it, but I'd suggest trying some of the online dealers... (There are several listed over on the Yahoo! board...)

For example:
http://www.toyotaguys.com/blocheat20011.html
 

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I just took delivery of my '04 in Edmonton, Canada and it came from the dealer with a block heater. I will probably need it as it gets down to -40 from time to time in the winter (-40C is the same as -40F).

At those extreme temperatures everything just stops. A plug-in is a necessity to start any ICE. I seriously wonder if you can get a battery heater as in extreme cold weather it may be necessary to have one.

air4ce
04 Salsa Red
Edmonton, Canada
 

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Engine block heaters were needed on old carburated cars. Fuel-injected cars start more easily. Even my '89 Civic started up after a night at 40 below zero.

What John didn't mention in his reply on this thread (but it's on his web site) is that the ICE in the Prius is started by spinning it up to around 1,000 rpm without compression, fuel, or spark. Only after it's spinning at idle speed are fuel and spark added and compression initiated. It starts as easily at 40 below as it does at 70 F. (22 C. ?).
 

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air4ce said:
I just took delivery of my '04 in Edmonton, Canada and it came from the dealer with a block heater. I will probably need it as it gets down to -40 from time to time in the winter (-40C is the same as -40F).

At those extreme temperatures everything just stops. A plug-in is a necessity to start any ICE. I seriously wonder if you can get a battery heater as in extreme cold weather it may be necessary to have one.
That may a case of the dealer thinking "we've always done it this way". Betcha a loonie that if you left the block heater unplugged on a cold night your Prius will start easily the next morning.

In addition to the reasons others have listed: the traction battery (the thing that both drives the motor and serves as a starter for the engine) is rated at a nominal 21 kW; this is approximately equivalent to an ordinary "12V" battery delivering 1600 Amps. At -40C it should still deliver roughly 17 kW (about 1300 Amps equivalent). There should be no trouble cranking and starting.
 

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Betcha a loonie that if you left the block heater unplugged on a cold night your Prius will start easily the next morning.
You'll win the bet. Here in Fargo, it does start at 40 below zero, and without any strain whatsoever. I bet it would start at the north pole in January.
 
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