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How, exactly, does the heater work? Since the ICE is not all the time does the car have a conventional heater core? Is there some sort of electrical coil (like you would find in an electric space heater)?

I have asked the dealer but they werre unsure.

Thanks,
air4ce
Edmonton, Canada
04 Salsa Red
 

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Coolant from the engine is used for the heater - that's why it takes a few minutes to heat the car from a cold start. The coolant is sent to a thermos when the car is turned off to help with a quick warm up.
 

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air4ce said:
How, exactly, does the heater work? Since the ICE is not all the time does the car have a conventional heater core? Is there some sort of electrical coil (like you would find in an electric space heater)?

I have asked the dealer but they werre unsure.

Thanks,
air4ce
Edmonton, Canada
04 Salsa Red
I think the small electric PTC heaters are also on the 2004 Prius, like they were on the classic Prius (in countries that need the "cold weather package," like the US and Canada) They provide a little bit of heat when you first start your car.

The Prius uses the conventional way of heating the passengers - using "waste" heat from the gasoline engine. So, if it's colder out than your thermostat setting, the engine will run more often to keep you provided with heat. The engine will still cycle off every now and then, but if the coolant starts getting cold and you're stopped at a long traffic light, the engine will come back on just to provide you with heat. (Note that the Energy Monitor will not show you the engine as being "on" as it is not providing power to either the wheels or the electric motor/batteries)

The 2004 Prius in the US, not sure about other countries, has a small "thermos"-like storage tank for storing engine coolant, so that the engine doesn't take so long to warm up (and provide heat).
 
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