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Why a Prius if you're going to use Remote Start?

Hep said:
Phish Phood said:
The Prius doesn't really need to be "warmed up"--the heater kicks in pretty quick, as well as the AC.. it would just be a neat function to have because "you can."
From LA to MN you tell us we don't need this? :lol: :lol: :lol:

Now I would argue that we stoic Minnesotans should be tough enough to risk hypothermia the first five miles of our commute, or we shouldn't live here. Save the gas and buy a sweater. Now heated seats would be a dream come true.
Isn't the point of buying a Prius to save the world??? So why would you put Remote Start on the thing??? I'm in Minnesota and biking to work; the cars that I see running on Remote Start are burning as much fuel as I'm saving on winter mornings. It's enough to make me disable Smilies in this post!
 

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Well, personally I wouldn't have a remote start but I can see why some people would want one. The Prius would burn 1-2 litres per hour during warmup. I don't think that's going to impact on the environment very much for 15-20 min each cold morning.

That being said, time for a block heater. Maybe an electric in-car warmer as well. All on a timer of course, three hour warmup. I think you can get seat warmers on the aftermarket leather seats. And as I have posted elsewhere, my first choise would be an electric steering wheel heater. My butt can take care of itself but trying to drive with mits on is dangerous! Those switches are so tiny. ;)
 

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What no one is acknowledging is that the remote start is particularly useful to warm the windshield to deice it. Driving in a cold car is not a big deal to me. I don't freeze easily. (Except in -25 windchill) But scraping a quarter inch of ice and driving with frost can be unnerving. With a remote, both the front and rear windshields can warm up to make scraping easier and driving safer.
 

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Re: Why a Prius if you're going to use Remote Start?

livewombat said:
[ So why would you put Remote Start on the thing??? I'm in Minnesota and biking to work;
you're a better man (or other applicable adjective) than I!

I wouldn't use the thing daily...car is in garage in morning anyway.
But is sure is nice to start it up 5 minutes before walking out the office, on some of those brutal, dark January evenings.

But, hey, I'm heading to DanMan country tonight for a long weekend! Can't wait!

rpm

Hep: by the way, Fleet Farm has their heated seat pad on sale right now for $19.99. I loved it last winter!
 

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I thought you were referrring to the noun 'man' since not knowing livewombat's gender. 'Better' is indeed an adjective.
 

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You CAN do it...

Really. You can get into a cold car on a Minnesota winter morning. My mom did it when they used bricks from the wood stove to keep their feet from freezing. My grandma either walked or drove a team of horses. My great-grandparents got around by rowboat just south of the Arctic Circle in Norway. Not one of them had remote start, and they managed just fine. I figure that as a 56-year-old Minnesota woman, I can bike to work if the temperature is above minus 10 and the snow is less than two inches deep, and wear warm enough clothes to drive without pre-heating the car otherwise. It's that much less money I'm sending to folks who have unpleasant ideas about how we should spend the next decades: like maybe not having a choice about whether we drive, let alone whether we get to pre-heat our cars.
 

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DanMan32 said:
I thought you were referrring to the noun 'man' since not knowing livewombat's gender. 'Better' is indeed an adjective.
I was. You were right. Noun. I wasn't paying attention! And not only did I not know the gender, I guessed wrong.

And I do get into a cold car every MN morning...and I hate it! "Managed just fine" is a relative term (ok, DanMan, relative phrase?)...

r
 

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Re: Why a Prius if you're going to use Remote Start?

rpm said:
[

Hep: by the way, Fleet Farm has their heated seat pad on sale right now for $19.99. I loved it last winter!
Plug in to the car? This is intriguing! How quick do you get heat?
 

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evander said:
What no one is acknowledging is that the remote start is particularly useful to warm the windshield to deice it. Driving in a cold car is not a big deal to me. I don't freeze easily. (Except in -25 windchill) But scraping a quarter inch of ice and driving with frost can be unnerving. With a remote, both the front and rear windshields can warm up to make scraping easier and driving safer.
Hi Evander, I think that we can and should avoid idling if at all possible. This is even possible with ice on the windshield. As part of an idle-reduction campaign I'm coordinating in Vermont, I've submitted an op-ed for winter driving that points out the common misconceptions of winter warm ups (targeted for conventional vehicles):

It's 15 degrees out this morning. Four inches of snow fell overnight. The car will need to be driven to work soon. Most of us Vermonters will start the car about 10 minutes before leaving. We want time for the car to warm up because it's good for the engine, to make scraping the windshield easier, to make the car nice and warm for us. Some of us will even start our cars from inside our cozy homes with a remote car starter.

Unfortunately, there are several things wrong with this "picture". This is unnecessary idling which is both harmful and wasteful. Here is how. Respiratory illness: vehicle emissions emit a nasty brew of chemicals that impair our lungs and heart. Children, the elderly and asthmatics are especially vulnerable. Fuel waste: idling your vehicle for 10 minutes uses as much fuel as traveling five miles! Engine damage: idling is bad for an engine. It does not run at peak efficiency resulting in incomplete fuel combustion. Fuel residues condense on cylinder walls, contaminate oil and damage engine components. Also, spark plugs foul, and the exhaust system corrodes faster. Global warming: carbon monoxide emissions cause climate change. On a per capita basis, Vermont is almost double the national average in vehicle greenhouse gas emissions.

So what do we do, not warm up our cars? Here's what we need to do. First, protect yourself adequately from the elements with warm clothing. Be prepared with good window scrapers that work. Consider the use of a can of spray de-icer or make your own solution of half water and half vinegar in a spray bottle. Make sure that your vehicle is tuned-up. And although not essential, an engine block heater can help in more extreme conditions. Scrape/de-ice and clear your car off first. Then start it and immediately blast the defroster. In most cases, you'll be ready to go in 30 seconds or so. Just start out slowly to moderately to get the lubricants flowing. This is the best way to warm up the engine, transmission, bearings, etc. Now, there are exceptions where longer warm ups are needed, such as in more extreme weather conditions, and for the elderly.

And of course, unnecessary idling also applies when we leave our cars running as we go into the grocery store, post office, bank, etc. Or if we're just sitting in the car and waiting to pick up someone. Don't let the car idle when it's not in traffic. Shut it off!

If there are any doubts that you generally don't need more than 30 seconds for cold weather warm ups, learn what our neighbors to the north have been doing for years. Canadians are way ahead of us on idle-reduction awareness with many cities and provences adopting idling regulations. Do an Internet search on "Idle Free" and the first hit is the Natural Resources Canada Idle-Free Zone. Complete information, including the myths and realities of idling, is there. Then you will be ready to end the old harmful and wasteful habit of unnecessary idling.
 

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I had posted this recently on the Canada-Prius yahoogroup:

I can't say how well they work, or how good the companies are, but I spotted a less expensive solution in one of the many "junk" gift catalogs that have been arriving in anticipation of mail-order sales for the Christmas holiday. It's a seat and back cushion that you put on top of an existing car's seat, and you plug the cushion into the 12v "cigarette lighter" outlet to provide heat. depending on the catalog, the size of the cushion may be a little different, but around 18"x37" with a 5-6' power cord, for US$15-$25. Just another idea to try if you don't like the idea of tearing apart your seats to install heated seats!


http://www.carolwrightgifts.com:/cwg_v2 ... Item=35034


http://www.mileskimball.com/mileskimbal ... &SiteNum=0

and even JC Whitney has some heated seat cushions available:
http://www.jcwhitney.com/autoparts/Prod ... at+cushion
 

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Thanks for taking the time to respond, wayneswhirld. You obviously are better informed than I and environmentally conscious. I'll consider your points when I'm freezing outside. By the way, interesting voting in Vt. yesterday.
 

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[quote="rpm""Managed just fine" is a relative term (ok, DanMan, relative phrase?)...[/quote]
:lol:

'They're going to take their cars over there.'
 

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evander said:
Thanks for taking the time to respond, wayneswhirld. You obviously are better informed than I and environmentally conscious. I'll consider your points when I'm freezing outside. By the way, interesting voting in Vt. yesterday.
You're welcome. I've done my homework on idling but beyond that I'm no ecogeek and commit some minor environmental sins myself...if for no other reason, just existing. Just bundle up...it's probably worth not feeling guilty! :) The voting was very interesting in Vt. as well as many other places, for sure :!:
 

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Re: Why a Prius if you're going to use Remote Start?

Hep said:
rpm said:
[

Hep: by the way, Fleet Farm has their heated seat pad on sale right now for $19.99. I loved it last winter!
Plug in to the car? This is intriguing! How quick do you get heat?
yeah, it's a heated seat pad that covers both the butt and back parts of the seat. elastic goes around under the seat and around the back. wire with power plug easily snakes under the console lid. I leave it plugged in all the time. has a separate controller that I leave in my cupholder. has hi and low settings, also on/off button. if you leave it on, it then comes on when you power up the car. black color. I would say heats up slightly faster than typical factory heated seats you get in other cars, because you're heating up through leather upholstery first. the high setting cooks; i have to turn it down after awhile, so typically just use Low all the time.

rob
 

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I just read this post with interest, but I'm confused (nothing new there). I live in NE Minn. and a few years ago it hit -60F. Being a self professed tree hugger, I'm not into wasting gas but 3-5 minutes of the engine running (vs the motor) would be quite beneficial during the coldest months. I'm 0.2 miles from a busy highway and don't like to have to rapidly get up to speed until the engine warms up some.

So, did I read it right in that Toyota makes a remote starter for the '07 w/smart key? If so, Ill get one. We have a local remote starter installer who's reputation is stellar so I'd probably have him do it. When I talked to him, he said he'd have to "look at the car first" as he's not done a Prius before. gt
 

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Toyota prints so darn much literature for so darn many model cars that even service dept's get confused. Mine has never heard of a remote starter for any model Prius. (but "good luck, it's a great option and I believe General motors stated it was the most popular option requested for their cars in the northeast.)
 

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Hmm, The CH or the Camry Hybrid does have this "Remote Starter" option but the Prius doesn't. How different the Software from CH to Prius can be?
 
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