Winter Survival Guide for a Hybrid Car Owner

December 12, 2014

imagesIt has always been said that a little bit of preparation and diligence can work wonders for the future. Therefore, it is necessary to prepare you hybrid car for the hardships of winter. One of the activities that a hybrid car owner should remember to do during winter is to block the hybrid car’s front intake grille. This will not cause overheating because colder air rushes into the engine bay as the vehicle moves forward. By blocking the grille, a hybrid car driver can offset the unavoidable fuel economy loss during cold months. The gas engine temperature range of 60 to 90 degrees is required for optimal performance on the Prius and Civic hybrid. When temperatures drop to below freezing, a longer time is required for the engine to attain optimal range. Therefore, blocking the front grille is beneficial in achieving optimal performance of a hybrid car during winter.

Another important aspect is for hybrid car owners to make use of an engine block heater, which is a valuable accessory that hybrid car owners should consider purchasing, especially if they live in areas where temperatures reach below freezing. Most heaters comprise of a small heating element inserted into a special port. The heating element functions by heating up the car’s engine coolant and thereby keeping the whole engine block at a temperature that is much higher compared to ambient temperature. When operated at a household voltage of 110V, most engine block heaters give a power rating of about 400 watts. It is vital for the block heater to be plugged in when the car is parked. This will allow the engine to attain the required operational temperature within a short time, hence, lowering vehicle emissions and benefiting fuel economy. Other additional benefits of using an engine block heater in colder climates include reducing the need to perform warm-up idling and reduce wear and tear on engine components.

The tires should also be taken care of during winter. For great fuel economy during the cold months, the tire’s pressures should be kept high. This is mainly because the internal air pressure effect on the tire is reduced in colder temperatures, which makes them run flatter. You certainly do not want to neglect air pressure in the colder months since a flatter running tire induces more friction on the road surface. To maintain proper air pressure, it is essential to use a good digital tire pressure gauge on a regular basis. Additionally, installing and using a direct form of a Tpms system is also helpful. These are just a few things that a hybrid car owner should take note of during winter months to help keep their vehicle in top running condition.

 

Filed under: Electric Cars,Green News and Products,hybrid cars,Lifestyle

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