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#1036309 - 11/27/07 11:15 PM Re: Cardboard over radiator in winter............. [Re: tom slick]
XS650 Offline



Registered: 12/21/03
Posts: 12385
Loc: Northern CA
 Originally Posted By: tom slick
 Originally Posted By: Donald
I have never understood why the thermostat does not negate the need for cardboard over radiator in the winter. If its super cold out, then just a tiny bit flows through the radiator, if its hot, then a lot flows.



A typical automotive thermostat (wax pellet type) doesn't regulate flow, it's only either open or closed. for example a 190*F rated thermostat is fully closed at 189* and fully open at 190*.


That isn't what I have observed when I have heated them in a pan of water on the stove. Not by a long shot.
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#1036355 - 11/28/07 12:59 AM Re: Cardboard over radiator in winter............. [Re: XS650]
tom slick Offline


Registered: 05/26/03
Posts: 8514
Loc: Central Coast, Calif.
 Originally Posted By: XS650
 Originally Posted By: tom slick
 Originally Posted By: Donald
I have never understood why the thermostat does not negate the need for cardboard over radiator in the winter. If its super cold out, then just a tiny bit flows through the radiator, if its hot, then a lot flows.



A typical automotive thermostat (wax pellet type) doesn't regulate flow, it's only either open or closed. for example a 190*F rated thermostat is fully closed at 189* and fully open at 190*.


That isn't what I have observed when I have heated them in a pan of water on the stove. Not by a long shot.


you're right, they do operate in a narrow band, not as narrow as I illustrated but start to open at 190-195 and full open by 200-205. my point was that they don't have much regulation range i.e. allow a little water through at 150 and full open at 230.
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#1036412 - 11/28/07 05:40 AM Re: Cardboard over radiator in winter............. [Re: tom slick]
oilyriser Offline


Registered: 04/30/03
Posts: 7077
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Blocking the grille improves mpg by reducing drag. That reminds me...

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#1037158 - 11/29/07 01:01 AM Re: Cardboard over radiator in winter............. [Re: oilyriser]
Ramblin Fever Offline


Registered: 06/28/05
Posts: 1627
Loc: Timberline
Have this issue too, with our '01 Dodge diesel cummins, even in Colorado on very cold mornings....truck does NOT produce any kind of heat at city driving speeds. Takes a while on the highway too.

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#1056673 - 01/03/08 07:59 AM Re: Cardboard over radiator in winter............. [Re: oilyriser]
Benzadmiral Offline


Registered: 10/12/05
Posts: 3523
Loc: Da Swamp
We finally got something resembling winter down here in The Swamp -- the lying dash robot read 28 F. this morning as I headed to work. Though I got heat into the cabin quickly, I noticed that the engine temp reading on the the info center reached a max of 178 F. I've seen the temp stabilize at 195 during the summer (and the fall, and the start of what's SUPPOSED to be winter. . . .), so we're talking about 20 degrees here.

Should I block off part of my radiator, then, until it warms up -- probably this weekend; bah! -- to increase efficiency and gas mileage?
_________________________
* *
-- Paul W. (The Benzadmiral)
('11 Buick Regal CXL, charcoal/cream, 2.4L NA)
My Man from U.N.C.L.E. Blog: http://benzadmiral-uncle.blogspot.com/

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#1056823 - 01/03/08 11:38 AM Re: Cardboard over radiator in winter............. [Re: Benzadmiral]
dwendt44 Offline


Registered: 05/17/06
Posts: 3571
Loc: Central Wisconsin
If you do, Benzadmiral, remember that many new autos, like your Buick, have cross flow radiators. So you should block off one side, instead of the bottom like in the old days.
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#1056944 - 01/03/08 03:14 PM Re: Cardboard over radiator in winter............. [Re: Benzadmiral]
sprintman Offline


Registered: 05/27/02
Posts: 11005
Loc: Canberra ACT Australia
I use two pieces of cardboard (Dominos pizza box) to adjust the temp in the Mazda. Largest piece only when it was 36c the other day. Yes my thermostat is too cold.

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#1056960 - 01/03/08 04:03 PM Re: Cardboard over radiator in winter............. [Re: sprintman]
Quest Offline


Registered: 12/19/04
Posts: 6265
Loc: beaver land EH?
Also worth noting: never discount the possibility due to lazy thermostats. Recently, I had my fair share of frustrations on my wifey's 93 Camry Vee6, with very little heat and somewhat fluctuating temperature gauge readout (it would register 1/2 way on the scale when idling/running down city streets, drops down to about 1/3 of the scale when flying down highway). While the thermostat seems to be fine during initial warm up phase (it would cut off the cold coolant from entering the block successfully during warm up), nonetheless, it was not meeting my expectations). Turned out that the thermostat became lazy over time (it's the OE one that lasted over 210kms to date), and replacing it with a brand spanking new one from dealership (OE-possibly made by Kuzoh Japan, 82C standard temp0 fixed the problem nicely. As a result: car warms up nicely, register properly on the temperature gauge, never miss a beat when flying down the highway (register 1/2 way on the scale), and most important of all: I get some serious heat inside the car in the midst of winter!!!)

Whenever in doubt, check the thermostat first.

Q.
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"Internet discussion boards act as echo chambers for conspiracy dittoheads" A.Allen

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#1056999 - 01/03/08 05:06 PM Re: Cardboard over radiator in winter............. [Re: Quest]
BuickGN Offline


Registered: 10/18/07
Posts: 3756
Loc: CA
I noticed the other day when it was in the mid 30s that if I have the heater on in my 06 TL, the engine fan will never come on at idle. I've let it sit for well over 30 minutes and no fan even though the idiot guage shows normal temp. Luckily the heater still puts out plenty heat. I've become spoiled with a modern ULEV car. If I start it and drive easy, the water will hit full temp in a little over a minute. The GN takes 10 minutes to warm up which was usually about the time I was getting to work.

In my old Celica I could cool the engine nearly to ambient with the heater on high.
_________________________
84 Buick GN. 10.60@127 old times. 602hp 620lbs.
06 Acura TL. Lots of suspension and brake mods.

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#1057082 - 01/03/08 07:15 PM Re: Cardboard over radiator in winter............. [Re: Benzadmiral]
mechtech2 Offline


Registered: 09/05/06
Posts: 19479
Loc: Chicago Area
Thermostats open over a range, NOT like an on/off switch.
The specs are given like as an opening temp, and a fully open temp. Like 194F and 205F

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#1057118 - 01/03/08 07:59 PM Re: Cardboard over radiator in winter............. [Re: mechtech2]
tom slick Offline


Registered: 05/26/03
Posts: 8514
Loc: Central Coast, Calif.
as I corrected myself earlier, the range is very small, maybe 10* between fully closed and fully open. In the overall operating range of the engine that is nearly an on-off switch and during normal operation it is near full open.
_________________________
You get what you pay for...
So keep in mind how much you paid for this advice.

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#1057553 - 01/04/08 01:50 PM Re: Cardboard over radiator in winter............. [Re: tom slick]
SHOZ Offline


Registered: 06/28/03
Posts: 1562
Loc: Illinois
Depends too on the type of fan you have. The with belt driven older fixed fans I would remove them in the winter. Don't know about the belt driven clutch fans.

Electric fans are great. :)

On my Festiva the entire grill area is blocked. This leaves about an inch of gap between the blocking plastic and the radiator. When the fan comes on it pulls in air from around the sides of the radiator and maintains a nice 205F. Great when he temps are below 20F.

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#1057721 - 01/04/08 06:20 PM Re: Cardboard over radiator in winter............. [Re: SHOZ]
Junior Offline


Registered: 07/31/05
Posts: 651
Loc: Iowa
i would be cautions about putting cardboard directly on the radiator and/or AC condensor. It puts a lot of force on the tubes when normally the air would flow directly through. Probably not enough to break it though.

I used to put winter fronts over the grill back in ND. Usually could keep them fully closed until about 30F.

Yes, I agree, thermostats get lazy over the years and don't warm up as well as when they were new.

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#1057736 - 01/04/08 06:40 PM Re: Cardboard over radiator in winter............. [Re: Junior]
H2GURU Offline


Registered: 06/04/05
Posts: 970
Loc: Boston
People see these things on big trucks and think they're missing out on something. When I block off my radiator its for one reason only... to capture as much heat around the block to prevent fuel gelling and I need to perform this ritual when temps approach ZERO F. If you choose to do this, and it will be all winter, keep it concentric to avoid off-center loading of water pump.

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#1057743 - 01/04/08 06:56 PM Re: Cardboard over radiator in winter............. [Re: SHOZ]
TedT Offline


Registered: 03/15/07
Posts: 77
Loc: Pa. USA
BE warned, if you have a belt driven plastic fan, leave an opening right in front of the fan clutch so it doesn't heat up and engage and if the hole is off center it can set up a vibration in the the fan and cause the blades to flex repeatedly till they fail.
Ted

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