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Cold Weather Idling: Insulate the Engine

Last updated 2018-11-30 - Send Feedback
Related: Mercedes Sprinter, Reflectix, weather

Photographer and cyclist and Mac expert and software engineer Lloyd Chambers is available for consulting on general Sprinter considerations at his usual consulting rates via phone, or in person in the Palo Alto, CA area. Save yourself hours and mistakes by discussing issues up-front. More about Lloyd....

My upfitter of choice is ADF Sprinters of San Fernando, California. The “hard” work I had done there; this page details DIY work.

In very cold weather, the engine cooling system just never gets warm enough.

Cheap way of keeping the engine warm — insulate the radiator

Too-cold idling is not good for the engine (or excessive idling in general). With cold weather, the engine coolant just won’t get hot enough to produce good heating inside either.

The quick and cheap approach is to magnet-on some Reflectix—not so tightly as to block turbo airflow or cooling. The image below is a quick trial of the idea—cut a piece to fit that does not block the turbo air intake or cooling.

Reflectix used as crude means of warming engine while idling
f1.8 @ 1/400 sec, ISO 20; 2018-11-30 17:23:09
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus 4.0 mm f/1.8
ENV: Silver Canyon, altitude 4814 ft / 1467 m, 38°F / 3°C

[low-res image for bot]

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