Do you want 5+ MPG back during the cold months? Restrict air flow to the radiator. - Page 2 - Toyota RAV4 Forums
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post #11 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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I would like a picture if possible.
Here you go.

Another idea is try to drive with the recirculate on, and see what kind of improvement you get. If you can put up with windows fogging up, and MPG goes up significantly, investing in some plastic and tape will pay off quickly given that gasoline is $5+ per gallon in Europe.
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post #12 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 05:11 PM
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Here you go.

Another idea is try to drive with the recirculate on, and see what kind of improvement you get. If you can put up with windows fogging up, and MPG goes up significantly, investing in some plastic and tape will pay off quickly given that gasoline is $5+ per gallon in Europe.
Thanks. I googled "vent block prius" and found some nice info.

I'm gonna try the mod tomorrow, I keep good track of my MPG's.

Did you already notice any improvement?
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post #13 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 05:28 PM
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I live in a fairly mild climate, with moderate winters, but in the past, I regularly blocked the radiator of my Prius, with cardboard, in the winter. I would estimate a 2-3 mpg improvement, but saw the biggest improvement in increased cabin heat. I have not tried this with my RAV4H yet, but did notice engine temperature drops, with temps here in the low 20's, when just idling. Hard to believe someone has not seen this as a business opportunity yet.

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post #14 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 06:20 PM
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Home Depot has 24 x 36 sheets of black corrugated plastic for $10, I think I'll pick a sheet up to do my Hybrid and the wife's Prius, she's been complaining of low MPGs, maybe a chance for me to be a hero or at least makes some honeydo points!!

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post #15 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 06:57 PM
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I found a black "heavy duty" tape that is 5cm wide. 2 inch is 5.08cm. I think I will give it a try.
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post #16 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 07:32 PM
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I thought about using black Gorilla tape, but it might leave sticky residue which I don't want to deal with come warmer weather, will be using zip ties.

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post #17 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 08:12 PM
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I thought about using black Gorilla tape, but it might leave sticky residue which I don't want to deal with come warmer weather, will be using zip ties.
Yes, zip ties are the way to go. I just clipped the zip ties and reused the same cardboard every year. Personally, I have concerns about tape on the paint for expended periods.

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post #18 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 08:13 PM Thread Starter
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Did you already notice any improvement?
Yes, noticed it immediately on the 1st drive. I have a regular route where I lost 9 MPG when temps went down from 50's in Fahrenheit to around freezing. Before the plastic on the grille the engine used to turn off at traffic lights, but came on immediately when moving. There was almost no battery only drive. And the coolant temp needle could not stay in the middle.

With the plastic I'm getting much more battery only drive. I can now again accelerate up to 25-30 MPH on battery only and then the gas engine picks up. And picked up 5-6 MPG.

The real cold weather is coming in January and February. I'd imagine the MPG loss would be even more significant without any kind of grille blocking.


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post #19 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 01:11 PM
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Should we cover all areas where the radiator is exposed except for that one camera? What would be the best material to use that lowers the risk of it blowing off and getting to someone's windshield and still insulate against the cold? Can we use old insulated jackets instead?

I think with the limited / tech package, there is a camera right behind/below the toyota symbol on the hood. I just noticed it when spraying the radiator the last time it was warm enough here to get rid of the sale stuck to the radiator and the underside.

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post #20 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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Should we cover all areas where the radiator is exposed except for that one camera?
So far I have covered only the upper grille area, between the headlights. I'll do half of the bottom grille area between the fog lights this week.

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What would be the best material to use that lowers the risk of it blowing off and getting to someone's windshield and still insulate against the cold? Can we use old insulated jackets instead?
Plywood is probably a bad idea. I used some plastic and tape. Insulation is not required here. Just blocking air flow. You can be creative here.


https://www.google.com/search?q=gril...ipe+insulation
Lots of ideas using pipe insulation. Click Google images for some examples.


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