Toyota RAV4 Forums - View Single Post - Do you want 5+ MPG back during the cold months? Restrict air flow to the radiator.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by BobVila View Post
Blocking the engine radiator in cold weather is a century old trick. It helps both non-hybrid and hybrid vehicles. But hybrids especially since the engine can be off 50%+ of the time in city driving.

In the RAV4, even in not that cold weather (25-32F), I observed coolant temperature drop below 150F when sitting at long traffic lights or driving down slight hills for a few minutes. That is really cold for an engine that has a 180F thermostat. The engine comes on much more often just to heat up the cabin.

Some newer vehicles made in the last few years have active grille technology that regulates air flow over the radiator depending on the engine cooling needs. But this technology is not available on the RAV4, yet.

So if you trust yourself to remember to take off any grille blocking if it suddenly warms up, you can safely block at least 50% of the grille area if it's below 40F outside.
Can you share some photos and specific materials you used?

2016 RAV4 Hybrid with Technology Package
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