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Old 09-13-2013, 12:59 AM   #181
Et cetera
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PratoN View Post
Cold air is denser (as is air under higher pressure, ergo Ram-air) which means more molecules of air are in the same size volume (of the combustion chamber) - the mass air flow sensor (in conjunction with the oxygen sensors) are very accurate at remaining at (or near) stoichiometric fuel-to-air ratios. More oxygen, more fuel = more power for the same size engine.

Anyway, a heat engine is most efficient thermally when the difference in temperature is greatest, that is, cold air (100% oxygen?) and a super hot engine/flame temperature. But there are thermal/mechanical limits for high-temperature applications... Best case scenario for your engine is really cold / high pressure air and a warmed up engine.

People start seeing MPG go down in the winter due to the dense air raising the drag of the car itself (good for the engine, bad for moving things...), idling to warm-up, increased rolling resistance of tires, and a bunch of other things that I don't feel like getting into right now.
Thanks for the note. Interesting reading that as it just so happened that I need to brush up my thermodynamics (I took a general physics class back in my freshman year more than 40 years ago, which I rather enjoyed) for a project I am considering taking on.

I was just reading about Carnot heat engine and its (theoretical) efficiency and realized that I could not count on Wikipedia to teach me everything...
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Old 09-13-2013, 05:16 AM   #182
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The biggest reason for increased fuel consumption is more fuel used at start up in cold weather and more fuel used to heat and maintain operating temperature of the engine plus your drawing heat from the engine to warm the cabin of the car. All that is paid for with increased fuel consumption. All the other reasons mentioned add to the increase but over coming the cold engine is the main one.
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Old 09-16-2013, 01:24 PM   #183
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The biggest reason for increased fuel consumption is more fuel used at start up in cold weather and more fuel used to heat and maintain operating temperature of the engine plus your drawing heat from the engine to warm the cabin of the car. All that is paid for with increased fuel consumption. All the other reasons mentioned add to the increase but over coming the cold engine is the main one.
Its ironic that as fuel efficiency goes up, it hits a point where the excess heat from the engine isn't enough to heat the car 'for free'.

With that said, i'm not sure that we're close to that yet. The excess waste heat from the focus's engine is probably enough to heat the cabin under almost any circumstance.

I did rent a tahoe once and going down from Taos Ski area back to the town, the engine didn't heat up at all until we hit the flats because the engine wasn't using any fuel.
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Old 09-16-2013, 08:29 PM   #184
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It is amazing how fast these cars warm up. I haven't driven it winter conditions yet but I don't see why it won't warm up faster than any other car I've had just as it does now.
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Old 09-17-2013, 05:28 AM   #185
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It is amazing how fast these cars warm up. I haven't driven it winter conditions yet but I don't see why it won't warm up faster than any other car I've had just as it does now.
That is because the temperature guage will read "normal" when the coolant is just over either 100 or 150 degrees. No where near completely warmed up.
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:16 AM   #186
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That is because the temperature guage will read "normal" when the coolant is just over either 100 or 150 degrees. No where near completely warmed up.
Does it cycle coolant before the engine is warmed up?

I thought it didn't cycle so it will warm up as fast as possible?
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:49 AM   #187
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Does it cycle coolant before the engine is warmed up?
No. It has a thermostat.
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Old 09-17-2013, 12:35 PM   #188
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Old 09-17-2013, 08:00 PM   #189
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Amazing stuff, these instruments

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Originally Posted by BrApple View Post
That is because the temperature guage will read "normal" when the coolant is just over either 100 or 150 degrees. No where near completely warmed up.
In that case, what it is that is amazing is that the instruments are so misleading. I wonder why they would bother putting them in there if that's the case.
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Old 09-17-2013, 08:16 PM   #190
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In that case, what it is that is amazing is that the instruments are so misleading. I wonder why they would bother putting them in there if that's the case.
The temperature gauge is a glorified idiot lamp. If you put the car in test mode you can see the actual temperature sensor reading, but they don't want you to.
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