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Up here in the North Country, I have had a winter front installed on other cars. It covers part or all of the front grill to limit the flow of cold air to the radiator. Some people call it a grill block. You often see them on diesel trucks. It helps to heat up the car faster, and some people say it improves gas mileage, and I suppose perhaps electric range.

Has anyone done this with the Volt? Have you seen any benefit? Is there a simple DIY way to do it? It should be easy to install and remove, since you want to remove it for those warmer days of January thaw.
 

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The Gen 2 has that built into the grill and automated. There are shutters behind there that close off the grill when cold.
 

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Yup, used to do that all the time in Manitoba. Automatically done on Gen2 as mentioned. The Dodge RAM truck had similar shutters years ago (still?) that would be closed but open as required for aerodynamics. Not a new concept.
 

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The Gen2 shutters, afaik, are for aerodynamics only.

There's no need to keep the radiator from cooling down in the winter if the gas engine isn't on, is there?

Unless the cabin heat coolant flows across the front of the car (doubt it), I can't see the need but maybe there's more to it I don't know.
 

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The shutters should be closed for aerodynamics, open when air is needed to cool the three cooling systems. To cool the engine, battery and electronics (the three separate cooling systems) there has to be a radiator to dissipate the heat as well as one to dissipate the heat of the A/C compressor. Not sure if or how they are combined in a Volt. In the case of the engine that you don't want running too cold the thermostat closes off the rad if the cold air drops it too much. Back in the day we used to put a higher rated thermostat in for winter to get extra heat out of the system on those -20 to -40 degree days.
 

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In other words, let the car do what the engineers designed it to do (different times now from then) and the Volt was highly engineered.
 

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This idea may be applicable for Gen 1 owners. Gen 1 has no grill shutters. Also, the engines are running in cold weather due to ERDTT, so even if the radiator thermostat is closed, the cool air flowing through the engine compartment is cooling the block and making ERDTT use more gas.
 

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This idea may be applicable for Gen 1 owners. Gen 1 has no grill shutters. Also, the engines are running in cold weather due to ERDTT, so even if the radiator thermostat is closed, the cool air flowing through the engine compartment is cooling the block and making ERDTT use more gas.
Some have used foam tubes intended for copper water pipe insulation to block the Gen 1 shutter openings.
 

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I used to use those exact foam tubes as grille blocks on my old MKIV TDI Jetta. Fit like factory, and sure helped that cold diesel make heat in January...
 

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I've got some of those left over from insulating hot water pipes. Trouble is it rarely goes below freezing here so not really necessary. It was sunny and -4C this morning so did my first precondition on trip into town. Helped with range on way in but same ol' same ol' for running around town and going home. Ended up with the same 7+ Kw used (not sure of the fractions). But it was nice to not jump in a chilly car and to have the windows clear. Back up to above freezing and rain tomorrow.
 

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Those pipe insulators fit and look great. Too bad they won't fit when a VoltScreen is in place.
Drill some small holes in them and it might even make a better stone absorber than the screen while letting some air through. We need some Mythbusters experiments to see if that would work.
 

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Those pipe insulators fit and look great. Too bad they won't fit when a VoltScreen is in place.
They VoltScreen is held in place with 4 black plastic zip ties, Snip off, insert foam tubes. In spring, put the screen back on. Zip ties are pennies each.
 

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How does this help with the ERDTT sensor, any change?
It doesn't help at all. Pipe insulation blocks wind, it doesn't raise outside air temperatures. Stick a pice of pipe insulation in your freezer and see what happens :)
 
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