How come..............

Discussion in 'Discussion Forum' started by carl, Nov 22, 2018.

  1. carl

    carl True Classic

    Cars don't have electric heaters? I know the heat source is free when using engine coolant but really, how much extra in terms of efficiency could electric more nasty plumbing, no heater cores that leak and valves that break, just a nice electric heater grid that gives INSTANT heat on those really cold days (just like your electrically heated seats by the way).

    The US does not have an equivalent to the Nürburgring where enthusiasts and car manufacturers can work at bragging rights...I'm talking about an official and safe venue, not the Tail of the Dragon kind of thing. And yes I know every race track has track days but at Summit point anyway lap times are absolutely forbidden on track days. I'm not aware of any venue in the US that has the cache of the 'Ring.

    No one makes a really simple fun, inexpensive sports car anymore. The Miata was initially there but like all models of cars has gotten more complicated and fussier with styling. Would there even be a market for a simple modern 120hp 1900 lb two seater that cost around $22,000?

    Thanksgiving is a time for thinking, the wife would not be happy with me tinkering in the garage and food and guests won't arrive till later today. Many of you may be in the same boat.
    Hasbro and Rodger like this.
  2. artz1731

    artz1731 True Classic

    Denver PA
    Yeah would love a track that we could just show up and cut it loose without all the rules.
  3. beezee

    beezee True Classic

    I noticed that Jeep was offering an auxiliary electric heater so that heat is instantaneous. Once the car warms up the normal system takes over.

  4. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Sin City
    For some reason I'm reminded of the old Saturday Night Live character "Roseanne Roseannadanna". She was a newscaster that would start her report with "why is it that..." then go on about something. Only to be interrupted by her co-anchor informing her that she was mistakenly referring to something erroneous. Not that anyone is mistaken here, I fully agree with the points made. But the nature of the post just reminded me of that bit.
  5. Ulix

    Ulix True Classic

    Stuttgart, Germany
    Say you could use 40 amps of alternator power for the heater, that would make 480 Watts.
    Is that enough?
    I think eectric space heaters usually have around 2000 Watts.
    Tavalin likes this.
  6. carl

    carl True Classic

    I just think that today's cars would be way simpler without all the coolant plumbing plus the electric heater would be faster. My GTI heated seats get roaring hot before I have even left my neighborhood. I realize that in 10 years most new cars will be electric so it's a moot point anyway.

    By the way, I also wonder why all the contractors in the DC area that do pothole and general road repair do such a terrible job that their "repairs" are usually totally destroyed within a month or so. I guess the concept of doing a "good job" is no longer a valid concept.
  7. Eugene Harvey

    Eugene Harvey True Classic

    Auckland, NZ
    That would be for a small room, so I recon you'd get away with 480 Watts in the confined space of an X. Throw in the fan along with the element, and that is quite a large draw on the small battery though. You'd probably be drawing more than you're charging, and in the cold, a battery killer, you may find yourself stuck where ever you went with a flat battery. So, I sorta get the rationale for drawing heat from the cooling system.
    But also, especially for the X and it's convoluted plumbing, which always sees the temp gauge climb in summer when stationary for a while, putting the heater on full (whilst uncomfortable) was a tried and true way of bringing the temp down!
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2018
    Tavalin likes this.
  8. Eugene Harvey

    Eugene Harvey True Classic

    Auckland, NZ
    Pretty much everything is 'Hot Hatch' now, and many of these inexpensive hot hatches have blistering pace, especially the Japanese options, consider the Subaru WRX Impreza at 197kW with 0-60 in under 5s in STI Model. Other than the Miata, the cheap end will be Hot Hatch convertibles such as the Mini, or VW Golf, where a Mini Cooper S will do 0-60 in 6.2s in manual form, and the Golf GTI similar.
    You need to up your budget for a real sports car like a Boxster, BMW Z4, Audi TT, or Merc SLK. But hey, it you've got $22K, you can get a relatively late model any one of the 4 just listed, somewhere round 2009-11 with under 50,000 miles on the clock.
  9. 128kid

    128kid Courtney Waters

    Essex Junction, VT
    Because when your car is overheating in traffic you can't just turn on an electric heater to cool things down ;)
  10. aarpcard

    aarpcard True Classic

    You'd probably need a ~1500 watt heater or so. At 12V that's 125 amps - your alternator would have to be up-rated by 125 amps; that's not cheap. Also 1500 watts is about 2 hp. Accounting for efficiency losses, you'd be looking at a 2-4hp loss with the heater on. Heating the car with coolant is cheap and doesn't rob any significant power from the engine.
    lookforjoe likes this.
  11. dragonsgate

    dragonsgate True Classic

    Trust me when I say stick with the water heat.
    Aarpcard hit it with the electric heater numbers.
    400 watts will not be enough to heat the cab if an X19.
    To get any noticeable warmth with 400 watts on a cold day you would have to stick the heater under your shirt and at 12 volts the amp draw would be about 33 amps so with a stock Fiat charging system you would probably have to turn something else like headlights, radio and windshield wipers off.
    The Tesla car has electric heat and while I do not know the wattage of the heater I would hazard to say at least 1500 watts.
    In all the hype about Tesla's range very little is ever mentioned about how heating and A/C effects that range.
    Remember, with electric heat you are doing it with what amounts to a direct short.
  12. dragonsgate

    dragonsgate True Classic

    Never mind.
    EricH and Dr.Jeff like this.
  13. TonyK

    TonyK True Classic

    Grimsby Ont Canada
    A kilowatt of electricity only produces 3,450 BTU of heat. 400 watts 1,380 btu of heat. Meanwhile you have waste heat in the 50,000 btu range from the engine.

    The laws of physics prohibit this from being viable.

    Grimsby Ontario Canada.
    mkmini likes this.
  14. Also, don't forget that any electrical load on the alternator is additional load on the engine (this electrical power doesn't come for free). So to get that heat, you are losing horsepower.

    By using the coolant for heat, you are using energy that would otherwise be wasted (in the radiator).

  15. carl

    carl True Classic

    Nothing like hard, fact based answers to what appeared to be a simple question. Thanks all.
    As for cheap fun cars, my Miata and GTI (both my 84 from long ago and the my current 2013) are the most fun cars I have ever owned. New GTIs are not cheap or simple cars and that's true of the new Miatas/Spiders. Even the three wheeler CAnAM spiders are surprisingly expensive.
    Tavalin likes this.
  16. toddr124

    toddr124 Hagerstown, MD

    Hagerstown, MD
    45 years ago There were electric heaters for VW bugs. I used them in a lot of my cars when I was young. The problem was they were 6 volts. Yes I am old.
    Stoney#1 likes this.
  17. myronx19

    myronx19 True Classic

    Toronto, ON Canada
    Electric cars have electric heaters :)
  18. Mechanogeek

    Mechanogeek True Classic

    Jacksonville, FL
    Up in the nord country (Alaska) we had gas-fired heaters for the air-cooled VWs. Add-ons that ran off the gasoline from the tank, and placed in the front of the car in (scary) the same frunk compartment as the GAS TANK!. They made the little bugs actually tolerable in below zero (farenheit) weather. Without a gas heater, wouldn't even be able to drive the darn things since they frosted up on the inside like a poorly made freezer.

    However, if you need heat, as long as it is some engine that uses coolant, I vote for coolant. A properly maintained cooling system is pretty fault-free.
  19. carl

    carl True Classic

    Don't let Todd fool you, he isn't that old, he was just stupid and bought old cars.
    Now he is older, more mature but still stupid because he owns more X1/9s than anyone in the DCVAMD area.
    darwoodious likes this.
  20. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Sin City
    That's how I feel about electric cars in general. People seem to forget that they are merely transferring the burden on the ecology from one source to another - the "grid" in this case. In many areas the generation of electrical power has a huge environmental impact.

    Back in the 70's-80's the air-cooled VW scene was HUGE in Orange County (SoCal). It was said there were more VW's in O.C. than the rest of the world combined. That might have been an exaggeration, but it illustrates the point (I think there actually was more Porsche cars in O.C. than everywhere else combined though). The gas burning heaters were a highly sought after accessory to try and make one's Bug stand out from all the rest at the shows. They commanded a very high price, despite there being absolutely no need for it in SoCal. However the stock heating system (passing air around the exhaust manifolds into the passenger compartment) was not without its own dangers; frequently there would be a small exhaust leak that entered the heating air stream, filling the passenger compartment with a funny smell.

    Likewise for electric air conditioners. Which might explain why I often see Teslas on the back of flatbed tow trucks halfway between Vegas and LA; the extra electrical load depletes the energy store pretty quickly.
    myronx19 likes this.

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