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How to warm up the car interior in a hybrid car


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The IS300h is my first hybrid car, so this might be a stupid question, but I’ll ask it anyway:

I wonder how to warm up the car interior in winter, when it’s cold outside and the windshield is iced or heavily fogged on the inside.
When the ignition button is pressed, no fuel engine is started.  Only when you start driving, the electric engine moves the car initially. 

So, when no fuel engine is running when the car isn’t moving yet, how can the car interior be heated and windows be de-iced or defogged?  Can you force the fuel engine to start, so it produces some heat to warm up the interior for some minutes?

 

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When it's cold the ICE will start to warm up on its own - takes a few seconds for it to kick in but as you turn things on don't worry it will start up. In warm weather it sometimes takes longer to kick in if that's what you are experiencing at the moment. 

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3 minutes ago, John Nooij said:

What do you mean when you say that it will kick in after a few seconds?  Hit the ignition button, leave the car gear in "park", and after a few seconds the fuel engine will start?

Yes exactly - just do a normal start with the car in P and the engine will start up after a few seconds when it's cold. If you press the EV within that few seconds then it will stop the ICE starting though - in case you want to move the car on the drive for example without the ICE starting - but even then it will start the engine after a while anyway. 

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8 minutes ago, John Nooij said:

What do you mean when you say that it will kick in after a few seconds?  Hit the ignition button, leave the car gear in "park", and after a few seconds the fuel engine will start?

You MUST read the Handbook John.😊

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Well, of course I checked the handbook, but found nothing specific for this situation.  Not an explanation about the fuel engine starting to run after after a few seconds in cold weather anyway.

Thanks, I will try this soon (cold weather is coming...)

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Others have already given the answer but I'll just add some other details.

The car runs the engine when it's needed for whatever reason. In the winter if you have the climate control set to Auto, the car will know you want heat. The heat for the cabin comes from the engine so if the engine is cold the car knows it must start the engine to provide heat for the cabin.

You can test this by turning off the Climate Control when the engine is running with the car parked; often the engine will stop if it's not needed for any other reason. Bear in mind that the engine also runs for other reasons. For example, it will run to charge the hybrid Battery if it is at or below 40% charge (two bars on the dashboard meter). It will keep running if it has already started and has not yet reached 50 degrees. But otherwise the engine will stop if you turn off the Climate Control.

So, of course, in the summer when heat is not needed the engine may not start.

However, in winter when the engine is cold when it starts, it will take a few minutes before it's warm enough to provide heat for the cabin. So until the coolant water is warm enough the climate control fan runs very slowly, rather than blast the passengers with cold air. When the engine coolant is warm enough to provide heat the fan will speed up until the cabin is warm enough. Just leave it on Auto and the car will do what's needed.

As for the windscreen demisting, I think from memory that it will provide a blast of air whatever the engine temperature. The air comes via the air conditioner so even if the engine is still cold, it begins to demist the windscreen. It presumably works more quickly if the engine is already warm.

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The petrol engine is the only source of cabin heat so as others have said, either just wait a few seconds for it to fire up, or do as you do at home, ie, turn up the temp and as the system recognises the call for heat it'll turn it on.

One other thing you may not be aware of is that no matter where you have the vent controls set, by default the warm air will always come out at low level first. This is because hot air rises so it's the quickest way of getting the cabin up to temp. Similarly, in summer the cool air will always come out at high level first so that it cools the cabin as it falls.

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Also in the manual you will find something like the following that you should know:

Operation of the air conditioning system in Eco drive mode

In Eco drive mode, the air conditioning system is controlled as follows to prioritise fuel efficiency

> Engine speed and compressor operation controlled to restrict heating/cooling capacity

> Fan speed restricted when automatic mode is selected

To improve air conditioning performance, perform the following operations:

> Adjust the fan speed

> Turn off Eco drive mode

Additionally, if your vehicle has seat heating, it is quickly felt, and draws only a modest current...

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