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Old 12-22-2009, 02:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Subaru Boxer Diesel problem, runs cold!

Have some issues with my new subaru, winter time when the weather is cold the engine (2.0 D) temp does not reach the mid area at the temp meter.
Resulting a colder climate inside the car, even when setting the inside temp at max (29 C).
Talked to the dealer, and they told me that the subaru engine didn't produce enough warmth to keep engine temp at 80-90 C in cold weather... ?!?! So they really couldn't help me out.. The motor temp was measured to about 60-65 C when driving in -10 C.
This is a 2009 mod, brand new in october..
Anyone know some info about this? Is this really true?!
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Old 12-22-2009, 02:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Try blocking the radiator opening with some cardboard. Thats what we do here to the big diesel rigs to increase temps in the winter, just keep a close eye on it to prevent it from getting too hot
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Old 12-22-2009, 03:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Doesn't help much, been tried out..
Also they told me they had changed the thermostat..
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Old 12-22-2009, 03:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Just think it's pretty weird that a brand new car would have such big problems getting warm in "northern" climate..
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Old 12-22-2009, 03:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Its certainly possible....

Do everything you can think of to eliminate the loss of heat. If blocking the radiator intakes isn't enough, build a "skid plate" to stop airflow through the engine bay.

Is there an intercooler duct on these models? If so, block that off too...
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Old 12-22-2009, 04:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sondrere View Post
Just think it's pretty weird that a brand new car would have such big problems getting warm in "northern" climate..
It is not a new car thing but a diesel thing. They just don't run as hot or produce the abundance of heat of a gas engine. Many diesel owners here in the States fight the same problem.

Two of my co workers run 12 volt electric heaters in their VW TDIs as they don't produce enough heat via the engine to keep the inside warm when it gets below the single digits Fahrenheit.
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Old 12-22-2009, 07:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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^Agreed. Atleast on the old diesel cars you could not get heat inside the cabin without driving it warm. It could not get warm from just idling.
That's why newer diesels come with some sort of heating system. Haven't read up on this tho.
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Old 12-22-2009, 11:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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1.5kW of electric heat.

Don't worry about it. But, what temperatire gauge are you reading, there's only an LED and it goes out at 50c...

A lack of waste heat is the price you pay for efficiency.
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Old 12-23-2009, 02:32 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Compared with my previous Peugeot and Honda diesels, the AirCon in the SH falls very short of satisfactory. It's a feature that does need fixing.
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Old 12-23-2009, 03:51 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sondrere View Post
The motor temp was measured to about 60-65 C when driving in -10 C.
This is normal. Compared to a gasoline engine, when both are operated at light to medium throttle, the diesel engine is pumping much more air through the engine. When that air is sub-freezing, it has a significant effect on engine operating temperature.

My advise is to dress for the weather. If you're uncomfortably cold when driving normally, the odds of surviving a breakdown where you have no heat aren't nearly as good.
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Old 12-28-2009, 07:06 AM   #11 (permalink)
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This is normal. Compared to a gasoline engine, when both are operated at light to medium throttle, the diesel engine is pumping much more air through the engine. When that air is sub-freezing, it has a significant effect on engine operating temperature.

My advise is to dress for the weather. If you're uncomfortably cold when driving normally, the odds of surviving a breakdown where you have no heat aren't nearly as good.
I understand this is a diesel thing, but what about all the other car brands running with pretty much the same engine spec. An example is my fathers Honda CRV, no extra heating device such as webasto or eberspacher, but still the engine gets pretty warm, even below -10.. So that's why I reacted...
Will try replacing the thermostat tomorrow as this a common fault source I've been told by the dealer. ?! If this ain't helping, I think a eberspacher install is the way to go...
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Old 12-28-2009, 08:19 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Sondere
Do you know that there is a sondere asking an almost identical question on the subaru outback forum. (Unable to post link to 3w's subaruoutback.org
/forums/showthread.php?s=&postid=208282 and titled SUBARU OUTBACK - Long time before engine reach mid temp ?

Posted 12 Dec.
Driving a 2009 outback 2.0 diesel, is only 2000 km on the display-> new in October.
Now with colder weather I've noticed the engine temperature doesn't really reach the mid area before driven..maybe 30-40 km..
Is this normal with the Subaru boxer diesel?! Afraid something is wrong?


Updated 16 Dec:
A little update on the problem...
Called another Subaru dealer and they told me that this was a common fault on this exact model, solution is simply replacing the thermostat.
With the old one installed, engine temp will only reach about 60 C, when it's supposed to operate at about 85 +/- ... That again will cause a engine not running smooth, cold climate in the coupe etc..
The funny thing about the old thermostat they replace is that when tested outside of the car, they really can't find any wrong with it, but still solves the problem 99% of the time.. ---> and that's good enough for me This problem is covered by guarantee from the dealer of course.
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Old 12-28-2009, 09:08 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sondrere View Post
I understand this is a diesel thing, but what about all the other car brands running with pretty much the same engine spec. An example is my fathers Honda CRV, no extra heating device such as webasto or eberspacher, but still the engine gets pretty warm, even below -10.....
They may be of similar size but they have a drastically different layout. Those other 2.0L are inline 4 cylinders. Where as Subarus is an opposed boxer as you know, two cylinders on each side.

The in line 4 style has one central location that all that engine heat builds up at, on top(heat rises) of the engine in a unified cylinder head. Subaru has two heads laying horizontal 1/2 the heat source on one side with the other 1/2 on the other side connected via a coolant cross over pipe. To make this short it has its thermal mass spread out over a wider area allowing more heat to escape to the air vs being drawn out through the cooling system which supplies the heater core.

This is one of those prime examples of not buying the first model year or two of a new vehicle/engine. It allows you to see all of the idiosyncrasies of the design found by others to further allow your self a more informed decision.
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Old 12-30-2009, 12:31 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Thanks flstffxe, tis obvious, especially after someone else points it out to you

Edit:- Two possible changes could be made to help the warm up phase, both of which have been used elsewhere;

1) Fit a temperature controlled air flap into the intake to draw warm air from the exhaust/turbo
2) Fit a temperature controlled electric water pump, since it will only circulate the coolant if needed
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Last edited by R5oss; 12-30-2009 at 12:48 AM.
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Old 12-30-2009, 02:53 AM   #15 (permalink)
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To block the air from the radiator, you have to do it right, or the flow just bypasses your cardboard.....

Long-time north Canada resident and semiprofessional rad-blocker!

The best way is to cut a piece approx half the width of the rad and an inch taller, then move the rubber gasket aside, between the a/c condensor and the rad. Slide your blocker down between and leave the last inch protruding above (so you can pull it out next spring!)

Position it in the middle, so that some flow gets cooled on each side, but the area directly in front of the fan is shielded.

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