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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Winter has officially arrived in Kansas City. I have now discovered something that I just can't live with; the van's inability to warm up when the outside temperature is below roughly 30 F. Yesterday it was 7 F on my morning commute, today it was -3 F. Both mornings I let the van "warm up" in the drive for 30 minutes before heading to work. Both times I was disappointed when I got into the vehicle only to have ice-cold air blowing and the temperature gauge still not registering above 0.

Even normal driving wouldn't get the engine up above 40 C. Out of desperation, I finally used my paddle shifters to drop it down a couple of gears to keep the RPMs between 4,000-5,000. After 5 minutes of this, the temperature was indicating 80 C and some seemingly warm air was finally starting to blow out of the vents. I selected "Drive" again on the column selector, the transmission took it back up to 6th gear, RPMs dropped to just over 2,000, and the temperature gauge was back at 40 C within 3 minutes and blowing cold air at me again.

Is everyone experiencing this problem or do I have a faulty thermostat?

thanks
 

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I can't speak to this problem directly, but I have noticed at roughly (from memory) 30-40F with rear heat on, the temp gauge was well below 80 on the gauge. We were alright due to the electric auxiliary heater.
 

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Winter has officially arrived in Kansas City. I have now discovered something that I just can't live with; the van's inability to warm up when the outside temperature is below roughly 30 F. Yesterday it was 7 F on my morning commute, today it was -3 F. Both mornings I let the van "warm up" in the drive for 30 minutes before heading to work. Both times I was disappointed when I got into the vehicle only to have ice-cold air blowing and the temperature gauge still not registering above 0.

Even normal driving wouldn't get the engine up above 40 C. Out of desperation, I finally used my paddle shifters to drop it down a couple of gears to keep the RPMs between 4,000-5,000. After 5 minutes of this, the temperature was indicating 80 C and some seemingly warm air was finally starting to blow out of the vents. I selected "Drive" again on the column selector, the transmission took it back up to 6th gear, RPMs dropped to just over 2,000, and the temperature gauge was back at 40 C within 3 minutes and blowing cold air at me again.

Is everyone experiencing this problem or do I have a faulty thermostat?

thanks
So, do you have the cold weather package option? I noticed in the new buyers guide that the "Electric Booster for Heating" HZ0 is now standard equipment (at least on the Passenger Van). Maybe your experience is why they made it standard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I do not have the cold weather package. It is the one thing I'm beginning to wonder if I can live without. How does one get the aux electric heater? Can it be installed at the dealer?
 

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I do have the cold weather package. I am not sure what it takes to upfit the electric warmer.

Edit: I do see a document about upfitting the PTC Heater Booster. It has the install and tell how to code it in so it activates properly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That sounds expensive. Is it possible I have a broken thermostat? I am at 33,000 miles.
 

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More than likely the broken thermostat would throw a check engine light.
 

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My Metris starts putting out warmed air quickly but even when the engine is fully warmed up with the heat set on max I wish the warm air would get “hot”. Compared to my other vehicles from Subaru, Infiniti and Hyundai there is a noticeable difference. It is warm enough that I would guess it is by design and nothing is officially broke but it still could be warmer in my opinion. Has anybody else come to the same thoughts?
 

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I have a thyroid issue such that my main problem with heat is that the only choices for me are often too hot (second lowest setting) or ice cold (blue dot). That being said, yes, the car takes forever to warm up on a cold day, and the electric heater booster is an absolutely mandatory thing. The vehicle is actually incapable of warming up properly without it. It can be retrofitted, but the heated seats are also very helpful. (My wife does not have a thyroid problem, and a common solution is her seat heater on, the heater I’m decently, and my window cracked or open).

You may be able to bully your dealer into discounting the install. It is a design flaw.
 

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Ours warms up nicely in the low teens and we do have the winter driving package. I have noticed greater fuel consumption in the cold weather. I'm assuming the fuel increase is due to the alternator load from the electric heater and possibly aerodynamics load from the denser air. Have you tried partially covering the front grill to inhibit some air flow over the engine compartment? I'm extremely impressed with the handling of these vans on the ice and snow.
 

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Ours warms up nicely in the low teens and we do have the winter driving package. I have noticed greater fuel consumption in the cold weather. I'm assuming the fuel increase is due to the alternator load from the electric heater and possibly aerodynamics load from the denser air. Have you tried partially covering the front grill to inhibit some air flow over the engine compartment? I'm extremely impressed with the handling of these vans on the ice and snow.
I wonder if it's also winter blend gasoline that decreases MPG, along with the other factors you mention? I experience with my diesel Sprinter each winter. I don't increase my idle time to warm it up at all. I assumed a lot had to do with winter blend diesel fuel, which is thinner to avoid fuel gelling at low temperatures.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I was actually thinking of a way to do just that; covering up the grille. I almost need a custom bra-like product similar to what big rigs use. I'm not to keen on sliding a piece of cardboard down in front of the radiator. Has anyone else here tried restricting the airflow over the radiator?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I called MB of KC yesterday and spoke to the commercial vehicle sales rep. He says that this is normal for both the Metris and the Sprinter. He said the trick is to let them idle with the heater blower off, otherwise the engine will never warm up. I tried this with my Metris this morning and it did work somewhat. Instead of registering 0F on the gauge, it was about 50 C. It still doesn't solve the problem of the vehicle's inability to thaw itself out or warm up in the driveway.
 
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