Steve New Reader
11/11/20 9:41 a.m.

With the colder weather settling in here in the PNW, and this being my first winter with the FWD 8000RPM goofywagon, I had a few questions for the hive after spending last winter with a "Winter Package" Gen 1 Forester.

  • Heated mirrors, I'd like to add some heating elements to the mirrors, has anyone ever done this successfully?
  • For some reason or another, the 2ZZGE seems particularly slow to warm up. New thermostat when I did the front cover seal (a few months ago), and it has the appropriate coolant mix. I'm used to AL block/head engines warming up very quickly. This matters more now since engine temp = heat = defrost = warm toddler. If I'm scooting about town, it takes forever to warm up, but if I jump on the highway for my commute, it will warm up rapidly. Which leads me to the next question...
  • It seems like the blower fan pressure/force/circulation is just horrible in this thing. I usually run it on a floor/windshield vent split, but there feels like very little floor circulation. As a test, I flipped it to face/floor vents, and the lack of conviction that the air was being pushed out of the face vents was disappointing. Similar to the engine temp issue above, once I get up to highway speed, I believe there are some pressures at play and then it feels like there is some actual air movement. Maybe this is also normal, but I'm calling on Team GRM for advice.
  • More 2ZZGE specific, I have a longer crank time for start up than usual as the temperature has dropped. Not slow, just longer, and we're talking probably not even a second, but typically it just burps to life immediately. I'm thinking I don't need to worry about it, but if there is a something I should be checking, I'd like to get in front of it before there is a no start condition.

Looking forward to slip sliding my way through winter in this thing!

02Pilot UltraDork
11/11/20 10:03 a.m.

As far as airflow from the vents, does it have a cabin filter and have you changed it?

RX8driver Reader
11/11/20 10:19 a.m.

I added heated mirrors to my 05 Focus. I bought new mirror assemblies and installed them, but they're all just black plastic, so that made it easier (no colour match). There was no factory wiring for them at all (had manual mirrors), so that made it harder, but not impossible. I bought the switch and wiring pigtails for the assembly and ran my own wiring, tying in the mirror heat to the rear defrost. You could check one door for factory wiring to see how much effort it'll take to install. Maybe it'll be plug and play.

Maybe you should look at blocking off part of the grille or radiator to speed up the warm up? Are your fans coming on too soon maybe?

Longer crank times are normal in colder weather, Batteries make less power when cold, so it'll be turning over a little slower.

I second changing the cabin air filter. I My wife's old car had noticeably lower airflow with an activated charcoal equipped filter and when changing it out for a simple paper one, the airflow went back to normal.

John Welsh (Moderate Supporter)
John Welsh (Moderate Supporter) Mod Squad
11/11/20 10:29 a.m.

Did the Vibe/Matrix ever offer heated mirrors as an option?   If you can find aftermarket versions that have heat, this might be possible.  For heated seats there are coils you can add under any seat.  For mirrors, it's probably not that simple as just adding coils under the glass.

RX8driver Reader
11/12/20 7:59 a.m.

I've only ever disassembled one side mirror, but it was apparent that they build them, then glue in the mirror part last. No way to disassemble it to swap out the reflector only.


Adding seat heat is pretty easy as long as you don't have glued on upholstry. I did that in the Focus too.

iceracer MegaDork
11/12/20 5:19 p.m.

Car will warm up faster if you cover the radiator about half with cardboard of similar material . 

The last three cars i had, had heated mirrors.  I used them once

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