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Touaregs are sold in a wide range of climates and seem to cope just fine towing heavy trailers in hot conditions so no issues with the cooling - but I'd appreciate the collective wisdom of those who live in cold climates or just have cold winters.

Do you blank any of the grill apertures to speed warm-up? I know that the cooling system has a number of thermostatic valves/switches to speed warm-up and reduce over-cooling but without grill blanking theres still a blast of cold air all around the engine bay to slow it down.

On the lesser cars I've had in the past, I've blanked part of the grill area quite successfully, in one case a full two-thirds and would experiment with my Touareg but there seems little access without dismantling the front bumper.

I'm in the UK so not very cold by many standards but cold enough to significantly reduce the already poor fuel consumption - I have the diesel parking heater option and use that which does reduce warm-up time and seems to improve overall fuel consumption.
 

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I used to cover the grill of both my Golf TDI and my Landcruiser diesel. When the temperature gets down below -25°C, you could see the temperature gauge drop when sitting in traffic.

Last winter was my first winter with the Touareg and I had no issues keeping it at regular operating temperature. Even down to -35°C. The auxiliary electric heater did a good job of getting heat to the cabin quickly. I don't think you'll have any need for covering the grill. I do use a 1000W circulating heater though when it gets below -20°C. I have it on a timer to come on 2 hours before driving to work in the morning.

At those ambient temperatures, we don't worry too much about fuel consumption!

Your Webasto parking heater is all you'll need there. Wish we had that option here in NA.
 

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T3 gas here, no blanking, when it's below -20f there's a big difference between setting HVAC to auto and turning it completely off in the morning.

Typically, I set HVAC to off until water temp has reached operating temp (thank god to the heated seat and steering wheel), but as soon as I turn on hvac, I can see water temperature starts to drop especially sitting at traffic light, worse if you have to defrost windshield. Only way to warm up is to keep driving. After a couple of miles when the car is truly warmed up, I can turn on hot air to full blast and water temp won't drop a bit.

Blanking might help reduce warm up time, but the car is more than capable dealing with -20f in stock form.
 

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T3 gas here, no blanking, when it's below -20f there's a big difference between setting HVAC to auto and turning it completely off in the morning.

Typically, I set HVAC to off until water temp has reached operating temp (thank god to the heated seat and steering wheel), but as soon as I turn on hvac, I can see water temperature starts to drop especially sitting at traffic light, worse if you have to defrost windshield. Only way to warm up is to keep driving. After a couple of miles when the car is truly warmed up, I can turn on hot air to full blast and water temp won't drop a bit.

Blanking might help reduce warm up time, but the car is more than capable dealing with -20f in stock form.
I don't have concerns about it "coping" - it's about improving economy by reducing warm-up time.

Part of the issue is that diesels warm up slower than petrol/gasoline - they're more efficient at converting fuel energy into power, that's where their better consumption comes from - at low speeds, a diesel may never warm up in cold weather
 

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2014 T3 diesel. I live in a quite cold part of upstate ny. I found that with temps lower than -25 deg F, the fuel will freeze without Diesel additive. Driving on the interstate, once it gets up to temp, it can maintain heat just fine usually. There was one night last January at -34 degrees F where at 72mph on the interstate, it seemed that the cabin heater just couldn't keep up, but it still could maintain about 62 degrees. It just couldn't seem to get warmer than that. My -30 washer fluid froze in the tank that night too. Lol.


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