Yesterday I finally got the time to tackle this small project I had in mind for a while now: insulating the heater's coolant pipes on my MY11 LEAF. Several pipes and a plastic tank are getting quite warm under the hood when the heater is running and I noticed there was no heat insulation other than a thin sleeve meshed fabric around the pipes. I suspect the heat loss in this area is probably a drop in the bucket but I don't think any drop should be wasted. I bought one piece of pipe insulation (self adhesive, 1in inside diameter) and a piece of fiberglass with one side foil from my local hardware store. The operation took me less than a couple of hours but I think that with good instructions it could be done in less than one:
- Run the heater for 5-10 min to locate the hot liquid circuit. Unplug the car.
- Disconnecting and removing the 12V battery.
- Detaching the fuse box on the front of the battery harness (clips) and a wire bunch clipped in 2 places.
- Remove the battery harness (4x 12mm bolts).
- Cutting the pipe insulation foam to length for different pipe sections (most 10-12 inches long) and wrapping the warm pipes with it. A handful of plastic clamps had to be opened to make it easier. The warn circuit starts underneath the battery, goes to a temperature sensor and up to the center of the cabin. Back out to the cabin to the tank in the front right and then straight down to the heater core.
- Removed the front cover (8 plastic locks) and unbolt the tank in the front right corner. Wrapped it with fiberglass, leaving the metal cap exposed. Hold it in place with pieces of Gorilla tape.
- Put everything back in.
Obviously I don't see any difference in heater electricity consumption but I already feel better knowing less of the heat is wasted warming up the outside air. Only thing is that I have to restore all my settings (timer, alerts, etc...) since the 12V was unplugged.
SL w/ QC (3/5/2011) - 11bars on 1/23/2014 @ 54k miles - 10 on 12/23/2014 @ 73k - 9 on 10/5/2015 @ 85k - 8 on 7/3/2016 @ 96k