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Discussion Starter #1
As much of the country is now experiencing it is down right cold out there. We are in the northeast in PA and it is regularly in the teens to mid 20s at the moment. With that we are finding the CLA to be a bit lacking in the heat department in the morning. We are finding that if we pre-start the car and let it idle it does little to no good at all if we leave the heat on. The coolant temp needle will not come off 40 (cold peg) after as much as 15 minutes of idling in the driveway.

If we start the car and let it idle with the HVAC off we will get the gauge to go up in 5-8 minutes to as much as 60 degrees. That is not great but it is something. But the moment you turn on the heat the coolant temp will plummet to 40 degrees or below (cold peg).

Needless to say this uncomfortable nature to the car is turning our excitement and euphoria with our new CLA into dred and regret due to how horribly uncomfortable the car is for any reasonable AM commute.

We have an appointment at the dealer to get it checked out but I am not all that confident that we will get much more than a "operating as designed" response.

Any and all feedback is welcome. Thanks in advance for your suggestions.
 

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Does the car not heat up more once you actually start driving? Turning the engine on before hand will only do so much for heating. The engine has to actually be used for it to produce heat and send that into the heating system. Only other thing I can point out is that gap in the door paneling. Maybe that is letting some cold air in.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Does the car not heat up more once you actually start driving? Turning the engine on before hand will only do so much for heating. The engine has to actually be used for it to produce heat and send that into the heating system. Only other thing I can point out is that gap in the door paneling. Maybe that is letting some cold air in.

Generally a car sitting still will heat up pretty quickly as they rely heavily on the air passing through the radiator to cool the hot water in the radiator. But in this case it almost seems like the cooling system is too efficient or some other issue. It almost reminds me of an older engine where the thermostat is stuck open and keeping the engine from warming up.

Too your point, yes it does warm up eventually as it is driven. But for a modern car to take 15-20 minutes before you get any measurable level of warm air coming from the heating ducts makes the car really uncomfortable to drive.
 

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It's pretty cold here in central NJ also and it does get cold at 6AM when I leave for work but I just turn on the seat warmer and all is good. After a mile or two of driving the cabin warms up quite well. I'm very happy with my CLA in the winter so far. I know once summer comes along and I get to open up the roof I'll be even happier.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
It's pretty cold here in central NJ also and it does get cold at 6AM when I leave for work but I just turn on the seat warmer and all is good. After a mile or two of driving the cabin warms up quite well. I'm very happy with my CLA in the winter so far. I know once summer comes along and I get to open up the roof I'll be even happier.

Thanks for your reply as well. We love the car. I wish I could say that we were getting heat in a mile or two, so your giving me some hope that there might be something that the dealer can check or adjust. A few questions that you or some of the other members might be able to answer:
Do you warm it up at all before you drive off (5-10-15 min) or do you jump in and head off immediately?

Also, have you watched the coolant temp in the AM? If so does it warm up quickly (2-3 min) or does it take some time (how long)?

Lastly, after you have driven for some time what is the normal operating temp you are experiencing on the coolant (80-90-100 degrees)?
 

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Thanks for your reply as well. We love the car. I wish I could say that we were getting heat in a mile or two, so your giving me some hope that there might be something that the dealer can check or adjust. A few questions that you or some of the other members might be able to answer:
Do you warm it up at all before you drive off (5-10-15 min) or do you jump in and head off immediately?

Also, have you watched the coolant temp in the AM? If so does it warm up quickly (2-3 min) or does it take some time (how long)?

Lastly, after you have driven for some time what is the normal operating temp you are experiencing on the coolant (80-90-100 degrees)?
I don't warm up, or not the way you appear to warm up. I start the car and wait around 10-15 seconds just to let the oil get around to all the moving parts and then I drive off. However, I do take it easy until the temp gets to around 40 degrees. I might have bent the truth a bit about the car getting warm. I should have said after driving about 2 miles and then I can start to feel the car getting warm. The normal driving temp of the engine is around 90 degrees.
 

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Would any of you get a block heater?
It would be a good idea to get one just to make sure you have the vehicle running right in winter.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Would any of you get a block heater?
It would be a good idea to get one just to make sure you have the vehicle running right in winter.

Actually I am considering that and/or a remote start. I will be discussing this with the dealer depending on what they find after they check it out. I know the only pain with the remote start will be remembering to turn off the heat before exiting the vehicle the night before. otherwise in my experience with the CLA it will never warm up with the heat blasting. or not for a very long time.

Also, I struggle to believe that the emissions systems are working well with the care rarely/barely reaching an operating temp of 80 degrees or so. But no error codes or warning lights just yet.
 

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Generally a car sitting still will heat up pretty quickly as they rely heavily on the air passing through the radiator to cool the hot water in the radiator. But in this case it almost seems like the cooling system is too efficient or some other issue. It almost reminds me of an older engine where the thermostat is stuck open and keeping the engine from warming up.

Too your point, yes it does warm up eventually as it is driven. But for a modern car to take 15-20 minutes before you get any measurable level of warm air coming from the heating ducts makes the car really uncomfortable to drive.
light driving warms the vehicle much better than idling. Also note that HVAC diverts the heat from the engine into the cabin so you're prolonging the issue. start it and let it sit for 5 perhaps then drive. but drive easy, and I MEAN EASY. its the most effective way to heat the vehicle up.

you have to figure 1K rev idle, vs 2K rev easy driving. Warm time is halved...
 

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PA-CLA, I have the same with my CLA, cold temps slow down the warming process on all cars, but remember you still have a 4 cyl. engine. Mine does the exact same thing. to overcome this and speed up the process, I turn car on and make sure heat is off. after 10 minutes the temp starts coming up, I drive away and after a few minutes, i turn on the seat warmers, they heat quickly, then 5 minutes later i turn on the heat on auto mode, car heats up nicely in about 5 minutes, although needle drops again to almost 50, it picks up quickly and recovers as you drive. It only happens when its frigid cold below 30 on warmer days, 5 minutes and heat works rather quickly. No need to take to dealer. just the nature of a 4 banger in ice cold winter and in eco mode. Hope this helps.
Dionisio~
 

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Discussion Starter #11
PA-CLA, I have the same with my CLA, cold temps slow down the warming process on all cars, but remember you still have a 4 cyl. engine. Mine does the exact same thing. to overcome this and speed up the process, I turn car on and make sure heat is off. after 10 minutes the temp starts coming up, I drive away and after a few minutes, i turn on the seat warmers, they heat quickly, then 5 minutes later i turn on the heat on auto mode, car heats up nicely in about 5 minutes, although needle drops again to almost 50, it picks up quickly and recovers as you drive. It only happens when its frigid cold below 30 on warmer days, 5 minutes and heat works rather quickly. No need to take to dealer. just the nature of a 4 banger in ice cold winter and in eco mode. Hope this helps.
Dionisio~

Thanks for the feedback. this is my first 4 cyl in many years. I actually had to sit here and count back nearly 14 years and 7 cars to get to a 4 cyl. That was a 2000 BMW 3 series but I was in TX at the time so I don't remember any heating issues.

That said in this case even the dealer is surprised that the CLA takes nearly 30 minutes to reach the 80c operating temp that they expect. And that is with starting out driving with the heat off until the temp gauge hits 50c then turning on the auto to 72f to get warmed up.

That is all for now. I sincerely appreciate everyone's comments and feedback. I will report back when I get the car back with what the dealer tells me.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Just a bit of an update for those who were good enough to offer some support and guidance a few weeks back.

After asking for input here on the forum I decided to drop the car with the dealer for a few days. Net net is that we had a bad thermostat that was causing the grossly extended warm up times and erratic temp readings as you would enable and disable the heat.

Now, its not a pizza oven in there by any stretch but it is a bunch more comfortable on those cold drives in the AM. And it now warms up to ~90c operating temp and sustains the temp for reasonable periods between drives. All and all we are much more pleased and comfortable.

Thanks again for everyone's help.
 

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Glad to hear.
 
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