Covering Grill in front of Radiator when Very Cold.

I live in a city that can be bitterly cold in Winter in Alberta. I see a small number of passenger vehicles and quite a few trucks that cover their front grills with a type
of cloth when the weather is very cold, minus -15 to minus-35 degrees in winter. Obviously this must be to prevent the cold air from being drawn through the radiator by the fan or even if the fan is not pulling in cold air just the forward movement of the vehicle drawing in cold air.
These cloth grill covers have a flap or flaps in the center that you can open and close. I am interested in purchasing one of these. Can the car overheat if the flap is closed for too long? At what minus temperature can you keep the flap closed all the time. At what minus temperature must you make sure that the flap is open.
Thanks in advance Denny B
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Hello fellow canadian,
What type of vehicle are you considering installing this on? I've used one on a old ford truck in the past, with reasonable success, but if you are putting it on a car, you should be aware that *many* cars get more cooling air from underneath the bumper, rather then through the grill, so the chances of overheating are slim, but so is the effectivness of the cover.
A cheap (and ugly) way to gauge the usefullness of one of these products is to wire some cardboard in front of your grill for a day....

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On Thu, 22 Jan 2004 16:09:25 GMT, "Me"

I'm near Chicago, and I see that all the time around here. I found it much easier to find a piece of cardboard and cut it to the exact size of the radiator, and slide it in directly in front of the radiator, and strap it in place. Much nicer as it's not seen from the exterior. Plus, it's much cheaper than the fabric covers. You can't beat free!
Also, I see trucks and buses using the covers (fully closed) up to temps just below freezing so I doubt overheating is really an issue, especially in the temps you guys are talking about!
HTH!
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i just came across this:
http://service.gm.com/gmtechlink/images/issues/cnt_mo/TLcme.html#story8
i think the cardboard trick would be less effective when inside the engine compartment because it will just allow air to go around the cardboard and into the engine compartment. the oem stuff seems to insulate and keep warmer air inside, sort of like the difference between a windbreaker and a winter jacket. also, coolant only flows through the radiator when the thermostat opens up when the engine is warm.
apparently, this comes standard with the diesel motors. i always thought the diesels produced more waste heat than gas engines, but this seems to suggest the opposite. as to where you can get one, being a canadian, you should know that you can get anything at the local canadian tire!
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Diesel engines definitely produce less waste heat, at least at idle/lower engine speeds.. for example, around here during the colder days of the winter, drivers of the old GM transit buses will be revving the engine up high when they're parked at the terminal to get more heat..
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Robert Hancock Saskatoon, SK, Canada
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