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General Topics => R & R => Automotive => Topic started by: THE NORSEMAN on December 16, 2008, 10:39:56 am

Title: Notes on winter vehicle operation
Post by: THE NORSEMAN on December 16, 2008, 10:39:56 am
1.  If it snowed on your vehicle, clean off your air intake(grille usually between the hood and wiper blades) if you want your heater/defroster to work.

2.  Your windshield wipers AREN'T snowplows, don't use them as such.  Also, make sure they aren't frozen to the window when you turn them on.

3.  Windows-  DON'T try rolling them down when they are iced shut. 

4.  Make sure all your lights are cleared of snow.

5.  On icy/snowy roads, drive like you have to, not like you want to.

6.  Keep your car above 1/4 tank at all times during the winter.   Things happen.

More later- Gotta go to work.
Title: Re: Notes on winter vehicle operation
Post by: THE NORSEMAN on December 17, 2008, 09:51:55 am
Clean off your grille.  It may be cold outside, but your radiator still needs airflow to prevent overheating.

Washer fluid-
Make sure you have "winter mix" washer fluid, and always keep a spare gallon in the trunk.
Title: Re: Notes on winter vehicle operation
Post by: Michael on December 17, 2008, 07:06:28 pm
Do NOT set your parking brake at night.  It may freeze in place and cause you a great deal of grief in the morning when you are late for work.
Title: Re: Notes on winter vehicle operation
Post by: ljnowell on December 17, 2008, 08:44:05 pm
Another thing to consider: winterizing.  If you go to your local discount auto parts store you can get your battery tested for free.  This is the season they like to fail, and a weak one will.  Also, check the tread depth of your tires.  Winter is when flats occur the most, due to road conditions.  Look at that belt on your engine while the battery is being tested.  Depending on the vehicle many parts stores will install it for free, as long as it doesnt require anything else be taken apart to do it. 

Many people will not recommend this, but as an engine repair guy I will.  Start your car a few minutes before you are ready to leave.  Even if you dont let it run long enough to heat the passenger compartment, you will get the oil warmed up.  Terrible things can happen to an engine that is started in 15 degree weather and immediately driven over and over. 
Title: Re: Notes on winter vehicle operation
Post by: Outbreak on December 21, 2008, 03:36:34 am
buy some of that lock de-icer. I know from experience that a lighter held to a key will not un-freeze your locks, and running an extension cord down to the street to run your blow dryer (or your wife's/sister's blow dryer) is no fun.
Title: Re: Notes on winter vehicle operation
Post by: BarbarianDiva on December 21, 2008, 04:43:48 am
Clear your windows by brushing and/or scraping them. Until your defroster starts clearing them a mile or two down the road, you are for all intents and purposes blind.
Title: Re: Notes on winter vehicle operation
Post by: Outbreak on December 21, 2008, 04:44:08 pm
Another thread just reminded me that cars still obey the laws of physics, so when the temperature drops, so does your tire pressure.
Title: Re: Notes on winter vehicle operation
Post by: GeorgeHill on December 21, 2008, 06:51:01 pm
Quote
I know from experience that a lighter held to a key will not un-freeze your locks,
Actually, it will.  I've done it.  Washed a car before seeing a movie on a date... came out of the theatre - frozen locks.
Flicked the Bic, heated the key to "nice and hot" and stuck it in there...
A minute later we were in the car smoothing.
Title: Re: Notes on winter vehicle operation
Post by: ljnowell on December 21, 2008, 10:10:47 pm
Actually, it will.  I've done it.  Washed a car before seeing a movie on a date... came out of the theatre - frozen locks.
Flicked the Bic, heated the key to "nice and hot" and stuck it in there...
A minute later we were in the car smoothing.

And what exactly were you smoothing?  :neener
Title: Re: Notes on winter vehicle operation
Post by: Outbreak on December 22, 2008, 04:05:21 pm
I should have phrased that differently. I've tried it, and it took me 15 min to get them un-frozen. Blow dryer on low worked in about 30secs.
Title: Re: Notes on winter vehicle operation
Post by: JesseL on December 22, 2008, 04:10:42 pm
I should have phrased that differently. I've tried it, and it took me 15 min to get them un-frozen. Blow dryer on low worked in about 30secs.


But can you realistically keep a blow dryer in your pocket?

Not to mention of course, a place to plug it in.
Title: Re: Notes on winter vehicle operation
Post by: THE NORSEMAN on December 26, 2008, 10:08:51 am
Turn your wipers OFF when you are done for the day.  If you don't and you sart the car with them on, they will try to go even if frozen to the windshield.   This is bad.
Title: Re: Notes on winter vehicle operation
Post by: Skeptic49 on December 26, 2008, 01:43:44 pm
I usta keep a lock unfreeze tube in my pocket.  Charged a buck to get in.  Rule No.1  Try the passengers car door.  Worked over 50% of the time.
Rule 2 spray the lock with the compound.  Then lubricate with graphite.

Geoff
Who never had to go beyond Rule 2. Sigh.
Title: Re: Notes on winter vehicle operation
Post by: Brian Dale on December 26, 2008, 08:55:37 pm
Heet and Iso-Heet fuel tank moisture absorbent: good stuff.

Four wheel drive might help you to go faster, but it will not help you to stop any faster. 

There's no harm and no shame in approximately trebling your usual following distance when the road has ice or a snow floor.
Title: Re: Notes on winter vehicle operation
Post by: ridata on January 04, 2009, 12:46:18 am
Turn your wipers OFF when you are done for the day.  If you don't and you sart the car with them on, they will try to go even if frozen to the windshield.   This is bad.

And flip them up. That way they won't be frozen.
Title: Re: Notes on winter vehicle operation
Post by: claymore1500 on January 15, 2009, 10:20:39 pm
Norseman, I wish about 50% more people would go by your post, I know the world ( at least around my piece of it ) would be a better place.

I would also like to add, The heating of keys with a lighter MAY not be advisable on newer cars with the chip in the key, I don't think that method is worth the price of a new key, (them things ain't cheap)
Title: Re: Notes on winter vehicle operation
Post by: THE NORSEMAN on January 15, 2009, 10:33:53 pm
Actually, you'll have the key WAY too hot to hold onto before you hurt the chip on most keys.  The GM ones where the chip is in the key shaft instead of the head would require a fair amount of caution though.
Title: Re: Notes on winter vehicle operation
Post by: Outbreak on April 16, 2009, 12:34:00 am
Norseman, I wish about 50% more people would go by your post, I know the world ( at least around my piece of it ) would be a better place.

I would also like to add, The heating of keys with a lighter MAY not be advisable on newer cars with the chip in the key, I don't think that method is worth the price of a new key, (them things ain't cheap)

I did it on a 96 Jetta key. The alarm didn't work and it barely had power locks. No chip to worry about. Even my 06 Nissan Frontier has a simple metal key with no fancies.
Title: Re: Notes on winter vehicle operation
Post by: StevenTing on October 30, 2009, 06:26:51 pm
If feels like winter is here in Utah so I reviewed these tips again.  Thanks for the info everyone.
Title: Re: Notes on winter vehicle operation
Post by: THE NORSEMAN on November 23, 2009, 09:26:46 pm
Along with a few minutes of engine warm up-  The first 5 miles or so you drive, do it gently.  Light throttle, low rpm, light load on the engine.  Why?

Because even if you let the engine get right up to operating temperature before you pull out of the driveway, nothing else is.  Bearing grease is still cold, diff fluid is still cold oil in the shocks is still cold, etc.  There is a very good reason NASCAR and other racing bodies run a few warm up laps before going green.  If they didn't, you'd have blown up cars all over the track.
Title: Re: Notes on winter vehicle operation
Post by: g.willikers on November 24, 2009, 04:37:40 pm
Relocate further south.
Title: Re: Notes on winter vehicle operation
Post by: GeorgeHill on November 24, 2009, 08:31:02 pm
Along with a few minutes of engine warm up-  The first 5 miles or so you drive, do it gently.  Light throttle, low rpm, light load on the engine.  Why?

Because even if you let the engine get right up to operating temperature before you pull out of the driveway, nothing else is.  Bearing grease is still cold, diff fluid is still cold oil in the shocks is still cold, etc.  There is a very good reason NASCAR and other racing bodies run a few warm up laps before going green.  If they didn't, you'd have blown up cars all over the track.
That's good information, Norse.  I've seen parts break and shatter while I was in Wisconsin from Cold.  Axles.  Tie Rods.  Diffs.  When it gets really cold... metal gets brittle.  And it can get that cold around here where I live.
Title: Re: Notes on winter vehicle operation
Post by: orb on December 14, 2009, 07:19:01 am
The spray-on de-icer probably works well on a frozen gas tank cover.  Mine froze last year.  I just left it out in the sun while at work and stopped again for gas on my way home.