Psa For Winter Care For Cars/trucks

foxxycat

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Hi guys=for those of us in the solid ice cold snap=remember cold is hard on batteries.

When you run the car=try to run it a full 30 minutes before shutting off=this allows battery to fully charge-and in this cold no one wants to be out in the cold with a dead car with no heat. It says for city driving one hour=so take the highway for 20 min-this will ensure full charged battery.

Just an FYI and Autozone will test your battery for free=I suggest we ALL take advantage of this=otherwise being without warm air in the car just isn't good right now...

looks like another 10 days of cold under 25 in my area=sure others same.

ook back to cats and fun!
 

Winchester

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I always start the car and let it run for at least five minutes, sometimes longer before leaving for work.

We just put a new battery into Clarence last spring.

It's below freezing around here, too, and will stay that way for quite a while.
 

Ardina

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Good to know, thank you! This is my first winter owning a car, so this is very helpful!
 
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foxxycat

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My commute is highway so it fully charges each time I drive.

Yesterday I let it run for 10 minutes then drove long way to grocery store and same back home. About 25 min each trip. Yeah it eats gas. But gas is cheap here-and in -13°F I will gladly pay an extra $10 a tank of gas to ensure I won't be stranded. I got jumpers but with it this cold=they stay curled up in a ball and you need to slowly work them out to be straight-it's a royal pain in the butt-I try to keep them on the back seat so they are somewhat warm if I had run the car earlier.

I don't remember ever seeing it this cold for this long. I know we get a few nights at 5 or 10 but this wind chill of -25 STINKS
 

denice

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I remember it being like this the winter of 2013-2014 and it didn't break until the latter half of March. It was the same deal the Arctic air came down lower than normal and stayed that way.

I live close to work so I don't get on the highway and I am only about a 10 minute drive from work. I do let the car run for 30 minutes though. A full 10 minutes to warm up and I let it run for awhile when I get to work or get home before I shut it off. I bought this car in February of 2015. It still has the original battery but I haven't had any issues with it. Normally seems like I always get 5 years out of a battery. I swear they put a timer on the ones I get, as soon as they hit 5 hears they die.
 

neely

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I remember it being like this the winter of 2013-2014 and it didn't break until the latter half of March.
I remember our Polar Vortex in early 2014 because there were more cancelled days of school, work for me, than ever before. I was worried we would have to make up for it well into June. I usually don't warm up the car for more than a few minutes because it's in the garage. DH's car is outside so he lets it warm up longer.
 

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My vehicle is in a garage and has been struggling to start each morning, so I'm definitely going to have to get it tested.
 

rubysmama

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After my car got completely coated with inches of ice 2 winters ago, I cleaned out my garage and started keeping my car inside, so I think that will help the battery. It's an unheated garage, but I have a thermometer in there, and so far it hasn't quite gone below freezing. So definitely warmer than outside.
 

artiemom

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Drove by a local AutoZone this afternoon. I could not believe how many cars were in the parking lot.. there was no room left.. and guys were coming in and out of it, continuously...

I will try to get my battery checked out.. as soon as I can----after the blizzard.. too late now...
 

artiemom

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You should also keep your car filled with gas. In cold weather if your car is low on gas your gas lines can freeze and your car won't start. At least that is what they used to tell us. I guess it is still true.
That is one thing or one of the first things, my Dad taught me about driving.. Keep the gas tank full.. at least 1/2-3/4 full.. It keeps the condensation from accumulating and diluting the gas, and freezing
My dad always said, not to fill the gas tank the entire way..always to leave a tiny bit free--just in case.. of freezing...

Same thing with the widow washer.. keep checking it, especially in winter.. make sure it is full of washer.

and, to always drive with a bit of ventilation in the car--fearful of carbon monoxide.. keep a window cracked open a bit. or air coming in through the vents.

A lot of old school stuff, but good advice.
 

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My tire pressure indicator just came on. None of my tires look visibly flat. Is this something that will be fine once the cold snap ends, or should I be more worried?
 

denice

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The indicator on my tires comes on the first cold night, it did it quite awhile ago. You always loose a little pressure when it gets cold and those indicators are very sensitive. The Firestone close to me will put air in the tires at no charge, they only take a little bit. It is safer and better for gas mileage to have the air pressure where it should be.
 

artiemom

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My tires did that over the week-end. It was so darn cold, all the outdoor air pumps were frozen. I was told that this happens because of the extreme cold weather. The air molecules get denser, causing the pressure in the tires to fall. And sometimes, because of the cold, the sensor gets frozen.

I was driving around, and the light went off...

Two days later, it happened again. I made sure I had them checked out. Took a while to find an air pump, open of New Years Day, but I did. I really did need air in the tires.. They were really low...at that point I could see they were a bit low.

I would say, that if they do not look low, and it is extremely cold, then you are ok.. Drive around for about 30 minutes. If the sensor shuts off, then it is ok.. but it is always good to check them out.. as soon as you can..
 

Ardina

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Thank you both for the advice! It hasn't gone away even after driving on the highway for a while, so I'll get it checked out this weekend if it's still there.
 

artiemom

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Thank you both for the advice! It hasn't gone away even after driving on the highway for a while, so I'll get it checked out this weekend if it's still there.
Not to get you nervous, but, if the light has not gone out and you have been driving around for a while.... Then I would get to an indoor mechanic to check out the air pressure.. they are probably low.. mine ended up being very low..

and the bitter cold will not help..
 

1CatOverTheLine

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(Modern) gasolines freeze between -60º F and -70º F (-51º C - -57º C) because of the ethanol additives. A non-ethanol gasoline, rated at 86 octane will freeze at approximately -45º F (-43º). At these temperatures, the point is moot, since the gasoline won't vaporise sufficiently to ignite.

The logic behind keeping the tank full is that against the eventuality that there's water and/or sediment in the tank, those last few drops won't find their way into the carburettor or fuel injectors, creating a financial disaster for you, and a windfall for your mechanic. Keeping your fuel filters clean, and changing them before they begin clogging will add years of life to your engine, just as will changing your oil and oil filter regularly.

Regarding tire alarms - they're habitual liars. Tire pressure monitoring systems rely upon several factors to actually work. Here's a typical example of all the little things which have to work in order for the system to function:

upload_2018-1-4_11-36-54.jpeg


In addition to the twelve components here, in a simplified system, some cars have pressure balance sensors, and pressure variance sensors as well.

Personal opinion: the best "fix" for most tire alarm problems is to get a roll of electricians tape, clip approximately three-quarters of an inch off the free end, and place the black square directly over the light on the dashboard. A two dollar WalMart tire pressure gauge works much better than these "automatic" systems, fits in your glove box, and takes less than a minute to use to monitor your tire pressure.
.
 

Ardina

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(Modern) gasolines freeze between -60º F and -70º F (-51º C - -57º C) because of the ethanol additives. A non-ethanol gasoline, rated at 86 octane will freeze at approximately -45º F (-43º). At these temperatures, the point is moot, since the gasoline won't vaporise sufficiently to ignite.

The logic behind keeping the tank full is that against the eventuality that there's water and/or sediment in the tank, those last few drops won't find their way into the carburettor or fuel injectors, creating a financial disaster for you, and a windfall for your mechanic. Keeping your fuel filters clean, and changing them before they begin clogging will add years of life to your engine, just as will changing your oil and oil filter regularly.

Regarding tire alarms - they're habitual liars. Tire pressure monitoring systems rely upon several factors to actually work. Here's a typical example of all the little things which have to work in order for the system to function:

View attachment 212654

In addition to the twelve components here, in a simplified system, some cars have pressure balance sensors, and pressure variance sensors as well.

Personal opinion: the best "fix" for most tire alarm problems is to get a roll of electricians tape, clip approximately three-quarters of an inch off the free end, and place the black square directly over the light on the dashboard. A two dollar WalMart tire pressure gauge works much better than these "automatic" systems, fits in your glove box, and takes less than a minute to use to monitor your tire pressure.
.
I would be inclined to agree with you, but in my case, the tire pressure indicator did come on during the summer and the pressure was quite low in a couple of my tires. So, probably better to be safe than sorry and get it checked. I should probably get an actual gauge too.
 

denice

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Each fall first cold night my low tire indicator comes on. I go to Firestone and they put a little air in each tire and I don't see it again until the next fall and the first cold night. It only takes a few minutes and they don't charge me for it. I would rather be safe then sorry.
 

Willowy

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Slightly underfilled tires actually have better traction. . .it's not good for your tires or your mileage but they are less slippy. That's an old mail carrier's trick for icy roads.

I don't have a tire pressure indicator, and it's been too cold for me to get out and use the gauge myself, lol. They do look a little soft; I should check them this weekend---it's supposed to be in the 20s-30s so not as bitterly cold.

My car gets cranky if it's under half a tank full. I've heard that's a Honda thing. But it has always always started, even at -20, I've never had trouble with that. I do keep the battery fairly new; batteries are relatively cheap. Better than missing a day of work anyway. It's a good car.
 
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