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Old 11-23-2010, 08:08 AM   #1
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Winter is not Cool...

My car fuel mileage has gone to crap!!!

I don't have a garage and it has to warm up for about 10 minutes just to un-thaw itself. The current temp out side is a whole 9 degrees F. with a high of 13 degrees today and a low of -8 degrees tonight. Plus is doesn't help that we have had blizzard conditions with major snow drifts.

Trying to figure out a way to cover the car up at night so there will be less thawing. Any ideas???
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Old 11-23-2010, 08:17 AM   #2
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Re: Winter is not Cool...

What about the basic car cover? It likely won't help with the thawing, but might make clearing off the snow easier. There is also those canvas carports.

Insulating the engine compartment will help.
Engine block heater is probably a must.
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Old 11-23-2010, 08:27 AM   #3
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Re: Winter is not Cool...

What's your house/yard like? Would an ugly lean-to be acceptable or would it anger your neighbors/wife?

I'd be afraid of a canvas/tarp carport/garage/etc in those weather conditions. Heavy wind and heavy snow may not be very compatible with it.

I second the block heater idea.
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Old 11-23-2010, 08:57 AM   #4
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Re: Winter is not Cool...

Here's a pic of the current conditions. The wind has bee blowing for over 24 hrs now.

Quote:
What about the basic car cover? It likely won't help with the thawing, but might make clearing off the snow easier. There is also those canvas carports.

Insulating the engine compartment will help.
Engine block heater is probably a must.
This is what I'm trying to figure out if there is a basic car cover that won't let ice thru. Where I live they won't let you have a carport. I'm running a block heater but it just doesn't help enough for de-iceing.


Quote:
What's your house/yard like? Would an ugly lean-to be acceptable or would it anger your neighbors/wife?

I'd be afraid of a canvas/tarp carport/garage/etc in those weather conditions. Heavy wind and heavy snow may not be very compatible with it.

I second the block heater idea.
Same as above the neighborhood won't let me

Has anyone tried a in car electric heater to keep the cabin temps warmer???
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:12 AM   #5
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Re: Winter is not Cool...

I considered just sticking an AC heater in my car but I couldn't find a place where I felt like it was safe. That would be a good way to warm the interior and help make it easier to remove ice from glass.

Also, for ice removal, rain-x or wax the whole vehicle before winter (too late for you now!).
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:42 AM   #6
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Re: Winter is not Cool...

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Originally Posted by theholycow View Post
I considered just sticking an AC heater in my car but I couldn't find a place where I felt like it was safe. That would be a good way to warm the interior and help make it easier to remove ice from glass.

Also, for ice removal, rain-x or wax the whole vehicle before winter (too late for you now!).
I might give this AC heater thing a try. I will go shopping tonight to see what I can find.
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:51 AM   #7
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Re: Winter is not Cool...

If you are going to go that route, consider an oil filled type. You'd need a place in the back seat to run it without having a lot of direct contact....
The best part about them is they hold heat for a while. By the time you car was warm enough to throw heat during your drive, you'd still have a warm heater in the back. Bonus is that they have a nice thermostat feature to run them at a very low heat all night if you wanted to. Probably a waste, but for those -30 nights it might be handy.
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Old 11-23-2010, 10:08 AM   #8
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Re: Winter is not Cool...

That's a good idea. The heater I was going to use is a basic electric space heater with red-hot wires behind a grate and a little fan to move air through it. I was worried about the surface I would put it on, as well as if it fell over. An oil-filled radiator type ought to be safer.

My plan was to leave it in the car and run an extension cord to where I park. When I park the car I'd plug it in to the cord and close the door on the cord, then in the morning when I wake up I'd plug the cord into the wall indoors. When I leave I'd unplug both ends of the cord, and just leave the cord there, ready for when I get back.
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Old 11-23-2010, 10:24 AM   #9
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Re: Winter is not Cool...

I have the bonus of having an outside backdoor light that we do not ever use. It's facing an area with a street light and the light is thus a waste of energy. Now, it was run with 14g wire, so it will not support 20amps. However, it will support <14 amps. I have an extension cord run from a screw in plug to my car (which is close by). I ran a separate ground over to the casing on the light (from my converty thingy).
All I have to do is turn on the light switch when I get up.
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Old 11-23-2010, 01:22 PM   #10
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Re: Winter is not Cool...

In another thread, someone posted about a small propane, radiant heater. Just point it at the spot you want to thaw. Of course a heat gun will do the same.

There are snow shades, sun shades that go on the outside of the windshield. Any moisture underneath it will freeze, but that's easier to deal with than snow and ice. As long as it's waterproof, a car cover shouldn't have a problem with ice.

This is a little pricey, and it needs space under the hood, but can help with thawing out the entire car is a thermosiphon engine heater. Instead of heating the engine directly, it heats the coolant. So the defroster will have heat right away. With a block heater already in place, it might hard to justify.

Got any extra electric blankets? You could try hanging them up against the windshield and other windows. Maybe put them under the cover. A mat used for heating plant trays might be a better choice there though. More water resistant. Can't find that, a removable heating pad for a reptile tank might be more available. It's likely the same product. Feeling industrious, there are heating ribbons of various thickness, sold for the same purposes, that can be wired up in custom lengths and configurations.
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