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Old 11-28-2007, 02:53 PM   #1
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Winterizing the car...

What steps are other GS members taking to "winterize" their cars?

FWIW: So far I've done the following:

1) I timed my latest oil change to be late in the fall (with very high end synthetic oil and filters). Since oil quality tends to go down with use, this assures that the best quality oil is handling the roughest (coldest) times. And since I use very good oil filters (not to mention premium quality synthetic oil), this oil change should last me until the spring (at least).

2) I just (today) put more air in the tires. In fact I went a couple of PSI more than I might otherwise do, so as to somewhat compensate for lower PSI as it gets even colder. Remember, air contracts when it gets cold. So if you do nothing, you air tire pressure will go DOWN in the winter. And we all know that higher tire pressure can result in better FE, and lower pressure in lost FE.

3) And I also put a 3rd (middle) piece (of coorplast) on my grill block. This converts my grill block from a roughly 2/3 block into a close to complete block (yes, it has a few small air gaps, but it's pretty complete with the 3rd piece in). This was something I did NOT do in the summer, due to overheating concerns. But with the cold hitting us in force, this is a win-win-win approach. i.e. A) The car is even more aerodynamic, due to the extra grill blocking, B) The car heats up quicker and further (better FE), and C) On those occasions when I want/need car heat, it's easier to get (due to the greater engine warming caused by the grill block). I will keep an eye on the temp gauge with this "mod", but I can always easily/quickly dump heat into the cabin (using the heater controls) in the off chance overheating becomes a serious danger. So except for overheating concerns (which hopefully won't be much of a problem during the cold of winter), this "mod" is a "win" in multiple ways!
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Old 11-28-2007, 03:03 PM   #2
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ye ai did a full block on my chevette and havent had a problem with overheating(no temp guage so i dunno but no other signs) BUT i have the heat on full all the time so im sure that helps. havent gone thru a tank yet to see what mpg is gonna be but ive gone a 100miles and the needles just now moved off super full tot he F line...

but i did air up the tires a bit more checked all fluids, did my oil changes a month ago, put in snowbrushes took out sunshades. i try to keep somehitng in there liek a blanket incase i get stuck somewhere and some kinda snack item. that and make extra sure i have my cellphone in the morning...oh and i keep the gas no lower than a 1/2 tank
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Old 11-28-2007, 05:33 PM   #3
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- I installed a center panel for my grill block (making it near 100&#37 a couple months ago.
- I hooked up my HAI a couple months ago.
- I have a drain pan heater. However I am getting leery of the extreme temperatures it may be subjecting my oil to when left on for a couple hours...will inspect oil when I change it this weekend.
- I will be replacing my Royal Purple 5w-30 with Mobil1 5w-20 when I change the oil this weekend.
- Just this morning I added some expanded polyethylene foam insulation (1/4" thick) to some key areas in my HAI and over most of my intake snorkel. It resulted in a 5-10 degree F increase in IAT. I will be continuing to beef it up as soon as I get some more zip ties.
- Sunday night I added a partial aluminum sheet heat shield to cover up the top of my exhaust manifold. I hope to add the bottom half (where most of the cold air is blowing in through) very soon.
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Old 11-28-2007, 05:38 PM   #4
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I already had jumper cables in the spare tire well. I've added a box w/a tow rope, a couple of quarts of oil, , the ice scraper, and reflectors. I've already changed the oil. I checked/cleaned all the rear lights of dust & dirt so they shine brightly (they were terribly dirty). Tires are new and aired up. Front grill block in place, though there's still plenty of cooling air infiltrating. New wipers and a couple of gallons of juice in the garage.

Most importantly to me, I always try to dress for the emergency and not the warm cabin air.
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Old 11-28-2007, 06:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Dunlop View Post
- I installed a center panel for my grill block (making it near 100%) a couple months ago.
- I hooked up my HAI a couple months ago.
I haven't done a HAI mod on my car. However, considering where my stock air intake is, my grill block works a bit like a HAI mod as well (as the intake air is warmer, when the grill block is in place).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Dunlop View Post
- I have a drain pan heater. However I am getting leery of the extreme temperatures it may be subjecting my oil to when left on for a couple hours...
Why keep it on for a couple of hours (using up electricity the whole time)? Why not have it on a timer, so that it comes on say 1/2 hour before you leave for work? That way you not only save energy (by only heating it up just before leaving for the day), but also lower any "bake on" effect you might be worried about.
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Old 11-28-2007, 07:27 PM   #6
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I converted the running lights to LEDs a while back since I'm driving with the lights on more often.
Changed the oil last week to a lighter grade synthetic. 5w20 now, I used 10w-30 in the summer. Lowered the idle speed during warmup.
You guys have me thinking of a warm air intake next. I might put some sticky-backed weatherstripping between the body openings near the air filter and see if it blocks enough cold air.
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Old 11-28-2007, 08:18 PM   #7
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I'm doing one last oil change, upper grill block, top off all fluids and an extra coat of wax to keep any excess snow or sleet off. Stuff gets heavy and it freezing when it falls in the door.
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Old 11-28-2007, 09:15 PM   #8
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I put a blanket in the hatch, along with my other emergency supply goodies (jumper cables, emergency triangle, atlas, spare quart of oil, funnel, rags, etc.)

Also did an oil change in fall with some Amsoil 5W30 synthetic and synthetic oil filter that I plan on using throughout winter, depending on how brave I decide to be (about 4,100 miles on the oil thus far, probably 60% highway mileage)

Checked tire pressure & properly inflated all tires to OEM specification.

Washed my car in 20 degree weather which turned out to be a bad idea, I guess my brain didn't comprehend the fact that the water was going to freeze to the car, but at least I was able to wash off the undercarriage for the most part and get most of the dirt/salt off before the remaining water froze to my Acura Icecube.

Using fuel stabilizer to prevent any gasline freezing, and also to maintain fuel system and upper cylinder lubricity.

Added ice scraper on the back seat floor.

Topped off windshield wiper fluid with the nice green stuff that goes down to -30F without freezing.
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Old 11-28-2007, 10:43 PM   #9
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oh shoo ti almost forgot to mention rainX the crap outa your windshield and all windows...(inside and out, prevents interior fogging supposedly)
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Old 11-29-2007, 03:00 AM   #10
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Has anyone tried using LED "tower" style headlamps? I find I generally don't need all the light my headlamps produce, but I am concerned LED headlamps will be far too dim and I'll hit a deer (again).
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