I would like to remind everyone that lives
in the northern climes that there are two MAJOR events approaching
and both can be very expensive.
1. The holiday season will be over and this
means things like:
- The Credit card bills.
- Back to school expenses.
Sorry but I cannot be much help here.
2. WINTER IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER.
It is time to start planning on getting the family transportation
ready for winter. What you do and where you drive your vehicle
has a bearing on how you should prepare for winter. Lets deal
with basic stuff that applies to vehicles that are parked
outside and use Engine heaters to help them start on those
cold mornings first. Naturally we want to make sure that the
Engine heater is working properly and this can be done with
a simple Ohmmeter connected to the two flat terminal of the
heater plug on the vehicle. If the Ohmmeter shows continuity,
the engine heater should work. But don't forget to check the
power supply to the heater and make sure that you have a GOOD
OUTSIDE rated cord to plug the vehicle into. All you need
to check the power supply is a small lamp. Just plug the cord
into wherever you usually plug it and plug the lamp into the
other end, and if the lamp works you are fine. Now is where
we get to the TRICKY part that I hear about every winter and
that has to do with "The Pre-winter check up" offered by many
service outlets. Every year I get notes from people who say
things like; "I took my car in for a Winter Service last month
and now it won't start, aren't those people supposed to check
all of that stuff?" And my answer is always the same in that
THOSE people can only do what they are requested to do! Checking
all of the systems required to have a relatively trouble free
winter, takes time and time cost you money. The cheaper you
try to be, the better your chances of having problems are.
I will tell you what I do with my own vehicles and this is
what I suggest other do.BUT! I flush the Radiator, blow out
the heater core and refill with fresh anti-freeze. I pressure
test the system and check for hoses that may be a problem.
I check and adjust all belts. Now I get into the starting
system. I do a battery load test to make sure that the battery
is capable of starting the engine when it gets cold and here
you must remember that a battery is only half as good at -10C
than it is at +20C. I check the starter draw to be sure that
it isn't taking too much power to turn the motor over because
if the starter draws too much, there will not be enough power
left to allow the car to start. I check and service all battery
and starter connections and cover them with corrosion inhibitors.
I also check the Alternator output because it must be able
to keep up to the extra strain of winter running. I do a complete
engine, fuel system and exhaust analysis so I am sure that
everything is WORKING RIGHT. I change oil and filters and
I use different oil in the winter. (Long Story.) Last but
not least, I install FOUR STUDDED WINTER TIRES and while I
have the tires off I get a chance to check the brakes and
steering system. I am now ready for winter and I have never
had a winter breakdown. If you don't want to have a breakdown
either, just do (Or get done.) what I do.
"TOOT" Rick "The Wrench" - August 15th,1999
Copyright of Rick The Wrench, 1999
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