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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2004 01:22 
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One of the main causesof accidents in winter time is people's apparent lack of winter car care.

As with the "cornering" thread I do not want to start "preaching the good lecture" here :wink: - but merely get you to think and discuss so that we all learn a little from each other.

I shall kick you off by stating the obvious!- which astoundingly is exactly what a lot of people out there actually neglect! :? :shock: :roll:

1.

Check the coolant mixture. We all know as seasoned petrolheads that if the coolant (antifreeze and water) actually freezes - it wrecks the engine! But do our lurkers and visitors to the site?

A garage can test this for you - or you can buy a coolant tester. Do not top up with plain water as this can cuase corrosion. and obviously does not protect against the cold. :roll: (Once had someone breakdown in spectuclar fashion on A1 through this :roll: )

2.

Check the drivebelts Look for damage and check tension of the belts. These should be part of the check list on your services - so please ensure this has been done. One belt may drive all the ancillaries or several may be sued However - for checking purposes belts (fan belt, coolant belts, power steering pump drive belts, etc, etc,) belts should be tight enough to stop slipping - but not too tight. If you can push it down by 5 -10 mm with a gentle finger pressure in the middle of the longest belt run between the pulleye - this should do.

If it is too slack - your engine squeals and too tight - your engine hums.

Access can be tricky - seen Wildy lying underneath cars before now! :lol:

Look for cracks, fraying or splitting and any shiny patches. These are clues of wear and tear .... also uselul to ensure garage has checked these. We blob a little nail varnish on stuff we identify as requiring new bits. :wink:

Can you drive with broken belts? ...

Coolant belt? No - engine overheats

Alernator ? OK for short distances but your dash will show warning light that your battery is not charging.

Power steer drive belt? Ok to drive - but steering will be heavy.

Air conditioning belt? Air conditioning will not work! :wink:

3.

Check the hoses for leaks. (Giveaway sign is puddle left by yoor car and if you have to keep topping things up!)


Little test - how many of you recnise the symptoms for leaking brake fluid (very dangerous), clutch fluid? automatic transmission fluid? oil? final drive oil (manual transmission fluid? washer fluid? coolant? shock absorber fluid> power steering fluid? Or even where to look in the engine? :lol:

4.

Check the battery! :roll: Condtion and check and clean connections -
Treat corrosion on battery tray with water and baking soda, prime with zinc based primer and paint over.

check battery for damage and leads for fraying
white powdery deposit on cable clamps? disconnect and either brush or - pour hot water over and apply vaseline.

If battery is maintenance free - look for a charge indicator or leaf through the handbook!

5.

Check the wipers and washers etc

6.

Check all your lights and indicator bulbs.


================================

Now granted - am no mechanic :wink: But these are the things lot of people do forget about and it causes problems in winter.

What other things would you consider essential for winter driving?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2004 07:15 
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Morning,

Ingear you have been busy.

I would make sure you check your tyres have plenty of tread and are in good nick.

All i can think off so far, bit hard as i don't own a car. :?

Andrew


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2004 08:06 
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Hi

I would also check that Windscreen wipers are in good condition and washer Jets are clear.

Thanks for your timely reminder, I must now go and check my Antifreeze

Stuart


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2004 14:15 
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I'd add more washer solution to the washer bottle to discourage freezing. I would also think about having emergency rations in the car, a blanket and possibly something like cardboard to put under the driven wheels if getting stuck is a possibility.

Car is going in for a service so all drive belts, fluid levels will be checked and I'll probably get a new battery as I have no idea how old the one on the car is.

I am also wondering about suitable items to put in the boot as ballast as this winter I'll be using rwd for the first time. Tyres will also be changed soon as there is only 4-5mm on the centre section and the outers are rather more worn. I don't know the age of them either and I am assuming they've been on for around 5 years so they will be starting to crack.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2004 13:05 
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In Gear wrote:
One of the main causesof accidents in winter time is people's apparent lack of winter car care.


Winter can it throw anything worse at us than summer did?

Quote:
Can you drive with broken belts? ...

Coolant belt? No - engine overheats

Not on mine, engine won't run without the water pump drive belt since it doubles up as cambelt.

Quote:
Alernator ? OK for short distances but your dash will show warning light that your battery is not charging.

Power steer drive belt? Ok to drive - but steering will be heavy.

Air conditioning belt? Air conditioning will not work! :wink:


You missed one. :wink: And I don't have a power steering drive belt, but do have power steering (Hint).


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2004 18:10 
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Homer wrote:
In Gear wrote:
One of the main causesof accidents in winter time is people's apparent lack of winter car care.


Winter can it throw anything worse at us than summer did?


They say we are in for a big freeze :roll:

Without looking at Paul's page on here - can you control a skid?


Homer wrote:
You missed one. :wink: And I don't have a power steering drive belt, but do have power steering (Hint).


:wink: Well - not gonna give all the anwers here :wink: You'd stil be able to drive - but guess it would feel like a tank...


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2004 18:25 
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What sort of stuff should you have in the boot in winter?

Shall kick you off - but the list is not conclusive .... but just one or two things to get you you all just thinking.

Last January's cold snap ... just a bit of thought could have made all the difference ... and I hope I am not coming across as "Father In Gear - vicar of Durrum" here... :wink:

Tell someone where you are going and indication of route you intend to take.

Make sure you checked P O W E R before you set off.

(George and basingwerk - what is POWER and why would I include a cycliing member of the forum here?)

Carry warm clothes and a blanket.

Have flask of hot coffee or better still home made soup in the car. Also Wildy Cat has stash of chocolate in her car. (There are always chocolates and marshmallows in her car .... :lol: )

Carry de-icer, scrapers. jump leads and a tow rope (part of our standard kit anyway.) We also find spraying locks with WD40 is useful way of stopping a lock freeze.

Pack some old sacking. (WHY would I suggest this?) Would this be useful all year round? :?

Pack a shovel and if you can - use winter tyres. If we go to visit our relatives in the Alps in winter - we also carry snow chains and use studded tyres.

What other things can you think of that you need - assuming the weathermen have got it right this time and we are in for a hell of a cold winter ..... :roll: :wink:

I have missed one or two items which are in my own car ... what might they be? :wink:


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2004 18:41 
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In Gear wrote:
I have missed one or two items which are in my own car ... what might they be? :wink:


A camping Gaz stove and a weeks supply of baked beans?
Your complete collection of 'Z Cars' on DVD?
That flashy light thing on a magnet that you stick to the roof of yer motor whilst chasin villains?

Sorry, couldn't resist being flippant :wink:


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2004 22:45 
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First aid kit for those that know how to use one.

Warning triangle.

Fire extinguisher.

Flourescent jacket.

I know it may be going over the top, but in one of my local shops, they are selling these little fishing type tent/shelters that fit in a bag not much bigger than a rolled up newspaper(broadsheet), considering that, particularly on M'Ways you shouldn't stay in the car on the hard shoulder, if it's persisting down, a wet blanket will not keep you warm or dry.


Trouble is, I've got so much safety/breakdown gear now, I need a trailer to carry it all :lol: :lol: :lol:

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2004 10:05 
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In Canada, it is a matter of routine to commute to work through a foot of snow all through winter. One essential thing to keep is a candle. It can keep you warm enough to live if you get stuck miles from anywhere, and you can eat the remains of it if things get very bad.

The only time recently that I noticed snow in this country was a year or two back. We had an inch of snow and everybody started to crash into one another. Some people got stranded for days on the M11 and had to eat the soles of thier shoes to survive, even though the snow was no thicker than a duvet. It is a mystery to me why people starved for days on the Motorway in thier frozen cars when they could have walked across the field to a pub with a nice cosy fire! Can anyone explain that? What does it tell us about ourselves?

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2004 12:41 
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basingwerk wrote:
In Canada, it is a matter of routine to commute to work through a foot of snow all through winter. One essential thing to keep is a candle. It can keep you warm enough to live if you get stuck miles from anywhere, and you can eat the remains of it if things get very bad.


I am going to Saskatoon in December for a week, I wonder if I can take a candle in my carry-on bagage. :lol:

Thanks for the advice.. :wink:

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2004 13:25 
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Gizmo wrote:
I am going to Saskatoon in December for a week, I wonder if I can take a candle in my carry-on bagage. :lol:


Make sure your pack your long johns as well as a candle - Saskatoon in December could be shockingly cold (-40c). I have some old friends out there at Calian Systems, Ltd, near the University on Innovation Blvd. You might see a huge white 9m antennae right outside. That is for Radarsat, which is partly operated from there.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2004 18:03 
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Location: Treacletown ( just north of M6 J3),A MILE OR TWO PAST BEDROCK
Someone(forgot who) suggested sacking - also as good are old mats - but include a length/lengths of light rope or stout string - (starts to get a bit oldie worlde and Heath Robinson now) --
The idea of the string /rope is to place the mat/sack under the DRIVING WHEELS and tie the rope/string to the car - when you drive away you take the mat/sack with you - you might need it a few miles later on.saves stopping to pick up the mat/sack till you feel you can safely take away again.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2004 18:22 
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Quote:
Without looking at Paul's page on here - can you control a skid?


You will normally automaticly steer into the skid, ie rear end goes right you turn right to correct.

The best solution however, is to drive at a speed that will not induce a slide :idea:

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2004 18:23 
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Bag of Salt :idea:

1) supplies ballast

2) will melt the ice, should you get stuck.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2004 18:26 
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Quote:
Warning triangle.

Fire extinguisher.

Flourescent jacket.


All you need is a regulary serviced car & an AA card

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 Post subject: MORE FOR BOOT IN WINTER
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2004 19:31 
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reply to bmwk12
skid control - KEEP RIGHT FOOT CLEAR OF ALL PEDALS, STEER INTO SKID --IMAGINE THAT ALL CONTROLS WILL BREAK IF USED EXCESSIVELY/JERKED.

TOOLS FOR CAR IN WINTER - A DRIVER WHO HAS FOUND A LARGE CARPARK LIGHTLY FROZEN AND IN A WIDE OPEN SPACE HAS A SKID OR TWO TO GAIN CONFIDENCE - I HAVE ALWAYS FOUND THAT WHEN YOU KNOW HOW TO MAKE A CAR SKID AND CONTROL IT YOU HAVE ADDITIONAL INFO ON HOW NOT TO SKID IN THE FIRST PLACE

- if you've got sacks/mat you don't need salt and unless you can find a bin at the side of the road holding rock salt forget it, most other types don't work that well at night at the side of the road.Sacks/mat are more effective - from long experience on roads untouched by snowplough/salt wagon. and if the snow is not turned to ice by wheelspin it offers a fair and honest grip


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2004 17:07 
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Rigpig wrote:
In Gear wrote:
I have missed one or two items which are in my own car ... what might they be? :wink:


A camping Gaz stove and a weeks supply of baked beans?
Your complete collection of 'Z Cars' on DVD?
That flashy light thing on a magnet that you stick to the roof of yer motor whilst chasin villains?

Sorry, couldn't resist being flippant :wink:


However did you guess ... :lol: :lol: :lol:

My mum always told me to be prepared.....


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2004 20:03 
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In Gear wrote:
Without looking at Paul's page on here - can you control a skid?


To be honest I have not practiced for a while but yes.

Would depend on the severity of the skid, often all that is needed is a little easing off of the throttle. Suddenly backing off can be as bad as slamming on the brakes. Tailslides in a front drive car can sometimes be brought under control by turning into the slide and using a little extra power.

I spent a few years as a white van driver by the way. :wink: All behind me now.


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