Friday, January 25, 2008

What to "do with" Snow?! Part 2

The picture at right is ice, on the the inside of my bedroom window. Ice! Can you believe it?! If you live in Minnesota, or someplace as cold, I'm sure you can. ;-) However, if you just moved to a cold climate, or have had unusually cold weather this year, this type of thing may have surprised you. As well as many other aspects of snow and ice, and how to deal with them. Last time, I talked a little about what fun things to do in the snow. This time I'd like to talk about snow, and your car.

Car issues and extreme cold and or snow:

1. How to make sure the car will start.
One way to make sure your car will start, is park it in the garage! The colder your car is the less likely it is to start. If this is not an option for you, as it is not for me, there a few other options to help make sure your car will start in the morning. One of those ways is to park the engine end of your car, usually the front but not always, as near to a building as possible, and if possible use the building to help block you car from the wind. You want to park close to a building because even the best insulated buildings give off heat so the area close to the building will be warmer. You also try to park out of the wind, because wind chills can affect not just people, but cars and your car battery. In the winter months never let you gas tank get below three quarters to half a tank of gas, this will help it start more easily. Also, Make sure you have a relatively new battery, according to this article getting a load test by a qualified automotive technician will help you determine if your battery is strong enough to last the winter. They also said that your car battery is only performing at 60% strength when it is zero degrees Fahrenheit outside! For more info visit this article, it has more tips then I will mention here.

Besides these, if your apartment will let you, or you live in a house, consider investing in a block warmer or a battery warmer. The block warmer sits next to your engine and the battery warmer goes around your car battery. These then have a cord which you can thread though your car's grill, or through the edge of the hood. To use them you run an extension cord from the warmer and plug it into either an outdoor outlet or run it through a window into your house, and plug it into an outlet. These are especially good to use on nights when the temperatures are supposed to dip below zero Fahrenheit.

If all else fails when trying to start your car, make sure you keep a set of jumper cables in your car for winter. Don't expect the nice stranger you ask to help you jump you car will have a set, make sure you have your own, and know how to use them.

2. What to do with snow covering my car:
Okay I know, the answer to this question may seem obvious, but there may be some things you have not considered.

First the basics. Always keep an ice scraper and a snow removal brush in you car in the winter. The stiffer the brush, the better. The snow will get heavy! Now what to do with the brush? I recommend cleaning off as much of your car as humanly possible. I personally think this helps the car engine warm up better and faster. Also, it is a good idea to turn on you car and get it warming up while you are cleaning the snow off. Be careful not to lock yourself out though (believe me, I've done it)! If it is not humanly possible, (i.e. you are short and drive a huge SUV and your not going to reach the roof without a stepladder) you will need to clean off at least the most needed areas. These areas are: All the windows, headlights/tail lights and license plates. The windows and headlights/ tail lights are for safety, of course, so you can see and the other drivers can see you. Make sure to clean off your license plates, because it may be illegal in your state to have the view of your license plates obstructed in any way. I know in Minnesota you can get a ticket for having snow covering you license plate number!

3. Keep your car free of carbon monoxide!

Also make sure to know where the air vents are on your car, and that they are free of snow. These vents bring air to your car's engine and in fresh air for you to breathe. Oh, and also to keep fresh air in your car, make sure the tail pipe(s) of your car are clear and free of snow. These keep the air you breathe clean and free of carbon monoxide.

Okay, that is enough tips for today. I think in part three I will wright about how to prepare for becoming stranded in the winter.

Do you have any more tips about safety or fun activities in the snow? Any questions about what I have written? Please send your thoughts to me! Just click on "thought(s)" below and leave me a message! Thanks!

1 comment:

  1. We have ice on the inside of some of our windows too!
    Oh the joys of living in Minnesota!


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