Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Six Tips For A Cranky Cold Car

Apparently, it's a Canadian trait to talk about the weather. I'm not sure if it is or isn't but it is cold out there! I'm not a wimp about winter, but my truck was acting a but cowardly. And so I present a few tips courtesy of my Dad, a professional mechanic and man of little patience when it comes to lack of logic. So all of this should be fairly obvious.

1.Warm your car up. But not the inside. The point of starting up your car more then fourteen seconds before you pull out of the driveway is two fold and neither is about a warm tush. You want your engine running smoothly so it doesn't stall and you want your windows to stay defrosted. Which leads me to...

2. Turn the defrost function on for the front. Take care of the outside of the car. Then turn the back defrost on. Once you can see out the window, switch to heat but don't run everything at once. Unless you want it to stall.

3. I don't need to tell you to clear all the snow and ice off you car: top, middle, sides, bumpers, lights and most importantly under and on top of your wipers before you turn them on.

4. And let's jump ahead and state right now: turn your wipers, heater, defrost OFF before you shut your car off. You don't want all of that to turn on when you turn the key in -17. Because if it does start with your wipers on, that little piece if plastic is going to snap in the cold and the motor that controls it is going to burn out.

5. Don't even think about opening your windows while its this cold. You will hear a click, it won't open and you won't think about it. Meanwhile, the motor that controls it will be buzzing and running and burn out. Awesome. Not really.

6.If you can avoid it, don't lock your car. Auto locks, little button, click and...nothing. Much easier to open a slightly frozen door if it isn't locked.

7.Don't drive with your heels or slick soled shoes on. Key word "slick". You don't need your foot to slide off the accelerator or brake at the wrong time because of the slush and lack of grip. And along with this tip, use the winter mats in your car. No they aren't pretty but they help-just keep them as clean and dry as you can in between.

8. Give yourself lots of time and space. Leave with spare time or realize that your office won't fall apart without you there for ten more minutes. Keep ample space between you and the cars ahead of you. Drive cautiously but go with the flow of traffic. If you are too scared to drive at an adjusted speed, you probably shouldn't.

9. And to my midwifery friends-all of this applies doubly so to you! You are of no help to your clients if you wrap your car around a light post. Make sure your clients know to give you plenty of notice in the winter months and take a pillow. It is better to sleep on their couch then endanger yourself racing to get there.

That's all I can remember right now. Good luck, stay warm, drive safely.

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