By Ron Gibbens, TMP
Used with Permission Fort Greely Interceptor
Plug your vehicle in when the temperature is below or expected to be below +20 F. Cost of towing a vehicle to Fairbanks that won’t start can run $600.00 or more. A local tow will be over $110.00.
Brush all snow from the windshield, hood and all other windows; use an ice scraper to remove ice and frost. You need have good clear visibility all around the vehicle. Do not use the defroster to clear your windshield. When the snow melts and runs down on your wipers they freeze to the windshield, then you turn the wipers on it tears the rubber on the blades and the blades have to be replaced. Cost – new blades can run up to $25.00 or $30.00 each. The water also runs into the fresh air vent below the windshield blocking the air flow and reducing the amount of heat. Keep the fresh air vent clear of snow and ice.
Things that commonly trigger the Check Engine Light during the winter months – about 75%-80% of the check engine lights reported to us are caused by the reasons below;
– Turn off the engine when refueling the vehicle and when finished fueling turn the gas cap until you can hear it click at least twice. Leaving the engine running while fueling up or not tightening the fuel cap will trigger a check engine light for emissions. With a check engine light you can expect to lose the vehicle for at least 1-2 days. If it is still under warranty it will be taken to the dealer – expect to lose it for a week or more. Cost – diagnose a check engine $80.00 to $150.00.
– Do not allow the vehicle to idle for long periods of time (10 minutes or more). Idling for extensive periods of time or consistently driving at speeds 25 mph or less can create a carbon buildup in the exhaust. When you first start the vehicle it only needs a few minutes warm up time before you can move it. If you will be out of the vehicle for more than 5-10 minutes turn it off. Cost – extended idling increases fuel consumption; increases air pollution and increases the carbon buildup in the engine (more maintenance costs).
Start and drive the vehicle at least once a week for 20-30 minutes to prevent a dead battery. Several late model vehicles have a parasitic drain from on board electronics that run in the background even when the vehicle is shut off and will drain the battery over a relatively short period of time and cold weather compounds the problem.