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Winterizing cars, esp auto glass


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#1 Orpheus

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Posted 04 November 2017 - 06:08 PM

This is a timely topic for most of us.

Here's the place to share tips/tricks 2017. We'll start with glass. Who knows where we'll end up.

FROM THE SOAPBOX:

M.E. said:

(03 November 2017 - 10:28 PM) Edit icon  I just spent an hour outside trying to de-ice my car.  I really bought a lemon this time and I will have to make due cause I is broke.

The rear window defroster does not work at all.

By the time I came back to my apartment, I had no feeling in any of my toes.  I guess I have to wait and go shopping tomorrow.  I hate shopping on Saturday's.   

Orpheus said:

: (04 November 2017 - 03:27 PM) Posted Image Posted Image It may be too late for you (needs warm weather to apply), but I RainX my windows each year--really helps. Also, take a minute to air out you car after driving on cold days, and you won't get frost inside.

I know RainX is OldSkoole (1980s), and many products claim to be better, but I find it works/lasts well, if you do a quick clean with 0000 (finest grade) steel wool after the usual spray cleaner before you apply it

M.E. said:

(04 November 2017 - 04:28 PM) Posted Image Posted Image If the car is warm inside (Warm as in I heat the inside before I drive.) can I do the inside of the window?  Also, it doesn't sound right to me to use steel wool on glass.  Won't that scratch it?

(04 November 2017 - 04:30 PM) Posted Image Posted Image PS:  Thanks, Orpheus, I really need some help because it's my only mode of transportation.

Dang. I thought you had sled dogs up there!

Orpheus said:

Glass is harder than steel. Use fine wool to prepare exterior. I'd wait for a 60F/16 C day to make sure the RainX "haze sets up properly -- and buff away ALL streaks with a cloth or you may get glare.

For the interior surface, a dab of many brands of shaving cream work about as well as Rainx, but must be reapplied periodically if you're counting on hem to help remove frost vs just anti-fog

There are DIY defroster films for the rear defroster, but first check if the problem is just a broken connecting wire or blown fuse (cheaper/better fix). A friend with a voltmeter can check that in a minute.

Actually, I think EVERYONE should own a "multimeter" (they measure more than just voltage). Harbor Freight gives away free Cen-Techs (print this coupon), but according to my Great Guru of the North, AvE, when Princess Auto (Canadian equivalent) offers you a "Power Fist" [their house brand], they're not talking about multimeters.

Of course, then you'd need to know when/how to use them. I'd be glad to help with that.

#2 gsmonks

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Posted 04 November 2017 - 10:06 PM

Living as I do where it gets down to -50C-ish at the coldest part of Winter . . .

-never park your car with the wipers against the windshield. Pull them to the "clean windshield" position so they don't freeze to the windshield when the water turns back to ice

-drain the radiator completely and fill it with pure antifreeze, no water.

-replace your washer fluid with the de-icing variety.

-don't plug your car in unless it's -22C or colder. Your vehicle shouldn't need to be plugged in at temperatures over -22.

-in addition to a block heater,  get a battery warmer. A warm battery has far more oomph than a frozen one.

-you might like to get an electric car-interior warmer (hangs under the glove box) with a timer. A warm interior means thawed windows.

-always have gloves, a good hand-scraper and a good combination brush 'n' scraper.

-always have a box or two in the trunk containing jumper cables, oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, steering fluid, candles, blankets, flares. Don't skimp on candles. Have a minimum of two boxes, enough to last 48 hours.

-for long drives, always bring a box or bag containing non-perishable items such as granola bars, chocolate, liquids, enough to eke out over 48 hours.

Just me two centimes . . .

Edited by gsmonks, 04 November 2017 - 10:09 PM.

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#3 M.E.

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Posted 05 November 2017 - 12:34 AM

Those are great tips guys.  Unfortunately I have an outdoor stall.  We live in a seedy neighborhood and if I lift the wipers off the windshield and leave them, I find them ripped off and tossed down the lane.

I don't have a block heater.  I could not believe it wasn't standard in Alberta.  My mechanic says I may not need one because it is fuel injected.  If I want one installed it will be close to $300.

I did some on line research and found the problem.  Problem is I have no idea what they are talking about because I am a greenhorn.  Here's the link:

http://www.topix.com...ot-cause-repair

and this is the relating post.

Quote

Just finished repair of broken rear window defrost on 2000 chevy cavalier. Unit would not heat rear window. I could hear relay in dash heater cntl unit clic and the light under defrost button would turn on and back off after normal time out. I suspected a bad gnd, but turned out to be a burned connection/pins in +12v feed from cntl to rear. The connector is located under the the carpet along left hand side of drivers feet area. Just below the fuse box and BCM. There is a large (10-12ga) purple wire from dash cntl ckt going into the connector and a large blk wire leaving. The blk wire get bundled w/org elec-tape and runs in the rocker panel alone drivers side back to rear window grid connector on DS. The PS grid connector is the gnd connection. There are also some other smaller wires in the same connector(under carpet). The burned pin in the connector was so bad that I had build a splice jumper(10ga crimped & soldered) around the bad pins. The other smaller wires and connector pins where fine so I just left them alone. Make sure your repair is strong, there is a lot of current in this ckt and hence the reason why the mfg version failed.

I also found a video that shows exactly where the problem is located.  Apparently it is a common problem with this vehicle model.



#4 Orpheus

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Posted 05 November 2017 - 01:18 AM

Good job doing your homework!

If it were me, and the problem (tested via a voltometer) was the connector, I's probably snip the defroster wire on both sides of the connector and attach a bridge wire, bypassing the [burned or corroded) connector -- but what would realistically be a 15 minute solder job (allowing for the awkward placement) would probably not be something you'd want to do out in the cold alone on your first try. If you're lucky, it's the fuse. That'll probably be much faster to fix, and learning how to test/replace a car fuse is a useful life skill. Usually, you don't even need a voltmeter. You can usually see the burnt fusible segment through the clear plastic of the fuse.

#5 Orpheus

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 08:52 PM

I can see why flipping your wipers "up" (as I have been known to do on some high icing risk times, back when my garage was too much of a workshop to hold our family's cars) is a no-go.

On some models, you can flip them "up and over" aka "completely upside down", if you trust yourself to flip them back before you scrape the heck out of your windshield. It's not so hard: even if you forget, you won't scrape your windshield with just one sweep or ten or [likely] a hundred. Even if you forget to flip it back, if you actually stop a second to fix it after the first sweep or two, you probably won't do any real damage over a winter's worth of "forgettings". Accumulated road sand is more dangerous than the steel blade (glass is harder than steel, but sand basically *is* glass -- and pointy!) Sadly, there was one winter in my youth when I managed to be negligent enough to accumulate modest damage to my windshield -- but not so much that I didn't keep driving that car for three more years.

Another solution may be to keep a roll of plastic storage bags (or, for wipers over 16 inches, plastic kitchen wrap or --far better-- silicone baking paper) in the car to wrap the wipers before a high risk parking -- aka "a night when the sled dogs turn to pup-sicles" or in Canadian "every single day, before/after work". The idea isn't to prevent icing, but to give you 1-2 layers you can cut/tear to free your blades from the ice, so you can get to work on time. By the time you get to your destination, your front defrosters should have released any "stuck" ice/plastic. A single $!-2 100yd (91m) roll should be more than enough to see you through even a Canadian winter (Nordic translation: "Ragnarok"; Siberian Soviet "apparatchik")

I hope I din't scare you about getting your rear defroster fixed. Even a mediocre mechanic should do it in 30 minutes. I just find it 100x easier to "just do it" than "explain how" [how do you think I got stuck running Ex Isle?]. Bundle it with a few other minor jobs, like an oil change, radiator flush, adding concentrated wiper fluid or having Justin Trudeau duct-taped to yourself, so you don't waste the 1-hour minimum service time.

What? A mechanically-inclined Canadian friend told me that Prime Minister Trudeau is just the thing for cold Canadian nights. Was I misinformed?

#6 M.E.

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 04:38 AM

No, not scared.  Just broke.

I can see you are really trying to be helpful, Orpheus.  Thank you.

Last time I saw Trudeau, he was leaving the train station in Winnipeg, riding on his dad's shoulders.  Pretty sure he was still wearing pull-ups.

#7 Orpheus

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 05:11 AM

"Broke" is often when you can least afford "broke down".

I realize money is an issue. That's why I didn't go through the whole list. I usually do most of my annual maintenance in the fall, when it's still warm enough to work on the car, so it's ready to face winter.

Do make sure your battery is okay, though. Winters are hard on batteries. A lot of parts stores will swap out your old battery for free, if you buy a new one -- on most cars, anyway. Some cars have gone to great length to turn this 5 minute job into a chore.

#8 M.E.

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 01:31 PM

I just bought the car at the end of Sept.

After causing a light T bone accident.  My first accident ever.  I didn't want to put anymore money into the Oldsmobile.  We tried several times to fix the air conditioning and it just would not hold the cold.  It would only last 24 hours.  My mechanic was stumped but still willing to keep trying for no extra cost.  He's a terrific fella.

The turn radius on the Oldsmobile was terrible and sometimes it would take up to 7 tries just to park it straight in my stall.  Plus I am shrinking. lol  I have shrunk almost 3 inches.  I could hardly see over the front of the car.  It was time to get a smaller one.

After 3 summers with no air conditioning, I was determined that the next one I purchased had to have it.

I looked for almost 6 months for a reasonably priced vehicle that would suit my needs.  I finally came across a 1999 Chevy Cavalier 224 coup with 180,000 kilometers and it is mechanically sound.

It's also very pretty. :D  This is a pic of the actual car...

$_27.JPG

I paid $700 for it.

Unfortunately, i trusted someone who I thought was my best friend and loaned him a substantial amount of money a year and a half ago.  That person will no longer answer or return my calls and goes out of his way to avoid bumping into me.

I though I would be okay because the lady I have mentioned to you before, remember when we had that discussion about not trusting people over 80?  Well she pass away in March,  I was beneficiary of her will.  Last year she also got scammed out of her life saving but was too embarrassed to tell me about it.  It was over $500,000.00.

I can't work.  I have a bad heart.  So far I have had 13 heart attacks.

I will be okay.  As long as nothing else goes wrong for awhile.  I just understandable feel like pinching every penny I can get my hands on.

The battery still has 2 years left on it so it should be okay for this winter.  I may have  to replace the wiper blade on the passenger side because after scraping the ice off the window last time, it won't lay flat on the screen so it doesn't clear the water off at all.  Which means that if I get caught driving when snow is falling, I will have a real problem.

#9 Orpheus

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 11:31 PM

Oh, everyone here knows I'm a fan of "waste not want not". When I suggested checking the battery (most US auto parts chains will do it for free, whether it's their battery or not), it was because it's always better to take advantage of the warranty (if needed) earlier rather than later, and at your convenience vs. after being stranded in the Dark

It sure *looks* like you got a nice deal.

I have an odd fondness for Oldsmobiles and Buicks ("odd" because few people seem to share it), but it was probably at its time, considering that GM announced in 2000 that they'd be shutting down that division (IIRC, it was just a day or two after they announced their new SUV, which received great review. Guess I'm not cut out to run a Detroit automaker ... into the ground, that is.

BTW, driving home from dinner tonight, I saw flakes of wet snow mixed in with the drizzle -- and it was in the 70s (22C or so yesterday)! I know YOU are behind this, somehow.

#10 gsmonks

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Posted 08 November 2017 - 01:57 AM

Very good drive train in Olds and Buicks. Same 6-cylinder engine that was in the Astro vans in most of them. Very reliable and problem-free.
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#11 M.E.

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Posted 08 November 2017 - 04:51 AM

View PostOrpheus, on 07 November 2017 - 11:31 PM, said:

BTW, driving home from dinner tonight, I saw flakes of wet snow mixed in with the drizzle -- and it was in the 70s (22C or so yesterday)! I know YOU are behind this, somehow.

You sound surprised.

#12 M.E.

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Posted 08 November 2017 - 05:01 AM

View Postgsmonks, on 08 November 2017 - 01:57 AM, said:

Very good drive train in Olds and Buicks. Same 6-cylinder engine that was in the Astro vans in most of them. Very reliable and problem-free.

I never had any problem with my 95 Olds except that I couldn't get the air conditioning working properly.  Other than regular maintenance,  in the 3 years I owned it, I had to flush the brake line once because it had a little moisture, I think he said %15 and that it was not a big deal.  So, I had him do that when I brought it in for a new battery installment.  This was one of those cars that had to be taken apart to change the battery.  Orpheus was right about that.  They actually had to remove parts to get at it.

Edited by M.E., 09 November 2017 - 02:04 AM.


#13 gsmonks

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Posted 08 November 2017 - 05:10 AM

Same problem with minivans. My Montana was a pain in the arse to get at the battery.

My '75 Pontiac Le Mans was worse yet. You had to take the grill off, then a bunch of crap under it, to get at the headlights.

Not like my '75 Volvo 242 DL, whose grill, lights, and everything, just popped out. Best design ever.
Capitalism is a pyramid scheme run by the 1%.


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