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Old 12-28-2013, 03:42 PM   #1
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Question for people who live in very cold areas.

After reading this link (coldest spots in the world)
BBC News - Life in extreme cold around the world

.....I remembered that I've always wondered how people who live in Canada, Alaska, Northern US cope with the cold weather vis a vis their cars.

I've heard that there are often heaters for people to plug their cars into. I don't know if that's true or not and would like to know from the people who live there. (There seem to be a lot of Canadians at DC.)

That and other survival technique questions from a person who thinks 32 degrees is unbearable.
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Old 12-28-2013, 03:46 PM   #2
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I have a friend that lives in the Yukon where it regularly gets below -40 (f or c...it really doesn't matter at that point :) ) She has electric plug in heaters mounted to certain parts of her truck, like the oil pan and other key areas, and keeps it plugged in overnight.
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Old 12-28-2013, 04:07 PM   #3
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It gets pretty cold here in Minnesota. In fact, tomorrow night they are predicting -17F (-27C). I guess that qualifies as "cold enough".

When I was growing up, you used to see a lot of engine block heaters, and I've owned a couple of cars that had them. Believe me, there were mornings that, even with the block heater, the engine struggled to turn over.

I don't see them as much anymore, though. I think the auto manufacturers these days are building lighter, more efficient engines, that start right up on the first crank. I once had a Toyota Camry parked outside a hotel up in northern Minnesota on a -31F (-35C) night and it started up no problem in the morning.
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Old 12-28-2013, 06:09 PM   #4
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Long underwear. Hats, mitts, gloves, scarves, tuques, warm socks, warm boots, warm coat or jacket.

Like Steve, I seldom see cars plugged in anymore. The outdoor parking spots at my condo have electrical outlets for each car. My car, and the previous two didn't have block heaters and it was never a problem. Back in the late '70s/early '80s my car would start in serious cold, but I had to let it heat up for 15-30 minutes. Turn on the defroster while the engine is cold, so the glass warms up at the same time as the air instead of risking cracking when the cold glass gets hit by a blast of hot air.

Other than block heaters, we load our cars with winter survival gear. Snow shovel, snow brush (for brushing snow off the car/windshield/windows), ice scraper, blanket, candles, winter washer fluid, and probably some stuff I don't remember. I usually have more than one snow brush, so my passengers can help. I consider winter tires essential. Oh yeah, traction aids are useful for when you get stuck in snow.

If it's below 0 Fahrenheit (-18 C), wait to go outside until after your hair dries after washing it. It won't dry outside. It will just freeze solid. I've actually met foreign visitors who found out the hard way.

Don't lick any metal.
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Old 12-28-2013, 06:16 PM   #5
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I have often see diesel trucks with their engines running while the driver stopped for a meal. Diesel is harder to start in the cold with heavier oil, a heavier engine, and no spark plugs.
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Old 12-28-2013, 06:48 PM   #6
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All the things Taxy said, plus three days worth of canned food, full water bottles, camp stove with sterno, matches, lighters, bag full of dryer lint , sleeping bags for each person riding, extra clothes for layering and good boots. Never know when you will get stuck and need to walk out. I also buy extra cat litter and just store it in the car for the winter, it adds weight and can be used for traction.

I've seen block heaters, but never used one.
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Old 12-28-2013, 06:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessFiona60 View Post
All the things Taxy said, plus three days worth of canned food, full water bottles, camp stove with sterno, matches, lighters, bag full of dryer lint , sleeping bags for each person riding, extra clothes for layering and good boots. Never know when you will get stuck and need to walk out. I also buy extra cat litter and just store it in the car for the winter, it adds weight and can be used for traction.

I've seen block heaters, but never used one.
What's the dryer lint for?

Yeah, I forgot to mention matches.

I have tried using cat litter for traction. The cat litter starts to dissolve and makes a slippery, clay mess. If it is extremely cold, maybe the cat litter doesn't dissolve, but the heat from the pressure of the weight of the car tends to melt the snow and ice.
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Old 12-28-2013, 06:59 PM   #8
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Dryer lint is for fire starter. I like to melt a little paraffin into it.
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Old 12-28-2013, 07:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessFiona60 View Post
Dryer lint is for fire starter. I like to melt a little paraffin into it.
And use a paper egg carton to contain the wax and lint and you've got an excellent fire starter
Break them into individual piece and light the paper carton. It will carry over into the lint and wax.
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Old 12-28-2013, 07:40 PM   #10
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And use a paper egg carton to contain the wax and lint and you've got an excellent fire starter
Break them into individual piece and light the paper carton. It will carry over into the lint and wax.
Now you're talking. We used to make them out of the half pint milk cartons, from the milk served at school.
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