For those of us who don’t have garages for our vehicles, winter can bring challenges that people whose cars sit in garages don’t have to face. With that in mind, here’s a couple tips to make life a little easier on cold mornings.
- If possible, park your car so the engine faces the morning sun. Even in very cold weather the sun warms the engine, making it easier to start. This tip came from a co-worker of my mother.
- Many newer cars have a more aerodynamic design. For instance, the doors of my car are even with the body. There’s no overhang to protect the door seals from the elements. That presents a problem in winter when a storm hits: depending on the direction the snow or ice comes, the doors freeze shut even though unlocked. For awhile I sprayed cooking spray on the seals. That was a bad idea; a co-worker told me cooking spray deteriorates over time and draws moisture. He suggested buying a can of silicone spray from the auto parts store and applying that to the seals. While the silicone spray costs more than the cooking spray, it lubricates the seals better without breaking down. This is a case where spending a little bit more is worth it!
- This next tip isn’t so much for the car, but for animals that may be around the car: Before starting the vehicle, bang the hood with your hands–make some noise. Cats are known to climb up around the car’s engine, seeking warmth, bringing death to themselves and costly damage to the engine when the vehicle starts. Taking a few extra seconds to warn any cat will save the cat and your engine.