Winter Driving in Canada/Ontario
- Part 1. of winter driving paranoia - getting the car to start in the cold
- Part 2. of winter driving paranoia - minimize risk of sliding off icy/snowy road
- Goodyear Icegrip snow tires /ice tires - Cdn $447.00 for set of 4; Steel rims: Cdn $262.00 for set of 4.
- Warning: some people who have tried Ice tyres in the past have found them good for ice, hopeless
for snow. For snow, get snow tires was their advice. Though for all wheel drive vehicles like
a Subaru, colleagues have recommended just sticking with all season tires.
- Part 3. of winter driving paranoia - after spending all that money
- Take bus / or other public transport during snowy/icy conditions.
- Part 4. if taking a flight out in winter, check the weather and go the night before if required.
- DAYS INN - OTTAWA AIRPORT
366 Hunt Club Road, Ottawa, Ontario Canada K1V 1C1
Tel: (613) 739-7555
Fax (613) 739-7005
Direct toll free Canada & US: 1-866-468-4442
- Using the Davis CarChipEX for computer diagnostics on a 1999 Subaru Legacy
(using the OBDII connector)
- Other Products:
- Get Ready for Winter Driving
- Winter Equipment
The following items should cover most situations:
- windshield scraper and snow brush;
- lightweight shovel;
- bag of sand, wire traction mat or other abrasive substance;
- large box of facial tissues;
- properly inflated spare tire;
- wheel wrench and jack;
- first aid kit;
- battery jumper cables.
For long distance travel take extra precautions: bring a blanket,
candles, lighter or matches, emergency rations, lined winter boots, hat
and other warm clothes, and small heating cans.
- Use a block heater in winter when the temperature drops to -20 deg C
(-4 deg F) or below. A block heater keeps your engine oil and coolant warm,
which makes the vehicle easier to start and can increase winter fuel
economy by as much as 10 per cent. Use a timer to switch on the block
heater one or two hours before you plan to drive.
- Driving in a Winter Wonderland
- DRIVEABILITY DIAGNOSTICS: Replacing the Oxygen Sensor as Preventive Maintenance, Larry Carley, ImportCar, January 2000
- Canadian Driver - Coping with cold weather
- Canadian Driver - Cars and cold weather
- Winterizing Your Car
- PlugRite / Plug Rite electronic block heater monitor
- Winter is at our door - Automobile block heaters
- Energy Saving Tips For Winter
- Winter - Car Tips
- Connect your block heater with a power saver cord. This cord
features a built-in thermostat that will sense the temperature of the
coolant in the engine and allows power through to the block heater only
when the temperature drops below -7° C. You can buy a power saver cord
at automotive retail stores for about $29.00.
- WINTER SAVINGS: TIMERS AND POWER SAVER CORDS
- Tip #4: Block heaters and Power Saver Cord
- Winter - Car Tips - Block Heater Savings - Power Saver Cords / Block Heater Cords
- A power saver cord is an extension cord with a thermostat built into
it. The thermostat monitors the temperature of the coolant in the engine
turning the block heater on and off. This maintains the right engine
temperature for a quick easy start.
When outside temperatures are -20°C (-4°F), the power saver cord is only
on for 20% of the time. At -30°C (-22°F) the power saver cord is on for
55% of the time. Remember too that it takes approximately three hours to
cool down a hot engine to the cut-in temperature of the thermostat. By
using a power saver cord, no electricity is used during this cool down
Check for power saver cords in the automotive section of local
retailers. It takes only a few minutes to have one professionally
- power saver cords for car block heaters
- Jasper Energy Efficiency Project (JEEP) wanted people to use power saver cords for car block heaters.
They learned that a program in the Yukon had been successful in selling
the cords but that most of the cords had not been installed or had been
installed incorrectly - apparently because customers had been expected
to perform the installation themselves.
- power saver cords for car block heaters
- Subaru Engine Block Heater
- Fall tune-up checklist
- Block Heater Installation Instructions
- The element is 600W and uses 120VAC. The heater is located centrally
in the engine block, and the heat it generates spreads quickly
throughout the entire engine! For example, at 10°F, the engine,
manifolds, carburetor, expansion tank, EVEN THE OIL PAN all feel warm to
the touch if the heater is left plugged in throughout the night. Engine
temperature can be read on the dash gauge at about 50°C, or over 120°F!
A TEMPERATURE RISE of 80°F to over 100°F can be expected if left plugged
- The unit uses 600W whenever it’s plugged in. There’s no thermostat,
so it’s easy to waste electricity with it. Outdoor timers work well for
block heater management. In the summer, don’t use it, as it could
potentially boil the coolant.
- Car Talk's Official Winter Driving Tips
- Getting ready for cold-weather motoring
- Plug it in
- Q. What is the difference between block heaters and engine heaters?
A. They are the same thing. There are a number of different types. The
most common is the "freeze plug heater." It is installed in a freeze
plug port of the engine block where it warms the coolant in your engine
- Q. How much does it cost to use?
A. A major engine heater manufacturers recommend that freeze plug
heaters be sized at approximately 150 watts per liter of engine size. A
2.3 liter/4cylinder engine would cost about 3.1 cents an hour to
operate. A 5 liter/8 cylinder engine would cost about 6.7 cents an hour.
- Block heaters: Advantages galore!
- The block heater is scorned by some car owners, who think that
plugging in a car “spoils” it, makes it “sensitive to cold” and unlikely
to cold-start on a day when you haven’t plugged it in. This is patently
untrue. Humans are sensitive to cold... metal is not. There are only
advantages to using a block heater and, when used properly, it does not
have to cost a fortune in electricity.
Generally, you should start using a block heater when the
temperature drops to -12°C, and it is imperative to use it anywhere from
-15°C to -18°C. Finally, have the unit checked during your fall tune-up
to be sure it’s in good working order.
- RE: Engine block heater
- I have EXTENSIVE experience with block heaters over the years here in Vermont. It sure is nice to start the engine and have some warm air coming from the vents soon afterwards. (not to mention that the ENGINE LIFE is drastically increased.)
I usually only use a block heater when the outside temp is below 0F. A 12 or 10 gauge xtension cord with a "indicator lite" molded into the end is the best choice. (Sears) Using a smaller gauge xtension will simply loose the current in the wire and reduce the effectivness of the heater.
I also use a heavy-duty outdoor timer that comes on about 2-3 hours before I will be starting the engine.
xplikt above is correct... the "risk" of leaving it on for too long lies
in using copious amounts of electricty and eventually burning out the
heater.... again, from experience with my 1st engine heater many years
ago... I used to plug it in when I got home from work every night. It
lasted about 1.5 winters before it stopped heating.
- Q: I was wondering if you have any advice for winterizing Volvos? I'm planning to move to Edmonton, Alberta.
- a. A battery blanket (an insulated, electrically-heated wrapper
which keeps the battery warm overnight). It will prevent the battery
from freezing and will aid in cold weather starts. Cost: around $15.00;
- c. A heavy duty battery. Get the *largest* one which will fit.
Generally around 700 to 800 cca (cold cranking amps) should do. Of
course, make sure that the battery cables are clean, tight and well
crimped. Cost: around $80.00;
- f. A set of *very high-quality* jumper cables (8 ga wire). Cost:
$50.00. If you have a well-tuned car and the above equipment you may not
ever need a boost, but you'll be well received by "damsels-in-distress"!
- Living in Ottawa, the world's second coldest capital city (just
behind Ulan Bator, Mongolia), gives one a good appreciation for cold
weather operations. Equiping the car is the first step. Equiping
yourself is the second. I recommend that every car carry the following:
- a. a candle and matches
- b. a sleeping bag;
- c. a spare pair of gloves, winter boots and a hat; and
- d. a few candy bars.
- Block heater fire destroys car
- 1994 Dodge Intrepid Engine Block Heater Fire
- Canada - Automotive - Parts
- The UNOFFICIAL Legacy Outback FAQ, V 1.2
- Schumacher automatic car battery charger - 1.5 Amp Fully Automatic Onboard Maintainer/Charger
- Intelligent Parking Lot Controller
- Space-saver spare designed for emergency use only
- How to help your car cope with cold snaps
For a couple of weeks every winter, the mercury will dip in to the minus
20-degree range, making starting and driving an older vehicle a
I have several suggestions that can make it easier to start the engine
and keep it running well in frigid weather.
Two wonderful items to install on any older vehicle are block heaters
and battery warmers. They cost very little to purchase and install and
almost guarantee the battery has enough reserve to start the engine.
The block heater alone will not add life to the battery, but does make
turning the engine over easier. If I had to choose one, I'd pick the
An alternative to the warmer is a small two-amp battery charger that can
be permanently connected to the battery and plugged in at night.
Use gasoline antifreeze when the temperature falls below minus 20C.
Never allow the tank to fall much below the full point. This reduces the
risk of condensation forming in the upper empty part of the tank.
If you cannot park the vehicle in an area with electrical access for the
block heater and battery warmer, you might consider filling up with a
tank of super gasoline during the cold snap.
Install synthetic or semi-synthetic oil in the engine, which will reduce
the power both the starter and battery must provide to turn the engine
over quickly. When the engine turns over quickly, it will start more
The thinner synthetic oil also provides better lubrication in the first
few seconds after start-up.
- Idling Quiz
- 7. Using a block heater helps an engine warm up quickly, which means less fuel consumption and fewer greenhouse gas emissions. True or false?
TRUE: Yes, block heaters can be a fuel-saving device because they heat the engine block and lubricants. This means that the engine will start more easily and reach its peak operating temperature faster. A block heater needs to be plugged in for only a couple of hours (instead of overnight) to do its job.
FALSE: The answer you're looking for is "true." Block heaters can be a fuel-saving device because they heat the engine block and lubricants. This means that the engine will start more easily and reach its peak operating temperature faster. A block heater needs to be plugged in for only a couple of hours (instead of overnight) to do its job.
- 8. Once a vehicle is running, the best way to warm it up is to drive it. True or false?
TRUE: Very good – driving your vehicle ensures that all parts get warmed up, and it doesn't waste fuel. Until the engine temperature begins to rise, it's a good idea to avoid high speeds and rapid acceleration.
FALSE: Sorry. Driving the vehicle is the right answer – that way, all parts get warmed up, and fuel isn't wasted while you're going nowhere. Until the engine temperature begins to rise, it's a good idea to avoid high speeds and rapid acceleration.
- Canadian Weather
- Virtually all Canadian automobiles (except possibly those in warmer
coastal areas) are equipped with block heaters . This is an advantage
needed to start cars on cold winter mornings or after a day in a parking
lot. Many people also invest in interior car warmers which also get
plugged in when the car is left to sit for long periods during the
winter. An interior car warmer won't keep the car toasty but will reduce
the effort needed to scrape the ice off the windows and lessen
difficulties associated with children waiting for the regular heater to
- Did You Know? What's fact, what's myth, what's new? Some
interesting and often unknown facts on vehicle engines and idling!
- Plugging In & Timing It - by Deb Moore
- Probably everyone in Fairbanks knows you need to plug in your
vehicle when it gets cold outside – to avoid wear and tear on the car,
to say nothing about improving our air quality. However, at what
temperature do you need to start plugging in? Twenty below? Zero?
Actually, your car should be plugged in at anything under 20 F ABOVE
- According to a new study by the National Research Council, vehicles
will start from 0 to 20 F temperature range without preheating the
engines – leading most drivers to plug in less frequently above zero
than they do below. However, starting a cold engine produces much higher
carbon monoxide (CO) emissions than does starting a preheated one.
- According to GVEA, engine heaters will generally warm the engine to
the maximum attainable temperature within 3 hours. Running the heater
any longer than this creates an unnecessary expense. Use a timer to turn
on your engine heaters 1 - 3 hours before you wish to leave. In the
process you save energy and money (up to $60.00/year on your electric
- Power saver cords (available through GVEA) are another way to save
energy and money while preheating your car – especially if you might
need your car for occasional errands while at work and won’t know two to
three hours ahead of time to plug it in. Power saver cords allow
electricity to pass to the engine block heater to heat the engine up to
approximately 40 F. At that point, a switch in the cord is automatically
flipped to turn off the electricity to the heater. When the engine has
cooled down to about 20 F, the switch is flipped back and the
electricity once again passes to the heater. In this way, the engine is
kept preheated without wasting unnecessary energy. Power saver cords are
conservatively estimated to reduce each vehicle’s preheating energy use
by about 40% over an engine heating season (when temperatures are 20 F
- Recommended contactors for keeping driveway clear of snow in Deep River, Ontario, Canada
- "Murray Mitchell does a good job at a reasonable rate. His number is 584-2483."
- Mitchell's Contracting
Deep River, ON K0J 1P0
Phone: (613) 584-2483
- mitchmam at magma.ca
- Mitchell's Contracting (Deep River, Ontario):