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Discussion Starter #1
Hi --

This is my first winter with my baby and I want to treat it right.

I live in the midwest, where the winters are pretty harsh. About the first half of the winter it's just freakin' cold. When we finally do get snow, ice, or both, it doesn't usually thaw until spring! Does anyone have any special tips for getting the car ready for winter?

My tires are currently inflated to 50 psi all around, so I'm going to let some air out -- maybe lose around 10 psi. Besides that, an oil change, and an ice scraper do I need anything else?

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Sorry, the typo in the title is just a typo. Not a reference to a boy band! :lol:
 

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If I lived in a colder climate, I'd consider an engine heater. It might use more energy than it saves and won't warm up the catalytic converter. It would still be nice to shorten the time to get the engine gets to normal operating temperature. The economy is not only better, but the wear and tear is less.
 

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Use synthetic oil. Synthetic oil lubricates better when the engine is first started and this is especially important in cold weather.

Don’t' turn the cabin heat on until the engine warms up a little. This will get the engine into an efficient temperature range faster. You're heater doesn't produce that much heat anyway until the engine is warmed up somewhat. (If your windows are fogged up ignore this suggestion and go for visibility) I had mine out at -25C last winter and the heater was able to cope once the engine warmed up.

Go easy on the battery assist until the cabin has warmed up. The IMA batteries are like all batteries in that they function less efficiently when cold. Effectively they loose much of their capacity until they warm up. They are warmed by the cabin air.

Don't be shocked if you hear the 12 volt starter cranking the engine some really cold morning. The first time I heard it I turned the car off thinking there was something wrong with the engine :shock: How quickly one gets used to the smooth start of the IMA. :D
 

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winter checklist

Hi Ariadne,

here is what I do in New England:

-install hot-air intake mod (search the yahoo Insight group for HOT AIR BURT).
-put cardboard in front of radiator. I found it safe to block 90% of it in the winter.
-install electric engine block heater, run it on a timer to turn on 2 hours before I drive off in the morning. Gives me idle-stop <1 mile from home in <0 C weather!
-keep fan off and thermostat dial set to all the way low. Don't turn it up until a mile past the coolant warming up to 6 bars.
-keep a collapsible shovel and snow chains in the starage bin under the trunk

And if you consider winter tires, get narrower ones than stock. I'm buying 145/80R13 this season. Will keep you posted...
 

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This will be my third winter driving the Insight in Ottawa. I didn't change make any changes except for winter tires in the second year, which I wanted for safety.

It has to be really really cold for that starter to engage itself. I think mine's been used only a few times in 2 winters. The solid magnet electric motor has no trouble turning the engine over, and the light oil also helps - I didn't find a need to go to synthetic.

Also, the car will warm up faster if you drive it, so don't sit there idling for mroe than a few minutes if you've got good visibility. Drive easy at first as was mentioned, until the car has warmed up.

More in the IC Knoledge Base - here.
 

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Here is a tip for an easier time scraping the ice off your windows. Fill up an empty Windex bottle with windshield washer fluid and spray it on your windows before scraping. Makes it a breeze when it's still above freezing.
 

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Winter tires are a must if you value your safety or anyone elses. The difference in avalable grip for stopping and turning on snow and ice is huge!
Just buy some cheap 13" steel civic rims and get 175/70R13 winter tires. These tiny tires are so cheap you can afford to buy premium quality winter tires and replace them every few years guilt free!

Don't worry about fuel economy in the winter because it's going to be terrible anyways, safety is much more important.

My mechanic told me that he puts puts a small 120V air heater in his car plugged to a timer. When it snows, the heater warms the inside of the car and melts the snow and ice from all the windows.
This is a fantastic idea for the Insight becuase it will also warm up the batteries. I'm going to try this.

I looked into the engine block heater but Honda wants $170 for it!
I use 0W20 Mobil 1 synthetic oil anyways so with the electric air heater and partially blocking the rad, my car should work better then most in the cold mornings.
 

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Garage is a must

I used to live inSt. Louis, Mo. Very cold winters & lots of snow in early spring. I didn't have an insight then, but I learned that a garage was a must. Once the oil froze and I had to warm up the garage with heater before Istarted up the car.

The better solution -- move to CAlifornia!
 

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Looking for pix of the "hot air intake mod"...

I read over the postings in the Yahoo board about the hot air duct intake mod from 9/2001. It looks like that made a real difference, and now that it's getting colder here in New England (and I'm watching my mileage drop -- used to get above 62mpg, now it's hard to break 57 in my '02 5spd), I'm interested in making the mod.

I have the part number and the description from the Yahoo posts, but it seems that the pictures were not archived. Does anyone have a picture of where the duct ends up and how it's routed? And are people still pleased with the results?

Thanks,
MF
 

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hot air mod

Mike,

I don't have the pictures, but I can give you a quick verbal:

Standing in front of the car, look at the right side of the air filter box. Remove the 2" rubber hose going into it and just leave it hanging. Attach one end of the pre-heater hose to the box using the same clip that was holding the rubber hose.

route the pre-heater hose back and down underneath the battery box and over to the left, behind the engine until it reaches the first catalytic converter. Use some wire to hold it in place.

If you are using the partnumber BURT has listed, you need to stretch the thing as far as it will go.

Good Luck!
 

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Going to give the preheater idea a try myself. I picked up a "Preheater Hose" at the local Canadian Tire store. The hose is made in USA and distributed by Motormite mfg. Div. of R&B, Inc. P.O. Box 1800, Colmer, PA 18915-1800. It cost less than $10 CDN which puts it in the cheap thrills category. :D

Kip
 
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