Date: Wed, 18 Dec 2002 16:25:48 -0600
Reply-To: John Rodgers <j_rodgers@CHARTER.NET>
Sender: Vanagon Mailing List <email@example.com>
From: John Rodgers <j_rodgers@CHARTER.NET>
Subject: Re: Tough to start on cold mornings
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I just have to tack a big "AMEN" to what Robert says here.
I lived in Fairbanks also at one time. Battery hot plates and block
heaters were the order of the day, and sometimes that was not enough. A
blanket over the hood on conventional cars helped some.
Another thing, not engine related was the flat-sided tires you rode on
for the first trip out for the day. At times it would get so cold the
tires were very slow to flex out so for the first little bit, you would
go down the road "bumpyty, bumpyty, bumpyty" as the flat side went round
and round until internal friction in the tire would produce enough heat
to give some flexibility. Of course at those kinds of temperatures you
couldn't feel the heat, it was just there.
Interesting times. In winter valleys were colder, hillsides warm. After
all, the colder the air, the more dense the air, the more dense, the
heavier, the heavier air would settle to the bottom and literally flow
downhill int to the low spots. Druing really cold days, smoke would not
rise from a chimney, just go up about six inches then bend over and flow
to the ground, the heat loss was so great and so rapid. Water vapor from
the cars would hang and gound level and form "Ice Fog" where the traffic
was heavy. Vapor from the jets landing and taking off at the airport
would cause the airport to "Fog In" and after a time nobody could take
off or land.
Interesting times, hey Robert!
BTW, I never tried to operate a Volkswagen around Fairbanks back then.
They were still all air-cooled. Only south of the Alaska Range for me in
a VW - down in the banana belt!!
88 GL Driver
Robert Keezer wrote:
> Once the temperatures are in the twenties and lower, the ice can form in
> lines. A bottle of heet or similar should be used.
> Also use lower weight oil. 20 -50 almost becomes tar when it gets below 0
> out. Your starter may be using all the available current just trying to
> overcome the cranking resistance of the engine, lowering the voltage below
> 9.6 minumum voltage.
> For the FI system to function properly, voltage must be above this. If you
> hook up a voltmeter(preferably digital), if the voltage drops to 8 volts or
> even lower, you aren't going to get it started .
> The battery also can have 50% less capacity at very cold temperatures.
> Two things, a crankcase heater and battery charger are needed to be on all
> night( automatic charger is best)when the really cold weather hits.
> I lived in Alaska five years including Fairbanks . Often the only way we
> could get an engine started was to aim a keroosene forced air space heater
> at it.There were long weeks of twenty below, and once the engine is
> you never turn it off.(unless you plug it in)
> 1982 Westfalia
>> From: Dan Erlandson <danoer1@ECLIPSE.NET>
>> Reply-To: Dan Erlandson <danoer1@ECLIPSE.NET>
>> To: vanagon@GERRY.VANAGON.COM
>> Subject: Tough to start on cold mornings
>> Date: Wed, 18 Dec 2002 13:26:38 -0500
>> So it was about 16 o F this morning in NJ and this was the second time
>> my wife had trouble starting the Van when it was down into the teens.
>> think we have had many mornings as cold as this one. The other time
>> it had
>> trouble was about 2 weeks ago. The van has been starting and running fine
>> My wife tells me that it cranks, starts for a moment and then dies. I've
>> come out both times and gotten it started by cranking it and keeping the
>> pedal down. It has taken a few attempts but I have gotten it started
>> times... runs fine after that. Before she finally starts it sounds as if
>> the engine is stuttering.. trying to start, but doesn't quite catch.
>> the key and it cranks normally and then skip, skip skip as it tries to
>> I ran some fuel injector cleaner through last time this happened... and
>> last night the gas tank was down very low... into the reserve.
>> My battery is good (I think) and is about 2 years old (VW brand), the
>> was replaced a few years ago using a FLAPS brand, and there is a Bosch
>> starter on it that we had put in about 3 years ago.
>> She has been running great otherwise.
>> Anybody have some thoughts??? Thanks
>> Dan Erlandson
>> Flemington, NJ
>> 91 VW Vanagon GL
>> 99 VW Passat
> 1982 Westfalia 1987 Wolfsburg
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