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Gideon

gen2 in winter

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Just wondering how the gen2 LWB wagon handles northern US & Canadain winters - is the heater/defroster strong enough?

  On my old Vibe I had partially covered the rad to quickly reach & keep good operating temp when temps in -10c & colder. But the front design of the gen2 makes that rather hard to do.

  Note that car was outside (no garage/shelter) &  most of my driving is short trips, which is why I often used my "trickle-charger" to top-up the battery.

Also always used 5w30 or better oil. kept fuel at min 1/4 tank with occasional gas line antifreeze. And block-heater at temps of -20 & lower => never any problems starting.

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i know on my TCg2 heat to the cabin is fast..unlike wifes pathfinder.

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Sorry can't help too much.  Here severe cold is below 20 F and when it snows I keep it in the garage - people here can't drive in the rain much less snow!

IMG_0807.JPG

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There is an auxiliary electric cabin heater that turns on when ambient temperature is less than 45 (I think). Once the engine is warm it turns off. 

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The electric cabin heater is an option .

The TC is a fine winter vehicle once you get familiar with switching off the Traction Control.  The heater is good in the front, Once you learn the set up the Rear heat is adequate.

Have not installed the Block heater yet , It starts fine , the coldest start I have done is -25F .  Winter tires make a difference.

DSCN0337 small.jpg

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Definitly agree on winter tires. And the heated outside mirrors will be very welcome. Had them on my old Nissan Axxess and sorely missed them on my Vibe.    Last winter we had days of -25F + wind-chill (doesn't affect cars, just the occupants) of -40(C or F same at that spot). Even colder at night.

BTW, I notice the rear defroster has extra lines on the glass where the wiper is parked to help get it going - a nice [& welcome] touch.

Edited by Gideon
addition

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You guys probably can't get away with cheap wipers either.  

 

Ah, what ignorant bliss to live in the land of sunshine and palm trees.

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Well  every place has its good points and bad points.  I am not a big fan of the so called winter wipers.

If everybody showed up in Southern California then they would need even more rules.

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In the 'old' days, winter wipers were those that were covered with rubber to keep snow/slush/etc from getting jammed into wiper frames.

But today's "frameless" wipers are truly all-season; work great.  Only real issue is to ensure that wipers are in good condition at ALL times.

Found that cleaning wipers with vinegar helps keep them streak-free in winter.

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The frame-less wipers are pretty good ,  I when I changed the blades on the TC I went from 28inch blades  to 26 inch blades it reduces the  load on the wiper arms , which helps in a heavy snow storm.

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On mine, the OEM wipers are 29", not 28".  OEM left & right wiper are different parts, with different part numbers.  I just installed the correct MotorCraft part on the driver side, and a Sears DieHard 29" wiper on the passenger side.  Now I can compare them to see if 1 works better than the other, and which will last longer.  My rainy season has not started yet.  In this part of the country, we get atmospheric rivers, El Nino, & La Nina.  When our storms come, streets and freeways flood, reservoirs overflow, dams break, and bay water rises & literally submerges the road along the waterfront.  

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I'm happily a climate wimp.  Having lived in the midwest and on the east coast, and having spent plenty of time in the deep south, I don't miss the cold, and I don't miss the heat and humidity.  We don't even get downpours all that often.  What we get is endless mist, which means wiper blades get a lot of use, and the rain doesn't wash things off as thoroughly as it would if it came down hard.  So, we get through wiper blades.  It's a small price to pay to live in a habitable climate.

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Why do I remember The Pacific North-West as a constant downpour?  My years in Washington, made me buy rain gear, which I did not own in California.  Seattle isn't "Rain City" anymore?

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I live in the Northern Rockies and use my 2014 TC as an all purpose daily driver year round. That includes driving to trailheads on unplowed dirt roads for backcountry skiing. I have all-terrain truck tires and they work well. The only times I've gotten stuck is due to ice or because the snow was too deep and I essentially beached the vehicle, requiring the snow to be dug out from underneath it. I'm going to get chains this winter to help, and when my tires wear out, I'm going to replace them with something bigger and use spacers to add an extra inch or so to the suspension.

 

Overall, if you know how to drive well in winter conditions and you have good tires, the TC can get you a lot of places. But at a certain point the snow is just going to be too deep and you'll be better served by a vehicle with more ground clearance and four-wheel drive. Since I don't find myself in that situation too often, I just rely on friends with oversized trucks :P

 

My $0.02.

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Reading your question again, I guess maybe you were more concerned about the abilities of the defroster and heater in such environments. My TC lives outside and those features work perfectly fine. The heater can take some time since I have the utility version with no insulation in the back. But once it warms up it gets nice and toasty!

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4 hours ago, mountainman said:

 But once it warms up it gets nice and toasty!

I hear you, mountainman!  Living in SC, I have the opposite problem.  It gets ridiculously hot here.  But once the inside of my cargo van gets cool, it tends to stay that way.  More so than my previous vehicle (a pickup truck) or my wife's Honda.  I'm guessing that it takes a while to heat or cool that much air, but it can work for you sometimes.  Especially, if I can find some shade to park under. :)

 

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I live in Michigan and can agree that the defroster and heat work exceptionally well in the winter. I have a block heater as well but have only used it twice when the temp and wind chill dipped below zero. I feel the traction control/ABS is quite good on these vans while driving on icy roads. It can be a little annoying trying to take off from an icy corner but it is easy to shut off from the wheel. I drove last winter on the factory Continental's and it did better than I expected but I will definitely buy winter tires this year though. I've only been able to replace with Motorcraft wiper blades as the aftermarket has yet to make a separate left and right that works with the TC. If you buy aftermarket the Right side wiper will lift off the windshield at speed because the little air dam is facing the wrong direction. 

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15 hours ago, mountainman said:

The heater can take some time since I have the utility version with no insulation in the back. But once it warms up it gets nice and toasty!

 

Mine too has no insulation in the back and takes some time to warm all that space and this is normal for utility vans. What I notice is that the heat never seems to blow HOT, HOT air. Just meh. I drove an '89 GMC Vandura for years and the heat really blasted in that thing and very quickly too. And also on the TC, with the fan on high it is very, very noisy.

Edited by OLDSCHOOLFOOL

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18 hours ago, Ferox said:

I live in Michigan and can agree that the defroster and heat work exceptionally well in the winter. I have a block heater as well but have only used it twice when the temp and wind chill dipped below zero. I feel the traction control/ABS is quite good on these vans while driving on icy roads. It can be a little annoying trying to take off from an icy corner but it is easy to shut off from the wheel. I drove last winter on the factory Continental's and it did better than I expected but I will definitely buy winter tires this year though. I've only been able to replace with Motorcraft wiper blades as the aftermarket has yet to make a separate left and right that works with the TC. If you buy aftermarket the Right side wiper will lift off the windshield at speed because the little air dam is facing the wrong direction. 

 

 

Installed Sears DieHard 29" on passenger side. Working fine so far.

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On 10/30/2018 at 11:51 PM, Fifty150 said:

Why do I remember The Pacific North-West as a constant downpour?  My years in Washington, made me buy rain gear, which I did not own in California.  Seattle isn't "Rain City" anymore?

More endless drizzle city.  It rains harder sometimes, but not all that often.

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On 10/28/2018 at 12:04 AM, Fifty150 said:

You guys probably can't get away with cheap wipers either.  

 

Ah, what ignorant bliss to live in the land of sunshine and palm trees.

 

Hows that ignorant bliss feel when you pay the rent, electric and water bills? 

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I pay the extra rent with the money I'm saving on wipers.

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By the way, utilities are a lot less out here.  We do not spend money on heating the home, or air conditioning.  My whole life, I kid you not, none of the houses or apartments I lived in, in The City, needed to be heated or cooled.  Good insulation.  Double pane windows.  Skylights let light in.  Eating out means you're saving more gas & electricity by not turning on the stove or oven.  During the work week, I eat the free food in the corporate cafeteria.  I drink coffee from the office coffee pot, and even refill my water bottles at work.  Google, YouTube, Tesla, FaceBook, Twitter......and even non-tech companies all have company food for the employees.  Where I work at, there's even beer in the company fridge.  You don't wash dishes, bathe in the ocean as you're surfing, pee in the pool, so the water bill is even lower.  I know a guy who walks over to the 24 hour Starbucks to use their bathroom, so he isn't flushing gallons of his own water.  Now I just have to find a way to sneak fuel out of the company trucks without security seeing my siphon & Jerry Can.  Almost want to get a job @ Google, just so that I can camp in the parking lot, shower in the company gym, and hit on all of those hot tech babes.

 

https://www.businessinsider.com/couple-lived-in-rv-in-google-parking-lot-2016-3

This couple lived in an RV in Google's parking lot for 2 years and saved 80% of their income

 
Mar. 16, 2016, 10:28 AM
 
pete.kara

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There's certainly lots to like about the climate of the southern part of the west coast . . . . unfortunately, to take advantage of it means you would have to live in California, so I'll pass

 

Don

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