Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Jeep Tips: Winter Cleaning

With the arrival of Old Man Winter our roads are becoming nasty, dirty pathways turning our Jeeps into salt coated crawlers.  Now a dirty Jeep isn't a bad thing, but a salt covered Jeep is not a good thing. We must take extra special care of our precious babies. It takes more than just a spray from the hose. 

So I found a mechanic who sees these salt covered vehicles on a daily basis. He shares his tips and stories.   

"As a mechanic being under cars in the winter sucks, constantly getting dripped on and (we termed it "cow patties") falling to the floor making a mess. We noticed when they started using calcium chloride over standard rock salt about 10 years ago as it burns your skin when it drips down the back of your neck. Luckily they only use that on the interstates and not on secondary roads. The brine solution is better in that it works all night at temps rock salt won't and it doesn't accumulate up inside fender wells between the steel and plastic. I've taken cars apart in August that still have literally 1/8" thick sheets of rock salt on the backside of the inner fender wells."

--Extra pressure washing on the backside of inner fender wells is a must.

--Pressure washing underneath your Jeep.

--Keep your vehicle cold when dirty is better as well, meaning a cold garage or outside rather than parking it in a heated garage which will keep the rock salt active.

--The frame has holes in the side that get filled with crap, and there's no good way to get it out other than meticulous digging and scraping with various tools, coat hanger/homemade scrapers to reach deep inside. 

--Drains holes in the bottom are definitely a must. Pressure washing inside those holes and/or using a shop vac with smaller hose attached shoved in the larger side holes in the summer will help keep the dirt from building up, getting wet and rotting your frame in half. 

"Most older CJ & TJ Jeep owners know this (I don't own a JK and can't recall noticing in the shop) but drilling a few holes in the bottom of the frame for drain holes is needed as well." 

More Cold Weather Jeep Tips

--Vinegar/cold water on your windshield will also melt ice or prevent it from building up if applied the night before. 

--Keep more fuel in your tank to reduce air inside the tank that can condense and freeze in your lines. 

--Squeaky wipers annoying? Straight up rubbing alcohol on a rag clean the blades themselves to quiet them. 

--Light oil (Pam spray or cooking oil or something similar) on your weatherstripping to stop your doors freezing shut.

--Don't let your vehicle idle for an extended time warming it up. Engines aren't really designed to idle, it's not good for it. (Crazy I know but the truth) 

--alcohol based hand sanitizers in the personal carry size squirt bottles can help free up a frozen door lock if you squirt it in the key hole. 

--Alignment alignment alignment!!! I can't stress it enough. Sure it may seem fine as you've driven all over the country with just your knee all summer but if the alignment is off it can greatly affect how it handles in the snow and ice. The tire with the most traction will force the vehicle to change directions rapidly and repeatedly if out of alignment.

Thanks DJ Dragon for these great winter tips!

 - Simple Living! - Enjoying Life! The Jeep Momma Way -

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