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  #1  
Old 01-19-2014
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Flavien Flavien is offline
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Living with a Corvette in winter in Quebec...

The few people on this forum that I've met might remember me with a not-so-well working V6 Slowstang... Well I got hit and the car is destroyed, so I changed
So what to do when you can only afford one car, live downtown Montreal and therefore don't really want to pay an extra 150$ a month for a proper garage spot and yet still want to have a fun car to drive everyday... Do you sacrifice your daily fun and buy a soulless Civic like everyone else?
Winters here can be bad... 15 inches snowstorm bad...
So last summer, I left my brain at home and I bought a '95 LT1 Corvette, knowing I will not have a parking spot, even less a garage, knowing it snows like hell in winter here, knowing it's considered as one of the worst possible car ever in the snow.

After lots of fun in summer with it, well, brace yourself, winter is coming
I bought myself a set of Pirelli SottoZero in 295 in the back and 245 in the front (I have C5 Z06 wheels), for a the price of a winter beater and most likely a couple months (if not more) of storage for the corvette and waited for the first snowstorm, still knowing that whatever happen, I have an 11 miles daily commute to do to go to work, whatever the weather...
When it arrived, I decided to film it and see how it goes...



Thanks for watching and reading it, hopefully it motivates some of you to transform this winter made of grey Civics and just as grey Corollas into something more colorful and nice

Good luck this winter! Soon you will be able to press that right pedal a bit harder and move at the same time again
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Old 01-19-2014
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Tireman Tireman is offline
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Re: Living with a Corvette in winter in Quebec...

Thanks, that was both informing, and amusing. I'll stand and applaud you on all counts with your determination to not let the stated obvious get in your way. While my Vette sleeps in the garage for the winter, you've made a good case for your choice. (Plus, the car won't "rot" due to salt ).

Personally, I think winter should be against the law.

Viz
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Old 01-22-2014
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Flavien Flavien is offline
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Re: Living with a Corvette in winter in Quebec...

haha thank you
Yes it does take some determination to drive it everyday whatever the conditions... I have to admit I chose to stay at home twice (I can work from home when needed).
Biggest problem I have come from the wipers that are tiny and with a rather weak engine and the heater that seems not to want to work for a LOOOONG time when it's below 0 degrees F... I think it's some kind of security to help the engine warm up, but it's rather annoying as the more I breather, the more the inside of the winshield freezes
I end up scrapping te inside of the wwindows at every stop lights until the heater accepts to start working...
Other than that, it's pretty good really...
- 7F right now, and for now she takes this "my owner is a dumbass who bought me but can't really afford a garage" thing farelly well for now as she never let me down and runs as strong as ever, whatever the temperatures she has to deal with...
I get the chassis washed twice a month though, to prevent any rust on the exhaust lines or worse, on the chassis itself...
Funny to enter a busy carwash and ask for the one thing nobody ever asks (chassis wash, all the time the guy wonders if his machine still works) and get out with a car just as dirty and saly as when it went in

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Old 01-22-2014
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Re: Living with a Corvette in winter in Quebec...

Hi Flavien,

Good to see that while you've changed cars, (and God knows you needed to change cars!) you haven't changed a bit. :-)

I would agree with you that tires are 9/10ths of getting satisfaction in snow. I went to Hunter Mountain on Tuesday with a couple of Skip Barber instructors to help set up the new Skip Barber Winter Driving School. We used a Mazda 3, MX-5, RX-8 and CX-9 on one of their bunny slopes and at first glance you'd have thought none of those cars would have made it up the slope. All had Michelin Alpin winter tires on all four wheels and they all performed admirably. We did braking and turning, slalom, autocross and skid pad exercises on the slope and the front wheel drive, rear wheel drive and all wheel drive vehicles were all able to dynamically show their strengths and weaknesses in the snow. The tires were a big part of that.

Regarding your heater... You probably know this already, but it's important to clear the vent areas between the windshield and the hood of snow and ice as that's where the heater draws air to heat and clear the windshield. If it's jammed with snow it's efficiency is greatly reduced.

It's also useful, after the engine has warmed up, to run the air conditioner with the heat on as moisture will be removed from the cabin air and fogging will be greatly reduce or eliminated. The heater heats up the air but it's moisture content is low and overcomes the moisture from you and your passenger's breath. :-)

Pat
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Old 01-22-2014
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Flavien Flavien is offline
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Re: Living with a Corvette in winter in Quebec...

haha, thx for the nice words Pat
I miss my old mustang... it was fun and actually drove really well (after I changed the gas filter ) It never let me down in many years and always got me where I wanted despite regular track days and very sporadic maintenance she had to deal with... all until a guy rammned me on the passenger side, not seeing his traffic light was red during a snowstorm last february. I plan on getting another one when I move into a proper bigger place with a garage, just for old time sake. The same one, just with a Cobra on the side panel this time.

Good winter tires do marvels!! Nokian Hakkapeliitta (good luck ordering them in person and getting the seller to understand what you want)... you will see, by FAR the best winter tires even compared to Michelin Alpin. If only they did bigger size for my car. Tried them on an e30 318is (one of the funnest car I've ever driven), it was just incredible. Never got that much traction on snow in my entire life.

I saw the advertising for the winter driving school, I was interested until I saw the price hahahaha
I'll try to make it to at least one autocross at LRP when it get a bit warmer and we get a full day of autocrossing and not just 4 hours. Not exactly the cheapest autocross track around, but it's LRP and I just love going there so... Hopefully there will be another open house this year, would love to get back there, most likely with my wife this time (yes I got married too).

On another note, I still hope on making the three day course @ LRP in the miatas sometime soon. Trying to start my own company along with having a full time job, so it won't be "soon" but I don't despair . Only way to achieve as much racing I want is to make quite a bit of cash, so I have to sacrifice a few things hahaha

See you later hopefully, at LRP or somewhere else
Let me know if you come up north too!

Flavien
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Old 01-22-2014
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Re: Living with a Corvette in winter in Quebec...

Oh yeah and I forgot, I do clean up the whole car before driving. The wipers are tucked in between the hood and the windshield (for aerodynamic purposes I guess), so it's a mess to get snow/ice out of there but I have to do it every single time otherwise my wipers simply won't work...
As for the AC, well, i can't run both at same time... I just set the tempearture I want in the car and that's all...
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Old 01-22-2014
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Re: Living with a Corvette in winter in Quebec...

Will look forward to seeing your new/old mustang whenever that time comes. :-)

Agreed on the great grip of Nokian Hakkapeliitta tires. Had them on my Saab years ago and they were great.

The autocross days have been a huge success for Lime Rock Park. They aren't run by the racing school but they always have good instructors who are usually Skip Barber or ex-Skip Barber instructors. Let me know if you do come down and I'll try to come by and say hi.

Congrats on having a new wife, a full time job and a budding new company! (No wonder you don't have time to race. :-)

Doubt there will be another big open house like those you attended but you never know.

Would love to see you do a three day school. :-)

Keep us posted
Pat
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Old 01-22-2014
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Re: Living with a Corvette in winter in Quebec...

Got it on the clean wiper area or they won't work. The trick would be to figure out some sort of cover or mat that would protect that area when it snowed without freezing to the car. Then you could lift it off and go. :-)

I'm surprised you can't run the A/C with the heater? I'd check the manual on that as there is usually a way to run the A/C with the heat. Have been able to do that with every car I've had for the last 30 years, but I've no experience with Corvettes. There's usually a switch or button that activates the A/C compressor that can be turned on or off in heat mode. Perhaps it uses the A/C compressor all the time.

We were at -5 below fahrenheit last night with wind chill -25, tonight -9 below. Impressive what extreme cold does to cars and all things mechanical.

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Originally Posted by Flavien View Post
Oh yeah and I forgot, I do clean up the whole car before driving. The wipers are tucked in between the hood and the windshield (for aerodynamic purposes I guess), so it's a mess to get snow/ice out of there but I have to do it every single time otherwise my wipers simply won't work...
As for the AC, well, i can't run both at same time... I just set the tempearture I want in the car and that's all...
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Old 01-22-2014
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Re: Living with a Corvette in winter in Quebec...

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Originally Posted by dalyduo View Post
Got it on the clean wiper area or they won't work. The trick would be to figure out some sort of cover or mat that would protect that area when it snowed without freezing to the car. Then you could lift it off and go. :-)

I'm surprised you can't run the A/C with the heater? I'd check the manual on that as there is usually a way to run the A/C with the heat. Have been able to do that with every car I've had for the last 30 years, but I've no experience with Corvettes. There's usually a switch or button that activates the A/C compressor that can be turned on or off in heat mode. Perhaps it uses the A/C compressor all the time.

We were at -5 below fahrenheit last night with wind chill -25, tonight -9 below. Impressive what extreme cold does to cars and all things mechanical.

There is a pic of a typical climate controller in a LT1 C4...
"AUTO" makes the heat fluctuate automatically to maintain the temperature in the car, while the other "auto" between the two up and own arrows makes the blow of the fan fluctuate automtically instead of the temperature itself...
I'll check, but for now I don't think I can run both at same time
-4F now, but supposed to be -20F later on tonight... My battery will love that hahaha
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Old 01-22-2014
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Re: Living with a Corvette in winter in Quebec...

Was googling and came across this video about your HVAC controls. Lots of interesting info if not specifically answering the compressor question.



And another forum discussion problems with heat that sounded like it might shed some light on why you may not be getting full heat.

http://forums.corvetteforum.com/c4-t...t-no-heat.html

I'm guessing the compressor is on all the time and the A/C controls just block or add heated air according to the temp setting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flavien View Post

There is a pic of a typical climate controller in a LT1 C4...
"AUTO" makes the heat fluctuate automatically to maintain the temperature in the car, while the other "auto" between the two up and own arrows makes the blow of the fan fluctuate automtically instead of the temperature itself...
I'll check, but for now I don't think I can run both at same time
-4F now, but supposed to be -20F later on tonight... My battery will love that hahaha
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Old 01-24-2014
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Re: Living with a Corvette in winter in Quebec...

Sorry I think I was not clear enough... My problem is not exactly the heater not starting, as I can feel some heat when I put my hands on the fan holes... It's that the fans will not start when asked to... Any fan... After a little while it will accept to start running. When it's VERY cold (-20F) it can take up to 20-25 minutes for them to start spinning, but when the weather is more normal (0F or 5F lol) they start spinning in less than 5 minutes...
It's pretty weird, it's as if they refuse to give air into the cabin if the air is not up to the asked temperature... Since I can't set it at less than 60F... Problem is that with no air, my windshield gets icy very fast inside the car the more I breathe...
But well, I got sort of used to it so I can live with it I guess
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Old 01-24-2014
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Re: Living with a Corvette in winter in Quebec...

Ahhh My Saab had a sensor that would not activate the fan until the water temp in the heater core had reached a certain temperature so that cold air wasn't blown into the cabin. If the sensor in your car is malfunctioning (assuming that's what you have, and it certainly sounds like that's the case) that may be the problem. Maybe there's a way to adjust the temp at which the fans can be activated.
These below zero temps are just so far out of the usual range of operation that it's hard to troubleshoot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flavien View Post
Sorry I think I was not clear enough... My problem is not exactly the heater not starting, as I can feel some heat when I put my hands on the fan holes... It's that the fans will not start when asked to... Any fan... After a little while it will accept to start running. When it's VERY cold (-20F) it can take up to 20-25 minutes for them to start spinning, but when the weather is more normal (0F or 5F lol) they start spinning in less than 5 minutes...
It's pretty weird, it's as if they refuse to give air into the cabin if the air is not up to the asked temperature... Since I can't set it at less than 60F... Problem is that with no air, my windshield gets icy very fast inside the car the more I breathe...
But well, I got sort of used to it so I can live with it I guess
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Old 01-24-2014
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Re: Living with a Corvette in winter in Quebec...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dalyduo View Post
Ahhh My Saab had a sensor that would not activate the fan until the water temp in the heater core had reached a certain temperature so that cold air wasn't blown into the cabin. If the sensor in your car is malfunctioning (assuming that's what you have, and it certainly sounds like that's the case) that may be the problem. Maybe there's a way to adjust the temp at which the fans can be activated.
These below zero temps are just so far out of the usual range of operation that it's hard to troubleshoot.
Yes it's a bit of a mess to see what is actually wrong, especailly since it might just be... normal
I'll try to play with the climate control codes later on, but without too much hopes...
It's ok, I have to start the car at least 10 minutes before leaving anyway as the gearstick is the slushiest thing on earth by these temperatures anyway
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