From my Facebook Page, 5 Jan 2014
It’s only -11 degree’s F. (without windchill factor) according to my indoor weather station. I was trying to make sure that my block heater worked on my Jeep by plugging it in, and I was outside between the Jeep and Garage for a maximum of two five minute periods with my back to the wind. I had a hat and thin gloves with a liner on during this period because any thicker gloves wouldn’t work. My fingers hurt when I got in the house. If you don’t have an absolute need to be outside, Don’t go out!!! (Tissue damage may begin within 10 minutes). If you are thinking ‘Oh, I’m just driving somewhere and I won’t be in the cold for more than a few minutes’, you could still be causing damage to your car by starting it in this extremely cold weather. If your car stalls away from home, you could end up in the bitter cold for more than ten minutes attempting to fix it or walking to someplace warm. For you constant phone users, if you don’t think that the cold will affect your battery, you need to start kindergarten all over again.
Some clues that it is cold: If a cord hangs down from the front of your car, it means that you have a block heater which helps to warm the engine block a bit before starting the car. If you need to turn your headlights on for a few minutes before turning over the engine, you are attempting to warm the battery enough to get the car started. Your fuel tank should be at least half full to keep the fuel lines from freezing because of the water that is already in the fuel when you pump it (fuel with ethanol can help but won’t guarantee that all of the water is out of the fuel). Too much antifreeze or too much water in the antifreeze are both bad things when it is this cold (your antifreeze could gel). Diesel Engines have a bigger problem with gelling than regular gas engines. For drinking purposes, Do Not Store Alcohol out in this weather. The Alcohol can get much too cold to drink and remain in a liquid state. If you drink alcohol that is this cold, it could freeze your esophagus and everything else on the way down, and all the people around you will be able to do is to watch you die.
Additions: Rear wheel drive cars without anti-lock brakes, or failed anti-lock brakes, As you start sliding, pump your brakes. This will help you to slow down or stop as needed, hopefully without crashing into the car in front of you. As you are sliding, turn towards the direction of the slide. As in Atlanta, if you don’t know how to drive in this weather, practice on streets without traffic. Do Not get on the freeway and think that you will make it to work. Slow Down to a speed that will make you feel safe. Four wheel and all wheel drive won’t help you to stop, it only helps you to accelerate. DO NOT drive in snow deeper than 50% of the tire height. You will get stuck.
How much is your auto insurance deductible and how much do you make an hour? This will help you to determine the number of days that you can afford to wait at home before you need to get back to work. A $500 deductible would get me three days at home, and I won’t have to get my car to the auto-body shop while renting a car (using annual leave (vacation days) will also help to curb the costs. 12 to 24 hours stuck on the freeway isn’t worth it. Collect your kids from school, etc. as early as possible. If the freeway is busy, find an alternate route.
Last but not least, Be Smarter Then The Snow!!!