Those of us here at W1nners’ Club HQ that actually went to school often reminisce about those days. The winter in particular, was a very special time. Gathering around the radio (there was no Google back then) to find out if your school had lost its battle with the inclement weather and if indeed today would be a day off for you and hordes of other local kids. The street would fill up with excited youngsters armed with sledges and mental blueprints for the latest snowman and igloo designs.
Fast forward a couple of decades and winter is nothing more than a pain in the backside. Getting out of work isn’t quite as easy as getting out of school was and unless the weather is particularly bad, the, ‘my car wouldn’t start,’ excuse is one of the worst ways a high-flying executive can justify a professional no-show.
To ensure you’re able to get to work on time whatever the weather, we have collated this guide to help get your engine started like an Olympic sprinter on Nandrolone charging out of the blocks:
1. Prevention is better than cure
Keep the car warm
Cars like kids, need to be kept warm to get the best performance out of them. Whilst a school can wash its hands of the little mites when the weather gets a bit perky, a car can’t be abandoned quite so easily. You therefore need to make sure your car is adequately protected from the cold. If you have a garage – great, as even unheated ones will provide some form of protection. Alternatively, if you have the salary of a hip-hop producer that dabbles in the headphone industry and your attitude towards climate change rivals that of a Volkswagen executive – a heated garage is even better.
Use the correct oil
Unlike kids in winter, simply smearing your car with baby oil or Vaseline to keep them warm will not suffice. Check your operator’s manual for the correct oil to use in cold conditions.
Avoid any problems with fuel
Consider using a bottle of dry gas or a conditioner with every tank of diesel in cold weather, that way if your car won’t start you can inhale all the gas and have bouncy hair for the rest of the day. Obviously we are joking – most of us here at the W1nners’ Club are bald. The above process might however help to stop your fuel lines from freezing and will also prevent the diesel additives in your engine from turning to gel in the cold.
2. Starting the car up
Switch off everything that feeds on the car’s electrics
This includes everything from headlights, windscreen wipers, hydraulic suspension if you’re an L.A. gang member, sub woofers, bass bins and anything else that may have been added after an appearance on, ‘Pimp My Ride.’
Turn the key
Let the starter motor crank for a little bit, but any more than 10 seconds and the cold will be the least of your worries – you’ll simply need a new starter motor!
Try it again
The battery may need a minute or two to recuperate before it’s ready for another go. Be patient and try to remember what it felt like the last time somebody wore you out and expected you to go again after 10 seconds of your finest effort.
Use starter fluid if you drive a carbureted vehicle
This is applicable to models built before 1985 and no kids, they didn’t all have to have a man walking in front with a red flag before you could drive them.
3. A slow cranking engine?
This probably means the battery will have to be removed and warmed up, but you should also check for corrosion on the battery clamps as well as the condition of the cables. It’s best to get a mechanic to clean corrosion from the battery clamps or remove cracked cables, but if your boss is a complete bastard and has absolutely no concept of how weather can effect an automobile’s performance, you could have a go yourself. Just make sure you’re wearing shoes with decent rubber soles and have updated your life insurance to include an, ‘electrical misadventure,’ clause.
4. Jump Starting
To do this – you will need:
- The wife/hubby’s car
- One of the kids that has already been given the day off due to the weather (if you don’t have kids of your own you could always borrow one from a neighbour)
- Some sort of eye protection
- Battery cables
- Use the eye protection
- This will protect you from battery acid accidents. Note that wearing Ray Bans on a freezing winter’s morning might make you look like you’re going through a major mid-life crisis to the neighbours
- Use decent cables
- Not those rusty things you got as a present from your folks for passing your driving test back in 1997
(C) Park the wife/hubby’s car next to the car with the dead battery
– You will need to give one of the kids a crash course in basic driving so they can help you
(d) Start the wife/hubby’s car up
– Keep the engine running but stress to your child sitting in the driver’s seat that under no circumstances must they release the hand brake or pretend they are Lewis Hamilton for obvious reasons
(e) Connect the batteries carefully – The correct way to connect batteries is as follows:
– Red terminal on the dead battery with the red cable
– Red cable to red terminal on the other car
– Negative cable to be clamped between cars but not the battery terminal as this may cause an explosion which is not good for the car or indeed the child sat in the driver’s seat
(f) Check the electrical flow between the cars
– You’ll need to offer the child sat in the wife/hubby’s car extra pocket money to stop beeping the horn like a lunatic before you test the horn on your car. If your horn works, there is a good electrical connection between the vehicles. Be prepared to have to explain to your child why you are allowed to beep your horn and they are not allowed to beep the horn in mummy’s/daddy’s car.
(g) Rev up your wife/hubby’s car
– Once you have persuaded your child to get out of mummy/daddy’s car with a promise of a trip to Drayton Manor Park or Peppa Pig World, you’ll need to rev the wife/hubby’s functioning car for a few minutes constantly at 2000 RPM.
(h) Start up your car
After explaining to your child that mummy/daddy’s car isn’t actually broken, you’ll need to show them how to keep their little foot on the accelerator pedal whilst making sure the rev counter stays at 2000 RPM. You are then free to start up your own car. Make sure you explain to the child that if the clock thing on mummy/daddy’s car goes up to the red bit for too long – mummy/daddy’s car will definitely break and mummy/daddy will be very cross.
- Leave your car running
You’ll need to keep your car running for a good 20 minutes to charge the battery up. In this time you can disconnect the cables joining the two vehicles and explain to your child that your car is now fixed whilst persuading the little terror to get out of the wife/hubby’s car with a promise of a new bike – but only if they stop crying and promise not to tell mummy/daddy that they helped you get to work today. You’ll then need to explain to your partner who has just returned from their night shift – why the hell the kids are helping you jump start your car this morning.
(j) Drive to work with a mental note to buy flowers/aftershave for the wife/hubby
………remember not to forget everything you’ve promised your child. Oh and last of all – don’t forget to come up with a good excuse for the boss as to why you’re late this morning.