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Question for Canadian... or just cold weather cruisers

 
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Old 29 Dec 2017, 01:59 pm
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Default Question for Canadian... or just cold weather cruisers

So I'm from Ohio and decided to take a trip to Canada for Christmas and New Year's, coincidentally on the coldest week on record from what I'm told. Average high has been 0* F or around -20* C. Car wouldn't start a few days ago and battery is a little old, so went out and got a colder cranking battery.

I don't have any type of block heater because we don't need those in ohio. Tried using a little space heater under the oil pan for an hour. After trying again, the car wants to turn over but is making a grinding or slipping noise on the second turn. I think it's the starter because it was a little slow to start back in Ohio.

So if i replace the starter and get the car to turn over, am i risking damaging anything else? Or should i just cross my fingers and let the car warm up? I have no money for a tow or mechanics, just enough to get by with while my friend treats me.
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Old 29 Dec 2017, 02:15 pm
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Default Re: Question for Canadian... or just cold weather cruisers

Not that I can think of. I am from Canada its been really cold recently. I have a co-worker who uses his block heater every day on his PT Cruiser, I don't use mine but mine is stored in a garage overnight and have a newer battery. In the winter there is generally different fuel additives in the gasoline so it combusts easier , If your tank is old consider topping it up. Its also recommended that you always have over half a tank of fuel to fight condensation in the tank when its cold. When the car starts let it idle for around a minute, the oil will be very thick due to tempature. let it get to all the compenents before driving the car. If your using 10W-30 consider using 5W-30 in the cold.
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Old 29 Dec 2017, 05:28 pm
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Default Re: Question for Canadian... or just cold weather cruisers

As noted above, the oil should be 5W-30. I browsed my service manual (2001) regarding the starter and oil, 5W-30 is the preferred oil weight.

The starter "making a grinding or slipping noise on the second turn" makes me think the pinion gear is not fully engaging. When you start a car, a small pinion gear on the starter must slide forward to engage with a large ring gear on the engine. Then the starter can spin the engine. (When you release the key from "start" the pinion gear slides back into the starter.) It sounds like the pinion gear is not fully sliding forward to engage the ring gear. Maybe not sliding freely due to the extreme cold, it's likely a greased part and grease gets thick and sticky in the cold. Don't let it make that "grinding or slipping noise" any more than necessary. Bad sound, expensive damage.

The service manual procedure to replace the starter calls out for removal of the "engine structural collar". The mechanic would likely need to have the car towed to their shop to replace the starter.

I've started small gas engine equipment, with straight 30W oil, many times using a small space heater to warm the engine. The stories of people using heat to start engines in the arctic are legend. It just takes time to warm the engine.

The starter in a PT is mounted on the front of the engine. I'd play the heat from a space heater on the front of the engine. Warming the starter will probably be critical to get the pinion gear to engage properly, the heat into the engine will follow. I'd probably take some cardboard to make a skirt under the back and sides of the engine to ensure the space heater was warming the engine. (NOTE: obviously, keep cardboard well away from the space heater, fire hazard!.) And then let the space heater run for an extended time. I don't think an hour is near long enough. It takes a LOT of heat to warm the mass of an engine. I suspect a minimum of 2 to 4 hours.

Good luck.

Last edited by RickinPA; 29 Dec 2017 at 05:40 pm.
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Old 29 Dec 2017, 05:48 pm
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Default Re: Question for Canadian... or just cold weather cruisers

I'd personally go for 4-6 hours of the space heater, then immediately get a good powerful JUMP START from a tow-truck (etc)... Your brand new battery doesn't like the cold either. Don't be surprised if you get a P0700 ("low voltages") code once it's going, my car does that a lot whenever the temps dip below about -10 Celsius. After it warms up I can clear the code permanently* with the usual code clearing procedure...

* until the next spell of really cold weather!
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Old 29 Dec 2017, 06:03 pm
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Default Re: Question for Canadian... or just cold weather cruisers

Thanks for all the replies, i really appreciate it. Okay so i know this doesn't fall into the cold category but wth. So new problem; Went out today with a neighbor who's a mechanic. Tried starting it again and got the same grinding noise, he whacked the starter lightly with a hammer and tried again and the engine was soooo close to starting and this time no grinding noise whatsoever.

After he confirmed that its definitely a starter issue and left i started disassembling and found a thin green? wire coming from the starter and i can see part of the inner wiring is visible and only held on by a few strands. Should i replace it, splice it or tape it up? If i have to replace it, Where does that wire go?
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Old 29 Dec 2017, 07:09 pm
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Default Re: Question for Canadian... or just cold weather cruisers

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Originally Posted by ShaggySparx View Post
Thanks for all the replies, i really appreciate it. Okay so i know this doesn't fall into the cold category but wth. So new problem; Went out today with a neighbor who's a mechanic. Tried starting it again and got the same grinding noise, he whacked the starter lightly with a hammer and tried again and the engine was soooo close to starting and this time no grinding noise whatsoever.

After he confirmed that its definitely a starter issue and left i started disassembling and found a thin green? wire coming from the starter and i can see part of the inner wiring is visible and only held on by a few strands. Should i replace it, splice it or tape it up? If i have to replace it, Where does that wire go?
Probably replace it. What year is the cruiser? The 1st and 2nd gen have fairly different electrical systems
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Old 30 Dec 2017, 12:22 am
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Default Re: Question for Canadian... or just cold weather cruisers

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Originally Posted by ajhockey3 View Post
Probably replace it. What year is the cruiser? The 1st and 2nd gen have fairly different electrical systems
Its 2007 touring non-turbo
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