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Old 09-13-2007, 03:56 PM   #1
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Question Help me "Winterize" My Car

Hello everyone. I have been a boxster owner for only about 4-5 months. As winter approaches, I need to make some changes and I have come seeking advice! (Surprise surprise )

Background

My boxster (01 tip) has been a florida car all its life. The car was originally purchased in FL, spent its full life there, and was bought used by me there as well. As a result, this car has never seen a winter and needs to be prepared. What steps would you advise I take to prepare?

My tentative plan is to go to my local Pcar dealership and ask them to "winterize me". However, I would like to have an idea of what I need to do in advance so that I do not get conned into something useless and so that I can make sure they do not omit any critical changes.

I also plan on driving the car in the winter (no garage - and I live in upstate NY will this be an issue?). I will not drive it in heavy snow and will try to wait a few days after major snowfall to reduce exposure to salt. Because of this plan, I will stick with all season tires. However, from a mechanical standpoint I must be ready!

Also on an unrelated note, when I started my car up this morning, the engine did something very troubling! It shook/vibrated back and forth a lot - it felt almost as if it were an MT car and you were trying to go from a stop directly into 3rd gear. What would a possible cause be and could this be a big issue? No CEL, humidity that morning was incredibly foggy and cool. After she warmed up, all was swell.

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Old 09-13-2007, 04:35 PM   #2
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Here are a few thoughts:

1) Oil change with full synthetic Mobil 1 0W40
2) Lots of high quality washer fluid
3) Do you have all season tires now? If not, the perfomance tires are dangerous below about 40 degrees.
4) Ragg Topp treatment for the convertible
5) Good coat of wax on the car and wheels
6) Need an excellant battery and plugs
7) Check your tire pressures a lot
8) Get a battery maintainer, and plug the car in
9) Winter floor mats
10) Good wiper blades
11) Completed scheduled maintenance
12) Leather conditioner
13) Car cover, since you don't have a garage
14) A 4X4 for snowy days
15) Window scraper
16) Find a hand-car wash location
17) Tire chains
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Old 09-13-2007, 04:45 PM   #3
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Bill,
can you really use tire chains around our area?
also, for the battery maintainer, is it necessary to have since lets say you drive it every day? probably not

and winter floormats really do help, its nie to put fresh ones/clean ones in the spring, especially if they are nice clean green ones hehe
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Old 09-13-2007, 04:51 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by djomlas
Bill,
can you really use tire chains around our area?
also, for the battery maintainer, is it necessary to have since lets say you drive it every day? probably not

and winter floormats really do help, its nie to put fresh ones/clean ones in the spring, especially if they are nice clean green ones hehe

DJ, not sure about the Snow Chains in the Chicago area. But I find it interesting that Porsche does sell them (for the 987). They fit tire size 235/50 R 17 and 255/40 R 18. Part number is 996 361 922 00.
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Old 09-13-2007, 04:56 PM   #5
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Old 09-13-2007, 05:00 PM   #6
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I recall MN Boxster posting a lengthy DIY on this subject.
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Old 09-13-2007, 05:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmussatti
Here are a few thoughts:

1) Oil change with full synthetic Mobil 1 0W40
2) Lots of high quality washer fluid
3) Do you have all season tires now? If not, the perfomance tires are dangerous below about 40 degrees.
4) Ragg Topp treatment for the convertible
5) Good coat of wax on the car and wheels
6) Need an excellant battery and plugs
7) Check your tire pressures a lot
8) Get a battery maintainer, and plug the car in
9) Winter floor mats
10) Good wiper blades
11) Completed scheduled maintenance
12) Leather conditioner
13) Car cover, since you don't have a garage
14) A 4X4 for snowy days
15) Window scraper
16) Find a hand-car wash location
17) Tire chains

Some items of interest -

1) 0W-40? I was initially thinking 5W-30 is pretty standard around here. I assume 0W-40 holds up fine in the summer heat?

4) never heard of it - i'll definetly check it out

6) battery and plugs? sounds expensive? (I might be due for a new battery anyway)

13) I might be able to get a garage spot, but I am not too optimistic. Depending on my success there, I might be making a "recommend me a car cover post"

16) What do you mean by hand-wash car location? Are you reffering to a DIY carwash port or a place where workers do it for you?
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Old 09-13-2007, 05:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djomlas
Bill,
can you really use tire chains around our area?
also, for the battery maintainer, is it necessary to have since lets say you drive it every day? probably not

and winter floormats really do help, its nie to put fresh ones/clean ones in the spring, especially if they are nice clean green ones hehe

Also, good call on the floormats and leather conditioner. I've actually been meaning to get leather conditioner to spruce up my seats. (I just armor-all'd most of the interior)

Any suggestions for decent, cheap floormats?
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Old 09-13-2007, 06:15 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Perfectlap
I recall MN Boxster posting a lengthy DIY on this subject.

PL, I think the post you are referring to is MNBoxster's excellent recommendations regarding Winter Storage...not winter driving.
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Old 09-13-2007, 06:19 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by JCL12
Also, good call on the floormats and leather conditioner. I've actually been meaning to get leather conditioner to spruce up my seats. (I just armor-all'd most of the interior)

Any suggestions for decent, cheap floormats?
JCL, throw that Armor-all away. Shame on you. You should use the leather conditioner from www.colorplus.com. For non leather surfaces, use Vinylex.

As for floormats Google the words "Hexomats" or "Weathertech" (spelling?). Or do a search, we have talked about these here before with some great feedback and recommendations.
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Old 09-13-2007, 06:22 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by JCL12
Some items of interest -

1) 0W-40? I was initially thinking 5W-30 is pretty standard around here. I assume 0W-40 holds up fine in the summer heat?

4) never heard of it - i'll definetly check it out

6) battery and plugs? sounds expensive? (I might be due for a new battery anyway)

13) I might be able to get a garage spot, but I am not too optimistic. Depending on my success there, I might be making a "recommend me a car cover post"

16) What do you mean by hand-wash car location? Are you reffering to a DIY carwash port or a place where workers do it for you?
What I meant by #16 is that you need to get familiar with a good car wash location in your area that you can take the Boxster to in the winter. Preferably a place that washes the car by hand. Be carefull with the power-washer at the DIY, if you go that route.
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Old 09-14-2007, 03:02 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by bmussatti
Be carefull with the power-washer at the DIY, if you go that route.

Out of curiosity, why?
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Old 09-14-2007, 03:07 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by JCL12
Also on an unrelated note, when I started my car up this morning, the engine did something very troubling! It shook/vibrated back and forth a lot - it felt almost as if it were an MT car and you were trying to go from a stop directly into 3rd gear. What would a possible cause be and could this be a big issue? No CEL, humidity that morning was incredibly foggy and cool. After she warmed up, all was swell.
Anyone have a clue what this might be?
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Old 09-14-2007, 03:08 AM   #14
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Out of curiosity, why?
The pressure of the water jet. It can mess up the convertible top, for one reason. Another reason, are the side vent areas. People have even bent the cooling fins on their radiators with power washers.
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Old 09-14-2007, 04:17 AM   #15
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JCL12
you might want to shop around for a hardtop if you are planning to drive the car in the winter
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Old 09-14-2007, 07:01 AM   #16
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EDIT: Oops...just saw that you plan to drive it through the winter. You're parking it our side in the winter in upstate NY? Good luck. Mine goes into hibernation.
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Old 09-14-2007, 10:59 AM   #17
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Thoughts

Oil change up to date (don't need to do one special) per severe service interval (half the normal 15k) with Mobile 1W40, the weight Porsche recommends.

Seriously consider some smaller wheels and real snow tires. The smaller the tire, the less snow you have to push around.

Carry lock defroster, use it before the first snow and don't lock your doors where freezing rain or sleet is involved.

Carry a piece of plastic (I use an old shower curtain) to kneel on in case you have to change a tire.

Check that all your tire changing tools are there, practice changing a tire. Better to struggle now than in the cold and snow.

Plop a can of gas de-icer in the tank before the first frost. The kind that helps carry away accumulated moisture so you don't get fuel line/pump freeze-up.

Yes, RaggTop the top. And don't change it up or down if the temp of 40 or lower F if you have the plastic rear window Unless you have thoroughly warmed it up with the heater).

Typical anti-freeze overflow tank level check. Porsche engines use different anti-freeze types from other cars. So get some at the dealers if you need it.

Driving it every day, as long as you are driving it some considerable distance you don't need a battery maintainer. But if you are driving short distances and in the dark, it is nice to be able to keep the battery fully charged. The WalMart Black and Decker one works fine. I prefer the cheaper Porsche branded one just because it fits in the cig lighter so well.

The hardtop is a real big help in winter. The older cars (97-99) didn't have the same multi-layer tops the newer ones (00-04) have. The heater/defroster is effective, but the hardtops (and the glass-windowed tops) have an electric defroster so you don't have to wait for the cabin to heat up.

It is just a car. A well balanced one at that. It goes in snow. They have snow in Germany. Enjoy.
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Old 09-14-2007, 03:18 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by bmussatti
The pressure of the water jet. It can mess up the convertible top, for one reason. Another reason, are the side vent areas. People have even bent the cooling fins on their radiators with power washers.
I am super-careful with the convertible top, but I didn't know about the cooling fins! I guess I should have been able to guess that
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Old 09-14-2007, 03:20 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by J-RAD
EDIT: Oops...just saw that you plan to drive it through the winter. You're parking it our side in the winter in upstate NY? Good luck. Mine goes into hibernation.
Yes, I will be parking it outside during winter in upstate NY. With luck, I'll move to south jersey by january, so I will not have to bear the brunt of a nasty winter.

Would 12-15 inches of snow resting on the canvas top cause weight damager?
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Old 09-14-2007, 04:24 PM   #20
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Yes, I will be parking it outside during winter in upstate NY. With luck, I'll move to south jersey by january, so I will not have to bear the brunt of a nasty winter.

Would 12-15 inches of snow resting on the canvas top cause weight damager?
I am not sure, but if it is yellow, don't eat any!

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