Top 10 Tips and Tricks For Winter Car Wrenching

 

auto repair in the winter

Being a gearhead in a cold and wintery environment is the absolute worst!  Without some kind of heat source in your garage, you won’t even know that half of your knuckles are missing. You say you don’t have a garage at all? I know that lifestyle all too well. In that case, you might as well forget that the outdoors even exists until March 11th. That’s when the 2018 daylight savings finally rescues us from never ending darkness and unproductive evenings.  Now, I’m not trying to be Debbie Downer here. I’m just writing what every single sub-30-degree-living car enthusiast is thinking. Being a Massachu…setts…ite(?) and hardcore wrench spinner for my entire life, I’ve learned a few things that may (or may not) help you survive another depressing winter.

Here is my top 10 list of things that all gearheads need to survive winter:

#1 Carhartt Jacket

I don’t know how people survived before these existed. I prefer the heaviest one that they make, with the hood, and all black in color. That way you can go straight from the junkyard to the class reunion and nobody will have a clue (other than the smell) that you’re covered in oil stains and gasoline. Most importantly though, these jackets keep the wind and cold out. In late January, when everybody else around me is crying about the cold temperatures, my jacket allows me to feel like I am on a beautiful Caribbean island.

#2 Carhartt Overalls

No, I am not getting paid to brag about this stuff, I promise you. Same deal as above, but I do recommend trying these on in a local store before buying them. You want a size that will slide over your jeans easily, and not bunch up, and not show off your ankles to old man winter.  Obviously, I also prefer a dark color for its filth-hiding properties. Combined with the jacket, these basically make you unstoppable in a winter environment.

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LS Swap Cost: What I Paid for My LSx V8 Swap & How to Budget Build Yours

Got a Fox-body Mustang? Just LS-swap it. 240Z? Better LS-swap it. ‘54 Mercedes? You’ll need to go ahead and LS-swap it.

You can’t swing a melting ice cream cone at a car show without dripping it on at least a dozen LS engines. With these swaps becoming so incredibly popular, I began to wonder if the saying “Cheap, fast, and reliable—choose two” had finally met its match. I decided to LS-swap my own car to find out just what it takes mechanically, and financially.

1964 Impala

 

My 1964 Impala convertible is a car that I have had since 1997, and I drove it for the first time around 2014. Needless to say, it’s been my project for a while. The car came from the factory with a straight-six engine that I could always rely on to run like complete garbage. The carburetor was the reason the engine always ran so terribly, and also the reason why I wholeheartedly believe that all carburetors belong in an airtight container at the bottom of the ocean. The only thing that this carburetor did well was inhale the happiness from my soul and burn it within each of the six cylinders.

After years of trying to love my straight-six, I smartened up and decided to find a better engine—one that actually made me happy when I fired it up; one that was a little wild and fun; and one that wouldn’t unexpectedly get weird on me. I basically wanted the maple frosted donut of the engine world. That underdog maple donut, a little offbeat and not for everyone, that you have to respect because it’s a smart choice. Anyone that has ever experienced the maple frosting knows it’s always the right decision if you’re playing the long game. So the solution to my engine problem was obvious; I just had to LS-swap it.

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Why are wagons undoubtedly the best vehicle? Watch and find out.

In this week’s 1A Auto Talk & Tune Video, Dan and I discussed the many reasons why wagons are the future, and why everyone needs one. Between the obvious good looks, terrific engine options, incredibly spacious interiors, and low insurance costs, wagons are the best kept secret in the automotive world. They hold enough people to call it a party, they can substitute for a camper, they are low enough to wash the roof of without a step ladder, and are nearly always filled with luxurious options. If you don’t already own a wagon, you are going to want to after this video.

Like the video?  Share it with a friend on Facebook and Twitter! And be sure to tag us in it! Facebook.com/1AAuto and @1aauto on twitter

Missed previous episodes?  Here is a link to all 1A Auto Talk and Tune Episodes.

Video Comparison: Cars Driving through Boston in 1963 vs. 2015

Mat Cronin is a fellow car enthusiast, and he recently discovered a video from the early 1960’s, created by an MIT professor named Kevin Lynch.  Lynch’s video documented a car drive through Boston from a driver’s perspective. Mat saw the long term value of this video as a visual time capsule and had the forethought to recreate this drive in 2015, with the latest and greatest video technology. He then matched up his new video timing with that of Lynch’s video, to show how the cityscape, cars, trucks, and buses have evolved over time. We are all hoping that this can be recreated again in another fifty years so that we can see how the much-anticipated flying cars will compare (that was sarcasm if you missed it.)  As you can see here, what Mat has created is 100% pure, gearhead gold.  When I see the 1963 Ford Galaxie wagon at 0:13, the bright red 1964 Impala at 0:37, the 1957 Buick at 1:16, and, of course, the stunningly beautiful 1961 Impala convertible at 4:17, I want them all. Cars aside, it’s fascinating to see the lack of traffic lights compared to 2015, and on the other hand, how so many buildings have not changed at all in 50 years. There is so much beauty in this video, that watching it once is not nearly enough. Pausing every few seconds is the only way to fully comprehend it. (Pro Tip: Click on the bottom right corner of the video for full screen beauty)

Reader Questions:

1) What is your favorite car seen in this video? (Be sure to give the time stamp of when you see it!)

2) What do you think this video will look like in 2065?

Original video & blog post can be found on Wistia’s Blog:

 

 

15 car questions in 10 minutes? – 1A Auto Talk & Tune Episode 7

In episode 7 of the 1A Auto talk and tune show, Dan was unable to attend. So, I replaced him with a clock, and then attempted to answer 15 automotive questions from viewers in 10 minutes. Not only did it take me about 20 minutes to answer the 15 questions, but 15 was actually 14.  Shhh, don’t tell anybody.

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14 Fun Car Audio Facts in Episode 5 of 1A Auto Talk & Tune

In this week’s episode of the 1A Auto Talk & Tune auto show, we reveal 14 fun car audio facts that will amaze and astonish. We also help diagnose a vehicle that has a coil on plug ignition causing engine noise through the car audio system.

So how did this episode go from an insider perspective? Well, I think it went pretty well overall, until the end when we accidentally combined two fun facts. This brought our total to 13, which if you watch to the end of the video, you will see. You know what though – we aren’t actors, we are a couple car enthusiasts making a video about cars, so these things happen.

If you like what we are doing, please upvote our video, subscribe to our channel and most importantly – tell a friend about it!

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