Automotive

Driving an old car from Toronto to Winnipeg in winter

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 16th, 2017 5:53 pm
[OP]
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Jan 7, 2014
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Driving an old car from Toronto to Winnipeg in winter

Car in question is 2003 accord 4 cyl.. 150K kms on clock now
approx dates of travel ( Mid Jan to end of Jan)
Mechanically Good condition.Engine running smooth on Mobil1 since 2012 ( when I bought it) . Tranny oil changed every alternate year with Honda Synthetic . Radiator fluid changed in 2012 as well
Suspension seems good .. No known issues
Just that car burns oil but that seems normal for this engine. I carry oil
Travel will be covered in 3 days .. approx 700kms per day
Do you guys see any issue or something I should worry about?... specially considering it is Mid Jan
Car has four brand new Bridgestone Blizzak winter tires
Battery was changed in 2014 but I will be honest.. at times I find startup bit slow than what I would expect but it does not struggle to start though.
My only worry is - Car not starting after parking outside in minus 30 or so temp during 2 nights it will be parked outside the motel.
Am I taking risk?

Edited -
Pls also include your experience if any about (Snowstorms, bad roads, highways dangerous with Snow/Ice.) on this route.
I had created a thread in "Travel" Forum for this purpose thinking there can be more travellers doing this trip who might not visit Automotive section but moderators seems to have problem with that. Why a thread can not exist in two forums if perspective is different?t.....Anyways
Last edited by Asker123 on Nov 15th, 2017 7:52 pm, edited 3 times in total.
157 replies
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Jun 12, 2007
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Has the transmission been updated?
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Asker123 wrote:
Nov 15th, 2017 7:52 pm
Car in question is 2003 accord 4 cyl.. 150K kms on clock now
approx dates of travel ( Mid Jan to end of Jan)
Mechanically Good condition.Engine running smooth on Mobil1 since 2012 ( when I bought it) . Tranny oil changed every alternate year with Honda Synthetic . Radiator fluid changed in 2012 as well
Suspension seems good .. No known issues
Just that car burns oil but that seems normal for this engine. I carry oil
Travel will be covered in 3 days .. approx 700kms per day
Do you guys see any issue or something I should worry about?... specially considering it is Mid Jan
Car has four brand new Bridgestone Blizzak winter tires
Battery was changed in 2014 but I will be honest.. at times I find startup bit slow than what I would expect but it does not struggle to start though.
My only worry is - Car not starting after parking outside in minus 30 or so temp during 2 nights it will be parked outside the motel.
Am I taking risk?
As a backup i carry a portable jump starter. Its a handy tool and a high quality anker one is under $100.

You can get a poor quality one much cheaper off ebay. If price is an issue. The cheap ones work but perform poorly. But a 4 cyl so np
[OP]
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^ Interesting.... Portable backup jump starter.....I would need to look in this.. Thx
[OP]
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l69norm wrote:
Nov 15th, 2017 7:59 pm
Has the transmission been updated?
lol ...I expected this... but this is not V6... The tranny problem was for V6 Accords. 4 cyl are doing OK .. Moreover I drained and filled tranny fluid 3 times in last 5 years... fluid is very nice reddish fluid colour... Car drives very smooth and shifts like new as of now. I drive it nicely not harsh
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May 4, 2014
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Nothing to worry about. 150k is barely past break in for that generation of accords.
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Keep windshield washer fluid and your winter gear ready. Maybe sign up for a trial CAA if that is available? Tire pressure gauge and tire patch kit. Your crossbar and jack just in case you get a blowout even if the tire is new.

Stop and get some rest from time to time and update us here so we know you are safe.

Maybe turn on your iphone or android locate me. Bring your phone charger.
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You're fine. It's basically a brand new car still. If the car is not really rusty, you're good.
[OP]
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alanbrenton wrote:
Nov 15th, 2017 9:09 pm
Keep windshield washer fluid and your winter gear ready. Maybe sign up for a trial CAA if that is available? Tire pressure gauge and tire patch kit. Your crossbar and jack just in case you get a blowout even if the tire is new.

Stop and get some rest from time to time and update us here so we know you are safe.

Maybe turn on your iphone or android locate me. Bring your phone charger.
Thx ....I have TD auto Delux Club membership due to my TD Gold ( Now TD Infinite something) Credit Card...Isn't that good enough? Is CAA a must? Rest all you said is fine
Windshield fluid , tire pressure gauge etc is no brainier. Tire Patch Kit... Not sure I would be able to fix a tire .. no experience in that area.
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Asker123 wrote:
Nov 15th, 2017 9:37 pm
Thx ....I have TD auto Delux Club membership due to my TD Gold ( Now TD Infinite something) Credit Card...Isn't that good enough? Is CAA a must? Rest all you said is fine
Windshield fluid , tire pressure gauge etc is no brainier. Tire Patch Kit... Not sure I would be able to fix a tire .. no experience in that area.
Don't forget your tire inflator or gauge will be next to useless. Your credit card should be good, I don't you need the CAA. I don't have CAA and my 02 Civic has 262k but I doubt my wife will allow me to venture that far away.

At least make sure your spare time has enough pressure and you have the tools to replace one of the tires with your spare.

Your starter is good? If you are in Toronto and you are having a little difficulty starting already, maybe it's worth while for you or you buddies to check that. If you don't get the alternator failing indicator on your instrument cluster, then it's either the starter or the battery. Maybe try to borrow those battery maintenance trickle chargers (Noco or battery tender) to kinda prime your battery.
[OP]
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alanbrenton wrote:
Nov 15th, 2017 9:48 pm
Don't forget your tire inflator or gauge will be next to useless. Your credit card should be good, I don't you need the CAA. I don't have CAA and my 02 Civic has 262k but I doubt my wife will allow me to venture that far away.

At least make sure your spare time has enough pressure and you have the tools to replace one of the tires with your spare.

Your starter is good? If you are in Toronto and you are having a little difficulty starting already, maybe it's worth while for you or you buddies to check that. If you don't get the alternator failing indicator on your instrument cluster, then it's either the starter or the battery. Maybe try to borrow those battery maintenance trickle chargers (Noco or battery tender) to kinda prime your battery.
Well Spare tire is good but this is a small donut tire and I feel it must be the original that came with Car and its very Dry. yes I will fill it up till 60PSI

See I had problem with my old battery in 2014 .. The battery got drained twice ( once by leaving lights on , another time not driving enough after a jump start) .. I got the starter checked... No one could diagnose anything so I bought a brand new Walmart Battery and since then 2 to 3 years now, no problem starting the car...Its just that it got me worried a bit that I might run into this at -30 or so again. I dont know. Here my Car is parked in a Underground Parking in Winters and I only drive on weekends now ( I do 100 to 150 kms trips on weekends though) so Battery stays full.
Seems like what UrbanPOet mentioned about Portable jump starter, I should buy one, it will come handy even in Winnipeg. Btw I am not coming Back. This seems like one way Trip
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Apr 30, 2015
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East York, ON
You'll probably be fine.
Most motels/hotels out this way have portable jump starters. As well as RCMP/OPP should you really get in a bind.
I drove a 93 Grand Marquis between Calgary and Toronto for years. And most recently a 2001 Grand Marquis.

As long as you're in good maintenance, I'm sure you'll be fine.
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Feb 8, 2017
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Will you be taking thunder bay dryden kenora route? I have done a road trip all the way to Rocky Mountains going through dryden, manitoba. It was a long route but Corolla kept me save and comfortable.

Why are you doing this trip in winter? I would choose not to do this in Winter as winter driving in North is treacherous. Snow, storm, icy highways, snow blizzards are crazy there, I got stuck in manitoba once during a blizzard, freezing cold, couldn't see anything,

No offense but be careful with "red indians" there. They are looking to steal and rob. Lol

Follow speed limits, especially keep an eye on when speed limit changes from 90 km/hr to 50. Cops there are very strict and you will get a ticket.

I would not do a road trip there in winter unless it is due to some necessity.

Best car to take there is only Corolla
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Asker123 wrote:
Nov 15th, 2017 10:03 pm
Well Spare tire is good but this is a small donut tire and I feel it must be the original that came with Car and its very Dry. yes I will fill it up till 60PSI

See I had problem with my old battery in 2014 .. The battery got drained twice ( once by leaving lights on , another time not driving enough after a jump start) .. I got the starter checked... No one could diagnose anything so I bought a brand new Walmart Battery and since then 2 to 3 years now, no problem starting the car...Its just that it got me worried a bit that I might run into this at -30 or so again. I dont know. Here my Car is parked in a Underground Parking in Winters and I only drive on weekends now ( I do 100 to 150 kms trips on weekends though) so Battery stays full.
Seems like what UrbanPOet mentioned about Portable jump starter, I should buy one, it will come handy even in Winnipeg. Btw I am not coming Back. This seems like one way Trip
All the best in Winnipeg. I ran two of our batteries flat on a few occasions two years back. Once you run a battery flat, the life expectancy significantly shortens. A 3-year old battery should be fine. I bought bigger capacity (larger CCA) batteries and even got the V6 version for our Honda Accord from Costco.

So I bought the Li-on portable chargers -- one Battery Tender and the other an Anker but never had the chance to use them last winter. The Li-on ones are lighter but not sure how good they are as I haven't tried them. It think the trick is not to try and start the engine immediately once you connect to the terminals but give it a minute or two for the charger to charge the battery. Don't forget to bring a long enough 8-10 gauge for boosting. I'm sure there will be good samaritans along the way.
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Its the weather i would be most concerned about, must you do this trip in January?
Do you have experience doing long distance road trips?

What happens if you hit snow storms, do you have experience in much worse then GTA storms/ice, can you take a few extra days to make the trip if the roads need clearing? Will you go crazy if you have to go half the speed limit thus adding a day or making for very long days due to weather?
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