5 Ways For Car Guys To Survive Winter

5 Ways For Car Guys To Survive Winter

While it’s normal for anyone living up north to suffer from the winter blues, there aren’t many people who feel it worse than the average car guy. In an attempt to help my fellow gearheads, I’m going to share 5 Ways for car guys to survive winter. You see, we like warm weather. We like to be wrenching in the garage, detailing our cars, driving with the windows down, and hanging out with fellow car guys outside. Winter tests our sanity every year. Read on if you’re looking for ways to put in the time.

For 3 months of the year, we experience the turd in the punch bowl otherwise known as Winter. It’s a total bummer. It’s cold. There’s salt all over the roads slowly eating away at your vehicle. Everything is grey and dreary looking. It’s cold. There are no car events to go to. Water magically transforms into a sheet of ice as soon as you spray it. Did I mention it’s cold? Our friends to the south might not understand it, but winter can absolutely break your spirit.


5 Ways For Car Guys To Survive Winter

Those of us that tend to obsess over the cleanliness of our vehicles come close to losing our minds (as if we haven’t already) during this time of year. We have contaminants on our paint and undercarriage that WILL cause damage over time and there’s nothing we can do about it. Sometimes we’ll get lucky with a warm spell that allows us to clean things up, but it’s also very likely that we’ll be forced to leave it alone for weeks or even months.

You see, you can’t just wash your car in -30C temperatures. Even if you’re able to brave the cold and find a source of running water, you’ll wake up the next morning to a not-so-wonderful surprise – your car is now an ice cube and you can’t get in. Good luck making it to work on time!


5 Ways For Car Guys To Survive Winter


Many of us are forced to store our toys at locations other than our home. Sometimes it’s at a friend or family member’s place. But often it’s at a dedicated storage business. These places are great as long as you can afford them. The wrath of Winter can’t reach your car when it’s hiding indoors. Most storage facilities have great cameras and security systems. It’s safe there. But it might as well be a million miles away…


5 Ways For Car Guys To Survive Winter


A car guy being away from his pride and joy is similar to a parent being away from their child.

“Is it safe? I remembered to lock the doors, right? Does it know I’m coming back for it, and will it start up when I do? What were those shady guys looking at as I pulled away? I think I noticed a crack in the ceiling.. is it going to leak? I just know it’s going to leak. Man, I should have never left it there. The whole roof is coming down on my car. I’m going to call the insurance company and get a head start on the claim.”

You either drive yourself crazy with paranoia, or you forget you even own it all together.

The fortunate car guys are able to keep their vehicles at home with them. That’s not necessarily a stress free option though. Sometimes it gets in the way. You’ll tire quickly of tripping over it to get to the garbage bags. Since it’s hogging the indoor parking, there’s a good chance you’ll be digging your daily driver out of the snow bank outside after every storm. It takes up valuable space. In the summer you can justify this by the amount of enjoyment it brings you. Winter however, is a different story.

Sure you’re able to work on it or even sit there looking at it whenever you want. But you know that no matter how many times you open that garage door, the situation won’t change. Like a prisoner looking through the bars, you’re trapped. Snow, salt, and filth as far as the eye can see. It feels like our freedom has been stolen from us.


5 Ways For Car Guys To Survive Winter


The objective is very clear. We just need to stick it out until spring. That’s easier said than done though! One thing is certain, aside from moving to a warmer climate, we can’t avoid it. So we have to come up with ways to deal with it.


Here are 5 ways for car guys to survive winter:


1. Spend time working on your car.

This might be obvious but it’s hands down the best way to put in the time. If you have a heated garage and room to work, take this time to tackle the projects that you tend to avoid during the warm months. Normally we try to avoid downtime, but in this case, downtime is forced upon us. We might as well make it worthwhile.

This is your window of opportunity to order and wait for parts to arrive. Take that valve cover to the powder coater in January and you might get it back in a week. Wait till the spring rush (like everyone else) and you could be waiting for more than a month.

Some motorcycle shops offer free pickup and delivery of your bike. Wouldn’t you rather have them take their time servicing your bike instead of rushing through the job to move onto the pack of bikes waiting behind it? Take advantage of the slow season!


2. Get a fun winter car.

Unless you take the bus in the winter, chances are you have a second vehicle to get you from A to B. It can be tempting to save money by purchasing a junker vehicle that you don’t care about but that can make winter even less enjoyable than it needs to be.

A sporty all wheel drive car or a capable off road truck can make the difference between hibernating and looking forward to blizzards. Knowing that you can go anywhere regardless of the weather gives you a certain sense of freedom. It may soak up some of the budget from your summer vehicle but for many people it’s worth the tradeoff.


3. Hit the gym or take up winter sports.

I know, I can hear you complaining already. Don’t worry. I’m not going to preach to you about the importance of exercising and living a healthy life. Please just hear me out. Aside from being able to fit in that new racing seat you purchased, there are other benefits to exercising.

Car racing and fitness have one thing in common: competition. If you like to take your car or bike to the track on the weekend, I’m going to assume you have a competitive side. You might not get to fulfill that need during the offseason if racing is your only hobby.

On the track, you’re constantly trying to improve your lap times and become better than you were last time. Guess what? Trying to improve your bench press or the time spent on the treadmill is the same concept. You’re working toward a goal. You might love the rush you feel when you pass a Porsche 911 on the straightaway in a car that cost a 1/4 of the price. I’m willing to bet you’ll feel the same way when you deadlift more than the guy that’s twice your size. The underdog is still the underdog in both worlds. And as car guys, we love being the underdog!


4. Learn.

There has never been a better time to teach yourself something new. With the help of Google and Youtube, you can really teach yourself anything. Take the time to expand your knowledge of things that interest you. Tuning, paint correction, and photography are some examples of things you can teach yourself. Or you can learn everything there is to know about the vehicle(s) you own. These new found smarts will come in handy in the future when problems arise or you decide to take on a new project.


5. When all else fails, play video games.

I’m not talking about Call of Duty or Guitar Hero. Both Xbox and Playstation have fantastic racing simulation games – Gran Turismo and Forza. When the world around you is cold and dark, fire up the game and turn a few laps at Laguna Seca in your favorite Ferrari. It’s easy to slip away from reality and in this case, that’s a good thing! These games have become incredibly realistic and will kill time like nothing else. You may even learn a thing or two about car handling!


5 Ways For Car Guys To Survive Winter


There you have it. My top 5 ways for car guys to survive the winter. Try to make the most of it, and remember: summer will show up eventually. And as Canadians, we appreciate it so much more. Stay warm, my friends.



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