By on May 9, 2012

 

Jonathon writes:

Hi Sajeev,

Long time reader, not a commenter though. I have simple situation, and a simple question. Last Friday my beloved, and owned from birth, 1995 Grand Prix GTP developed a head gasket leak. This is something I can, with father-in law help, tackle in the summer. However living in Northern Ontario, a driveway repair is just not an option right now. It’s time for a new ride.

Since all those years ago I did not give my wife (g.f. at the time) any option into the purchase, this time around it will be something we both are in love with. Sadly that leaves a V6 Mustang or the 2013 Genesis 3.8 out. Also we lost our niece at the beginning of the year in a highway car accident that killed three other teenagers (the quality of highway maintenance is now privatized and sub-par). Anyways, that has my wife eying a 4×4\awd even more then ever.

Top on her list is a 2012 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited (bare bones except auto & A\C). The mileage for this is 16\20. Our car, new, apparently was 16\24. From our sleepy little city to Toronto is ~360km. At the current 1.28\l, it would mean another $14 there and back for one of our escapes to the big city. So the question I have is, when the EPA tested the wrangler did they do it in 4wd, so that we could expect to see better mileage, or 2wd, and that is what we should expect?

Regards,

Jonathan

ps…anyone have any suggestions for a driveway mechanic preparing to replace a headgasket on a 1995 Pontiac 3.4 with DOHC?

Sajeev answers:

Oh yes, I certainly do have some suggestions!

My first preparation? Take one of the larger wrenches in your tool box and use it to crack every finger on your hands…as this is what most GM service techs experienced when they had to work on the cool, yet terribly designed “Twin Dual Cam” motors when they were new. If you don’t have the proper GM service manuals, better get them on eBay now…and start drinking, too.  Only then can you be ready for what nightmares lie ahead!

That said, I truly admire you for keeping a GM-10 on the road.  While I didn’t appreciate them initially, they have aged well. Kudos to you, sir!

About your new vehicle concern: the EPA does indeed test 4WD vehicles in 2WD. So you can’t expect any better mileage, that’s the best the drivetrain shall give. But you are actually concerned about safety after a fatal accident of a loved one, the Wrangler is last on my list.  Compared to a normal CUV and maybe most SUVs, the off-road ready Wrangler is less confident in emergency maneuvers, and that cramped footwell might mess up your foot.  Get a car-based CUV instead, unless you must have the coolness only available in the Wrangler.

Not to mention that most (all?) CUVs in the Wrangler’s price range get better fuel economy too. Because, after all, you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

 

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

59 Comments on “Piston Slap: To Test in 4WD…or Not?...”


  • avatar
    JREwing

    I’ll throw out a suggestion that might be closer to the mark – a Jeep Grand Cherokee. It’ll have better handling prowess and more room than the Wrangler, and have a more comfortable ride.

    • 0 avatar
      CobraJet

      I had a 3.4 in a Chevy Lumina Z34. They are indeed a pain to work on. I never had a head off, but did remove both the upper and lower intake manifolds on two occasions. The intake gaskets leak and cause high idle.

      Taking off a head is going to be major work. Good luck.

  • avatar
    Philosophil

    I have to agree with Sajeev here, the Jeep is really an off-roader and would not be great in emergency maneuvers.

    I’d go with a Subaru (assuming there’s a dealer in your area). Since it’s full time AWD then there should be no surprises in the mileage department, and they’re great winter vehicles (and while a Forester nay not be as cool as a Wrangler, there’s always the Impreza Sport 5 Door, which has its own kind of cool).

    • 0 avatar
      Fromes

      I actually own a 2010 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited and am going to have to disagree with what Sajeev says. The Jeep doesn’t actually handle that bad, and is actually a fantastic all around vehicle in terms of both usability and gas mileage (I average 18.7 combined in mix driving) Like my C5 Z06 the Jeep may excel in one area but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a competent all around daily driver

      • 0 avatar

        Well it can be…but a Liberty is much better. Especially if you lost your “niece at the beginning of the year in a highway car accident that killed three other teenagers.”

        And on a lighter note: the C5 Z06 excels in many areas! Bite your tongue and LS6-FTW!

  • avatar
    nickoo

    I have to agree with this. In reality, unless you are planning on actually off-roading the Wrangler isn’t a good choice. It’s too expensive, rides rough compared to IFS, and too many people buying wranglers who don’t know what they are buying are going to kill it and then for those who need it’s capabilities, there will almost nothing left to choose from.

    • 0 avatar
      azmtbkr81

      There truly will be nothing left to choose from. Soccer moms have slowly killed the traditional, 2 door, capable SUV over the last 20 years, the Wrangler is the sole survivor.

      Buying a Wrangler to traverse rough, snowy roads is like buying a dump truck to haul a few sheets of plywood from Home Depot.

      Buy a Subaru.

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    Any vehicle with a high ctr of gravity will be less manuoverable under emergency conditions. If power at all corners is a must, get an AWD car.

  • avatar
    dude500

    Buying sticky summer and winter tires will be much safer, and cheaper, than going the AWD route in most cases. The only time that AWD would be safer, I think, is if you’re stuck in snow and another vehicle is heading in your direction.

  • avatar
    word is bond

    Pretty sure Wranglers are preposterously unsafe vehicles.
    Our TJ has a sticker that warns: “The top and doors on this vehicle are designed only for protection against the elements. Do not rely on the top and doors to contain occupants within the vehicle or to protect against injury during an accident. Wear seatbelts at all times.”
    Not very reassuring. Plus it’s a horrendous highway vehicle. We also have a John Deere Gator, and we consider the Jeep a Gator, which can go on the street. It’s only barely a car.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      +1.

      This story borders on trolling. A Wrangler to address safety concerns? Seriously? And followed by hope to eek out slightly better than EPA tested mileage on a known thirsty vehicle for an occasional road trip?

      Not only that, but the OP is hoping to squeeze the car for better mileage by using it in 2wd, negating the alleged reason for considering it in the first place )”Anyways, that has my wife eying a 4×4awd even more then ever”).

      To the OP: Almost any vehicle would better address safety and economy concerns. Crash test and fuel economy data is available online. Please take advantage.

  • avatar
    sastexan

    Sajeev hit the nail on the head. If you are concerned about safety, Wrangler is NOT the way to go. I believe the OP (or at least his wife) has fallen into the brainwashed assumption that a large heavy SUV/4WD is safer than a sedan or coupe. It is going to take a lot of years to get that fallacy driven out of people’s heads, unfortunately. Look at IIHS ratings for a good idea of how a particular vehicle performs in a wreck. But the best safety is accident avoidance – find a vehicle that is controllable and stable in emergency maneuvers.

    As for the head gasket question, I don’t believe I can help other than espouse Sajeev’s often-said mantra – use the web forums to your advantage. It might be easier to remove the entire engine from the car rather than in the engine bay. But there is almost certainly someone who has been through the same ordeal and has posted a story (or 10) about it.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    “Long time reader, not a commenter though.”

    Well, why not? I understand that we have a few slots currently available…

    (I hope I’m not in trouble, now…)

  • avatar

    I agree with what has been said so far. Subaru is good because you get the traction/safety but don’t have a high centre of gravity to deal with. The Grand Cherokee would be nice as well.

    I’m surprised and disappointed to discover road maintenance is privatized up there.

    • 0 avatar
      Ubermensch

      Subaru’s have terrible at the limit handling characteristics even with stability control. CR was only able to achieve middling speeds through their avoidance maneuver with the Legacy and Outback and it was pretty gruesome to watch even at those low speeds. The tail happiness of Subaru’s is not something you want in an emergency situation.

      • 0 avatar
        Sam P

        I drove an Outback for 5 years through all kinds of weather conditions and never experienced tailhappiness. If anything, that car is biased toward understeer.

        You want tail happy? Drive a BMW Z3 in the rain.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    I’ll also guess that under most circumstances where having all four wheels driven is a safety feature, it’s because of an unexpected need for more traction. The Wrangler’s on-demand 4WD system means that by the time you’ve realized the need to shift to 4WD, you’re already in the ditch.

    • 0 avatar
      dude500

      4WD will not help you avoid the ditch.

      I can’t think of a situation where a car is sliding toward something and 4WD would help.

      • 0 avatar
        nickeled&dimed

        Sure it will, just not if you’re braking! It’ll help you avoid the ditch you’re pointing toward if you’re still driving with the gas pedal, which is pretty counter-intuitive. Most drivers will just stand on the brake and pray in that situation.

      • 0 avatar
        Maymar

        Fair enough – I’m in central Ontario, and so far, FWD and snow tires haven’t let me down.

        I also suppose in the RWD-ish Wrangler, if you’re applying power, going around a corner, and hit a patch of black ice, that’s when 4WD would be valuable (and when it’s too late to shift). Of course, driving more cautiously would help, but it’s the one very specific situation where 4WD would help.

        I just find most people who think they need 4WD/AWD can’t be convinced otherwise, but can be reminded that not all 4WD/AWD systems are created equal.

    • 0 avatar
      potatobreath

      The Liberty’s system is on-demand as well.

      The Grand Cherokee has full time 4WD. The Patriot/Compass have AWD, with manual 4WD centre diff lock.

      • 0 avatar
        Sam P

        The Liberty has a 4WD full time position in the transfer case – my parents own one and I’ve used that setting, it’s great for changing conditions.

      • 0 avatar
        potatobreath

        I think your parents have the optional Selec-Trac II full-time 4WD then.

        The regular Liberty has Command-Trac II part-time 4WD. The selector options are 2WD, 4WD Lock and 4WD Low.

  • avatar
    trk2

    Unless Jeeps have changed in recent years, they have no locking hubs which means the front wheels are always connected to the front axle. This means that front axle and drive shaft are always creating drag whether the vehicle is in 4wd or not. Essentially you would have identical mileage in 4wd vs 2wd with the exception of tire scrub if you have to make any turns.

    • 0 avatar
      potatobreath

      I read the fuel consumption from having the front axle and front wheels driven all the time is negligible. The weight from the heavy 4WD system makes a greater difference. Manually unlocking hubs let you get home if you destroy an axle though.

  • avatar
    TR4

    From consumerguideauto:

    Safety Misconceptions

    While 4WD and AWD may maximize traction better than 2WD, that doesn’t necessarily translate into making it a safer vehicle. Oftentimes, drivers believe that because they can accelerate in snow just as quickly as on dry roads, they can do the same in terms of cornering and braking. On the contrary, 4WD and AWD do little to aid in cornering and nothing for braking ability on wet, snowy roads. Once moving, the physics of 2WD, 4WD, and AWD systems are pretty much the same.

    • 0 avatar
      DC Bruce

      Amen, brother. AWD and 4WD are the most oversold automotive technologies out there. Unless you’re deep in the snowbelt in the sticks, invest in a set of 4 true snow tires for the winter instead.

      • 0 avatar
        Sam P

        4WD and AWD are nice to have in the Pacific Northwest for avoiding having to chain up in the winter to go over mountain passes (I live in WA but ID, OR and CA enforce this as well).

        That’s why I honestly miss having an AWD car in the fleet, now that my wife sold her Outback sedan for a Mini Cooper. The Mini has Blizzaks and is excellent in the snow, but will have to chain up in bad weather over the passes, while AWD and 4WD vehicles with worn all season tires get to drive past the chain enforcement area.

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        I thought snow tires could pass chain control, depending on severity of the conditions? The way I understand CA’s chain rules, either snow tires or AWD w/all-seasons can get you past a checkpoint. In more severe conditions, you need either snows+chains or AWD+snows. In the most severe conditions, you need AWD+chains.

        At least that was my impression. I’m new at this CA chain control thing, and only deal with it maybe twice per year when I ski.

      • 0 avatar
        nikita

        Winter snows are not treated any differently than all-seasons as far as chain control regs in CA are concerned. R2, by far the most common chain control restriction requires 4WD or AWD and “snow tires” (M+S on sidewall and at least 5/32 tread depth) to avoid chaining up. R3 is R2 plus chains. They usually close the road if conditions are that bad. R1 is just snows on 2WD, in the regulations, never seen it in 40 years of driving here.

    • 0 avatar
      TEXN3

      Agreed about the misconception, but it sure is easier to balance the car back into line with AWD than FWD or even RWD. But you can still feel the vehicle squirm on snow/ice. In fact, it’s quite easy to get my OB’s rearend to step out a bit…again 50/50 split, lighter rear, and no stability controls (not on 5MT models till 2008).

      Of course, out west (like Sam P) mentioned has more mountain passes than the “snow belt” and often times you’ll find yourself at the bottom of a hill or on a grade. Snow tires do help tremendously, we’ve done fine with Yokohama Geolanders in any condition.

      It is important that folks with AWD/4WD are still aware of the road conditions and don’t get overconfident (which is much easier in a truck/large utility) when the weather conditions are less than fare.

    • 0 avatar
      noxioux

      Dead-on TR4. I don’t usually even put my Pathfinder in 4-dig at all unless it’s bad enough out that it’s hard moving through the intersections from a dead stop. Or if I’m going up the occasional stream bed. . .

      It does help at moderate speeds when there’s a lot of slush or heavy snow on the road. Otherwise I think the 4×4 sticker can be a very dangerous source of overconfidence for the inexperienced or uninformed.

      I’d have to chime in against the Wrangler in this situation as well. Paying more for less just doesn’t make much sense. Used to be a base Wrangler wasn’t much more expensive than a Hyundai Excel, and I’ve not seen anything to convince me it’s any better a value today.

    • 0 avatar
      Old_WRX

      AWD does provide superior deceleration on snow. Using engine braking on snow works like creeping down a slope in 4wd. All four wheels tend to keep rolling with an easily controllable amount of slip yielding maximum deceleration while retaining steering control. In theory, ABS could/should give the same result, but, in my experience, engine braking is much better than ABS. I use engine braking all the time in the snow – it sure beats listening to the ABS make all sorts of horrible noises as I slide through intersections.
      AWD will also provide better steering control under very light acceleration. Tricky to do, though.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    A BOF SUV is rarely the safest vehicle on the road in an accident, mostly because of rollover. My law partner’s adult daughter in law got injured when the Nissan Pathfinder she was riding in got T-boned in an intersection in a city street (the other vehicle was going less than 30 mph). The impact rolled the vehicle on its side. No amount of trick dynamic stability control is going to fix this kind of problem, or tendency. As others have said, the Wrangler is barely on-road capable and has all of the characteristics of dynamic instability: short wheelbase, high center of gravity.

    I have no comment on the advisability of a doing a head gasket job on a transverse-mounted v-block engine that’s still in the car. Does not sound like my idea of fun at all.

  • avatar
    TEXN3

    I’ll also vouch for Subaru too, we love our Outback and it’s rather fun to drive where the roads aren’t paved. Our 5MT is 50/50 AWD all-the-time and it does kill fuel economy a little. On roads trips at 75-80mph (speed limit), we average 25-27mpg (depending on season) but around town my wife averages 22-23mpg. The newer 6MT and CVT models get even better mileage but are larger cars. The new Impreza has the same interior room, but less cargo room, than my 07 Outback.

  • avatar
    MrWhopee

    Umm, if safety is one of the main concern, I’m not sure a Wrangler is the answer. A 4WD only helps you not get stuck, once you’re up and running and at speed, it matters very little. And 4×4/AWD tends to be less safe than a traditional type cars. Plus they’re more prone to rollover, which is often a worse type of accident. I think for safety you’d better of with a relatively large sedan/wagon with lots of airbags and the latest safety equipments (seatbelts pretensioner and load limiter, etc.) Which probably means luxury cars.

  • avatar
    DrSandman

    Did anyone read that the OP is from “NORTHERN ONTARIO?” There is snow there! I usually don’t comment, but you are getting some baaaad advice dude!

    Really — $14? That’s what it takes? How much is your wife worth to you? Is her safety worth $14 loonies? Would you have her die because she froze to death in the tundra because you wanted to save the cost of 2 latte’s? Dude — she’s your wife. It’s your job to provide her with everything she needs to be safe and secure.

    First — the insurance rates on the Jeep (Wrangler and Liberty) are among the lowest of any car other than minivans. That means that the drivers of these cars tend to NOT get in accidents, and when they do, the injuries are not severe.

    Buy your wife what she wants.

    Second, if you drive like speed racer, and are always on the knife edge of the traction circle, then of course a tippy SUV is not as good as something low slung. However — and this is a very important however — if you drive like a normal person, you have a much better view of the road ahead, to the side, and behind, which give you a much better chance of surviving accidents by not getting into the accident to begin with!

    Buy your wife what makes her comfortable.

    Third, I am not a widower because my (wife’s) Jeep Liberty saved her life — on multiple occasions — and the beloved car really wasn’t much worse for the wear. We’ve hit deer (and run them over) and only had to clean fur out of the suspension bits and pieces.

    We live in DC now. She’s been rear-ended 4 times in this car. The last time was so bad it totaled the other car — a 1995 Chevy Suburban, who hit her (stopped in traffic) from 50 mph. The hitch knocked the Chevy’s engine off the mounts and pushed it into the firewall. The Jeeps external spare absorbed the brunt of the impact. The Jeep needed some body work, but we were able to drive it home and to vacation in NC that same week (with a bent spare tire holder…)!

    Buy your wife what will keep her safe.

    Fourth, buying something cheap, tinny, and fuel efficient will not save you much money in the long run. Sure, you’ll spend less on gas, but you’ll blow all the savings on constant alignments, replacing tires (tyres?), repairing shocks, struts, springs, trailing arms and other things that wear out prematurely because of bad road conditions. The squeaks and rattles in a cheap, tinny car will drive you batty! The Wrangler will shrug off potholes that would break a penalty box.

    Our 2004 Liberty has been axle deep in sand, driven through snow banks where the snow breaks over the hood like water over a dolphin, forded 20inch mountain streams, climbed over logs, and is still civilized enough to put my kids and wife in for a night out. In fact, we just bought a new Grand Cherokee, and should pick it up this weekend or early next week. We are now a 2 Jeep family.

    If you can afford a new Jeep and that’s what she wants, by the Jeep. Ignore the sports car fanboys. But that’s my $0.02.

    Sandman

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      There is a world of difference between liberty and wrangler. Liberty/Compass/GC would be a good buy for her, wrangler would not.

    • 0 avatar

      Get her a Liberty, not a Wrangler. Even in Northern Ontario, there are better snow/safety/highway vehicles. I’d personally be in a Jeep Liberty or even a Commander, if what I heard about their off-road and on-road prowess is true.

      The Wrangler is still a horrible, horrible idea.

      • 0 avatar
        DrSandman

        I stand corrected. I have 100k+ miles in a Liberty. I have exactly 0 on-road miles in a Wrangler.

        Carry on. ;-)

      • 0 avatar
        SlowMyke

        The wife has a Liberty. We haven’t taken it very far off road yet, but it seems like it will definitely do fine if/when we do. On the road it’s pretty good. Living in MI, it has seen snow and ice, and it’s done very well. I caught a rut at about 40mph in slush/snow and was able to keep control with only a little excitement The offroad suspension is a bit bouncy, but not in a rough way. On the expressway it can be a bit jittery under quick maneuvers due to the high C.O.G. and short wheel base. But once you’re used to it, it’s a non-issue. The wife loves it and I’m pretty sure it’s a top safety rating as well.

    • 0 avatar
      Philosophil

      I agree with the others. Telling the guy to buy a Wrangler on the basis of evidence associated with a Liberty is bad, bad advice. A Liberty is not a bad suggestion, mind you, but it is a very different vehicle from a Wrangler.

      The only reason I suggested the Impreza Sport (which I assume is target of your “sports car fanboys” reference) is because it’s apparent they want AWD (whether they need it or not) and there’s little in the Subaru lineup to match the ‘sporty’ image generally associated with Wranglers.

      • 0 avatar
        DrSandman

        “sports car fanboys” refers to Miata-lovers. Please, don’t take offense; none meant! ;-)

      • 0 avatar
        SlowMyke

        I agree with you that the Liberty and the Wrangler are different vehicles, but to most women who are not enthusiasts, the only difference is the number of doors (maybe) and the convertible-ness. The convertible issue can be fixed with the retractible roof for the Liberty, and in cold weather, the Liberty will probably be much more comfortable.

        As far as I can tell, most women love Jeeps, and as long as it’s not the Compass or Patriot, they are happy with any of them. I’d say suggest the Liberty to the wife and see how that goes.

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      Don’t just buy her what she says she wants; take her to a few dealerships and test drive a Wrangler, some SUV’s and CUV’s and even some FWD cars, then make a decision. There are HUGE differences between your many choices and what you two end up liking might surprise you. As an example, my wife thought she wanted a Liberty until she drove one and discovered that it looked cute but was not at all fun to drive. She ended up getting a car that she felt much more confident and comfortable driving.

      What is at more important than your car’s capabilities is how capable your wife is when she (or you) is driving it. If she is not confident behind the wheel she will be neither safe or secure, and no vehicle can compensate for that. The Wrangler drives like the primitive truck that it is and does not generally inspire confidence in emergency situations; that is not safe (I know, I owned one). A vehicle she feels confident and capable driving is her best bet.

      By the way, at least glance at Consumer Reports magazine before you start shopping. You would have seen that the Wrangler is their lowest rated vehicle and not suitable for commuter use. Their information is helpful, if not gospel.

      Have fun shopping!

  • avatar
    TTACFanatic

    T’was a fine rant but no one was telling him not to buy a Jeep just not to buy a Wrangler.

    I’m not sure how prevalent Dodge is in the the great white north but the new Durango could be a good option. Same thing as the new Jeep GC but with 3rd row of seats.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    ps…anyone have any suggestions for a driveway mechanic preparing to replace a headgasket on a 1995 Pontiac 3.4 with DOHC?

    Remove 3.4 DOHC, drop in nearest lake. Find Buick 3800 V6, or GM 3900 V6 and matching transmission. Install in Pontiac. Try to wipe grin of your face the first time you mash the pedal.

    New cars? Subaru or Escape. AWD

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      GM killing their cam in block V-6s ranks up there with their other all time head scratching blunders. Incredible motors in a great package and cheaper to build than the current DOHC 3.6L.

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      My Uncle Tim had one of the last W-body Cutlass convertibles built in that lovely shade of emerald green that GM used. The car had the 3.4DOHC engine and his love for the car was strong. There has NEVER been a time in the man’s life that he has not owned a coupe or convertible, even with two kids and a wife.

      When the 3.4 finally ate its headgaskets he traded it with his cousin (who owns a body shop) for a W-body Monte Carlo SS from the last model year in which the SS came with just the lowly NA 3800. The man has seldom been happier.

  • avatar
    JaySeis

    Best 4WD rigs I’ve driven in the snow are an Expedition (Shift on the fly) and a Subaru (same). The former has heft and will haul and tow most anything. The latter is small and light for MPG’s/maneuverability and hauling you around. In 40 years of all weather driving I’ve concluded that driver attention, winter tires, and preparedness are more important than vehicle (assuming that is not a POS). Where AWD or 4WD shined for me (and the wife) was site construction visits where the ground is always nasty and backing out of/entering/existing driveways and parking lots, that’s unplowed parking lots and the occasional unplowed highway. IF arterial highways aren’t plowed or sdie streets and hills….then driving becomes a free for all. I’d go for a midsize wagon looking gizmo with AWD and accept an mpg penalty. My sister in law has an Escape, nice. We have an ST Adrenalin (AWD). Of course the car I use now to visit construction sites is a Mustang GT. With traction control, it doesn’t get stuck (and I’m an idiot for driving it to construction sites, the air dam grades roads for free).

  • avatar
    cRacK hEaD aLLeY

    Subaru Outback or Forester you can’t go wrong. Considering the accident, I would also look at a lightly used GMT9000 4×4 Yukon or Tahoe, with the 5.3 and the 6speed and descent rubber.

    Being married for 18 years, I have to tell you some people here are very much right telling you to let your wife drive what SHE wants. Her choice of exterior color and interior texture is very important.

  • avatar
    ajla

    You own a Twin Dual Cam. That tells me you’ve got some guts.

    I say go for the LR2, Allroad Audi, or Volvo XC/cross country.

  • avatar
    John

    As a CANADIAN who has DRIVEN in Norther Ontario let me chime in: you do NOT want your wife driving to Toronto in a car with a fabric top. People in the U.S. do not understand how deserted the roads are. If you break down, it might be 8 – 12 hours before another vehicle comes along. I grew up in Montreal and EVERY WINTER some people got stuck in the snow at night NEAR THE CITY and FROZE TO DEATH because their engine, which they were using to heat the car, RAN OUT OF GAS. Learned to NEVER drive with less than 1/2 a tank of gas. Now imagine how fast and how chilly a soft top car will get when its minus forty five – and yes, I have walked around when it was minus forty five. Let’s not even talk about driving in white-outs.
    You don’t think you need 4wd or AWD? Have you ever seen your car get buried up to the roof in snow in TEN MINUTES? True story: I was in downtown Montreal driving up the hill to get to the Montreal General Hospital and my car lost traction in a blizzard. Had an aluminum snow shovel in the trunk. I got out – I was about 20 back then, I shoveled as fast as I could and COULD NOT KEEP UP with the snow drifting against the car. It almost got buried. Dug like a demon, got it going again and headed home to Notre Dame de Grace, which was all down hill.
    Have a friend who lost his son, and three other passengers dead when his Wrangler flipped. As far as I’m concerned, they shouldn’t be street-legal.
    To the GTP owner – you probably know this, but the first thing to do is take the hood off. Take a Sharpie and mark the position of the hood hinges so when you put it back on, it won’t be cock-eyed.
    Get TWO fender covers because you WILL drop something on the fenders. I spent the money for a genuine Ingersoll-Rand impact driver, and for loosening frozen bolts, it’s the bee’s knees.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      I’d blame the obvious if someone freezes to death: lack of appropriate clothing. Carry real winter clothes and maybe even a blanket or two if you’re leaving the city in winter.

  • avatar
    Ian Anderson

    Remove 3.4 TDC, sell to first Fiero owner who wants to rebuild it and point a turbo at it, then install boneyard 3.8 with 200K and smile when the tires scream at you. Then sell that 3.8 to the Fiero owner when they nuke the 3.4 TDC.

    Meanwhile, appease the wife unless it’s a Wrangler and eat the gas bill.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India