Winter Priorities

In many parts of the country, Porsche driving isn’t practical in the winter.  Rear-wheel-drive on ice and snow can be a challenge, and damaging our cars with salt and other chemicals on the street isn’t attractive.  Here in central Florida, though, we drive our cars year-round.  Sometimes.

Florida winters are nice, but not the paradise that one would expect.  Sure, we don’t have blizzards unless you want to visit the local Dairy Queen – and yes, the local ice cream shops are open year-round.  Every week to ten days we have a cold front come through, dropping nighttime temperatures into the thirties and daytimes only up to the low fifties.  Each day it gets warmer until we have one or two days
in the seventies, then the next front comes through.

Half of the time we need to use our heaters and defrosters to be comfortable, remembering that we don’t own any really warm clothing.

We have two 924S’s that we drive a lot.  But not so much now, and it comes down to a single problem…the heater control valves don’t work on either one of them.  We broke the lever on the control valve on our Special Edition when replacing the clutch a couple of months ago, and the valve in our daily-driver Sparky is stuck in the “cold” position.  So they are both not available unless we get to the one or days of mid-seventies.

We know – it’s a difficult problem to have, it’s easy to fix, and…well…

So our winter priorities are different from those who winterize your cars and don’t use them for the cold-snow-ice-sleet months.  And while that is prime time for doing deferred maintenance, it is also a time of cold temperatures in the shop or garage.  Working in the cold isn’t fun.

What to do?  There are propane, kerosene and electric space heaters that are available and tend to work pretty well, even if they do nothing more than to keep the frost off the fenders.  Remember, though, that anything but electric heaters can release carbon monoxide into the air in the shop, so proper ventilation is needed.  Stay safe.

Make a plan for maintenance and repair jobs that you want to complete, but make a graduated schedule.  Having a list of jobs to do before April 1 is all well and good, but split that into milestones, setting date goals for each individual job ensures that each job gets done by the time the “season” starts.  And here’s a top tip – schedule the jobs that you don’t really want to do first to ensure that they actually get checked off the list.  It is too easy to put off those troublesome jobs only to have them fall off the list.

Spring is coming.  We have a thing here in Florida.  At the Winter Solstice at sunset (December 21 this year) which is the earliest sunset of the year, we go in the pool and look down at the surface of the water.  If you can see your reflection in the water, then we will have six more weeks of winter.  We did that, and that means that winter will be over for us on February 8 this year.

You see, there’s a reason why we live here.

The best Happy New Year and good riddance to 2020.  

 

 

 

 

 

Author: Kevin Duffy, Author and Chief Geek

Kevin Duffy is a retired Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at Daytona State College in Florida and a dedicated car guy. He now spends his time with Porsche 924S, 944's and 968's in his backyard shop. He is active in the Porsche Club of America, and he concentrates on 924S and the 924S Special Editions, doing rescues and restorations.

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