Winterizing Your Toyota

Now that it's November, the leaves have turned, fallen, and been driven over, and the cold weather season is upon us. I just switched my insurance from my summer 4x4 Toyota Truck vehicle, to my winter Toyota 4runner sport utility vehicle. Since it's been over 6 months since I've driven my 4runner, it was time to do a basic checkup on things to make sure they are running in tip top shape.

It's one thing to have a vehicle breakdown in the summer (which is why I don't mind driving my 82 Toyota Pickup that burns oil, makes timing chain noise, and leaks oil). In the winter, it is not only more annoying, but can also be more serious.

After some research online on how to Winterize your vehicle, I discovered that these lists all have the same basic ideas.

The ones that worry are:

Exhaust system

Be sure to check the muffler and exhaust pipes for leaks and for their general condition each Fall. Corrosion or perforations in the exhaust system can permit leakage of lethal carbon monoxide fumes into the passenger compartment.

When there's snow on the roads, ensure your exhaust tailpipe isn't obstructed by it when starting the engine, and never back into snow banks.

You see, my exhaust has several holes in it. It's partly because I'm too lazy to fix it, and partly because I think it sounds cool! Actually, it's because next summer when I'm driving my truck again I hope to do a total makeover on the Toyota 4runner.

Tune Up

If you're due for a tune-up, have it done before winter sets in. Winter
magnifies existing problems such as pings, hard starts, sluggish
performance or rough idling.

My 2.4L 4 cylinder 4runner has run sluggish ever since I bought it. Yes, it does seem a little worse in cold weather, but it also seems a little better as cold air creates better power. I don't know if it's sluggish because it runs bad,  or sluggish because it's underpowered.

Here's some '10 steps to winterize your vehicle' links.

http://www.canadiandriver.com/winter/winterize.htm

http://www.edmunds.com/ownership/howto/articles/43799/article.html

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15940164/