How do you prepare your car for the winter in Yakutia?

October 16, 2009

This is a good question asked by a friend of mine from Fairbanks, Alaska. He is a big fan of photography and off-roading. His Flickr nick is rpiereck. Wonderful pictures he has. So… Frankly saying, it was me who first asked him “How do you prepare your Jeep for the winter in Alaska?” In his reply he gave me the detailed description, afterwards he returned my question back :)

An UAZ car when it was -50C in Yakutsk, Yakutia/Siberia, Russia
The above picture was taken in Yakutsk on Dec. 11, 2008, when it was much below -50C.

Further, please, find info on how cars are prepared in the world’s cold regions, Alaska and the coolest Siberian region, Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).

Sixty Two Below in Alaska(That's Fifty Four Below For Your Celsius Folks)
That’s how cold it might be in Alaska. -62F / -54C. Fairbanks, Alaska. Jan. 3, 2009. Photo by RPiereck.

RPiereck’s reply on how he gets his car ready in Alaska:

“Well, first the tires are winter tires. On the engine I put a engine block heater, and an oil pan heater. The automatic transmission gets an oil pan heater too. The battery has a warming blanket. All of those need to be plugged into the electrical socket, so that increases our energy consumption. I put it on a timer so it is not using electricity … Read Moreall the time, it goes on every three hours for about an hour. I also have some seat heating pads that I bought on the internet and are the best thing ever!”

“Oh yeah, I forgot I changed all my oils to synthetic too: engine, transmission, transfer case, front and rear differential, power steering and brakes too. How do you prepare your car for the winter in Yakutia?”

My modest answer about Yakutsk drivers’ car winter preparation:

“Heh. Actually, I am not a pro driver. I have some idea only :( I know it is necessary to attach a warm layer to the bottom of the car. A sort of a metallic substrate with woolen fabric. Local drivers also put a woolen cover on the hood and another one on the engine, electrics and all other stuff under the hood. They double-glaze as well, especially the windshield. This measure prevents glasses from being frozen. A heating system is also a must. Locals do almost the same actions with oil things, use winter tires, and some prefers the Arctic diesel, when it gets extremely cold.”

Btw, a year ago in the post “From Yakutsk to Verkhoyansk with a 4WD car” I wrote also “For keeping warm, it is important to have double windows in front and around, to install a metal protection shield under the bottom of engine area and tarpaulin covered the rest bottom of the car. It is obligatory to keep the engine running all the time when the car is outside in the winter period. The engine might be switched off only, when the vehicle is inside a heated garage. If the engine stopped, the accumulator will be frozen in a moment. In such cases, if no garages around, the accumulator is recommened to be warmed over bonfire or by a torch, and the metal protection shield under the engine needs to be heated up as well.”

Well, that’s all I can say by now. I need to ask my friends, off-roading fans for more detailed information. Wish to take pictures of all car winter preparation moments.

So, keep tuned.

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