Lubricating Bolts On Vehicles With Anti-Seize Paste

A lubricated bolt will be tighter with a higher preload at a given torque. The lubricating effect of the liquid will not cause a properly torqued bolt to loosen but it can cause the over-tightening of the bolt and subsequent failure.

An anti-seize is a paste is made with grease, dry lubricants like molybdenum disulfide or graphite, and soft metal powder such as copper, aluminum or nickel alloy. As the temperature rises to a high value, the grease evaporates, leaving a coating of semi solid lubricant and soft metal. During the installation the soft metal particles deform, smear over and fill microscopic voids in the mating surface of the threads. This prevents a contact between iron atoms under extreme pressure. This effectively provides a reversible cold weld between the fastener components, causing the nut and bolt to become as one for the duration of the bond. As a side benefit, anti-seize will also protect against rust, oxidation, and galvanic reaction so aiding the subsequent dismantling.

You can use anti-seize on a bolt but must take into consideration the reduced torque required to achieve the same preload (tightness). With anti-seize applied to the bolt, the torque required to achieve the same clamping force is 2/3 to 3/4 that of the dry bolt. With a sensible amount of anti-seize the 3/4 rule can be applied so a 50 ft-lb torque specification becomes 37.5 ft-lbs. Avoid coating the head seating area of the bolt or the conical seat of a wheel lug nut with anti-seize paste.

For critical applications the effect of lubricated bolts must be considered. There is enough safety factor in automotive applications so they are fairly forgiving.

Chemical thread locking compounds such as Loctite also protect against corrosion.  These compounds are anaerobic, and only cure in the absence of the oxygen in the air. After application with surrounding air the Loctite will not cure until the fastener is assembled the air is excluded, solidifying in the space between close-fitting mating parts. Keep this period brief to be on the safe side. Thread locking compounds do not have as much of a lubricating effect as anti-seize so torque settings do not change as significantly. For successful locking, parts must be scrupulously clean. Most brake cleaning solvents do not leave a residue so are ideal.

One popular locking method for bolts is nylon insert locking (Nylok) nuts. These  provide ease of assembly, and good functionality. The additional torque required for Nylok nuts is insignificant in terms of torque for proper preload and would come within manufacturer tolerances. Contrary to some expert’s advice, the nuts are acceptable for limited re-assembly, unless the nylon locking ring is noticeably worn.


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Toyota Supra 1993 Mk 4 Rear Brakes Overhaul

The rear brakes on the Toyota Supra 1993 Mk4 non-turbo comprise an outer disc with an inner drum parking brake, other models may be similar and candidates for the following.


To replace the pads, shoes and disc the following procedure should be carried out. This is designed to supplement the manual with tips and procedures to solve common problems.

On this model the brake pads are standard thickness of 11.0 mm (0.433 inch) with a minimum of 1.0mm (0.039 inch). Disc thickness 16mm (0.630 inch), minimum 15.0 mm (0.591 inch). Parking brake shoes 2.5mm (0.0985 inch), minimum 1.0mm (0.039 inch).

Before you start stages of work check the new parts against the old for dimensions etc when and where possible. Keep the parts in any plastic bags during the comparison if possible. This will ease any return to the supplier as will clean and tidy packaging.  Always aim to keep a roadworthy state close should a job need to be abandoned temporarily and the vehicle required to be put back in service.

Apply the parking brake and engage the lowest gear. Raise the car on a jack on the relevant rear side. If using a hydraulic jack use a wooden block between the jack and the jacking point. If the jacking point is the sill use a block of soft wood approximately 5 x 3 x 1.75 inch. Cut a slot 0.75 inch wide x 0.75 inch deep across the grain 1.75 inch from one end to accommodate the sill fin. These may not be the optimum dimensions for your vehicle so check.  You may need to have an assistant to heave the vehicle up a fraction to slide the block between the jack and vehicle.

Chock the other three wheels on both sides of the tire, sections of 3×3 inch lumber are suitable. Slightly loosen the road wheel lug nuts just before the tire leaves the ground. Note loosening the road wheel lug nuts at this point is not strictly necessary here as the wheel is locked by the brake and transmission, but is useful on non driven wheels.

Insert one or more safety backup axle stands under the inner part of the lower suspension member such that if the main jack fails the load on the axle stand will not bend any part of the suspension. Use wood packing to spread the load. Never place any part of your body under a vehicle sitting on a single support.

Remove the road wheel.

Remove the brake pads.

Remove the part of the brake disc caliper which holds the pads by removing the two bolts on the slide rods part of the assembly. Tie the caliper up out of the way.

Apply a small amount of penetrating oil to the two bolts holding the remaining part of the  brake caliper to the hub assembly. Let the oil soak in and remove the bolts. These are tightened to a torque of 77 ft lbs but should loosen easily.

The next part of the job is usually tricky as the disc will have rusted onto the hub. Apply penetrating oil through all the drilled holes the front of the disc, including the holes where the threads pass through. Prise out the rubber bung to expose the parking brake adjuster.

Release the parking brake and put the drive in neutral, watching for any movement on the jack and axle stands.

Rotate the hub so that the adjuster hole is at the bottom, just off center (backwards or forward depending on side). If you shine a flash light in the hole you should see a coarse toothed wheel. Use a flat screwdriver to rotate the wheel down using the teeth until at the end of its travel. This will contract the two brake shoes. The toothed wheel clicks against a spring which acts as a detent.

Pull the disc forward to see if is loose (unlikely). The disc is normally well rusted onto the hub. Try a pry bar inserted behind the disc as far as it will go down against inner lower part of the hub casting where the lower caliper bolt hole is. Do not lever further up the casting closer to the bolt hole as it could possibly crack the casting. This usually just flexes the disc which can be observed by the penetrating oil sucking and squeezing in and out around the multiple drilled holes.

Whilst under tension on the pry bar use a soft hammer to tap the back of the disc. Rotating the disc between prying and tapping sessions. It may be possible to use a puller with the brake plate removed, but this may be unnecessary, read on.

At this stage the situation may look hopeless and the application of heat, brute force or major replacement work approaches on the horizon.

Toyota has thought of this and cunningly provides two tapped holes diametrically opposite near the large central hole in the disc. These will generally be hidden by muck and rust. The holes are 8mm diameter with a metric thread. Dig out the rust and muck to get the threads as clean as possible. Find two suitable good quality well-fitting flat ended bolts. The bolts used were a fence type with a flattish domed head with a square shank underneath, measuring 7.7mm across the threads with a thread pitch of 1mm. If the tip of the bolt is irregular or rounded run a nut up the thread then file the end to give a flat surface. Finish with a light cleanup of the end of the thread. Remove the nut to further reinstate the thread.  The object is to maximise the number of threads available to engage in the disc hole

Ease one of the bolts into the disc hole with plenty of oil using a half turn forward and a quarter back sequence to clean the thread. Remove the bolt after a couple of turns and clean out the thread. Reinsert and continue like this in small steps until the bolts hits the hub. The size of the threaded holes do not look like they will take the load but surprisingly it works. (Similar holes are provided in the engine front pulley and this takes even more load! A tool must be made up to use the holes on the pulley and an additional puller is recommended for the initial stage of the pulley dismantling).

Two bolts should now be in place. It is helpful to run a sharp point around the joint where the disc meets the hub to break up the rust and generally scrape away rust on the hub protusion. Inch the bolts in alternatively until there are one or two distinct cracks heard. Be careful the disc does not fly off (unlikely). Continue winding the disc forward until the inner disc to hub rust is finally broken and cleared.

Be careful that brake shoes are not hampering the removal as they may catch in a wear depression in the disc (unlikely), be tight against the disc or twist. If they do catch they will ultimately pull the spring shoe retaining clip out of the round slotted plate and do damage.  So check the shoes are not moving with the disc by frequent checks and rotation of the hub to try to part them from the disc. If the shoes are moving with the disc you will need to push the disc right back before it can be rotated.

Assuming that you have now removed the disc without injury and mayhem the next stage can be pursued.

Use a face mask for the next stage to prevent the ingress of any harmful dust.

Remove the brakes shoes noting the relative locations of all the springs (colors), clips, rods and adjuster. To unlink the parking brake cable from the lever force the tip of a pair of thin nosed pliers between the spring and the lever and slide the spring back about half an inch then grip the cable and maneuver the retaining collar out of the lever.

Clean the area behind the hub face using a paper towel soaked in mineral spirit to catch the dust and any oil.

Clean the face of the hub with a wire brush, glass-paper and a small flat file to take down any high rust spots. Use a small round file on the angle between the face and the disc locating round part. Be careful with the filing to just remove high spots and surface rust.

Install the new brake shoes. This is much easier with two persons. Apply a dab of copper based grease to points where the shoes slide on the back plate. Clean the thread and tube of the adjuster and reassemble with a light coating  of copper based grease. The circlip holding the lever to the brake shoe is not sprung so has to be opened out with a small chisel in the top and should be replaced? The gap between the lever and the shoe should be less than 0.35mm (0.0138 in), if not replace the shim which goes on top of the lever. Apply a dab of copper based grease under the lever on just the sections that contact during the sliding.

Check the brake shoe spring restraining pins for straightness as they may bend if the disc catches the shoes on removal. One of the pins has a bent section to clear the lever so ensure all the sections are straight and the ends line up with each other. Also check the pin retaining collar slots are not distorted. To attach the shoe retaining clips align the thumb sized hole in the hub over the clip and use thin nosed pliers with their tips in the ends of the depression in the slotted collar to push the spring whilst holding the pin from the rear of the disc cover plate. When the spring is sufficiently compressed twist the collar 90 degrees and release so that flat end of the pin lays in the depression. The blue short spring goes on the left and the longer pink spring on the right. Align the bend in the right hand pin so that it clears the shoe lever. Align the springs so they are centered round the pin hole in the brake shoes.

Check the new disc locates on the hub OK with a temporary fitting.

Clean the face of the hub and in any depressions. The object is remove al loose material that could prejudice the disc alignment. Apply a thin coat of copper based grease to the face. Leave a small margin around the adjuster hole. See this post regarding lubricating the wheel lug nut threads

Clean any corrosion preventing coating from the pad and disc contact surfaces of the new disc. Apply a thin coat of copper based grease to the face of the disc where the road wheel sits. Work the grease into the multiple drilled holes to cover all surfaces thinly. Leave a small margin around the adjuster hole.

Locate the disc on the hub and temporarily hold it is place with two opposite finger tight lug nuts. Rotate the disc so the adjuster hole is at the bottom. Using a flat bladed screwdriver turn the adjuster wheel upwards until the brakes contact the disc and lock the wheel. Turn the adjuster back (down) eight teeth. Clean any copper grease from around the hole. Replace the rubber grommet in the adjuster hole.

Check the disc run out with a dial gauge (0.05 mm of 0.0020 in). If a gauge is not to hand hold a piece of small thin piece of metal such that it can be held tightly against a static point and contacts the outer face of the disc as the disc is rotated. This will give some idea by eye of any run out. If you are able to clamp the piece of metal you can check run out with a feeler gauge. If run out is found check for grit or rust between the hub and disc. Check the wheel lug nuts are sufficiently tight by hand or light wrench tightening and centered with the conical end of the lug nut engaging in the slightly oversize disc hole (in the absence of the wheel).

Check the parking brake operates OK.

Reassemble the caliper using 77 ft lbs on the caliper to hub bolts and check the slide rods are free. Insert the new pads using a dab of copper based grease on the sliding contact points (sides and bottom of the two lugs on each pad) and the shim.

Apply the parking brake and engage the lowest gear. Remove the wheel chocks before releasing the jack as they may get trapped as the vehicle is lowered depending on the shape of the chocks.

Check your work with a careful test drive. Apply the parking park lightly a couple of times during the drive to set and bed them in. The manual details a procedure for this as follows:

(a) Drive the vehicle at about 50 km/h (31 mph) on a safe, level and dry road.
(b) With the parking brake release button pushed in, pull on the lever with 88 N (9 kgf, 19.8 lbf) of force.
(c) Drive the vehicle for about 400 meters (0.25 mile) in this condition.
(d) Repeat this procedure 2 or 3 times.

Check the parking brake lever travel is between 5 – 8 clicks if not adjust by removing the console and adjusting.

Avoid fierce braking until the new brake pads and disc have bedded in. Bon voyage.

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Toyota Power Seat Gear Replacement

The following details the procedure for replacing stripped nylon gears used in the Toyota Power Seat mechanism. The instructions here are for the Toyota Supra 93 although the same mechanism may be used in other Toyota models. Check the dimensions of the parts before ordering (see below) and attempting a repair.

Problem: When the power seat is operated the seat base does not move laterally forward or back at all (both gears stripped) or only moves on one side and starts to twist (one gear stripped). Complete failure could be due to the motor or an electrical fault which is not covered here.

Components: Gearbox constructed of plastic with a nylon helical gear driven by a steel screw gear at right angles.

Solution 1: Replace complete gearbox unit. The cost of the complete left hand side gearbox unit is expensive at approx $174 (£112 UK purchase). The cost of the right hand side gearbox may be similar.

Solution 2: Replace the individual gear within the gearbox approx $19. The following procedure is for option 2.

Dismantling the seat mechanism will take some head scratching, but persevere.

On disassembly of the gearbox you will most likely find the nylon gear has stripped and the driving steel screw gear is intact.

The dimensions of the white nylon gear in this case are:

  • Inside diameter 14.5 mm
  • Outside diameter 22.5 mm
  • Width 10.0 mm

The nylon gear is press fitted onto a splined steel shaft. To remove the gear from the shaft you will need a piece of wood drilled with a five eighths of an inch (16 mm) diameter hole and at least three quarters inch (19mm) deep.

Remove the stripped gear

Center the shoulder of the the nylon gear over the hole and use a piece of wood to protect the steel shaft whilst carefully using a hammer to tap the steel shaft out of the nylon gear. Before removal it may be useful to cut right through the gear both sides, close to and parallel to the splines. The nylon gear is somewhat brittle and there may be traces of glue on one one side.

After the gear is removed, clean any trace of grease and glue from the steel shaft. The rubbery glue on the authors piece did not respond to mineral spirit so had to be scraped off.

Insert the new gear

Check the root dimension of the splines on the steel shaft matches the inside diameter of the nylon gear. Offer the gear to the shaft using the side of the gear which may have a slight taper on the edge of the hole. The splines have no leading taper either end. The angle of the gear teeth is correct which ever way round it is fitted.

Position the gear centrally over the hole in the wood. Using a small hammer carefully tap the steel shaft into the gear. Alternatively use a press. The steel is hard so careful light tapping with a hammer should not cause any deformation of the shaft, but the use of a small protective buffer or soft faced hammer when tapping is advised. You will need to tap around the periphery of the shaft to straighten it as it will tend to go in at an angle initially but become more aligned the further it enters. A number of small increments is better than large incrementas as this may cause jamming and damage to, or breakage of the gear. Tap or press the shaft in until it covers the splines equally on both sides. There will be some nylon particles ejected from the gear as the splilnes bit into it.

Reassemble the gearbox using lithium LM grease, or equivalent, on the gears. Glue may be required on the surface of the shaft if it passes through a roller bearing? Refit the gearbox. Before and during re-assembly of the seat mechansim you will need to ensure the two seat rails are at the same part of their travel so the seat does not try and skew at the end of the travel. The long thread screw which the seat runs along can be turned using a wrench on the bolt head under the plastic covers at the front of the seat. Note you may only be able to turn this one way – force in the wrong direction may damage the nylon gears.

If the gearbox on one side has failed and the seat has been operated to maximum, the seat runners may be distorted. Check for smooth running of the seat runners and that the two steel rollers are not twisting sideway in the slot and jamming at any point of travel. This could indicate a deformed runner track. You will need to straighten any deformation before continuing. Due to the design and spring of the metal you may find it difficult to return the runners to a good state, such that free travel exists at all points of the track.

Unimpeded running and good lubrication is essential to ensure the gears are not damaged during operation. There should be little resistance, at any part of the travel, when turning long seat runner screws manually when the runners are off the seat and gearboxes are not in place. Clean out all the accumulated dirt on the runners and mechanism and use plenty of grease at appropriate points on reassembly.

Nylon gears with dimensions as above are available from Description: Front Power Seat Track Gear only 93-97

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Winter Driving

Prepare your vehicle

  • Allow at least an extra 10 minutes to prepare the vehicle.
  • For adequate snow traction, a tire requires at least 6/32-inch deep tread. (New passenger vehicle tires usually have 10/32-inch of tread.) Performance “summer” tires have little or no grip in snow. Even “all-season” tires don’t necessarily have great snow traction. If you live where the roads are regularly covered with snow, use snow tires, which are sometimes called “winter tires” by tire makers. They usually have a “snowflake on the mountain” symbol on the sidewall, meaning they meet a tire-industry standard for snow traction.
  • Use your headlights so that others will see you. Make sure your headlights and taillights are clear of snow. Clean your lights of any salt and dirt deposits as this can restrict the light output more that you think and you may need every “lumen” that that you can get.
  • Clear all windows of snow and ice using deicer and a scraper. Use a good quality deicer as some inferior products will cause refreezing or patchy clearing. Do not use antifreeze designed for the vehicle cooling system as this will most probably take the paint off. Do not drive with just a tiny hole cleared in the windscreen. Do not under any circumstance use hot water to clear vehicle windows. It may cause cracking and breakage or leave stress in the glass which could cause failure later. A partially icy or dirty windscreen will severely restrict your vision as soon as the rays of a low sun fall on it.
  • Replace suspect windshield wiper blades. Do not attempt to operate the windshield wipers until the blades are free and not stuck to the glass by ice. Operation in this state may cause the blades to rip or even worse allow the blade to move off the parked position and then jam leading the motor burning out. Turn off at the ignition switch if this happens. Beware the wipers being left switched on from last night. Do not try to clear ice from the windshield with the wipers as this will degrade the rubber.
  • Clean the inside of your windows thoroughly. Apply a water-shedding material (such as Rain-X) to the outside of all windows, including the mirrors, this will help the problem of moisture forming and turning to ice. In order to remove condensation and frost from the interior of vehicle windows, engage your air conditioner and select the fresh air option. It’s fine to set the temperature on “hot.” Many vehicles automatically do this when you choose the defrost setting. Direct the cabin side air vents sideways and up on to the side windows. The inbuilt side window vents (if fitted) do not normally have enough flow to clear  the window under extreme conditions.
  • Ensure the washer reservoir is full as salty water drying on the windscreen can demand copious quantities of fluid to clear it. The winter proportion of water to washer fluid should be maintained.
  • Check the roof for snow before you drive. It can slip down over the windscreen and obscure your view during braking or on a slope. Also the blanket of snow can slide off into the path of a following vehicle. Use a cigarette lighter to warm a key for a frozen lock. Do not breathe on the lock, as the moisture will condense and freeze. Carry an emergency kit comprising a cell phone (with fully charged battery), torch, first-aid kit, tow rope, blankets, warm coat and boots, jump leads, snow shovel, warning triangle, an old sack or rug and water repellent spray. Also add a vacuum flask containing a hot drink and high energy snacks. This little bundle could save your life.
  • Wear comfortable, dry shoes, as cumbersome, snow-covered boots will slip on the pedals.
  • Plan routes to favor major routes which are more likely to have been gritted.
  • Snow chains will increase the amount of grip you have on snow and ice, but you must remove them when not needed. They are generally limited to speeds below 30 mph.
  • If you need towing, you may regret not bringing a tow rope. Also remember your vehicle is probably provided with towing eyes Sometime located under a small (usually square) cover.
  • Put safety before punctuality when driving in any bad weather. While it’s always a good idea to allow extra time in winter for your journey, drivers must accept the inevitability of being late for work or appointments if they are caught up in an unexpected delay. After all the others may be late as well.

Driving in snow and ice

Driving in snow and ice is much about predicting the actions of other road users. Watch the behavior of oncoming traffic; you may have to avoid them if they slide towards you unexpectedly. Fully expect other road users to be unable to stop at junctions or lose control. Vehicles approaching a narrowing of the road uphill, will not want to stop in case they can’t start again. Vehicles approaching downhill may be unable to stop without skidding. The further people travel in icy conditions the more complacency sets in.

Try to leave a 10 second gap between you and the car in front. The 10 second gap allows you an increased stopping distance, and gives you time to respond if the vehicle in front has problems. If they stop or encounter some problem, you may have time and the space to steer a different course, or by slowing down you can allow time for the obstruction to clear without having to stop and restart yourself. If the vehicle behind you is too close, find a good place to stop and let them go on ahead. Stopping distances can be up to ten times longer in ice and snow.

Unlike snow, ice is often invisible. You have to apply guesswork and experience as to where it waits. Look for reflections in the road surface ahead; what looks like water, may be ice. If the swishing sound of your tires on a wet road goes quiet, you may be on ice. Bright sun and a warm wind can quickly thaw ice, but leave patches in sheltered areas, so be vigilant where a wall casts a shadow over the road – it can be a dramatic short lived change. Watch for water flows from previously melting snow as it may have refrozen.

If you travel a route regularly, note where water normally lies on the road and may subsequently freeze. Road bridges freeze first because they are cooled from below. One of the first signs of slippery conditions is if the steering becomes lighter. The normal tendency of the steering to self-center when you let go of the wheel becomes less powerful when the front wheels lose grip. If you are aware of this effect, you can feel the reduced resistance to your steering wheel movements as the road becomes slippery.

If your vehicle skids, turn the steering wheel into the direction of the skid. Make the reaction quick but not extreme as the vehicle may snap out of the original skid directly into another skid in the opposite direction. When the vehicle straightens carefully steer back to your intended course. Don’t brake – it will just lock up your wheels and you will skid further. Reduce your risk of skidding by reducing your speed; too much power is often the source of problems in snow and ice. Do not ask your tires to steer and brake at the same time. They have to share the available grip between those two functions, so either one detracts from the tire’s ability to do the other. Gentle actions are the key to safe driving. Always apply brakes gently.

If you have ABS braking, it will automatically release the brakes momentarily, and then re-apply them to keep the wheels revolving enough for you to steer. If you drive on icy roads or roads that are covered with snow, modify your ABS technique: After you press the brake pedal and the ABS begins cycling — you will feel pulses in the pedal or hear the system working — ease up slightly on the pedal until the pulsing happens only once a second. But remember ABS on some systems stop working below about 4mph, so progressively lift off the brakes as you come to rest. Otherwise you may continue to slide slowly and gracefully into an obstacle.

For vehicles without ABS braking, you’ll have to rely on the old-fashioned cadence braking system. On a mixed surface slippery road, push the brake pedal hard until the wheels stop rolling, then immediately release the brake enough to allow the wheels to begin turning again. Repeat this sequence rapidly. This is not the same as “pumping the brake”, you need to use feedback. Your goal is to have the tires producing maximum grip regardless of whether the surface is snow, ice or damp pavement. Practice this before the emergency.
4×4 four wheel drive vehicles may be able keep going in slippery conditions, but their brakes are no better than an ordinary vehicle and being heavier, they tend to have longer stopping distances – even in good conditions.

The handbrake only works on the rear wheels on most vehicles. For this reason you can use gentle handbrake pressure to retain steering control whilst slowing the vehicle. But you must be careful to do this only at very slow speed and do it gently to avoid locking the rear wheels – or they may slide sideways. It is not easy to sense how well the handbrake is working.

It will be difficult to control your vehicle if the wheels are spinning as you pull away. Start off in second gear to avoid spinning the wheels. Accelerate gently and change up early. If the wheels start to spin, you may instinctively accelerate to keep your forward momentum but that is the wrong thing to do. Spinning wheels have less traction than wheels that are engaged with the snow. Gently lift off the gas until the wheels grip again, and then gently accelerate. If you keep spinning the wheels where the road slopes to the side, you will slide sideways and risk hitting an obstacle, or another vehicle.

Slow down to the right speed before you get to a corner. Perform downshift gear changes while you are traveling in a straight line, then the all the grip of your tires can be used for steering round the corner. Accelerate gently as leave the corner. Try to maintain a constant speed, choosing the most suitable gear in advance to avoid having to change down while climbing a hill. When driving downhill, choose third or fourth gear to act as a constant gentle brake and prevent skidding.

Beware of a build up of ice and snow under the wheel arches. This can often form an unexpected obstruction to steering.

Front wheel drive cars will sometimes climb an icy slope better in reverse gear as the front wheels (now the rear) are are benefiting from the weight of additional downward force through acceleration weight transfer. This unlikely approach also means that if you fail to climb the slope, and run out of traction, you are at least facing the right way to control your descent back to the bottom of the hill. This avoids the problem that if you fail to climb up a steep snowy slope in the normal forwards direction, you can find yourself sliding down hill backwards with all the consequences of trying to steer in reverse. The reduced visibility and awkwardness of reversing means that this method should only be tried if you are sure about the intentions of other traffic and have plenty of room.

If you do get stuck in snow, straighten the steering and clear as much snow from the wheels as you can. Put a sack or old rug under the driving wheels in the direction you want to move, to give the tires some grip. Rock the vehicle back and forwards by selecting a forward then reverse gear in a cyclical action to gain momentum and lift the vehicle out of the rut. Once on the move again, try not to stop until you reach firmer ground.

If your are unfortunate enough to get stuck in a drift use any available material to keep warm Only run the engine for short periods to keep warm if you have to. But be aware that carbon monoxide from exhaust gases can take effect without warning and kills. Stay with the vehicle unless you are absolutely sure that safety is within reach. It will be far easier for rescuers to find a vehicle on a road that a person in a field. If you do leave your vehicle, try and leave it where it won’t be a problem to other traffic and snow ploughs.

If the unthinkable happens remember that seatbelts and frontal airbags work much better in a frontal impact, and many cars don’t have side-impact airbags.

Driving an automatic in winter

Under normal driving conditions (freeways, etc) it is best to select ‘Drive’ and let the gearbox do the work throughout the full gear range.

In slippery, snowy conditions you can make driving much safer by selecting ‘2’, which limits the gear changes and also makes you less reliant on the brakes.

Many modern autos have a ‘Winter’ mode which locks out first gear to reduce the risk of wheel spin. Check the handbook if you’re not sure.

Technology and adverse conditions

Technology offers no miracles despite manufacturers claims. All-wheel drive and electronic stability control can get you out of trouble and into trouble by offering a false sense of security. AWD can only help a vehicle accelerate or keep moving: It cannot help you go around a snow covered corner, much less stop at an icy intersection. ESC can prevent a tire spin, but it cannot clear ice from the roads or give your tires more traction. Don’t let these lull you into overestimating the available traction.

Regardless of your experience, driving skill, vehicle or vehicle preparation, there are some winter conditions that can’t be conquered. But these tips may help prevent snowy and icy roads from ruining your day or life.

Ref: 1201181800



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Chicken Hash With Potato

  • 12 oz cooked chicken
  • 12 oz. mashed potato
  • 3 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 oz butter
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/4 pint chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chopped fresh parsley to garnish

Boil enough potatoes in salted water and then mash; or use left-over mashed potatoes. Put chicken pieces in the mashed potato. Thinly slice the onion.  Heat butter in a frying pan and cook onions till soft.  Put enough stock to moisten the chicken/potato so the consistency is like thick cream, season well.  Put onions in frying pan and mix well until smooth and flat.  Fry until the bottom crisps and browns,  and is heated  right through.  Flip over like an omelet, serve hot sprinkle with parsley.  Serves 4.

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Quick And Easy Sweet And Sour Chicken

  • 12oz cooked chicken,diced
  • 1/2 pint white wine or cider
  • 4 large tomatoes, sliced
  • 2-3 sticks celery, chopped
  • 1 heaped tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon capers
  • Salt and pepper

Put the wine, celery, sliced tomatoes, capers and sugar into a saucepan and season. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 30 minutes.  Add chicken pieces and continue simmering for about 20 minutes more, until the chicken is well heated through. Serve with rice, couscous or noodles. Serves 4.


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