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Old 10-16-2012, 05:59 PM   #1
His Dudiness
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Winter is coming - share your previous winter experience - How was it?

I live in Canada - it's cold here and it snows a lot too. I like warm weather and warm cars. Good thing is FF3 has winter package.
Could you please share your experience during winter time?

1. Cabin heat - how long it takes to warm up a car in the cold mornings? Is the heater strong and efficient? Is FF3 overall a good car for winter weather?

2. Are their any fogging problems with windshield, rear window or side windows (and what's the fastest way to clear windshield with heat or a/c)?

3. Where there any issues with wipers (like they stuck in ice or nozzles froze or else)?

4. Do heated seats work well?

5. How is visibility in side mirrors (are they concave or have extra small mirror for blind spots)?

6. Do I need to turn off Traction Control when climbing slippery hills?

7. Have anyone used remote start?

Thanks guys.

P.S. The reason I will not buy VW TDI (Diesel) is because I don't like it's colder cabin during winter time and inability to heat on idles and stop and go traffic - thanks to effective diesel engine. In that sense - inefficient gasoline engines rule - they are a lot hotter


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Old 10-16-2012, 06:13 PM   #2
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The heated seats are fantastic, far better than my wife's Accord.

The side mirror visibility is excellent, the blind spot mirrors work better than anything I've ever had.

The wipers are adequate.

I didn't have much reason to test out traction control last winter, the roads here are well maintainted.

The heater is fine, but I have an issue with the automatic climate control: it turns the heater on something like 30 to 60 seconds after the engine levels off at its normal operating temperature. Other climate controls I've had will turn the heat on as soon as the water temperature gets warm, well before it reaches peak. I assume the Focus is designed this way to let the engine heat up as fast as possible for mileage, but when it's -20C, I don't care about mileage, I just want warm air, and at worst it should come on as soon as it reached normal temp. For that and other reasons, the Focus auto climate control is the worst I've ever had.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:21 PM   #3
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Preface: I do not have the winter package
Quote:
1. Cabin heat - how long it takes to warm up a car in the cold mornings? Is the heater strong and efficient? Is FF3 overall a good car for winter weather?
It takes a while, probably 5 minutes to luke warm air. The temp gauge will read half with luke-warm air and the engine will continue heating up until its hot. It has no problem roasting me inside once it's warmed. Make sure you turn the recirculation on (bad for humidity) if you're idling or the engine may cool off, but it does good with recirc.

Quote:
2. Are their any fogging problems with windshield, rear window or side windows (and what's the fastest way to clear windshield with heat or a/c)?
The automatic AC took care of the fog for me every time. The rear defroster turns on automatically to load the engine, whether you press the button or not.

Quote:
3. Where there any issues with wipers (like they stuck in ice or nozzles froze or else)?
No problems here, just make sure you have winter blend in there.

Quote:
5. How is visibility in side mirrors (are they concave or have extra small mirror for blind spots)?
The side mirrors are good, with practice, but this isn't winter related?

Quote:
6. Do I need to turn off Traction Control when climbing slippery hills?
You need to replace the conti-pro-contacts to climb anything, and you really, no questions asked, must replace the summer tires if you purchase that option. ESC works very very well, TCS keeps you from doing anything stupid (nose sliding), but you will need to turn it off to dig on anything.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hypnotoad View Post
The heated seats are fantastic, far better than my wife's Accord.

The side mirror visibility is excellent, the blind spot mirrors work better than anything I've ever had.

The wipers are adequate.

I didn't have much reason to test out traction control last winter, the roads here are well maintainted.

The heater is fine, but I have an issue with the automatic climate control: it turns the heater on something like 30 to 60 seconds after the engine levels off at its normal operating temperature. Other climate controls I've had will turn the heat on as soon as the water temperature gets warm, well before it reaches peak. I assume the Focus is designed this way to let the engine heat up as fast as possible for mileage, but when it's -20C, I don't care about mileage, I just want warm air, and at worst it should come on as soon as it reached normal temp. For that and other reasons, the Focus auto climate control is the worst I've ever had.
Your seat heater actually gets hotter than 90F even when its freezing? Mine was struggling to barely crack 70-80 on a 40F morning even though the published temperature specification for the heated seats says they should hit 125F at the seat heater pad, mine doesn't and they won't bother to fix it.

Do you have cloth heated seats or leather?
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:22 PM   #5
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I will agree with the above. Also, if you can afford it, get different tires. In my opinion, the Conti's are bad in winter snow and on ice. Maybe get a nice set of Goodyear's TripleTreads or something similar--the Conti's are made for fuel economy and long life which sacrafices road grip in my view).
Other than that, heated mirrors, seats are a good thing to have (at least heated mirrors, but I think they come as a the Winter Package together).

Also, the passenger side mirror to me (at least on my car) is convex and can distort some things, but at least you can still see something is there. The blindspot mirrors are nice and works pretty good (I'm still not used to using them since I drive a truck where all I have is side mirrors w/o blindspot mirrors).

As for heat, mine would warm up within about 3 minutes of driving (longer if the car was sitting). If your's has the active shutter system, then the car should warm up quicker (not sure by how much, but it should since it blocks out cold air while the car is trying to warm up, etc).
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hypnotoad View Post
The heater is fine, but I have an issue with the automatic climate control: it turns the heater on something like 30 to 60 seconds after the engine levels off at its normal operating temperature.
The gauge does not read center at normal operating temperature, if that is your reference. When the gauge is center, you will get moderate air instead of ice blasts, but you won't get hot air for a while after that until it's at the real operating temperature (the gauge stays in the mid and the engine gets warmer).
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:48 PM   #7
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I lasted the entire Edmonton winter with the stock Contis on the 17" tires.

I also only ever had to turn off T/C once to escape my crescent.

My ass heaters on their highest setting were sufficient to burn before I pulled into the freeway, so I never had issues there.

Everything just worked well.
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:35 PM   #8
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The heated seats don't really get that warm which is disappointing. My Cooper's heated seats basically sterilized you when you turned them up to high, the Focus's seat just kind of get luke-warm. It's better than nothing though and I am glad I have them.

The windshield does fog up but that's with any car. I just use the Rain-X anti-fog stuff and the glass stays clear for about a month or so until the solution wears off and needs to be reapplied.

The car sucks without winter tires, but that's because the OEM tires blow I'd imagine. I drove the car once in the snow and went right out and bought winter tires. With the winter tires the car can get through anything Michigan throws at it and it's pretty impressive. The TCS isn't overly annoying either but I do turn it off in heavy snow.
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suss6052 View Post
Your seat heater actually gets hotter than 90F even when its freezing? Mine was struggling to barely crack 70-80 on a 40F morning even though the published temperature specification for the heated seats says they should hit 125F at the seat heater pad, mine doesn't and they won't bother to fix it.

Do you have cloth heated seats or leather?
You've got issues. Mine will roast your hiney at -35. Leather seats by the way.
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by His Dudiness View Post
1. Cabin heat - how long it takes to warm up a car in the cold mornings?
About a day and a half in stop and go driving if it is colder than -25C

2. Are their any fogging problems with windshield, rear window or side windows (and what's the fastest way to clear windshield with heat or a/c)?
No issues unless you are using recirc. and or have 3 passengers in the car and it's -25C or colder.

3. Where there any issues with wipers (like they stuck in ice or nozzles froze or else)?
No

4. Do heated seats work well?
They work well.

5. How is visibility in side mirrors (are they concave or have extra small mirror for blind spots)?
Like any other modern car.

6. Do I need to turn off Traction Control when climbing slippery hills?
Yes if you want to get to the top of the hill.

7. Have anyone used remote start?
Yes.

Thanks guys.

P.S. The reason I will not buy VW TDI (Diesel) is because I don't like it's colder cabin during winter time and inability to heat on idles and stop and go traffic - thanks to effective diesel engine. In that sense - inefficient gasoline engines rule - they are a lot hotter
Well you're not going to be a happy camper. Direct injection 4 bangers take forever to heat up in cold weather.
I had mine in 2 times to be looked at because of how long it takes to get the engine up to operating temperature.
If you drive it long enough it will roast your chestnuts but it takes a long long time to get it to that stage.
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