Lighting a fire under the vehicle to be on our way
Phil is warming himself thorugh the gas burner that is used to make fire under the vehicle
“Over Christmas we spent two weeks in Banff, where our vehicle completely froze over,” Karo tells us. “It was minus 27 degrees Celsius, and we had honestly only turned the vehicle off for ten minutes. But it stayed off. We couldn’t get it back on.” The wisdom of hindsight is a beautiful thing: “At minus 30 degrees, you should just keep the engine running, connect it to an electric heater or have a water-based parking heater that can preheat the engine. But we didn’t know all this back then,” Phil adds.
“We thought we could heat the engine with small hand warmers. And so we diligently clicked the small metal plates in the gel cushions to get the heat going and placed them on the engine. They did get nice and warm, but our engine remained totally unfazed by them. Of course it didn’t work,” Karo laughs. “We thought about placing the cooker under the vehicle, but we didn’t dare. You can’t start a fire under a vehicle, can you?!”
Canadians used to living in the extreme cold sure have a different attitude towards life, as this is exactly what the technician from the Canadian roadside assistance company did: he heated the engine block by sparking an open fire under the vehicle with a gas burner. Then he placed a blanket over the engine to keep the heat in the engine block and to thaw Willi. After a while, Willi sulkily started with a loud clatter, as if the engine was going to leap out of the engine compartment there and then. “After this experience, we told ourselves we will never go anywhere without a water-based parking heater,” Phil recalls.