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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
okay, this is going to be a comprehensive list of problems i've been having in the winter. it wasn't like this in the summer, everything listed has only appeared as the temp gets colder. i'd like some advice on whether people in cold spots experience the same thing as me or if i should genuinely get these problems checked out.

-when parked, after the engine is warm, i hear a faint ticking that almost sounds like a loud belt or something. it is coming from the front, left side. this is if i park at idle. i can't hear it while inside the car, only outside. but it is definitely audible. i'm pretty sure it wasn't like this during the summer. is this the notorious clicking manifold? it should be noted that my fuel economy isn't great at all and i don't routinely romp on it during these months. i recently read the ticking affects your a/f ratio as a valve is stuck open. should i worry?

- creaks and rattles seem omnipresent, even after the interior warms up. the funny part is that the variety of creaks and rattles is a never-ending cycle. sometimes, for instance, the a-pillar trim just decides to squeak really loudly but only on the right side. sometimes it is the dash. other times it is any other part of the car at all. the cycle rotates and creaks seem to fix themselves in favour of new creaks showing up. anyone experiencing this? it makes it hard to diagnose when i try to tell the dealer that the whole car rattles because inevitably they take it for a five minute drive and nothing i say shows up. seriously though, some ten year old cars don't have this many noises while driving.

- i'll make this seperate from the last one, but does anyone have a driver's seat that squeaks like a bad mattress? i'm talking with every bump or dip in the road i'll hear a "errr-eee" sound. funny part is i can't seem to replicate the sound with the seat unless i hit a bump in the car, in which case the groaning starts and with subsequent bumps it sounds like i'm having a good time.

- aftera cold start, when i try to drive out on to the road, something in the steering makes a loud "squeak" as i return the wheel to straight, say, if i pull out of a driveway. usually only happens once as i straighten the wheel, but it is very noticeable and sometimes will happen again. this usually goes away when the car is warm. any ideas?

ps: it is a genuine bitch to wait for the fluid to heat up in the mornings since nothing short of a flamethrower seems to want to make the power steering fluid, brake fluid and mtx fluid heat up. everything feels mushy and takes a long time to return to normal temps. am i just being too impatient? i hate to let the car idle for twenty minutes before i drive it but when i could write a short novel in the time it takes to have the clutch return from the floor, i may have to.

any ideas? or am i just being too picky for an "econobox"?
 

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I made a winterfront out of a black plastic crazy carpet to cover the huge lower grille (attached with little black cable ties). It probably helped a little.

My Pathfinder and my Mazda3 are equally unhappy when it's really cold out.
 

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Here's a bigger image of what it looks like. Sorry for the dark and distant photo; I have no close-up pics and my car is in storage this winter.

 

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Well thats winter. I definetely notice an occasionall squeak and the car doesnt really seem to like the extreme cold either. I really need to try and warm it up on these 0 degree days before I take off. That definetely helps, but you are right the other fluids besides the engine oil seem to take a good 30-60 minutes to warm when its real cold.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
i have confirmed that the ticking is definitely coming from the manifold region and it sounds similar to a card in the spokes of a wheel. it isn't that noticeable while inside but if you're outside near the hood, it is.
 
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