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Old 08-07-2011, 12:51 AM   #1
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Question winterbelt: Garage insulation: is it worth it? how to keep car warm?

Hello.
I have moved into a house about a month and a half ago.

Based on the budget I don't have much to spend on the insulation of the garage.
Should I install fiberglass/foam on the walls and ceeling and cover with drywall or so? work done by me.

I do not have the $ to have a dude come in and spray expanding foam.

Should I not do anything at all?

When my wife was my fiance she lived in a place with a 65* heated parking garage so maybe she does not know what to expect from uninsulated garage.

I plan on installing transmission fluid warmer, and motor oil warmer even if it's via a dip stick.

How do u all handle things in the winter belt?

In the past I would work on my car in my parents alley march-april - nov-dec with the garage door open and propane tank on.

Things were doable I guess but not pleasant by far.

Any Chicagoland folks?
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Old 08-07-2011, 01:27 AM   #2
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Re: winterbelt: Garage insulation: is it worth it? how to keep car warm?

Don't leave it without any insulation if you have pipes running. They will freeze in the winter and cause all sorts of problems. At least use the fiberglass.
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Old 08-07-2011, 09:42 AM   #3
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Re: winterbelt: Garage insulation: is it worth it? how to keep car warm?

What is the problem?

I don't the the temperature is going to be that big of a deal? If there is no water in there you should be fine. You'll lose a ton of cash heating an uninsulated garage.
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Old 08-07-2011, 09:54 AM   #4
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Re: winterbelt: Garage insulation: is it worth it? how to keep car warm?

Just insulate it with rolls and drywall over it. It will stay 40 min through the winter. Pretty cheap to do it. My garage is 48 x26 and I don't use a heater. Stays decent enough to work out there in the winter. I have a furnace to hook up but have been too lazy to do it. After working on heat and Ac all day long the last thing I want to do is work on it at home.
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Old 08-07-2011, 11:30 AM   #5
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Re: winterbelt: Garage insulation: is it worth it? how to keep car warm?

Uhm... why do you think you need transmission fluid heaters and a motor oil heater? It's Chicago not Alaska!?!?!?!?!?

So your wife is spoiled with someplace that wasted keeping the garage at a set temperature year round... Only personal garages that I know of that do this are people who are very well off and have high-end car collections that need to be maintained at a specific temperature/humidity to keep them in prestige condition.

Getting to your question about insulation; it makes a HUGE difference; and Fiberglass bat with drywall over the top works fine. Hell, on the walls, (unless it's the house wall where drywall is required for a fire-barrier) we used fiber-board so it was easier to hang things. But this will just hold some of the heat in. Unless you have a separate furnace or heater for the garage, it's still gonna get cold; and if you're planning on heating it when you're not working out there, be prepared for some serious heat bills.

Your cars don't need anything special for living in Chicago.... I've lived in WI and western NY most of my life (Before I moved to SLC 4 months ago) and never had heaters or anything special on any vehicle I owned. Only ones that even MAY need something are diesels due to the fuel gelling when it gets super cold.
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Old 08-07-2011, 12:12 PM   #6
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Re: winterbelt: Garage insulation: is it worth it? how to keep car warm?

I used to have R-28 in the walls and double that on the ceilings. Batt rolls. Worked great. Had baseboard heaters with the thermostats turned down as low as they would go. But even then, they would rarely cycle on. Lowest thermostat setting was 45%u00B0 (no off position). Finally I just flipped the breaker switch and that killed the heaters. With no heat, the coldest I ever saw it get was 40%u00B0 inside.

No need for block heaters, dipstick heaters, magnets, recirculating pumps etc. You only need a block heater at 20%u00B0 and below. And the rest of the stuff is more for -10%u00B0 and colder. But parked inside? Nope. You'll have no ice scraping. No fogged up windshields. The snow will melt off your car. And the heater will give you heat much faster in the wintertime with just a simple batt insulation/drywall garage.

The nice thing about 40+ temps is that you can put all sort of fluids, car wash soaps, polish etc out there and it doesn't freeze.
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Old 08-07-2011, 12:24 PM   #7
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Re: winterbelt: Garage insulation: is it worth it? how to keep car warm?

Totally worth it. You'll spend just a few $100 for 2x4s, insulation, and dry wall.
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Old 08-07-2011, 12:24 PM   #8
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Re: winterbelt: Garage insulation: is it worth it? how to keep car warm?

When i built mu house, i had the contractor insulate the walls with fiberglass. My garage is an attached garage, and is completely drywalled. I also has him put in a set of pulldown stairs. After i moved in, i insulated the ceiling with fiberglass, and i also use the area up there for storage. I had originally planned to have a duct from the furnace installed in the garage, but that is against code. Instead, i had them install a 4KW 240V wall heater. I also have an insulated garage door.
Normally, i keep the wall heater turned off, and the garage is usually 20-30 degrees warmer than the outside temp during the winter. If i am going to be working in the garage, i have a propane torpedo heater i fire up for about 15 minutes to get it warm, then turn it off and fire up the wall heater to maintain the temp. Works well and it pretty comfortable.
No matter how cold it gets outside, even without the heaters on the garage stays warm enough that a block heater for the car is not needed. If you DO insulate the garage, make sure the door is also an insulated door. It does make a difference.
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Old 08-07-2011, 01:32 PM   #9
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Re: winterbelt: Garage insulation: is it worth it? how to keep car warm?

lol, silly American's.
Even at -40 unless your car is a POS it will start just fine without any kind of heaters. The block heater will make it easier on your car though, but a trans heater? really?

If you don't have an insulated garage door then don't even bother insulating the rest of the garage.
Fiberglass with vapor barrier will work just fine. I don't know how these people are keeping it so much warmer in their garage then outside without a heater, it will always feel warmer cause of no wind, but it is seldom more then a few degrees warmer inside then outside. It doesn't take much heat to keep it warm enough in the garage though, a simple 240v heater will do.
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Old 08-07-2011, 02:44 PM   #10
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Re: winterbelt: Garage insulation: is it worth it? how to keep car warm?

Well actually parking a daily driven car in a heated garage in a rust belt area where lots of salt is used on roads can accelerate corrosive effects. Frozen solid salty ice is much more inert than thawed salty water running in all the nooks and crannies. The lower the temperature the slower the chemical reaction. If temperatures are below freezing, park that car in the heated garage and all the salty ice melts and oxidation does it's thing only to get a nice new salty coating the next time you drive it. Better to just stay frozen on the car until it can be properly washed off once temperatures rise and roads clear.

See #2
http://www.ehow.com/how_4576311_prev...sting-car.html
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Old 08-07-2011, 03:32 PM   #11
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Re: winterbelt: Garage insulation: is it worth it? how to keep car warm?

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Originally Posted by Xride View Post
lol, silly American's.
Even at -40 unless your car is a POS it will start just fine without any kind of heaters. The block heater will make it easier on your car though, but a trans heater? really?

If you don't have an insulated garage door then don't even bother insulating the rest of the garage.
Fiberglass with vapor barrier will work just fine. I don't know how these people are keeping it so much warmer in their garage then outside without a heater, it will always feel warmer cause of no wind, but it is seldom more then a few degrees warmer inside then outside. It doesn't take much heat to keep it warm enough in the garage though, a simple 240v heater will do.
-40 without a block heater? I give a car a 5% chance of starting up at that temp. And it's going to sound like a bunch of bolts have been dropped into the motor oil.

I never had an insulated garage door. And even at -14C outside, it was still 4C inside the garage. Don't forget the attached house is going to be 20 and the garage ran along 2 sides of the home. So there was only 2 walls of garage facing the outside.
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Old 08-07-2011, 04:08 PM   #12
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Re: winterbelt: Garage insulation: is it worth it? how to keep car warm?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MLL View Post
Well actually parking a daily driven car in a heated garage in a rust belt area where lots of salt is used on roads can accelerate corrosive effects. Frozen solid salty ice is much more inert than thawed salty water running in all the nooks and crannies. The lower the temperature the slower the chemical reaction. If temperatures are below freezing, park that car in the heated garage and all the salty ice melts and oxidation does it's thing only to get a nice new salty coating the next time you drive it. Better to just stay frozen on the car until it can be properly washed off once temperatures rise and roads clear.

See #2
http://www.ehow.com/how_4576311_prev...sting-car.html
You still use salt on the roads?
We use a chemicl deicer, no salt.


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-40 without a block heater? I give a car a 5% chance of starting up at that temp. And it's going to sound like a bunch of bolts have been dropped into the motor oil.

I never had an insulated garage door. And even at -14C outside, it was still 4C inside the garage. Don't forget the attached house is going to be 20 and the garage ran along 2 sides of the home. So there was only 2 walls of garage facing the outside.
My daily driven 99 cherokee 4.0l starts in -30 and -40 every year, and it starts just as fast as in the summer, hell in the summer time when it is real hot it cranks for longer then in the dead of winter. It sounds whinny, but the oil pumps, just a little thick.
Every year we have a week of -40 with a week of -30 before and after. Never had a problem starting. The TBSS starts up just fine too. As does the CTS, and the gf's old 01 intrepid with 280k km on it.
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Old 08-07-2011, 04:34 PM   #13
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Re: winterbelt: Garage insulation: is it worth it? how to keep car warm?

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You still use salt on the roads?
We use a chemicl deicer, no salt.




My daily driven 99 cherokee 4.0l starts in -30 and -40 every year, and it starts just as fast as in the summer, hell in the summer time when it is real hot it cranks for longer then in the dead of winter. It sounds whinny, but the oil pumps, just a little thick.
Every year we have a week of -40 with a week of -30 before and after. Never had a problem starting. The TBSS starts up just fine too. As does the CTS, and the gf's old 01 intrepid with 280k km on it.
the chicago/nw indiana area is notorious for how much salt they use. they usually lay down 2 inches of salt per 1 inch of expected snow, then the snow doesn't come and you're left with a **** ton of salt. i had a car with an 18 inch rust hole in the rocker panel that was only 8 years old. there is a reason i stored my trans am every winter up there while i was back there.
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Old 08-07-2011, 05:31 PM   #14
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Re: winterbelt: Garage insulation: is it worth it? how to keep car warm?

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Originally Posted by Xride View Post
You still use salt on the roads?
We use a chemicl deicer, no salt.

My daily driven 99 cherokee 4.0l starts in -30 and -40 every year...
Every year we have a week of -40 with a week of -30 before and after. Never had a problem starting. The TBSS starts up just fine too. As does the CTS, and the gf's old 01 intrepid with 280k km on it.
Well you're just better than everyone, that's the only explanation there is!

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Old 08-07-2011, 09:46 PM   #15
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Re: winterbelt: Garage insulation: is it worth it? how to keep car warm?

If your car has trouble starting in cold weather (for whatever reason) a block heater can make a big difference. Also, you get heat faster inside the car. But if your car starts OK, I don't think you need any of that.

Next time you need a new battery, get one with the highest CCA that will fit.

No opinion on working in the garage in winter time since I don't do it anymore.

Last edited by T/A-Bob; 08-07-2011 at 09:48 PM.
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