The fact that we are going north is decided. But in what direction? And then an unusual invitation comes to the editorial office: to visit the Plesetsk cosmodrome, say, get to know each other, see how we live. And what? It is tempting! Although doubts, of course, are. What will you see there? A small town, taiga, launching grounds scattered for many kilometers and a simple soldier's life. Yet curiosity overpowers. It was decided: on the eve of Defender of the Fatherland Day, we are going to get acquainted with the main space harbor of the country. The route is not complicated: from the Arkhangelsk highway beyond Velskoe, you need to turn to Nyandoma and Kargopol, and then follow the sign “Plesetsk 176 km”. The locals, however, warn of a shitty grader in the final part of the journey, but in winter it should be quite suitable for “delicate” foreign cars. Well, let's see, such surprises are not the first time for us.
But before the start, a small exam provided by the editorial testing program.
IN THE FREEZER
Yes, yes, do not be surprised. North is north, but thirty-degree frost is a rarity even there. Since weather forecasters do not promise deep cooling in the planned terms, we are driving cars into the KEIR AMO ZIL airclimatic chamber already familiar to readers.
And now a couple, hung with thermocouples, blows an icy breeze. On the screen of the monitor there are columns of numbers: air temperature, “Tosol”, oil in engines and electrolyte in storage batteries. The first stage is minus 25 ° C. I feel that I'm worried, although the car is checked. And the whole colleague got close - at the last MOT, the candles on the Toyota did not change, they say, are efficient.
The starter of the Corolla buzzed cheerfully: a second, two, three, finally, the first flashes, and it confidently started working on the fifth motor. Now the turn of the "Lancer". The starter somehow lazily strains the flywheel, but the motor responds almost instantly.
Before the next experiment - a small meeting. The fact is that in “Corolla” SAE 5W40 engine oil, and in “Lancer” - 0W40. And this, of course, will affect the starting properties of the machines. We decide to freeze the Toyota to -28 ° C, Mitsubishi skips this point, risking to go immediately to -30 ° C.
Another day of cold … The testers rate this torture by the Corolla as critical. The engine still started, but the starter worked for 9 seconds, and the voltage in the on-board network at the time of start-up dropped to 8.7 V. Of course, you can experiment further, but it is advisable to replace the oil and candles. Then the engine is likely to overcome the 30-degree milestone. Our test program does not provide for this, because the machine must be operated on what the authorized dealer offers.
Mitsubishi remains alone. And the long-awaited minus 30 ° C. We feel the starter is incredibly hard. A second, third, fifth passes … Well! The first outbreaks appeared on the seventh, and finally on the tenth the engine rumbled. Victory?! It was obtained from the last forces: voltage of 7.8 V, and the engine speed at the time of start-up was only 90, instead of the desired 100-130. And then the ubiquitous photographer pays attention to a puddle of oil that suddenly appeared under the engine. What is it? A quick inspection showed that the oil filter was dripping. Where exactly, it is not clear, so we go to the nearest company service. There, under the guarantee, the detail giving the slack is changed. Let's hit the road!
Behind a thousand-odd kilometers, half of which is ice polished to a mirror shine, sometimes sprinkled with sand. The cars survived, although they were slightly damaged by a hundred-kilometer grader near Plesetsk. Here, the Lancer driver again had to dodge the potholes, slowing down the pace set by the Corolla. Nevertheless, we get lossless and, most importantly, on time. Despite the frost and piercing breeze are waiting for us. It turns out that Plesetsk is not the main thing, the territory of the cosmodrome begins further, after a strict checkpoint and a stele with the ingenuous name Mirny. Light, clean, comfortable. The people who surrounded the cars look with genuine interest. And questions, questions, questions. After a few minutes of road fatigue, as it was, communication was so interesting.
The next day, it’s their turn to share the secrets of the profession, and to us, with our mouths open, shake our heads admiringly at the sight of the scale of what is being created. They thought something like - poke a finger into the forest, they say, from here and conquer space. In fact, everything turned out to be much more serious, with an unexpected scope and developed infrastructure. We saw how enthusiastic people do difficult, painstaking, but very interesting work. Any story begins with the words: "And what a wonderful, modern, enormous one we have …". I didn’t want to leave, this town was so hospitable.
But here the road strip spins in the opposite direction, it's time for cars.
THIRTY - NOT AGE …
… but we can’t do without losses. “Toyota Corolla” upon returning from Yekaterinburg (2004, No. 9) did not long delight in impeccability. Some time ago, a clanging sound was heard in the front suspension. At first they sinned on the “gum” of the stabilizer, but the knock progressed. I had to go to the diagnosis. The left shock absorber strut lost 70% of its damping ability. At the Toyota service, the diagnosis did not surprise anyone. A similar defect occurs. Rack changed under warranty; the rest without comment.
Mitsubishi Lancer overcame this milestone according to the standard scheme: filters, oil and mandatory brake fluid replacement. Additionally checked the suspension, wheel alignment and engine systems on the motor tester. The latter procedure was considered necessary in front of the freezer - you never know what.
In addition to the spark plugs, everything turned out to be workable. Even the shock absorbers, which, according to the sensations, already partially increased their former elasticity, demonstrated 62–64% of the residual energy consumption in the front and 63–67% in the back. So the “Lancer” is doing great.
Interesting, but at first glance this “Japanese” is more expensive to maintain. However, a meticulous calculation of the costs of maintenance shows: as if by agreement, cars spend editorial money “head to head”, not allowing to allocate a squander.
But in terms of average fuel consumption, the Corolla is small, but still a leader. In our winter run, she “ate” 7.8 l / 100 km against the “Lanser” 8.0 l / 100 km.
So, the friendly visit of the "Japanese" to the spaceport was successfully completed. Cars do not deliver much trouble. So would go on!
Happy Defender of the Fatherland Day, dear friends!
Manufacturer: TOYOTA, TURKEY
Release year: 2003
In operation "DRIVING": since March 2004
Mileage at the time of the report: 35 thousand km
Previous journal publications: 2004, No. 5, 6, 9
Manufacturer: MITSUBISHI, JAPAN
Release year: 2003
In operation "DRIVING": since March 2004
Mileage at the time of the report: 33 thousand km