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There is a ribbon wire that goes from the body of the radio to the faceplate. It my be loose on the pins or failing. There is also a chance that the printed circuit on the rear of the face plate is going bad. You'll probably have to send it in for repair.
What guards are you referring to? Can you pinpoint where the cold air is coming in with the assistance of another person?
Condensation is fairly common on the oil filter cap in colder weather on a lot of engines. It's most likely just water condensed from the normal blow-by gasses. If your really concerned monitor the coolant level for loss, when you change it in a week have an oil analysis sample bottle on hand to send it to a lab so they can test for coolant.
Does the key still work in the door lock cylinder? As far as everything being dead, is the battery drained? What happens if you attach jumper cables?
What timing are you trying to set?
Get a spark checker and make sure the coil can fire it. If not you could have a PCM or wiring issue causing the loss of spark that may simply have been disturbed when you did the first attempt and temporarily fixed itself. Without testing to see what you are missing, spark, fuel or compression you could have a really tough time figuring this out.
Find a shop that has a scan tool that can access the security data in the PATS module and they can retrieve that for you.
Are the bleeder screws at the top of the calipers or the bottom?
There is a wiring harness that passes through the firewall (on each side) just behind the strut towers, and below the windshield. The body seals fail and water that is coming off of the windshield flows right past the connector and into the car when the seal fails.
Jason Krenovi has a transmission shop in Beaver, the back side of the 400 block of third street. His dad owns Beaver Tire. I'd recommend him to take a look at this for you. There are some transmissions today that can lose reverse because of an electronics failure and yours is one of those. I do suspect that you are likely needing a repair, failure of the reverse band is quite common.