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Old 12-06-2013, 10:30 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
At that temperature your oil is like grease. I've heard that the first 10 seconds an engine is operating while below -0- is without any lubricant. That is why oil or antifreeze circulating heaters are beneficial.
Synthetic lubricants remain liquid at far lower temperatures than Dino oil. When we switched our old air-cooled VWs over we could hear the engines spinning faster on cold mornings due to thinner oil (all other conditions being equal).

That said, it was -28'C here this morning and our smart car was happier due to having had its adhesive oil pan heater plugged in. It still grumbled a tad due to a cold battery.
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Old 12-06-2013, 11:17 AM   #22
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Jim it's good we are in the east, at our home in MB it's very cold but here in NC right now it's 75 & feels like it's 85, calling for a high of 78 today. What's it like in PA?

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Old 12-06-2013, 11:22 AM   #23
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Wow, that is cold, do you guys leave your vehicles plugged in at night with engine heaters?
My diesel needs to be plugged in for sure. It helps any vehicle to be plugged in, they start easier and less wear on the engines.
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We are not completely escaping winter here in southern Arizona. At Lost Dutchman State Park it was 27°F this morning. It is suppose to get up to 65° today...
Gosh Jon, sorry to hear of this misery.
Any day camping is a good day, despite the weather.
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:39 PM   #24
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I do not think I'm going to see BlackJack til Xmas…….
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:49 PM   #25
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Christmas is just around the corner.
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Old 12-06-2013, 01:05 PM   #26
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Sorry Jim
But better to be in one piece and not like Humpty Dumpty...
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Old 12-06-2013, 06:31 PM   #27
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Wow, that is cold, do you guys leave your vehicles plugged in at night with engine heaters?
It is routine for vehicles sold in at least some parts of Canada to be equipped with engine heaters (like an option that is already chosen for you), but I haven't plugged in for years. In colder areas (e.g. Alberta, Northern Ontario) it is common for employee parking lots, apartment parking lots, and some paid parking facilities to have power outlets for them... but most cars in them are not plugged in.

Starting warmer is better for the engine, more comfortable in the interior, and quicker to have effective defrosting, but it is not perfect:
  • the heaters usually heat only the coolant (or in some cases one area of the block), so the oil is not warm at startup (but gets warm quickly)
  • the transmission is not warmed at all
  • the interior is still just as cold (but warms up faster because the heater produces heater sooner)
  • very cold extension cords are a pain to deal with
  • some sort of timer is required or overnight use is mostly wasted energy

My car is at full operating temperature in about 5 minutes from starting (and immediately driving off) even in today's -26 degree C weather, so an engine heater is really just a headstart on that.

A recent trend is for people to use remote starters with a thermostatically-controlled keep-warm feature which starts the engine to idle for a while whenever the temperature gets low enough in a parked vehicle. This, of course, consumes fuel; it is also freaky when the truck you are borrowing starts itself in the driveway at midnight (been there, seen that). I asked someone in the Northwest Territories about this, given the high local cost of fuel, and his response was "have you seen the price of electricity here?"


The end of the engine heater cord in my Focus tore apart when I unplugged it (which required a lot of force) a few years ago, and I have never been sufficiently motivated to replace it during warm weather... so I can't use it. If it were still functional, I would have plugged in last night; however, I still wouldn't have plugged in more than a few times this year.
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Old 12-06-2013, 06:41 PM   #28
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Sorry Jim
But better to be in one piece and not like Humpty Dumpty...
Well said Vicki! EXACTLY!! A delay is much better than any accident. There are no small accidents with those trailers underway. Better to wait and a bit of disappointment, than any accident. Besides, what is that's said about distance makes the heart grow fonder? Trying to help here Jim....
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Old 12-07-2013, 01:11 PM   #29
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At that temperature your oil is like grease. I've heard that the first 10 seconds an engine is operating while below -0- is without any lubricant. That is why oil or antifreeze circulating heaters are beneficial.
100% Synthetic 0-20 Mobile 1 is my friend here in Banff this winter. Very low pour & pump point and easy on fuel too
-36c/-32f here the other morning. 09 Ford Escape fired up on first try (not plugged in)
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Old 12-07-2013, 01:20 PM   #30
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Having never lived above upstate NY, my experience with extreme cold was somewhat limited. Visiting Fort St. John, BC in January was a real eye opener - 50 below zero was pretty extreme. Also, seeing engine heating plugs for long term parking at Edmonton Airport was unexpected!
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Old 12-07-2013, 01:25 PM   #31
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Back in the dark ages - mid 60s- I lived in a town north of Montreal. One very cold morhing I came out to start my VW, which, having a block heater, fired right up. But it wouldn't go anywhere since the grease in the axels had frozen solid!

Moved to Miami shortly thereafter....
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Old 12-07-2013, 03:12 PM   #32
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We should all be extremely thankful for global warming, or these winter temperatures would really be cold. Don't ask me what I really think about AGW.
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Old 12-07-2013, 04:12 PM   #33
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Actually, it is the global warming that is causing colder weather!!
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Old 12-07-2013, 04:28 PM   #34
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100% Synthetic 0-20 Mobile 1 is my friend here in Banff this winter. Very low pour & pump point and easy on fuel too
-36c/-32f here the other morning. 09 Ford Escape fired up on first try (not plugged in)
Good point - synthetics (even of the same viscosity grade) thicken must less at low temperatures, making cranking easier and flowing better for lubrication. I have used only synthetics for so long I forgot to mention it. Many vehicles now come stock from the factory with synthetic engine oil.

Once started, the next challenge with a manual transmission is to shift gears. On the coldest days, just letting the clutch pedal up in neutral in my first car would stall the engine if it had just been started. The first couple of shifts once moving were like stirring molasses. I switched to synthetic gear oil and that helps a lot. Even at more moderate temperatures, it's still an improvement.

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Also, seeing engine heating plugs for long term parking at Edmonton Airport was unexpected!
I haven't used them, but it would be helpful sometimes. The airport (and other parking businesses around the airport) offer a free boosting service for those who get back to find their car won't crank fast or long enough to start. One of them even brings your car inside and gets it warm and ready for you - more expensive service than I use!

I first saw outlets in parking lots in the Muskoka area of Ontario... south of anything in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, or the territories, but still colder than southern Ontario.

It's up to -20C here today; I think I'll take the dog out to the off-leash park tomorrow.
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Old 12-08-2013, 08:41 AM   #35
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Our dog Jasper goes out for an hour run every day, no matter what the weather, looking forward to it every time. I just bundle up as required, and follow along. Hard to stop my eyelids from freezing shut a couple days early last week.
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Old 12-08-2013, 09:59 AM   #36
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Our dog gets his walk every morning, but not an hour, and I've lived that freezing face experience. The off-leash park is a longer walk, and more of a social event. Should be lots of people and dogs there today... it's only -19C now, and it might be a bit warmer this afternoon.
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Old 12-08-2013, 03:07 PM   #37
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Looking at a balmy -13°C right now, with glorious sunshine. Just about to head out for our walk. Will be meeting up with my SIL and her dog. We are real lucky to live minutes away from Nose Hill Park, Canada's largest Municipal Park. Right from my back yard onto a green strip, I have only to cross one road on our way there. The dogs love pretending to be great vole hunters up there, bounding through the grass and snow.
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Old 12-08-2013, 05:01 PM   #38
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Well, we lost the sun, the temps dropped a bit, but there was next to no wind. A great walk, and a good day to live in Calgary.
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Old 12-08-2013, 05:33 PM   #39
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Well, we lost the sun, the temps dropped a bit, but there was next to no wind. A great walk, and a good day to live in Calgary.
Oh ....burrrrrr!!
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Old 12-08-2013, 05:37 PM   #40
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Oh ....burrrrrr!!
Shoulda come out for a walk up Nose Hill, Gabi. We were sweating by the time we got to the top, carrying our gloves.

If you don't embrace it and enjoy, then winter can be no fun at all. Not that I don't look forward to retiring, and Escaping a bit more.
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