Best oil for Chevy 2.7 in ND winter

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Feb 15, 2021
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So I live on the Canadian border in the cold area in the continental US. We get below -30F every winter and days (all day) below -20 f every year. I have a new 2022 silverado with the new 2.7 HO engine (which I love), they couldn’t put an engine block heater in her because the parts weren’t available and they apparently have to take the whole front of the truck apart to retrofit it now and I don’t want that. So until there is an aftermarket option I’m going to be without an engine block heater. The manual says I can run ow-30 in it when -20f temps are expected, right now it has M1 5w-30 EP in it. What 0w-30 oils have the best low temperature flow qualities? I can get M1 fuel economy oil locally, I believe I saw Castro too. What do y’all think?
 

hrv

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I would go with your owners book.....not other peoples opinions....As far as a brand...If it meets the specs for you vehicle and it is a name brand....use it...IMO
 
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Whatever 0W-30 that meets the Dexos Gen 3 spec and motor on. Hint: you’re pretty much stuck with Mobil 1 AFE.
 
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So I live on the Canadian border in the cold area in the continental US. We get below -30F every winter and days (all day) below -20 f every year. I have a new 2022 silverado with the new 2.7 HO engine (which I love), they couldn’t put an engine block heater in her because the parts weren’t available and they apparently have to take the whole front of the truck apart to retrofit it now and I don’t want that. So until there is an aftermarket option I’m going to be without an engine block heater. The manual says I can run ow-30 in it when -20f temps are expected, right now it has M1 5w-30 EP in it. What 0w-30 oils have the best low temperature flow qualities? I can get M1 fuel economy oil locally, I believe I saw Castro too. What do y’all think?
You “can” run any winter rating that’s appropriate for the expected starting conditions. There is no restriction on using an oil with a better rating than is required. If you’re really starting at -30 then use a grade with a 0W rating.

And it’s not about flow it’s about cranking and pumpability.
 
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I'm a thickie but even i wouldn't be against lowering down to a 20 grade in those temps. But Pennzoil ultra platinum 5w-30 is known to flow very well because of its base being pretty resilient to forming wax crystals in the cold. Do you leave it in the garage or outside? If it has remote start it wouldn't be bad to let it idle for minute or two but that's more for letting the interior warm up for comfort. But more importantly just drive softly since putting a load does warm it up faster than idling. I don't really start acceleration beyond 2000rpm until i see the temp gauge start to go up.
 
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Get a magnetic block heater. Just find a spot on the engine or oil pan and stick it on. I had one once and used to plug it into a timer outside my garage. About 2-3 hours before I left for work and the car always started. Don't need one now where I live. Rarely gets much below freezing.

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Then use the stick on heaters

Its for the OP to research where and how many he wants. I'd consider one for the transmission too. And, if vehicle is left outside, maybe one for the battery. There are also splice and dice hose/coolant pumped heaters for those that don't want a block heater.
 
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I live in Winnipeg so I feel your pain on this one. Looking at pictures of the 2.7 it looks like it has a plastic oil pan that's not flat on the bottom, so I don't think a stick on silicon pad would stay on for very long. The splice in coolant heater maybe your best option.

 

Texcl2

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Yeah, I wouldn’t use a type of oil not listed as acceptable in the manual, it’s why I mentioned it in the original post. I was asking what 0w-30 oil do y’all think flows the best in sub -20f weather, sorry about the confusion. Yes the pan is plastic and it is honey comb textured so the glue on pan heating pads won’t work well and the smooth sides are too narrow. I thought about just tossing an electric blanket in there on nights below -20f, not sure if that would help since the oil pan is down low. I thought maybe one brand of oil might shine as far as low temp flow. Interesting fact about the factory block heater, it won’t even come on unless the ambient temperature is below -10f. I might be left with the hose heater, will have to ask the dealer if that would void the warranty.
 
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As far as engine warmup goes, the 2.7L is actually pretty novel in operation.

The 2.7L doesn't have a thermostat and instead uses a coolant manifold with individual valves to direct the coolant and an electric water pump. There are loops for the heater core, engine oil and transmission cooler, and radiator.

During warm-up and cold weather operation, the cooling system can effectively bypass the radiator entirely and instead dump engine heat into the heater core (warming the cabin), engine oil cooler (warming the engine oil), and transmission cooler (warming the transmission fluid).

Doesn't really correct for a missing block heater, but the system does seem pretty optimized for cold weather operation, putting heat where it can be used most effectively and quickly getting into a proper operational temperature envelope.
 
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factory block heater, it won’t even come on unless the ambient temperature is below -10f.
Our Traverse had the temp sensor on the plug in end that wouldn't power the block heater until around -18C and below and sometimes didn't work at all. GM says your car will throw a code if you cut it off, I ended up cutting it and I don't plug in at above -13C. Never had a code.
 
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I was asking what 0w-30 oil do y’all think flows the best in sub -20f weather, sorry about the confusion.


You nor your engine will notice any difference. Just pick any major brand of 0W-30 and run it with no worries.
 
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Mobil 1 0w30 advanced fuel economy that is Dexos approved would be a great option. Typically available at Walmart for reasonable price.

Or if you have a Amsoil dealer nearby maybe Signature Series 0w30.
 
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