How Cold is TOO Cold for SN+/SP "Conventional"?

Subie5w30

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57
Location
Colorado
Well in that case, then it will all depend on the design of the engine and/or the oil filter. OP did have a point about how the oil pump doesn't behave like a cup pouring cold oil like in the videos on Youtube. That freezing honey oil might be flowing better than we think when it gets past the pump. It definitely won't be flowing good enough to protect an engine if it's hot, but it's lubricating a cold engine nonetheless.

Sorry not sure I follow what you meant at the end there regarding not protecting an engine if it's hot....?
 

Subie5w30

Thread starter
Messages
57
Location
Colorado
I have started multiple vehicles @-35F and lower after cold soaking at my workplace parking lot for 12+ hours. They start poorly, idle poorly and run poorly until somewhat warmed up. Many automatic transmissions will not shift above 2nd gear until the transmission builds heat. Manual transmission vehicles take extra effort in gear selection as it feels like they are full of taffy. After my first winter here 15 years ago, I changed to 100% synthetic oils just for the cold flow/pumping characteristics. I have also installed engine heaters on my daily work drivers which are great if I manage to get a parking spot with a receptacle. It is interesting how cold air sinks. It can be -40F along the river in the parking lot and a balmy -20F 1/4 mile away at the entrance gate into the plant on the bluff maybe 100 feet higher in elevation. The coldest I have seen it was on Interstate 25 near Casper at the bottom of a draw where my car temperature readout was -58F and, like usual, a warm -35F at the top of the grade. I can tell you this. Wyoming is going to be in my rear view mirror when I retire. View attachment 29134

Whew after that breakdown of Wyoming winters (and we're not THAT far from you guys) I have far fewer concerns about the foothills and front range winter temps here now ha! In truth in the last few years I can count on one hand how many times the ambient temps even dipped below 0F and it was always almost Jan - early March anyway.
 
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1,918
Location
British Columbia, Canada
Manual transmission vehicles take extra effort in gear selection as it feels like they are full of taffy. View attachment 29134
My wife was driving our '63 Chevy II on a very cold morning. She tore the gear shift lever right off the steering column on the way to work. So I came along and fiddled with the levers under the hood, and put the transmission into second gear so I could drive it over to our favourite garage (Shirley's Service in Saskatoon).

Those mechanics loved that old car. They went to a used parts guy and came back with 3 or 4 different shifters to get it going again. Cost me $20 to fix it. Those were the days!
 
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2,401
Location
WY
Whew after that breakdown of Wyoming winters (and we're not THAT far from you guys) I have far fewer concerns about the foothills and front range winter temps here now ha! In truth in the last few years I can count on one hand how many times the ambient temps even dipped below 0F and it was always almost Jan - early March anyway.
Colorado has its share of cold. Gunnison? Where the real cold is in Wyoming or Colorado isn't near any official weather stations. I have noticed that the last few winters have been pretty mild. No prolonged day after day subzero temperatures like in years past. A couple days here and there is now the new normal it seems.
 
Edmonton, January 15, 2020

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Messages
5,242
Location
Southeast Texas
It is interesting how cold air sinks. It can be -40F along the river in the parking lot and a balmy -20F 1/4 mile away at the entrance gate into the plant on the bluff maybe 100 feet higher in elevation. The coldest I have seen it was on Interstate 25 near Casper at the bottom of a draw where my car temperature readout was -58F and, like usual, a warm -35F at the top of the grade.

Sinking cold air causes Yakutsk to be the worlds coldest city. Its in a valley.

 
Messages
694
Location
Alaska and Wisconsin
Lots of -25 to -35 deg F temps in southcentral Alaska. Using SOPUS synthetic 5W-30 oils, I've never once had a problem. They are great in the cold.

At -20 deg F, I very much did have an initial start/flow problem with Magnatec 5W-30 oil in Wisconsin. I do like their oil, just not in the wintertime.
 
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