oil for Canadian winter?

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I plan on taking my Californian 88 Ford Festive to Edmonton for the winter. It gets to 40 below there, 30 F below for weeks. I may try stiffing it out without a block heater, with the hope that the right oil might make the difference as far as its starting. Any recommendations? Thanks
 

revharyo

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But you do use the block heater? I'm wondering if I can get by without one.
 
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The Canadian pure PAO synthetic "Motrlube 10W-40" advertises on their web site -40C. Costs a bunch ($8.50 USD? per litre), but they say run it 40,000 miles. Well, maybe 10,000 then. You know, when in Edmonton, do as the Edmontonites do...(in fact, there's a BITOG web-member from Edmonton that's in the process of submitting a UOA using the MotrLube).
 
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And another poster on here has said that German Castrol has a pour point of around -60C. If I remember my winters in Syracuse well, it was difficult to open the doors at 20+ below zero, let alone start the car. You might think about a "dog and sled."
 

Patman

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Any 0w30 should do the trick. If you're buying the oil up here, Walmart sells a synthetic 0w30 for $21 CDN for a 4.4L jug. Of course there is also GC 0w30, or Amsoil 0w30 too. You'd be safe running Mobil 1 0w20 as well (even though your engine doesn't call for it) during the cold months, it's now available up here at Canadian Tire.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by jbas: If I remember my winters in Syracuse well, it was difficult to open the doors at 20+ below zero, let alone start the car. You might think about a "dog and sled."
[LOL!] I just thought that was hilarious!! Patman is probably right a good 0W-30 would do the trick. But what's wrong with a block heater? If it were me, I'd take the oportunity to wire up a nifty 120VAC distribution point in the car with a programmable timer and circuit breakers. I'd have a heater for the pan, the block and, most importantly, the cabin. [Big Grin] [ May 07, 2004, 07:50 AM: Message edited by: ralan ]
 
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There's a reason I no longer live in New Hampshire. . . [Wink] Particularly if your stay up there is temporary, there's a simpler way to electrically warm your engine (not that there's anything wrong with ralan's suggestion, but it does entails some complexity). Back in the 70s, my Mom drove a '73 Dodge Dart, which could be a challenge to start on a cold morning, in the days before I'd even heard of synthetic oil. We used a plug-in dipstick, which was commonly available in hardware and auto parts stores. Some have timers, some don't. You take out the "real" dipstick and insert the heated one in its place. In the morning, you swap back. We got 100% easy starting from this cheap and simple solution. I haven't seen one of these for years (not much demand for them in Florida...), but if you can still get one, it might do the trick for you. Of course, you'll also need a long and heavy enough extension cord to make it work. Oh yeah, don't duplicate the "shocking" lesson I learned the hard way when I carelessly closed the hood on the first cord we used. . .
 

revharyo

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I thought dip stick heaters reportedly "burned" the oil? Except for a stick on oil pan heater, all the other types of engine heaters (besides a dangling external one) are a bit more hassle that I'd like, unless I really have to go that route, which I am prepared to. I'm just trying to assess my other options.
 
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I live in northern MN we have the same temp extremes, only more days that are extreme. My worry in cold weather isn't getting the car started but the damage to a cold engine. Any engine heater will take care of most of the problem. As for oil, I've done my own pouring test at -30 F. I found 0W30 Mobil 1 to be the best synthetic. For nonsynthetic; Quaker State Winter Blend is by far the best for extreme cold. We tested Canadian Tire 0W30, German Castrol 0W30, Amsoil 0W30 and the all did great but Mobli 1 was the clear winner and Canadian Tire the clear looser. [ May 07, 2004, 11:01 AM: Message edited by: Ironthinker ]
 
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They've got magnetic oil pan heaters for not much money. The magnets aren't good enough to drive with but the units don't cost much and are non-invasive to the car. Or will you be parking somewhere without an outlet?
 
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quote:
Originally posted by revharyo: I thought dip stick heaters reportedly "burned" the oil?
They may well do that. I'd check any product out before using it. My experience is too old to be predictive. We used some form of 70s dino, my mom NEVER changed it (back then, I just thought all that shiny black stuff I could see through the oil filler was normal!), She would just have me add some from time to time. Despite this abuse, the car, with the 225 Slant Six, ran nearly forever, and we got good cold morning starts for many years with the stick heater.
 
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the block heater will allow the auto's "heater" to warm MUCH faster, vs the "heated dipstick"...I lived in Eatern Maine for years and below 0'F was quite common down to about -25'F ...my ol' 67VW would barely crank on 20W-20 but, would start, I imagine that 'ol oil pump really worked hard then! [Big Grin] [Eek!] [Cheers!]
 

revharyo

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I'll be near power. I had thought of a magnetic heater with maybe some auxilary method to keep it from falling off - like screen door springs stretched over it and attached to suitable under the hood points. If I go to 0w30 Mobile 1, any problem in putting it in in mid summer, before I bring the car up from Whitefish, Montana? Mobile says no problem. Also, how should I view the worries of those who say I might be asking for leaks in this well running '88 vehicle?
 
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quote:
Originally posted by ekpolk:
quote:
Originally posted by revharyo: I thought dip stick heaters reportedly "burned" the oil?
They may well do that. I'd check any product out before using it. My experience is too old to be predictive. We used some form of 70s dino, my mom NEVER changed it (back then, I just thought all that shiny black stuff I could see through the oil filler was normal!), She would just have me add some from time to time. Despite this abuse, the car, with the 225 Slant Six, ran nearly forever, and we got good cold morning starts for many years with the stick heater.

No, no way a simple dipstick heater burned the oil. I doubt that. Start with a great new battery, get some M1 0W-30 and you should be fine there. [Big Grin]
 
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revharyo, yes I use the block heater. However there are times when I forgot to plugin. The old Mazda will start at -30F, however it does not sound good, not something I would want to do everyday.
 
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Welcome to Edmonchuck! I wouldn't bother to fight thru it without a block heater, they make a world of difference. Just drop into any CrappyTire and they will put one in the block for about $30 + labor. About the cost of your first fill of M1!! When in Edmonton, do like the 'Edminites'!. . . . doc
 
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Lots of people in Canada do not use their block heaters in winter. Perhaps they are bragging about their car or batteries, I dunno. My great friend Mike has a late-model Maxima and has yet to plug it in, he got it (used) in Aug of 2001. And he does NOT use synthetic, just what the dealership puts in. I, on the other hand, would love to have a oil pan heater added to my car. I love overkill I suppose [Razz] Last winter I ran GC, this winter it'll be RedLine, as it was 2 winters ago in my Elantra. Battery blankets are also a good idea BTW. My car failed to start one January noonish, despite being plugged in overnight. FWIW Rob-the-oil-nut
 

Yuk

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I had to endure -40c last winter for days at a time and I think I faired worse than the car [freaknout] . Dino oil was in the engine at the time, as I was in the middle of an Auto Rx treatment. The Petro Canada Maximum 5w-30 did fine. [Canada] I think the lack of trouble was entirely due to the trusty block heater and a strong battery. Get a block heater and a 0w-XX oil and only you and your wheel bearings will notice the temperature. [Cheers!]
 
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