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Author Topic: 2 ways to increase fuel economy if you live where it gets very cold. Back to Topics
boolka

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Ontario

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Message Posted: Sep 7, 2011 9:17:19 AM

I live in Toronto, and it gets to -30C in the winter.
2 great ways to save on gas are:
1) get a engine block heater, and put it on a timer, so your engine is warm and ready.
2) Use synthetic oil during winter.
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GrumpyCat
Champion Author Alabama

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Message Posted: Feb 14, 2014 11:20:28 AM

I bought a Tesla Model S. I can turn its heater (or A/C) on from anywhere with internet with iPhone app. Plus its 100% safe to do so while the car is still in the garage.

[Edited by: GrumpyCat at 2/14/2014 11:19:48 AM EST]
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GrumpyCat
Champion Author Alabama

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Message Posted: Feb 14, 2014 11:19:15 AM

Block your radiator with cardboard.
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rumbleseat
Champion Author Winnipeg

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Message Posted: Feb 14, 2014 8:56:51 AM

I have a block heater in my Suzuki. I have never plugged it in, never plugged my Escort in either, after I started using synthetic oil. When the wind chill is lower than -40, it does take a couple of extra turns of the key, but it goes every time.
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Madridjoe
Veteran Author Lancaster

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Message Posted: Feb 14, 2014 6:25:06 AM

both my vehicles have block heaters
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twt
Champion Author Virginia Beach

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Message Posted: Feb 14, 2014 3:26:36 AM

Block heater is a good idea, in a cold climate.
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rumbleseat
Champion Author Winnipeg

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Message Posted: Feb 14, 2014 1:16:39 AM

"-Cant be installed on Stick shift cars"

Sure it can. There are many models of remote starter that work with standard transmission, they are set up so that the starter WON'T engage if the car is left in gear, and the car has to have the emergency brake on as well as the vehicle being in neutral. Such installations actually make up about 20% of installed startes.
Here is the solution as described by one installer:
"Our vendor has a very effective way of doing this. First of all, when you are ready to get out of your car, you need to engage the emergency brake. You do this before you shut off the car. This is a sign to the remote car starter to keep the car running even after you turn off the key. After that, you press the start button on your remote car starter remote. Next you actually turn off the key and the car stays running. Now you make sure that the car is in neutral and get out of the car. When you close the door, the car shuts off. Why go through all of that? If the car is still running when you get out of the car, obviously it had to be in neutral."
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gougedQC
Champion Author Montreal

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Message Posted: Feb 13, 2014 8:55:28 PM

It is the cold temperature, the colder it is, the longer it takes, obviously, but in winter, I have warmth coming out of my vents faster than I had in the 1960s and 1970s.

That is undoubtedly true..but undoubtedly due to more efficient engine and systems designs, and materials.. aluminium block versus cast iron for example...computer controls vs rusty spring manifold heat riser.. etc

I doubt ethanol contaminated gas has an effect for or against
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HotRod10
Champion Author Wyoming

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Message Posted: Feb 13, 2014 10:25:44 AM

"Automatic start...Cant be installed on Stick shift cars (If left in gear and auto started, Car will shoot forward)"

I seen some installed on cars with MT. Per About.com' s Cartech article on the subject:

"That means there are actually three things that an automatic car starter has to do if it is installed in a vehicle that has a manual transmission. It has to:
•disable the clutch interlock
•verify the transmission is in neutral
•verify that the parking brake is activated

...Some vehicles present more of a problem than others, but a skilled technician will typically be able to find a safe workaround in just about any case."
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whoarocco
Rookie Author Long Island

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Message Posted: Feb 12, 2014 10:41:23 PM

Automatic start can be an alternative to an engine block heater.
+ in the summer you can get in a cool car instead of an oven.

Down side: -burn more gas= lower MPGs
-Expensive when done by dealer (400-800)
-Cant be installed on Stick shift cars (If left in gear and auto started, Car will shoot forward)
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rumbleseat
Champion Author Winnipeg

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Message Posted: Feb 12, 2014 8:06:36 PM

thirstyV8suv saysL "It's the ethanol-laden gasoline combined with the cold temps causing extended time before reaching operating temperature."

Is it your contention that cars warmed up faster in winter before the advent of E10?
48 winters I have been driving on the Prairies, and I have only one comment.
That is absolutely hilarious.
It is the cold temperature, the colder it is, the longer it takes, obviously, but in winter, I have warmth coming out of my vents faster than I had in the 1960s and 1970s.

I also use 5w-30 oil year round since it became available. I switched to a synthetic blend quite a few years ago, and now use full synthetic exclusively.

[Edited by: rumbleseat at 2/12/2014 8:08:18 PM EST]
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Houckster
Champion Author Atlanta

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Message Posted: Feb 12, 2014 11:48:34 AM

THIRSTYV8SUV writes: It's the ethanol-laden gasoline combined with the cold temps causing extended time before reaching operating temperature.
_____
It is true that the colder it is outside, the longer it will take for the engine to reach operating temperature. I have seen no evidence that ethanol-laced gas prolongs the warming of the engine.
*******
I use a 5W50 oil year round without problem but it's a true synthetic not a pretender like Mobil 1 that's primarily made from Group III petroleum.
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hoopitup2000
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Feb 12, 2014 7:32:57 AM

Use Mobil 1 synthetic oil & drop down 1 step. This is OK to do with the car warranty requirements

Car requires 5w-20 > Use 0w-20
Car requires 5w-30 > Use 0w-30
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hosedagain
All-Star Author Toronto

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Message Posted: Feb 12, 2014 7:25:19 AM

good tips
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Fredelin
Champion Author Toronto

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Message Posted: Feb 12, 2014 7:09:21 AM

Some of you are funny... or mischievous. He, host, do you live north of the Province to get those temperatures? Block heater is the best idea
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HotRod10
Champion Author Wyoming

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2014 3:10:00 PM

"I have been getting infinite mpg by walking."

No, it's still 0 mpg. 0 Miles driven divided by 0 gallons is still 0 mpg.
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FrankLee1
All-Star Author Minnesota

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2014 2:57:39 PM

Like gouged, I have been getting infinite mpg by walking. I haven't driven my car since Thanksgiving.
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twt
Champion Author Virginia Beach

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2014 5:32:49 AM

I use synth4etic oil, year round.
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GLM4205
Champion Author Toledo

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2014 5:23:30 AM

I use what the manufacturer recommonds and that is 5w30 oil.
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HotRod10
Champion Author Wyoming

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Message Posted: Feb 10, 2014 3:24:23 PM

"HOtrod.. the difference is you created a great deal of unnecessary pollution and Boolka didn't"

Actually, Boolka created pollution too, but it was at the power plant instead of in the driveway. Not better, just different.

Idling included, I'm producing less pollution per mile than probably 95% of drivers.
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rumbleseat
Champion Author Winnipeg

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Message Posted: Feb 10, 2014 3:27:51 AM

I haven't blocked a grill for YEARS. My present car, and my previous car, always reached operating temperature no matter how cold the day. It takes longer in winter because I have't plugged my car in for years, since I started using synthetic oil, and in this car, synthetic transmission fluid, and synthetic in the differential and transfer case. The gauge reaches the same temperature reading whether it is plus 35C with A/C running, or minus 30 C.
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gougedQC
Champion Author Montreal

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Message Posted: Feb 9, 2014 11:47:53 AM

I improve gas mileage by dressing warmly and walking 15 minutes to the store.

even at -25 C (which we have had a lot of) its no problem..

although if there's a strong wind...ooh that's bitter.
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thirstyV8suv
All-Star Author Columbus

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Message Posted: Feb 8, 2014 8:53:49 PM

I employ both of these tactics with the addition of using full synthetic (Mobil1) year round. I'm still averaging around 12.5mpg.

It's the ethanol-laden gasoline combined with the cold temps causing extended time before reaching operating temperature.
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Houckster
Champion Author Atlanta

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Message Posted: Feb 8, 2014 4:15:22 PM

LUVMYRV writes: Synthetic oil has no impact on fuel economy...helps to get a quick flow of oil in the first couple minutes in cold weather, but you wont see any measurable fuel economy in using it.
______
This isn't true. There will be a very small improvement but more noticeable improvement will be seen if the entire drivetrain employs true synthetics as opposed to synthetic pretenders using petroleum.

Economy is not only to be measured initially, but during the service life of the oil. Petroleum lubricants deteriorate faster, especially during more extreme driving conditions than true synthetic lubes.

I use true synthetic lubricants year round because there's no need to change them. The synthetics I use last for years.
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riverrising
Champion Author Missouri

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Message Posted: Feb 8, 2014 2:28:38 PM

increase the tire air pressure to 40 in colder weather.psi? sorry, brain block,lol

[Edited by: riverrising at 2/8/2014 2:27:30 PM EST]
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gougedQC
Champion Author Montreal

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Message Posted: Feb 7, 2014 7:39:19 PM

HOtrod.. the difference is you created a great deal of unnecessary pollution and Boolka didnt
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HotRod10
Champion Author Wyoming

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Message Posted: Feb 7, 2014 5:38:49 PM

I did the math and decided it was about the same cost to let my engine warm up idling as paying for the electricity to run the block heater.

Btw boolka, it was -32C (-25F) here a couple nights ago, with a high of -4F the next day.
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luvmyrv
All-Star Author Winnipeg

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Message Posted: Feb 7, 2014 4:57:31 PM

Synthetic oil has no impact on fuel economy...helps to get a quick flow of oil in the first couple minutes in cold weather, but you wont see any measurable fuel economy in using it.
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rhail2
Champion Author Kentucky

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Message Posted: Jan 27, 2012 12:02:30 PM

thanks for the Info
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reb4
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Jan 26, 2012 10:03:10 PM

move somewhere warmer... :-)
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GBHUGVA
Champion Author Virginia Beach

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Message Posted: Jan 26, 2012 5:36:36 AM

Ford Fusion EV/hybrid
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chuckwthompson
Champion Author Charlotte

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Message Posted: Jan 26, 2012 2:22:47 AM

Great idea!
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Locomotion
Rookie Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Jan 24, 2012 10:09:37 AM

Boolka is correct. It also helps in the summer by dissipating heat better. And more efficiency can be gained by Changing your transmission and differential to synthetic oil as well. I have used Amsoil since 1972, in 7 cars, 3 boats, 3 trucks and many small engines. A friend told me about Amsoil and I was so happy I became a dealer. I have been impressed by the extended drain interval, now 25000 miles or one year and Amsoil is the only oil company that guarantees there oil. AMSOIL Limited Warranty
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dontuknowOH
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2012 8:49:59 AM

About the E..coolant fans running; They won't even come on if the sensors are working proper,like jimmy 554 mentioned,but I was refering to when Fall /Spring temps as when they do at times when the engine is working harder or being stopped in traffic.

The outside air at say 50-65 degrees F is then a range which allow the fans to possible come on, depends, two months each Fall then about two months in the Spring,that is when the 1/2 speed could benefit less amperage draw on the system,for savings.

Saying the fans wear/tear could be reduced also,the runtime would benefit,because of the cooler weather having the advantage to quickly reduce the coolant temps then, over the hotter Summer extremes.

My mileage losses start when the outside temps overnight drop to only 60 degrees compared to 75 D... These seasons do have a lot of effects on engine behavior (modern ones at that not only mine) So I grabb at any thing that helps me or my machines benefit. It might not work for your region of driving. Diying is experimental,should show progress! ? ? Hmm....
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redcoral
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2012 2:36:38 AM

I live near Toronto, outside of the city (where it gets even colder) and I'm thinking of using an engine block heater and doing a full or partial grille block to improve fuel economy. That's in addition to putting more air in the tyres when it's cold to get them back to the specified pressure of course!
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MTWaddell
Sophomore Author Milwaukee

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Message Posted: Jan 15, 2012 11:16:37 PM

Pay attention to your tire pressures. Tires will always drop pressure in cold weather and we all know that under inflated tires waste gas.
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ricebike
Champion Author New Jersey

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Message Posted: Jan 15, 2012 10:28:30 PM

good to know
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oilpan4
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jan 15, 2012 10:07:18 PM

"For extreem cold regins,how about the electric cooling fans being altered to run at 1/2 the normal by a reduced voltage amount switched by the driver".

Why run the cooling fan at all if the engine isn't up to operating temperature? My cooling fans haven't been turned on in weeks.

I am running a half grill block and I still don't get to full operating temp most days.
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gougedQC
Champion Author Montreal

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Message Posted: Jan 15, 2012 3:23:17 PM

mnrick041

just so you know, going from a warm garage to a cold exterior promotes rust in your car and water in the fuel tank, simply from condensation on the metal surfaces as they change quickly from one temp to the other. Especially as you are doing this every day.
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diesdown
Champion Author North Carolina

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Message Posted: Jan 13, 2012 10:28:47 PM

Use the correct wt synthetic oil year around.....once you go synthetic, not supposed to alternate.
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maryph1958
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Jan 13, 2012 7:38:32 PM

good to know
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jimmy544
Champion Author Boston

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Message Posted: Jan 13, 2012 7:33:42 PM

If your electric radiator fan is properly regulated it will not run if the temperature is too cold. That is how it properly runs. That is how the electric fan saves fuel.
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schiguy24
Rookie Author West Virginia

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Message Posted: Jan 13, 2012 3:55:53 PM

good to know
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dontuknowOH
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Jan 13, 2012 2:05:00 PM

For extreem cold regins,how about the electric cooling fans being altered to run at 1/2 the normal by a reduced voltage amount switched by the driver. The amperage draw would be less,when they automatically run saving a bit of fuel.
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rumbleseat
Champion Author Winnipeg

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Message Posted: Jan 13, 2012 5:00:05 AM

"One car says use 10/30 and that is good for most of N. America in the winter."
I haven't used 10w-30 for at least 35 years. I use 5w-30 year-round, and have used it in every vehicle made in 1976 and newer.
I started using semi-synthetic quite a few years ago, and for the last coupld of years full synthetic.
10w-30 is no good for a car parked outside if the temperature hits -30 and colder.
5w-20 is the same at winter temperatures as 5w-30, the car will start exactly the same with either. It will be different at operating temperatures. It appears manufacturers are recommending it for CAFE reasons. Check your Ford manual that says use 5w-20, then check the manual for the same car, same engine in Britain, it says 5w-30. It is virtually impossible to even buy 5w-30 in Britain.
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oilpan4
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jan 13, 2012 4:15:54 AM

Synthetic oil can be made thinner at lower temps than regular oil.
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GaspricesblowNC
Rookie Author Greensboro

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Message Posted: Jan 13, 2012 3:56:39 AM

The engine block heater makes sense. How does the synthetic oil help?
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MIT05
Champion Author Massachusetts

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Message Posted: Jan 13, 2012 12:10:26 AM

good to know
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hailsupersport
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Jan 12, 2012 2:08:43 PM

ok
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dontuknowOH
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Jan 12, 2012 12:27:54 PM

jimmy544; I have been wondering about your profile picture,it looks like a 31" ford a model,fenderless nostalgia rod,Icould be wrong, wondering?
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jimmy544
Champion Author Boston

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Message Posted: Jan 12, 2012 12:15:42 PM

You don't need synthethic oil in the winter but a lighter grade is good. One car says use 10/30 and that is good for most of N. America in the winter. Some newer cars have used 5/30 or even 5/20 and there is some 0/20 out there which you might run in the dead of winter.
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