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Old 12-05-2013, 06:54 AM   #1
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Below zero weather

We've been having a nasty cold front here in Colorado with this morning's temperature at -10 degrees and tomorrow's morning temperature around -9 degrees. My question is this: This morning I had a hard time getting the Jeep to turn on, it was more or less hesitating. And when it did start up, it sounded like the motor was trying to unstick itself, and made an interesting noise, like a low pitch whining sound when I had it in park until I put it in drive, and then the noise went away. I have a fairly new battery, under a year and a half old, and it's a diehard.

I live in an apartment complex and the Jeep sits out in the cold with no protection. And I've heard to not drive short distances when it's literally below freezing out or cold for that matter. My drive in freezing weather is no more than 10 minutes. I'm seeing if this is a myth, or something I should take into consideration? I know the heat won't heat up the Jeep on cold days like this for at least 20 minutes.

Any and all help is greatly appreciated.

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Old 12-05-2013, 08:23 AM   #2
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What oil are you using? 5W30, 10W30, 10W40? There are recommended oil viscosities for cold weather areas and you need to check the range and get the best type for your region.
Do you have a block heater or can you get one installed?
At your apartment would there be access to an outlet to plug in a block heater?
Short distances are bad for engines because they don't get up to temperature and that causes other issues.

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Old 12-05-2013, 08:44 AM   #3
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What oil are you using? 5W30, 10W30, 10W40? There are recommended oil viscosities for cold weather areas and you need to check the range and get the best type for your region.
Do you have a block heater or can you get one installed?
At your apartment would there be access to an outlet to plug in a block heater?
Short distances are bad for engines because they don't get up to temperature and that causes other issues.
No outlet for a block heater. I'm using 10W30. Yea, I'm thinking I may have to get up earlier and just drive. What kind of issues could I have driving very short distances in this type of weather?
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Old 12-05-2013, 09:04 AM   #4
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It sure as hell was/is cold. I'm in the foothills and we lost power half of the night. Nothing really to contribute to this thread but might as well say 'hi'!
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Old 12-05-2013, 09:07 AM   #5
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It sure as hell was/is cold. I'm in the foothills and we lost power half of the night. Nothing really to contribute to this thread but might as well say 'hi'!
So I read you all lost power till 5am was it? Do you have power now? And hi back
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Old 12-05-2013, 09:15 AM   #6
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I'm using 10W30.
I highly recommend 5W30 for Colorado winters.
I'm in the Fraser/Winter Park area and my Jeep starts first or second crank just reaching in and turning the key. It also lives outside, no garage.
Today's morning temp (-26) and she fired right up as usual:
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Old 12-05-2013, 09:19 AM   #7
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Mine had a hard time starting this morning as well but it did it on the first try after a little effort. I have heard that same noise you are talking about and I think that it just the sound of the engine running before the oil has that chance to fully circulate. I know on mine it only lasts about 2 seconds and then goes away. I also recommend switching to a 5w30 oil during the winter as it makes it easier to circulate the lighter weighted oil on these cold days. I generally (especially yesterday and today) will let my Jeep idle about 3 min. before I even begin to drive so that way the fluids have a good chance of circulating and warming up a little. I am in the same boat as I have parking where the Jeep is not covered and no garage...lol
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Old 12-05-2013, 09:24 AM   #8
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not sure if it matters but I let mine warm up to operating temp before giddy up.... about 10mins on average.
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Old 12-05-2013, 09:26 AM   #9
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I'm using 10W30.
Change that out for a synthetic 5W-30 which works superbly in uber-cold conditions. It flows & can be pumped around much more easily in those types of cold conditions. That is what I'd run in the winter there & then switch back to a conventional 10W-30 for the warmer months.
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Old 12-05-2013, 09:30 AM   #10
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synthetic 5W-30 which works superbly in uber-cold conditions.
^^ This too.
I'm running Valvoline Max Life syn blend now.
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Old 12-05-2013, 09:32 AM   #11
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Change that out for a synthetic 5W-30 which works superbly in uber-cold conditions. It flows & can be pumped around much more easily in those types of cold conditions. That is what I'd run in the winter there & then switch back to a conventional 10W-30 for the warmer months.
^^ This is what I follow as well in regards to what oil weight I use throughout the year.
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Old 12-05-2013, 09:56 AM   #12
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I have been thinking of getting a remote starter for the cold. I have a black key (so no security chip). This would run around $200-$250 installed.
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Old 12-05-2013, 10:09 AM   #13
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change that out for a synthetic 5w-30 which works superbly in uber-cold conditions. It flows & can be pumped around much more easily in those types of cold conditions. That is what i'd run in the winter there & then switch back to a conventional 10w-30 for the warmer months.
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Old 12-05-2013, 10:12 AM   #14
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I have been thinking of getting a remote starter for the cold. I have a black key (so no security chip). This would run around $200-$250 installed.
Auto or stick? Makes a big difference and a ton easier if you have an auto.
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Old 12-05-2013, 10:19 AM   #15
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I have been thinking of getting a remote starter for the cold. I have a black key (so no security chip). This would run around $200-$250 installed.
Would be nice, but they established a law here a few years ago, in that you are not allowed to warm your vehicle while it's unattended (puffing). Too many people have had their vehicles stolen while warming them up as they run inside or wait inside. Yes, I realize that the doors would be locked with the remote start, but they still consider it "puffing". This applies here in Colorado Springs, but not sure about other cities.

'Puffing' Prohibited Despite Cold Temps
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Old 12-05-2013, 10:25 AM   #16
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Would be nice, but they established a law here a few years ago, in that you are not allowed to warm your vehicle while it's unattended (puffing). Too many people have had their vehicles stolen while warming them up as they run inside or wait inside. Yes, I realize that the doors would be locked with the remote start, but they still consider it "puffing". This applies here in Colorado Springs, but not sure about other cities. 'Puffing' Prohibited Despite Cold Temps
I'd love to meet the cop who actively enforced that.

Mine cranked over reaaaal slow this morning too. It was 1° over here in Utah and was pretty difficult to shift. My water pipes are actually frozen as we speak.
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Old 12-05-2013, 10:48 AM   #17
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Auto or stick? Makes a big difference and a ton easier if you have an auto.
Mine is an auto. I was suggesting something like this for the OP. A good remote start will shut it down after 15 minutes, or if someone hits either the gas or the brake without the ignition key installed and in the 'run' spot.
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Old 12-05-2013, 11:16 AM   #18
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So I read you all lost power till 5am was it? Do you have power now? And hi back
Yeah, we got it back at around 5am. Not a huge deal except we have some chicks that might need a heat lamp still at these temps. I still need to go check on them to see if they made it OK.
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Old 12-05-2013, 11:51 AM   #19
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I'd love to meet the cop who actively enforced that.

Mine cranked over reaaaal slow this morning too. It was 1° over here in Utah and was pretty difficult to shift. My water pipes are actually frozen as we speak.
Nobody enforces it, but theft is still a valid reason. I get it started then take care of snow/ice. Maybe go back inside to warm up then go.

Mine cranked real slow but ran fine. Block heater would be nice but not justifiable IMO when days like this are pretty rare.

Also, it was so cold this morning the clutch and the skinny pedal felt like pushing through molasses. Shifting was fun because it took a moment f or the clutch to return. Heater also sucked this morning. Engine kept going between 185 and 197. That 12* difference makes a big difference in heat output. Doesn't help though I'm still on the factory heater core...
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Old 12-05-2013, 12:24 PM   #20
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We used to run a circulating block heater in our Suburban up in Northern Vermont and it was a pleasure getting into it on real cold days. With the circulating heater you can leave it in defrost mode and it kept the windshield free of frozen stuff.

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Old 12-05-2013, 01:01 PM   #21
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Is there any consensus on the best start up procedure in cold weather?

On one hand there is the "start & idle until up to operating temp" camp, and on the other extreme there are those who say the other method is a waste of time & gas and to just "start & idle until oil pressure is up".

-20 where I live here in WY last night, so I am also interested. That said, I do garage my jeep & have no start up issues whatsoever.
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Old 12-05-2013, 01:07 PM   #22
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Would be nice, but they established a law here a few years ago, in that you are not allowed to warm your vehicle while it's unattended (puffing). Too many people have had their vehicles stolen while warming them up as they run inside or wait inside. Yes, I realize that the doors would be locked with the remote start, but they still consider it "puffing". This applies here in Colorado Springs, but not sure about other cities.

'Puffing' Prohibited Despite Cold Temps
Did you read the article you posted.....last line... remote starts ARE ALLOWED.... if no key in ignition.......
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Old 12-05-2013, 01:11 PM   #23
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Did you read the article you posted.....last line... remote starts ARE ALLOWED.... if no key in ignition.......
Yes, I did but they seem to go back and forth on the topic as theft has occurred with people using the remote start. So their guidelines are always changing.
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Old 12-05-2013, 01:58 PM   #24
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And I've heard to not drive short distances when it's literally below freezing out or cold for that matter. My drive in freezing weather is no more than 10 minutes. I'm seeing if this is a myth, or something I should take into consideration?
Never heard this one. Surely a myth ("Don't Call Me Shirley")
You should, however, wait until the engine warms up before you drive.
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Old 12-05-2013, 06:19 PM   #25
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Auto or stick? Makes a big difference and a ton easier if you have an auto.
Mines an auto. And it looks like I'm heading to the auto zone tomorrow. Now I will have to drain my current oil and then re-add the 15, correct? Just double making sure.
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Old 12-05-2013, 08:03 PM   #26
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...Now I will have to drain my current oil and then re-add the 15, correct? Just double making sure.
Re-add the 15? If you meant refill the engine with a synthetic 5W-30 engine oil while the weather is so cold, then yes that would be a good thing to do.
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Old 12-05-2013, 08:24 PM   #27
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Yep, deep in the below zero temps in South Dakota also. I let mine run about 10 min and was still cold all the way to work, its only a 4 mile drive though. Shifting seemed a sluggish and sticky. I also run 5w30 in the winter and switch to 10w30 in the summer.
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Old 12-05-2013, 08:36 PM   #28
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What year Wrangler and which transmission do you have Ammo? It's possible a change of transmission lubricant type might help its cold weather shifting characteristics.
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Old 12-05-2013, 08:43 PM   #29
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Mine is a 98 and I'm sure it needs a flush of all fluids....why do I wait till its crappy weather to get off my butt and do the right thing.
Mine is a 5spd but I know it is in need of some TLC.
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Old 12-05-2013, 09:08 PM   #30
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A very (!) good lubricant that would work well is Redline MT-90 you can get inexpensively from www.summitracing.com. MT-90 is a synthetic GL-4 75W-90 which is ideal... especially in very cold conditions. I'd especially expect a shifting improvement if your transmission is still filled with the original factory non-synthetic lube.

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