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thetoadLJ 07-30-2013 12:56 PM

may be moving to mi and have some questions
so i may be moving to the fremont/sparta/newaygo area of michigan and had a few questions about my jeep.

do i need a block/engine heater for the winter?

what tires work best year round for dd/off roading/ snow/ice
(currently running bfg a/t)

what diff fluid and oil is required year round or during winter?

and anything else i might need to know about jeep ownership and maintenance living in a state that actually sees all the seasons. i live in cali so i pretty much just get heat heat and more heat.

thanks for all the help :)

jeeptjduner 07-30-2013 07:16 PM

I live near North Muskegon and I have owned a Jeep Wrangler for a little over one year now, but the Jeep I bought is a 2001 and it spent all those years in Petoskey, which is north of where you are talking about 3 hours or so. If I would have paid more attention I probably wouldn't have bought it because the frame and tub have some pretty bad rust. I have already had to patch one spot on the frame and will likely have more frame and tub work in the future. I tell you this only to let you know that the salt that is used on the roads here to melt the ice is TERRIBLE on vehicles. If you have to drive it in the winter then make sure you run it through a car wash regularly to get that stuff off.

As far as your questions go about tires and engine, what you have now should be just fine. It generally doesn't get too cold in the winter, although you will see days in the single digits and maybe below zero wind chills. I don't actually have a locker in either of my differentials, but I have read that lunchbox style lockers can cause some unusual drivability when driving on snowy roads. If you have a lunchbox style locker you may want to look into how that will effect driving.

idiot magnet 08-02-2013 10:19 AM

Your driving style makes a huge factor in Northern Michigan and a/t's will be better than a M/T.
You can't stop on ice, so slow down. I might drive like a grandma in the winter, but I get there safe and sound and see many of the vehicles that just passed me in the median.
Get it rust proofed, wash out your frame often, wash off the salt asap, and I run a lunchbox locker up front and have had no issues with it at all. Remember it's not a race car on studded tires. It will act differently in the snow and ice and don't accelerate in turns when you have it in 4 wheel drive because it won't turn as well as you think it will.
I use 10W40 in the winter.
Do you have a garage to keep it in at night?
Block heaters are good if you have no garage.
I run the same diff fluid all year round.
Hardtops and hard doors have many advantages in the winter if you don't have them.

You get some crazy drivers in Michigan just like anywhere else.

thetoadLJ 08-03-2013 07:46 PM

awesome thanks for the info! driving like a grandma is perfect for me as its my prefered driving style in my jeep. i will have a garage provided my jeep can fit in it. i have to check it out. i will look into something for the salt too. thanks!

Chrispy 08-04-2013 11:18 AM

Welcome to Michigan! I live in Gaylord, about 3 hours north of you, I run my soft top year around, diff fluid is stock, I have Good Year AT’s and they do fine.
If you haven’t driven in snow/ice conditions, pick an empty parking lot and put your Jeep thru some hard stops or tight turns…see how it reacts in a “controlled” environment, so you will know what to expect on the roads. That’s a nice area to live, good luck!

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