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Oil for extreme cold #4617319
12/28/17 11:28 PM
12/28/17 11:28 PM
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 1,453
Gulf Coast, MS
3800Series Offline OP
3800Series  Offline OP
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 1,453
Gulf Coast, MS
Hi everyone, been awhile anyways I'm up in North Dakota for a few months thanks to my job... Nice place really like the area completely different from the Gulf Coast but this area gets freezing cold. I decided to take the old Regal I bought a few years back.

The most noticeable thing I've encountered is the extreme cold. Where I'm from 3 days a year hit freezing but this area tends to stay in the -20's. I remember 2-3 days back it was -40 with windshield. The car has 10w30 in it and I know that can not be good for these temps.

The motor is a L27 series 1 3.8 with roughly 100k miles on it. It leaks minor oil nothing major but I know these motors keep very high oil pressure (50 psi). Something about the design requires them to keep high pressure but with these temps I'm worried about the oil. I can't comfortably keep 10w30 in this thing and I've been thinking about throwing in some 0w30 due to the extreme temps.

I know I'll probably get a little more wear during this OCI due to it but I figure that would be miniscule compared to running 10w30 at -20/-30 weather.

Any thoughts?

Considered getting a block heater for it but no place to plug it in short of running a few 50ft extension cords out to it at night (apartment parking lot).

Re: Oil for extreme cold [Re: 3800Series] #4617321
12/28/17 11:32 PM
12/28/17 11:32 PM
Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 5,407
Virginia
bbhero Offline
bbhero  Offline
Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 5,407
Virginia
Your battery is a big factor as well here. How old is the battery?? Also how long ago was a spark plugs change done on it?? Good plugs help a lot I would think too.

Far as the oil... Given a minor leak I would just go with Valvoline Maxlife Full Synthetic 5w30. It would be fine at -20 to -30°F.

Take some time to read Tig1's thread about coldest unaided starts.... Very good thread and information in that one.

Last edited by bbhero; 12/28/17 11:34 PM.

Nissan Altima 3.5 Coupe
Mobil Super 5w30 Wix 57356
"Treat your family like your friends and treat your friends like your family."
Re: Oil for extreme cold [Re: bbhero] #4617324
12/28/17 11:36 PM
12/28/17 11:36 PM
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 1,453
Gulf Coast, MS
3800Series Offline OP
3800Series  Offline OP
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 1,453
Gulf Coast, MS
Originally Posted By: bbhero
Your battery is a big factor as well here. How old is the battery?? Also how long ago was a spark plugs change done on it?? Good plugs help a lot I would think too.

Far as the oil... Given a minor leak I would just go with Valvoline Maxlife Full Synthetic 5w30. It would be fine at -20 to -30°F.

Take some time to read Tig1's thread about coldest unaided starts.... Very good thread and information in that one.


Just ran into it after writing this, battery is 3 years old and plugs are less than a year its started every time first try no problem but the oil light stays on for a good bit of time and I let it warm up but I don't always have time to let it sit.

Re: Oil for extreme cold [Re: 3800Series] #4617332
12/28/17 11:45 PM
12/28/17 11:45 PM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 7,132
Waco, TX
Linctex Offline
Linctex  Offline
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 7,132
Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: 3800Series
..... I've been thinking about throwing in some 0w30 due to the extreme temps.


Yes, that's an excellent choice.

Even in that cold, the oil light should go out after 2-3 seconds MAX.
If it's longer than that, you need to clean the pickup screen.


"The evidence demands a verdict".
(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."
Re: Oil for extreme cold [Re: 3800Series] #4617334
12/28/17 11:47 PM
12/28/17 11:47 PM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 7,132
Waco, TX
Linctex Offline
Linctex  Offline
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 7,132
Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: 3800Series
2-3 days back it was -40 with windshield.


WindCHILL only affects the moisture in your skin...

windchill doesn't affect the car, only temp.


"The evidence demands a verdict".
(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."
Re: Oil for extreme cold [Re: 3800Series] #4617335
12/28/17 11:47 PM
12/28/17 11:47 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 26,195
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Garak Offline
Garak  Offline
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 26,195
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Any 5w-30, including MaxLife, will do the job for that vehicle, year round. A 0w-30 would be fine, too, but then you're getting into M1 AFE territory for pricing, plus leaks are never fun.


Plain, simple Garak.

2008 Infiniti G37 - Shell ROTELLA T6 Multi-Vehicle 5w-30, NAPA Gold 7356
1984 F-150 4.9L - Quaker State GB 10w-30, Wix 51515
Re: Oil for extreme cold [Re: 3800Series] #4617336
12/28/17 11:49 PM
12/28/17 11:49 PM
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 2,176
US-WA
Dyusik Offline
Dyusik  Offline
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 2,176
US-WA
Ignore the windchill, it is only relevant when thinking of how fast (anything) will cool, but the end temp is still the actual temp outside. If I'd have an oil pressure light on longer than a second or two, I'd be changing oil to a better W rating now, like right now.


95 Cherokee 190K DELO 10W30, XG8
07 IS250 103K Napa 10w30, FULL
04 YZF-R1 19K DELO 15w40, XG7317
99 HD XL1200S 21K VR1 20w50, NG1515
14 RX450h 35k PP MIX, NG7047
Re: Oil for extreme cold [Re: 3800Series] #4617337
12/28/17 11:49 PM
12/28/17 11:49 PM
Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 5,407
Virginia
bbhero Offline
bbhero  Offline
Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 5,407
Virginia
Yeah I would lean towards the Valvoline Maxlife Full Synthetic 5w30... It will be just fine in those very cold temps. Reading Tig1's thread was interesting and informative. Quite cool to read guys real world experiences at temp below -30°F and colder. Jayg who lives in interior Alaska says many people around his area run 5w30 routinely.


Nissan Altima 3.5 Coupe
Mobil Super 5w30 Wix 57356
"Treat your family like your friends and treat your friends like your family."
Re: Oil for extreme cold [Re: 3800Series] #4617347
12/29/17 12:11 AM
12/29/17 12:11 AM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 6,490
...
PimTac Offline
PimTac  Offline
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 6,490
...
I agree that 5w-30 would be the good choice here. The Valvoline bbhero mentions is a excellent product. You could run that with no worries. Also as suggested already, keep on top of your battery and the terminals. If a really severe cold front hits then a oil pan warmer might be a good option if you have access to a plug for overnight.


Cannot see signatures any longer so it doesn’t matter.
Re: Oil for extreme cold [Re: 3800Series] #4617359
12/29/17 12:35 AM
12/29/17 12:35 AM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 7,132
Waco, TX
Linctex Offline
Linctex  Offline
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 7,132
Waco, TX
An oil pan heater is just a couple hundred watts, and you can run it with a 100' 16-ga extension cord easily with no worries.


"The evidence demands a verdict".
(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."
Re: Oil for extreme cold [Re: 3800Series] #4617369
12/29/17 01:12 AM
12/29/17 01:12 AM
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 301
montreal ,canada
madeej11 Offline
madeej11  Offline
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 301
montreal ,canada
Won't bore you with block heater and battery maintenance etc. Just go for a good brand name 0w30. It might get even colder still so the zero part might come into play . Good luck my friend and keep warm !

Re: Oil for extreme cold [Re: Linctex] #4617380
12/29/17 02:12 AM
12/29/17 02:12 AM
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 1,453
Gulf Coast, MS
3800Series Offline OP
3800Series  Offline OP
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 1,453
Gulf Coast, MS
Originally Posted By: Linctex
Originally Posted By: 3800Series
2-3 days back it was -40 with windshield.


WindCHILL only affects the moisture in your skin...

windchill doesn't affect the car, only temp.


Sorry, was phones auto correct. The town is Williston it's generally considered the second coldest city in the U.S. I mentioned wind chill because of the area, no trees so -30 with 30mph winds are somewhat normal although its mostly 15-20 but yeah I thought high winds like that would come into play to some degree and keeping the car from getting up to temp.

Drove it the day I originally mentioned and the oil light came on 3 times while driving it granted I did let it warm up for about 15 mins before I left. I just know these motors require high oil pressure and it is highly suggested to not go below 10w30 but I feel conditions call for it.

I'm fine with 5w30 I just thought 0w30 would help a little more as most of what I read said 5w is good to about -20 I also don't care about price I know its a older vehicle but they are a dying breed and I don't mind spending a little more to not have to worry if the motor will lock up going down the road one morning if I can only give it 5 mins to warm up due to driving conditions and the time it takes to get to work.

Somewhat unrelated but I spoke with a few people here who mentioned last year it got down to -50 with 20mph winds and I know this is on the extreme end I simply do not want to have to worry about it going forward lol.

Last edited by 3800Series; 12/29/17 02:15 AM.
Re: Oil for extreme cold [Re: 3800Series] #4617387
12/29/17 03:27 AM
12/29/17 03:27 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 7,485
Texas & Global
4WD Offline
4WD  Offline
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 7,485
Texas & Global
If that 3 year old battery could vote … 0w30


2018 Chevy 1500 Z71 4WD
2017 Chevy Tahoe LT 4WD
2014 Fusion Hybrid Titanium
2013 Cruze LTZ - RS Turbo
Re: Oil for extreme cold [Re: 3800Series] #4617400
12/29/17 05:08 AM
12/29/17 05:08 AM
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 337
Upper midwest
Mainia Offline
Mainia  Offline
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 337
Upper midwest
If you want good flowing oil then a group 3 while good is no match for group 4 and group 5 oils. Mobil 1 is a 3+ and they do their voodoo to make it flow like a group 4. Amsoil Sig Series , Redline, and Motul Ester. 0w-XX of course. So I would say Mobil 1 for low price and ease of access from say....Walmart.

Last edited by Mainia; 12/29/17 05:10 AM.
Re: Oil for extreme cold [Re: 3800Series] #4617406
12/29/17 05:52 AM
12/29/17 05:52 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,803
Crawfordville FL
SilverFusion2010 Offline
SilverFusion2010  Offline
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,803
Crawfordville FL
M1 0w-30


2010 Ford Fusion SE 3.0L V6, 181 miles M1 HM 10w-30
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