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Unread 11-02-2010, 10:18 AM   #1
Hazed_blue
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2000 WJ 
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Edmonton, AB
Posts: 217
Canadian Weather Prep... What Should I Be Doing?

I'm moving from Virginia to Edmonton in a few weeks, and I have been trying to prepare both of my family's cars for the cold. On top of the weather, I'm also trying to take care of maintenance items that I may not get to do until the weather gets warmer. So far I have the following on my list:

Change spark plugs
Change tires
Change oil to 5w30 syn
Install block heater
Change coolant

My main wonder at the moment is the coolant ratio. Around here I've always used a 50/50 mix, but I know that some use a higher ratio up north. What should I be mixing for the new climate? 60/40? 70/30?

Is there anything else that I should be doing to our vehicles before we move, or any other item that I should be purchasing or replacing? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

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Unread 11-02-2010, 03:23 PM   #2
oakmckinley
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You don't need a block heater. I have had no trouble with my 99TJ and 2000XJ in MN where it gets to -30F. I would make sure your battery is fairly new, and I use a 50/50 antifreeze mix here. If you are using 10W30 oil you do want to switch to 5W30.
I would also make sure you have tires that are good, some 4x4 tires are rated more for wheelin and not necessarily ice/snow. (if these are gonna be DD's)
I would also check your thermostat and make sure its one for colder climates.

If you have been keeping up with regular maintenance you should be fine.
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Unread 11-02-2010, 09:05 PM   #3
Bear1
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Get a block heater, it is much easier on the engine starting it with a little heat in it. 50/50 anifreeze should be fine, I would have it tested, should be good for at least -35*. Welcome to Canada.
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Unread 11-03-2010, 10:54 AM   #4
Hazed_blue
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oakmckinley View Post
You don't need a block heater. I have had no trouble with my 99TJ and 2000XJ in MN where it gets to -30F.
My company is reimbursing me for incidental expenses (such as winter prepping my vehicles), so I'm gonna go ahead and and take care of it.

I also noticed that there are battery heaters as well. Is this another worthwhile item, or is it overkill to have both?
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Unread 11-03-2010, 09:55 PM   #5
Slappyman
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Block heater is all you should need....if your battery needs a warmer then it may need replacement. I'd recommend getting your batteries tested anyway...replace if needed.

And I keep my anti-freeze at -45 to -50C.

I live in Lethbridge and I have seen it hit -37 here...Edmonton is colder....Nothing worse than popping frost plugs when its easily preventable!!
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Unread 11-11-2010, 12:16 AM   #6
Douglas S.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oakmckinley View Post
You don't need a block heater. I have had no trouble with my 99TJ and 2000XJ in MN where it gets to -30F.
You high bro? Edmonton sees temperatures a lot lower than -30F (that's only -34C). Even at that temp, you aren't doing yourself any favours by not running one.

I can guarantee you that without a block heater there will be mornings when your car won't start. I've seen it happen when people forget to plug them in. Could be a combination of a bad battery, starter, etc. but why take the risk? I run a block heater (and nothing else) in all my vehicles. I also have an interior warmer in my YJ, but it isn't necessary.
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Unread 11-12-2010, 09:13 AM   #7
Hazed_blue
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Well, I called around to a bunch of places around here to see about installing the block heater kits, and all of them said right off the bat that they have not installed them before. I think I'm just going to have the kits on hand and get them installed the moment our vehicles are rolled off the truck in AB, by people who have done hundreds of them. Heck, I'll see if I can even have them deliver our cars right to the shop in order to have it done.
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Unread 11-14-2010, 06:32 PM   #8
esoxhntr
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if your work is springing for it, go to your jeep dealer. Canadian (and I'm sure North US) WJs had an option for a Cold Weather package that includes block heater I believe.
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Unread 11-15-2010, 03:02 PM   #9
LBarcher
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As others have said, a block heater is a must. Almost everything sold up here comes with one as far as I know.

Bear in mind that once things freeze up (any day now) the road conditions will probably be a bit different than you are used to. Ice happens on pavement at -20c and colder on a clear day. Take it easy and you'll learn.
If you can, put winter tires on your vehicle. All seasons and even "winter rated" tires with that mountain/snowflake symbol on them aren't that good when things get genuinely cold (-20 to -40).
Edmonton can be surprisingly cold from December to April. There have been some mild winters but it's better to be prepared.

Enjoy your time up here. It does thaw out by May. Usually.
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Unread 02-11-2011, 09:11 PM   #10
Hazed_blue
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Okay, the block heater and inspections. School me.

I got a block heater installed this past week, and I think it's working, but I don't really know the specifics. I had a factory one installed.

1) Some people mention that I'm supposed to hear a hissing noise when I plug the heater in. I hear no such noise. Should I? This is on a 2000 WJ.
2) The temperature gauge does not read any differently on startup than on days when I do not plug it in. I've heard some info that says it should start up with the temperature elevated, and yet others that say the OEM block heater does not work like that. Who's correct?
3) If the OEM block heater is only to keep the block from freezing, is there really any benefit to plugging the vehicle in at temperatures above, say, -10 C?
4) How long should I be letting it heat? At the moment I have the timer set to 2 hours.


And now, the out of province inspection. I have a Jeep that's in very good condition, but it is a 10 year old vehicle, not brand new. I fear this inspection. I've heard nothing but bad things. What should I be expecting on this? Are they going to nitpick every weep spot, every rusted area, every noise heard on a test drive, etc? My Jeep has never failed to pass Virginia state inspection, but I have a feeling this will be a whole new ballgame.

Thank you for the help!
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Unread 02-12-2011, 08:42 PM   #11
Slappyman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hazed_blue View Post
Okay, the block heater and inspections. School me.

I got a block heater installed this past week, and I think it's working, but I don't really know the specifics. I had a factory one installed.

1) Some people mention that I'm supposed to hear a hissing noise when I plug the heater in. I hear no such noise. Should I? This is on a 2000 WJ.
2) The temperature gauge does not read any differently on startup than on days when I do not plug it in. I've heard some info that says it should start up with the temperature elevated, and yet others that say the OEM block heater does not work like that. Who's correct?
3) If the OEM block heater is only to keep the block from freezing, is there really any benefit to plugging the vehicle in at temperatures above, say, -10 C?
4) How long should I be letting it heat? At the moment I have the timer set to 2 hours.


And now, the out of province inspection. I have a Jeep that's in very good condition, but it is a 10 year old vehicle, not brand new. I fear this inspection. I've heard nothing but bad things. What should I be expecting on this? Are they going to nitpick every weep spot, every rusted area, every noise heard on a test drive, etc? My Jeep has never failed to pass Virginia state inspection, but I have a feeling this will be a whole new ballgame.

Thank you for the help!
1. Not necessarily...
2. Temp guage wont read an elevated temp likely(Mine doesnt)
3. Up to you...I like that -10C mark...if its that cold it doesnt cost much to keep it plugged in.
4. Minimum 2 hours sounds good...I leave mine plugged in all night, especially if its below -15C

The block heater just keep things thawed out and warmed up a bit...it helps keep the oil from getting too thick...it really is noticeable when its very cold out and you dont have a really good battery It will let it crank over alot faster....Mine also doesnt take as long to get up to operating temperature if it was plugged in.

As for the out of province inspection...there used to be settlers exemptions in some Provinces...not sure if that will apply to you.

They just go off a govt. list of items that need to be in good shape for safety...brakes, windshield, tires, steering, shocks...im gonna see if I can track down an inspection sheet for you...what province?
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Unread 02-12-2011, 08:51 PM   #12
Slappyman
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http://www.transportation.alberta.ca/2821.htm

http://www.transportation.alberta.ca...assessment.pdf

Thats all I can find
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1998 Grand Cherokee 5.9 Limited. ** IRO 7" Premium Long Arm Kit. ** IRO OTK Steering System. ** DT-8000 Shocks. ** JKS Quicker Discos. ** AE Wheels Series 185 Rims. ** Mickey Thompson 305/70/R16 Tires.

My build thread.
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Unread 02-16-2011, 12:50 PM   #13
Hazed_blue
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Hey, just wanted to say thank you for the info. I called around and I'll definitely need an OOP inspection done, so I just have to figure out a plan from here. I know that I have a hole in my muffler and a steering hose that weeps, so I'm going to see about getting those taken care of before the inspection. Past that, I'll just have to cross my fingers.

Oh, and the block heater is definitely working. Got down to -23 this morning, and I had the Jeep plugged in. I could tell an immediate difference in how it started up today than before when I didn't have the heater at a similar temperature... far less crank, and the motor settled in immediately. Still hear a squeal for a second or two when starting, but from what I've read (and what people say), that's pretty normal when it's this cold outside.
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Unread 02-16-2011, 03:36 PM   #14
Douglas S.
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Time to change your JF location...

You're one of us now.
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Unread 02-17-2011, 09:35 AM   #15
Slappyman
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Good to hear -23 isnt that cold th really

Wait until it hits -40 HAHHAAA!!! You plop down on the seat and it feels like you are sitting on a rock :O
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1998 Grand Cherokee 5.9 Limited. ** IRO 7" Premium Long Arm Kit. ** IRO OTK Steering System. ** DT-8000 Shocks. ** JKS Quicker Discos. ** AE Wheels Series 185 Rims. ** Mickey Thompson 305/70/R16 Tires.

My build thread.
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