Changing fluids for cold weather


#1

I have a 1991 Acura Integra GS and recently moved from Los Angeles, CA to Columbus, OH. I want to know if I need to use special oil, window washer fluid, transmission fluid, etc. I am new to this kind of cold enviornment and don’t want to kill my car due to ignorance. Thanks a lot.


#2

Yes, you should look for a windshield washer fluid that is made for cold weather. Regarding the other fluids, use whatever your owner’s manual recommends for cold climates, which is probably the same fluid you are already using.


#3

Cold-weather windshield washer fluid should be available just about everywhere in Ohio, and you should use it.

Use the oil and transmission fluid recommended in the owner’s manual. Ohio is not the arctic, and the normal oil, transmission fluid, differential oil, etc, will work just fine.

You may want to add a bottle of fuel line antifreeze to your gas tank. This will remove any moisture in the tank and prevent a frozen fuel line, which is EXTREMELY annoying.

I suggest having your battery tested, too. Cold mornings require strong batteries, and you’ll be seeing some REAL cold late next week. Get ready now.

Check the tire pressures, because cold weather lowers the pressure, and underinflated tires reduce gas mileage.


#4

My best advice is to move back to California. The California climate is better for your car and certainly better for you. I’ve lived in the midwest all my life. We aren’t in the Arctic circle, but it feels like it many times in January and February. Follow the owner’s manual and you will be fine. I use the 5W-30 oil in my vehicles as specified in the manuals for my newer vehicles. My 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass that I have had for 30 years does just fine with 10W-30 oil. I use whatever windshield washer fluid I can pick up at WalMart and have no problem. I do switch to Miller Lite in the winter, but go back to BudWeiser in the summer.


#5

Other than what was said by previous posters, I would use 5W30 (not 10W30) oil in the engine. Ohio is not the North Pole, and nearly all windshield washer fluid is good for well below zero temperatures.

If your battery is more than 5 years old, I would replace it with a HEAVY DUTY unit with at least 900 Cold CrankingAmps (CCA).


#6

I have lived in Ohio for over 60 years. I have yet needed to use any special fluids. I admit that I once changed out some 90W manual transmission fluid to a 75-90 Weight synthetic when it became available and it helped a lot, but that was a number of cars ago and the newer cars don’t have the same problem.

The only problem you should have is keeping yourself warm and maybe replacing the windshield washer fluid. However I suspect they sell the same stuff in LA as they do here. Just make sure it is OK to zero and you should be OK. Well It did go to 22 below once, in 60+ years, just refill with something rated a little lower than -15 should be safe. Use up what you have now on the trip.

Remember it is not going to be any colder than it is when you drive up in the mountains.

#7

Just the washer fluid. Winter mix should do it. Summer stuff won’t. If you have been buying the stuff without alcohol, you should buy the quart container which is stronger (has more alcohol) than the regular Winter mix. I recommend moving back to L. A. as soon as possible. A bad day parked on 405 is better than any day in the cold. There is no Calabasas in Ohio either. Coco’s, the Daily News and a cup of coffee; perfect. I need coffee after the hill to Thousand Oaks and before Wilshire Blvd.