I just recently moved to a state that has much colder winters

I recently moved from a state that had relatively mild winters to one that has extremely cold winters and I am wondering about the antifreeze/coolant in my car. Do I have to change the type of coolant/antifreeze? My car is only two years old, I bought it brand-new and I’ve had it serviced regularly as recomended by the manufacturer. I read through the maintenence manual for my car and it didn’t mention anything about this. So what do you guys suggest?

It should be fine, but it never hurts to have it tested. Oftentimes auto parts stores will do that for you - - but make sure you get someone who actually knows how to read the gauge.

Normally no. The 50/50 mix from the factory is good to -34F. Now there are a couple of places in Minnesota where you would replace the coolant with a richer mixture, about 2:1 antifreeze/distilled water.

Your factory installed coolant is good for 3 years so it probably hasn’t been changed yet. No need to.

You actually can’t do anything but good by having your cooling system serviced. Two years is plenty. I’m sure you have some kind of “long life” coolant claim along with your car. I don’t like the idea of leaving coolant in my cars longer than 2 years - no matter what the manufacturers say. (They don’t actually care what my engine will be like at 200K miles - but I do).

You’ll need to find a new mechanic anyway. Why not just find your new local mechanic and “test” them out on some basic maintenance - like a basic cooling system service?

Thanks for the advice. The coolant in my car hasn’t been changed, I’ve gone over the service records for it. My car only has twelve thousand miles on it.

You do need to make sure you have the correct windshield washer fluid in your car. Warmer states sometimes sell only a summer blend, which will freeze in colder weather.

You also need to have an engine heater installed when you arrive there. That’ll be either a “block heater” that replaces one of the freeze plugs or a “lower radiator hose heater” that splices into the lower hose. Do not use th heated dipsticks. They’re useless.

When I lived in North Dakota pluggiing th engine in overnight was an essential part of life. My apartment even had assigned parking spaces with posts with sockets on them. We’d plug our cars in when we got home and turn the socket on from the apartment.

The guys who changed my oil a couple of months ago put some new windshield wiper fluid in my car. Since you mentioned a block heater, where is the freeze plug on my car? I see a lot spots on my engine where stuff plugs in…spark plugs, dip stick, power steering fluid, tranny fluid, engine coolant.

If you are following the owner’s manual as to the viscosity of the oil for the climate where you live and keep up the maintenance, your Versa will start in cold weather without the need of the block heater. I started my 1971 Maverick without problems when the temperature dropped to -25 degrees F and the car was sitting outdoors. I’ve started my 1978 Oldsmobile regularly when the temperature was between -15 F and
-20 F. With today’s lighter viscosity oils of 5W-20 or even 0W-20 (my cars had 10W-40 and 10W-30 in the crankcase), starting should not be a problem unless you are at the Artic circle.
However, keeping the block warm with a block heater does prevent some wear on the engine when starting in cold weather. Also, the heater will warm up the interior more quickly.

The owners manual says to use 5W-30. I lived in Northern Nevada for several years, then I moved to South Carolina for 8 years and then moved back to Northern Nevada recently. I’ve never had problems starting up my other cars in cold weather, my Nissan starts right up and in about 10 minutes the ice is completely melted from the defroster.

I think 5W-30 should be fine for your climate. It is the lower number that is important.

My nissan is my first brand-new car I’ve ever owned. My other cars I bought them used and they had no warranties on them where as the Nissan does so I follow the owners manual and recomendations to the letter. I know how warranties are…gotta drive the car like its supposed to be driven, service it when you’re supposed to service it, and so on or else they’d find a reason to void the warranty. I used to sell TV’s and Appliances and the manufacturers for those things were the same way.

It’s NOT so much they void the warranty as if you make a claim they may deny the claim.

Denying claims on a car is much harder to do then a TV.

“The guys who changed my oil a couple of months ago put some new windshield wiper fluid in my car.”

And you haven’t used the windshield washers at all during the intervening months?
By now, between usage and evaporation, it is very possible that it is time to add additional fluid to the reservoir.
You need to check all of the fluids under the hood every few weeks if you want your new car to remain reliable and trouble-free.

The freeze plug will be on the engine block. I don’t have ready access to a repair database at teh moment, but any shop iwll be able to look that up without a problem.

A word of caution about the wnidshield wash fluid: the guys who have been doing your oil changes and topping off the fluid may have been using “summer mix”. That’ll freeze solid at your new location and your washer system will be useless. It may even cause damage. You should purge that and refill with “winter mix” washer fluid. If you can’t get it where you currently reside, it’ll be reaily available where you’re going.

I live in Northern Nevada, it rarely rains here so I don’t use windshield wipers that often. In the mornings when its really cold, I warm the car up and turn the defroster fan on full blast before I go anywhere so the ice will be completely melted by the time I hit the road. Nissan Versa’s have two types of engines 1.6 Liter and 1.8 Liter engine and the two engines look different. I have the 1.8 Liter. I looked that up through the VIN Number.