Severe weather and engine type

engines
weather
#1

Do manufacturers install different types of engines or engine blocks in cars depending on the location / weather? Specifically, I am relocating from southern California to the Northeast and my friend told me I would need to get a new car or get my engine outfitted properly because of the cold. This sounds unreasonable to me. Is there any truth to this?

#2

Your car will be just fine. The cold weather can be harder on batteries than what you are used to, but there is no special engine for the Northeast. Auto manufacturers do not offer different engines based on the local climate. They may offer an optional engine block heater, but that is not really a necessity where you are going (Alaska maybe, but not the NE).

#3

No, and the accessories available don’t even vary that much or at all. You might want a block heater if you are really going Northeast. What are we talking about here, Philadelphia or Presque Isle?

You need to think more about some boots, gloves, hats, warm pants and other stylish clothers and, maybe, long underwear. You are going to be very unhappy if you are not dressed well for this transition.

#4

Make sure your antifreeze is good enough for the colder climate. Otherwise, you should not have a problem.

#5

Nope. No. BS. Crapola. All cars built today are designed and built to automatically adjust to changing conditions, like altitude, ambient temperature, changes in humidity, etc. The only thing I’d stress is to ask some of your new neighbors about their cars, the proper coolant mix for the winters, and the possibly having a block heater installed. If the area your moving to is north of Philly or NYC, you may be in the country’s ice-box. Otherwise, this car will do just fine.

The other thing to worry about is replacement parts for certain emissions components may be different and more costly. California has had it’s own emissions standards for a while that are tougher than the rest of the country.

#6

Battery, tires, coolant, oil. Check if all are upto the weather/temp. standards of destination. I grew up in NYC and have spent 13 years living in Minnesota, a block heater helps to defrost and warm a little quicker if parked outside. These are what I found most different besides “winter” wipers and fluid.

#7

You do need to put winter washer fluid in it. As I understand things, it’s not allowed to be sold there, so you’ll need to get the reservoir almost empty right before you move.

#8

in the 70’s well the carbureted era yeh, cars carbs had to be adjusted for the elevation cause the air got thinner the higher you got and computerized cars automaticly compensate for that

#9

Maybe they are trying to get you not to move, why else put this load of BS on a friend? they are afraid they will miss you.

#10

Agree with the others. The only thing is that in the colder climate, there could be a greater stress put on some components and cause a failure that you might have gotten by with in California. You want to make sure you are up to date on things like tune ups, filters, belts, hoses, brakes, etc. You see a lot more cars stalled on the side of the road in warmer states than colder states, mainly because people pay more attention to maintenance in the colder states IMHO.

#11

Get a Snuggie with extra-large arm holes for the front tires to fit through, you should be fine.

#12

I guess I’m interpreeting the question differently from the others.

Manufacturers don’t outfit cars differently for the northeast than for California, but if your friend is telling you you’ll need a new car because yours is on its last legs, your friend may be right. It was 2 degrees F at my house in NH this morning. An old beater with low compression and old, tired O-rings and seals that may be okay in easy climates may not be reliable or even safe in the northeast. When the cold gets to those dried up old elastomers and shrinks them you may suddenly discover some leaks…hopefully not in your brake system.

If your car is late model and in excellent shape, even new, there are still things you need to do to prepare.

You need to be sure you have good all-season tires as a minimum and winter tires if you’ll be driving in a mountainous area.

You’ll need to purge all that window washer fluid from the system and replace it with “winter mix”…you may not be able to buy that there, so you may have to do that as soon as you hit colder weather in your travels.

Get some rubber-booted winter wiper blades. Regular blades will ice up and become useless in bad weather.

Get a variety of window scrapers and snow brushes for the car.

Wipe the neoprene seals around the doors with silicone lubricant. They’re probably dried up from the sun and may freeze to the doorjams. Lubricate the door lock mechanisms while you’re at it.

Get some rubber floormats.

Unless you’re going to upstate Maine you really don’t need a block heater, but if you are you’ll want to consider having one installed when you get there.

Manufacturers don’t outfit NE cars differently, but those of us who buy them here do!