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Your Car and Winter


Creeping On You
How many of you know what a block heater is?

For those that don't know, it's a device that mounts on your engine block, and has a power cord that goes out the front grill of your vehicle. You plug that into an extension cord and when it's plugged into power, the block heater warms your engine block. This makes it possible to start your vehicle in -30C weather.

Thats what all cars in Manitoba at least, I'm not sure about the rest of Canada haha, but all Manitoba cars come stock with a block heater as far as I know. Except imports, you gotta get one put in manually. And that is how Manitobans can keep driving in the winter.

Although, most brand new vehicles can still start without a block heater in colder temperatures. It's just not good for them at all. Your engine block is freezing cold, and then suddenly heats up super fast as your engine starts firing. This is stressful on the metal. It's better for your block to be somewhat warm when you start it. It's also way better to let it run for a bit so that your engine warms up before you start stressing it with driving. Once again, cold metal parts in the winter are more likely to snap.

So how about you guys? Who of you know about these kinds of things? Do you take precautions to ensure the quality of your engine when it's super cold? Or do you just turn it on and go, the cold be damned? What other things do you possibly do to ensure your car will start in the morning?


Sultan of Swat
Staff member
I had to install one on my car last winter, it gets really cold in my area and there's some days that my car wouldn't start if I didn't have one installed. They are very convenient but a bitch to install.

I've had two vehicles since I started driving, and both my car and truck had one.


Creeping On You
Yah, I've heard that they are a bugger to install. Also a bugger to replace if yours breaks. Thankfully though, they are relatively cheap and very easy to find.


Registered Member
It doesn't get below the freezing point here that often.....we haven't seen temps in the teens in awhile.
But, altho I have never used an engine block heater, I do cover both my front and back windshields with those windshield protectors.
Keeps the frost off anyway.


I ♥ Haters
Both my cars are useless during the winter because they're back-wheel drives, so they're prone to get stuck in the snow. Luckily though, we've only had one snow day in Vancouver. So unless it gets real snowy, I don't have much to worry about.

We have a double garage, so I just park them inside, to avoid snow collecting on the windshields. Plus, there's no frost and my doors don't freeze shut.


Trust me, I'm The Doctor.
I've got a Cavalier that does good in the tons of snow we get here.

And I do mean tons.

Generally we don't use block heaters here for anything except diesels. I've never seen one on anything but a diesel. They all need a block heater (or, more commonly, a heating blanket) to keep the engine from freezing up in the winter.


Do What Thou Wilt
I've heard of Block Heaters, but in my neck of the woods, I've never seen them, and probably never will, even on diesels as long as I live here.

But, it gets fairly cold here, but the coldest its gotten in recent memory, is about negative 15 degrees during a particularly cold winter (I believe that was 5 or 6 years ago). But the extent of what I do at least is put in synthetic oil, and that covers everything my cars need. Though this year, I'm going to put in ZMax into the motor oil that should really up the protection. ZMax is a chemical that penetrates the pores in the metal of the parts, and protects the engine from the inside out. Even during a cold start, with minimal oil protection, it should keep the engine safe.


e̳̳̺͕ͬ̓̑̂ͮͦͣ͒͒h̙ͦ̔͂?̅̂ ̾͗̑
I just hope my car can run on hope alone. Sometimes it works out. Sometimes I'll spring for new tires if someone points out to me my tires are shot. Though, really, Michigan winters aren't that bad, for all we Michigan types like to complain about them.


Haters gonna hate.
Last year was a b**** for my Mazda Protege 2002 but know that I am at college I don't have to hassle with it. It has all-weather tires now! So excited. Used to have racing wheels.