How to prep a car for sub-zero climate

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How to prep a car for sub-zero climate

Postby Bhatti » Wed Mar 22, 2017 1:17 am

Assalam o alikum to all the good folk of IJC!

I wanted to take my Mini Pajero to a trip to North in the snow, and was wondering what should my checklist include to prepare for the below-zero temperatures during the night.

For starters, I know that coolant and wiper washer fluid should have some kind of anti-freeze, but I'm not sure about which products to use. Pre-mixed or concentrate with water.

I'd like comments / suggestions on engine oil and gear oil. Is it suggested to run a thinner less-viscous oil grade just for the trip, and change back at the end of the trip once we get to the warmer climate?

I need 'tried and tested' advice that I can bank on, instead of finding out a certain product didn't work as advertised :)

It would be really helpful if you could please add product names and approx. prices.

Thanks in advance!
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Re: How to prep a car for sub-zero climate

Postby nnn » Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:02 pm


Snow season is essentially over for now. Temps will hardly be well below freezing in the morning time anywhere we normally visit!

I will go with what my experience has been and what I use in TLC and Nissan Patrol

For coolant, been using FUCHS pre-mixed 40% coolant, which is approx. 300Rs per litre. Used all year round including desert rallies at full throttle and Lowari top in dec/jan. No issues.

Make sure of battery being in good state for starting. Petrol vehicles normally don't have much issue at all. From my experience, local Volta maintainance free batteries work just fine everywhere if all your electrics are fine, and these last upto 3 years without problem. Still carrying a good set of jumper wires with long enough length to these far flung areas trips is good practice.

Buy a pair of snow chains, to suit the size of ur vehicle tyres. If used properly they will last you a long time. Bought mine in 2010, still going fine, used every year. Can be bought from city sadder road RWP. Buy the snow chain pre-tensioner springs along side if you can find them, they are so much easier compared to ropes people use for tightening. total cost approx. 7-10k

Engine oil, for petrol vehicles any 5w-30 or 5w-40 for most engines will be fine for what ever we encounter in Pak environment (from winter in Kalam [-10 degree C] to summer on LHR motorway [+42 degree C]. Price range is variable, from 2500rs to 5500rs for 4 litre bottle. Have used Mobil1 in past, now using FUCHS titan .Just make sure its original oil, as supposedly lots of fakes/ reused/refilled in market.

Gear oil GL4 and GL5 in 75w-90, or 80w-90 or even 85w-90. These cover all temp range as above. I have used Toyota oils and liquid Moly. Your vehicle owners manual tells all specs of oils to use.

Been using ordinary Glint window cleaner mixed in water in washer fluid bottle without issue. Original screen wash fluids like one by FUCHS is almost Rs 900 per litre! It must be better, if you can spend the amount!

Happy driving! :)
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:32 am

Re: How to prep a car for sub-zero climate

Postby Bhatti » Tue Mar 28, 2017 1:01 am

Thank you very much! Awesome advice. You are right, there are no sub-zero temps any more at least this season.

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