For what it's worth, right now as I type this at 7:24 PM Central
Standard Time, Winnipeg is at -36 degrees Celsius (or about -33 F), and
with the wind it feels like -51 deg. C. (or -60 F). We're hoping for
milder temperatures toward the end of this week.
One thing more people should know, but don't, is that you can
significantly improve your car's starting in cold weather by switching
to synthetic motor oil for the winter.
Waxes that occur naturally in crude oil find their way through the
refinery and into your motor oil. These waxes thicken up at colder
temperatures, causing the oil to become much more viscous. Synthetic
motor oils have very much less wax in them than conventional oils, and
so they don't increase in viscosity as much with colder temperatures.
So, by using a synthetic motor oil in your car during the winter, you'll
improve starting because the oil will be thinner and allow faster
cranking of the engine.
There was an oil change company that had a "Start and Go or We Pay the
Tow" promotion on last winter. The idea was that you had them put
Quaker State synthetic motor oil in your car, and if your car wouldn't
start just because of the cold weather, they would pay to tow your car
to the nearest garage. The catch was that they would only pay for one
tow. If your car wouldn't start a second time, you needed to have a
second oil change. Otherwise they wouldn't pay anything.
Still, using synthetic oil in the winter is a good idea to minimize hard
starting problems; especially if you live or work in an area where you
can't plug your car's block heater in. When I have an empty apartment,
but no available parking spot, I tell prospective tenants about changing
their oil to a synthetic over the winter months, but most of them are
reluctant to rent an apartment without a parking spot and plug-in
because they don't know how much difference the synthetic oil will make.
I've tried it on my own car, and I'm convinced it does make a