As the season changes from Summer to Fall, most of us start to think about preparing for the colder months ahead. For those of us who live in the parts of the country where we have to winterize our homes, ourselves and our transportation, the games begin.
Storm windows find their way from storage to battle the winter wind. Wood piles expand to keep the nights warm and cozy. fallen leafs find there way first to piles then to bags or compost pits. Cool breezes start to bring a little bite with them and we know it time to batten down the hatches.
For us, our wardrobes begin to rotate. The cotton finds the back of the closet as the wool moves to the front. We tend to seek the warm shelter of the fireplace and company of good friends, where just weeks before it was the cool air of the evening around the lake or campsite. The transformation from sun seeker to house mouse is gaining momentum.
Your vehicle is also part of the prep and plan. The car or truck gets a new set of shoes to grip the anticipated snow and ice. The coolant gets refreshed, wiper fluids change from the standard fare to -20 below or better so we can cut through the gunk and grime that comes from sanding and treating city streets for traction with salt, sand, and de-icers. We even tend to change our oil now.
Often not only do we change the oil, but also the oil weight. Going with a lighter oil in colder weather climates is normal to help with cold starts, engine warm ups, and quicker lubrication from the the thinner oils. All good outcomes for the frozen workhorse under the hood.
And that seems like a great idea until we dig a little deeper and find two hidden dangers lurking inside our engine:
-First, light weight oil for the cold means even thinner oil when warm.
-Second is the expansive nature of the metals in you engine and the wear and friction the causes the metals to expand and contract much more in the winter than in the warmer months of the year.
So what does this mean? Well, as you know, when your engine is cold it will be much tighter at start up during cold weather than during more temperate months. This causes more metal to metal contact during crank and warm up, and you know what that means; more wear leading to more gap and deformation.
This means blow by.Preventing this contraction of the metals in a cold engine is not possible without a continuously heated block. Something that many of us have for those coldest of nights, particularly if you have a diesel. This keeps the fuel from gelling and makes cold cranks more reasonable.
If you don’t have a block heater, and even if you do, these intital cold cranks are the worst. Oil flows slowly but the crank rate needs to be sufficient to turn the motor over. It makes my joints hurt just thinking about it.
It also means that once the engine does get running, things are going to heat up. This is a great thing until the engine and lighter weight oil get to temp. The metals expand and begin to create those pesky gaps that allow an even thinner than normal oil to run past along with the engine gases that create power or are exhausted out in the form of blow by. These two facts about winter engine dynamics and operation sound pretty awful, but it’s the way it is. Or is it?
What can be done to help lessen winter’s impact on an engine?The same engine ceramics they use to protect $35,000 racing engines.
The nano-technology science behind CerTech Gels is a process that coats the metal surfaces with a microscopic layer of super slick ceramics that:
- protect the cold brittle metal from metal to metal contact and wear
- fill in the gaps and gouges that come from particulate abrasions and metal to metal strikes during limited cold oil flow.
- re-establish proper clearances even as the motor warms up, preventing light oils from blowing by expanding cylinder walls and piston rings.
- won’t gum up oil channels or valve guides with soft metals that will expand and contract in oil sytem of your engine