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What oil should I put in for the winter?

Many motorists try to service their car before the winter, even if the mileage to change the oil is still a thousand – another kilometers. It certainly makes sense, because the engine will have to work in much more difficult conditions, and therefore fresh oil is only good for it. Unfortunately, many motorists restrict themselves to a standard set of routine maintenance operations, often forgetting about “minor”, at first sight, moments. But all motorists know where to turn in junk cars in markham.

So, what should be remembered in preparation for the winter maintenance of the car?

About analogues and substitutes
The analogues made by other producers of auto chemical goods will only remind by their properties what their manufacturer puts in your brand of cars, but most likely, they will not fully correspond to its requirements. You should understand that even the trivial brake fluid labeled DOT-4 has different chemical composition from one manufacturer to another. Because the label “DOT-4” is a set of requirements, not a recipe for cooking, and it is far from certain that there are no additional nuances just for your car.

No one can tell you exactly how much damage to your car can do, say, unintended by the automaker and not approved by its designers’ brake fluid, but just find out the price of new calipers and brake master cylinder, and then I think it will be a little easier to make the right decision.

One thing is for sure: counterfeit or low-quality power steering fluid freezes in cold weather and almost at once makes the owner of a car to change the rack and/or pump; frozen automatic transmission oil will most likely lead to its complete repair or replacement, and unsuitable coolant will most likely corrode all pipes, radiator, pump and heater, but not at once. Whether you are ready to take the risk, it’s up to you to decide.

What are the “original” operating fluids?

It means that many automakers (especially for European cars) insist (or strongly recommend) on using original fluids, which are often, in fact, ordered from well-known manufacturers of car chemistry, but packed in manufacturer’s branded packaging. In this case on the package, as a rule, you will not find information about the real manufacturer, and often about the technical characteristics – only the brand name of the car manufacturer and the part number from the catalog. Some automakers even pack engine oil in such a way.

It is very important to understand a few things here. Firstly, it is not a fact that what the manufacturer orders for the following usage in warranty service stations, fully corresponds in chemical composition and performance characteristics to the serial analog, which is produced under the brand name of the same producer of car chemistry. The car manufacturer may well have made some additional requirements related to the peculiarities of the design of your car. In addition, by buying the “original” from the official representative of your car brand, the risk of buying a fake is significantly reduced.

At the same time, in most cases, the operating fluids of the brand that is the official supplier of your car manufacturer are suitable for use in this car. It is important to know for sure what brand it is (I repeat – this information is not always found on the original manufacturer’s packaging), as well as the specific parameters of the fluid that should be used in your car. Remember, power fluid, coolant, transmission oil and other fluids are different, and if you use even a very high quality product, but not the one that the designers of your car provide for your car – expensive repair of your car is guaranteed.

What operating fluids should I buy?

Winter is the period, when all the negatives of using cheap substitutes of original technical fluids are especially evident. If in summer the mass produced for sale at car markets still somehow resembles the car manufacturer’s requirements, then when the temperature drops below zero the properties of such fluids are absolutely unpredictable. It will not only necessarily speed up the replacement of expensive spare parts, but also can make you an unpleasant “surprise” at the most inappropriate moment.

Based on many years of experience, the advice is never to use any cheap substitutes of technical and operational fluids, but especially not in winter. We are talking about transmission oil, brake fluid, power fluid and, in some car brands, coolant. All this is much more reliable to buy only from official representatives of your car brand, believe me, it is not so expensive. And saving money here can be extremely expensive.

I assume the statement about the brake and coolant fluids caused confusion, so I’ll give you a little example. The operation of several different Audi cars for more than 5 years showed that after switching from the original coolant to regular tosol, within a year and a half all rubber nozzles of the cooling system, heater, radiator and pump are replaced in turn. And when using non-original brake fluid from the car market – within a year and a half all calipers were replaced in turn. I emphasize, all this – in perfect condition of the car at the start of the experiment, while another car is the same in all the original until now (at least 5 years) without these problems. So listen to less auto mechanics, used to deal with Zhiguli and consult the official representatives of your car brand.

Transmission oil and other fluids

First of all, look in the service book of your car or remember the last time you changed it:

1. The oil in the automatic transmission (automatic shift gearbox).
2. the coolant.
3. brake fluid.
4. Power booster fluid.

It turns out, that it is necessary to change all mentioned above periodically! Don’t smile, in fact, many inexperienced motorists either don’t know, or (what is more often) simply forget about it. So, the interval is limited by time (three years at most, but mainly – two), and also by car mileage (this parameter is individual and is contained in the service book of a car, usually it is about 60 thousand km). Therefore, if you do not know, when all it was changed, or term has already left or is on the way – autumn is the best time to replace all these liquids.

If you have a manual transmission – check with the documentation on the car, as a rule, the manufacturers do not provide a regular change of oil in manual transmission. In any case, it is necessary to check its presence.

Another commonplace truth: even if You do not plan to change all the aforementioned fluids this year, before the winter it is especially urgent to check their level and availability (it is actually necessary to do at every service station, but not all mechanics remember it). Also it will be useful to check up oil level in a rear axle (if it is present).

What engine oil for winter?

Winter motor oil hasn’t been used by motorists for a long time, so forget that term as such. If the motor oil you put in your engine has a viscosity grade of 5W-40, 10W-30, etc. (i.e. two numbers separated by the letter W) – it is an all-season oil, intended for use all year round (exactly the kind of motor oil is used by the absolute majority of motorists). One should understand that only the first number, standing before the letter W, has direct impact on operation in winter conditions. More details about the viscosity index value you can read in the article about oil viscosity on our site.

So if the low-temperature viscosity of the engine oil you normally use meets the climatic conditions of your region, starter and battery are in normal condition – feel free to fill the same oil as before. The high-temperature viscosity (the second number in the coding) has absolutely no effect on the winter operation, because the operating temperatures of the engine are the same, both in winter and in summer.

If there is no confidence in the expected temperatures, starter or battery, you can buy an engine oil with a lower coefficient of low-temperature viscosity (for example, from 10W-40 to 5W-40, etc.). There are three things to keep in mind:

1. Change of engine oil – is an additional load for the engine, therefore before the onset of frost is very desirable to have time to produce at least one more oil change (for details on how to properly switch to a different engine oil, read the article on oil changes).

2. Automobile oils of one manufacturer are guaranteed to be compatible, so when changing an oil brand, at least try to remain faithful to the manufacturer.

3. the motor oil you choose to use in the winter, must comply with the recommendations of the car manufacturer (for details on all of this you can read the article on how to choose the right motor oil).

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