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Ok so I got my car back last night (so happy) But This week has been colder than I ever remember it being. I dont usually drive it when its this cold, but its sunny and dry today, and I havent had my car for 3 days, plus its supposed to rain/sleet/snow tomorrow through monday, anyway, I have some questions or myths I want proved or dis proved by the experts.

1. When I was young and we lived in chicago my mom would always say she is going to fill the cars with gas since its going to get below freezing, and even today my parents ask if my cars are full of gas since its going to be cold? whats the point of this?

2. Warming it up. Some say its useless, some say let it sit for 5 min or so some say wait until its above 170, before driving it. Whats your take. I have been letting it sit for 4 or 5 min as thats when the heated seat is warmed up.

3. When its cold I notice the highest the temp ever gets is about half way between 170 and 210. When its 50 or 60 out, It rests at about 200-210. I notice the heat is not as good when the temp is not as warm, After a few passes to over 4k rpm (not wot) it warms up but then after 5 min or so of highway driving it cools off. Is this just the robust cooling system? I cant believe guys put 180 t-stats in lol.

4. ok last one, Until fully warmed up shifting the tranny is like pulling teeth, Even with it fully depressed it, shifting from 2-3 grinds. I have tested it on a hill and I dont have that problem of it not shifting when on a hill.


Thanks for the help guys! Marry Christmas!
 

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1. Moisture condensation in the gas tank over time can cause water to accumulate rusting the tank or freezing in the fuel system. Plus a full tank helps if you're stuck and need to stay warm until tow arrives.

2 Warm it up. Easier on the butt thermometer.

3. The cabin heater cools the motor and in extreme conditions a sheet of cardboard in front of the radiator can help keep operating temperatures up, often seen on diesels.

4. Go synthetic?

Merry Christmas to you!
 

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Its normal to take longer and probably run a bit cooler. I've experience 15* F days and the peak temp will be a "notch" lower than where it typically would be at (R/T's don't have temp values on the coolant guage).

The thing to do is drive moderately until the coolant (and importantly the oil) warms up some more.

Idling for longer periods before driving will just use more fuel and you're already losing MPG due to the extreme cold. With the modern oils, they flow more freely than the days of old with straight weights or 10W-40, etc.

Just crank the seat heaters on high (they get heat going within 1-2 minutes) and open the heater temp setting up to high/max. The seat heaters work well to warm you up while the main heater is getting to where it puts out some heat.

At least its not the old days of those cold vinyl seats, carburetors and no rear electric grid defoggers!!:)

The transmission will be stiffer to shift due to the viscosity of the ATF being at ambient temperature, once its up to operating temperature it will settle down more. I drove my 2 month old Challenger in snow/ice (avg was 24-29* F) conditions and it behaved fine, and got the first 1,500 miles in those conditions driving 50mi round trips to where I had a work assignment.

With the aluminum heads and aluminum oil pan, heat will conduct away from the engine in cold(er) ambient temperatures more quickly. I noticed that when I park just for 15-30 mins on a cold winter day, the coolant temp will drop a fair amount compared to the warmer times of year...
 

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Keeping the tank near full does aid in keeping condensation from forming in the tank. An occasional bottle of HEET or similar product would be useful if you just can't seem to keep the tank topped off.

I always let the car warm for a couple of minutes and let the engine settle into it's mid idle. About 900-1000 rpm before taking off. ALWAYS let the engine build heat before getting after it. Engine tolerances will be "loose" until all the internals thermally expand and tighten up. Also these are aluminum heads on a cast iron block. The expansion rate is very different for each. I never truly get on it until the temp gauge reads normal.

Once you are on the road the higher speed drives more cold air through the radiator and brings the temp down. Mine will level out to maybe one notch lower on the gauge after 10 minutes or so of highway driving.

Shifting the manual when cold just takes a little more patience. Remember that it is a manual and has no means other than engine heat transfer to warm the fluid. Slower more deliberate shifts will eliminate grinding until the transmission fluid is warm. Take your time with the shifter once the clutch is depressed. Don't rush to the next gear. Drive like a farmer in a grain truck till it gets warm. :D
 
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