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aarman4

Question For Cold Weather Lex Owners

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Well, I have almost finished all of my upgrades to the car and, being in Manitoba (possibly the coldest place in North America that you will find a Lexus), I thought I would ask of other cold-weather Lex drivers what they have for keeping their engine warm(aside from a heated garage).

My car came from Vancouver, hence no block Heater. I checked everywhere bu Lex, and couldn;t find a block heater kit for the car, and I am now considering getting a coolant recirculator, but I am not sure I want to take up any valuable space in the engine..

Anybody have any suggestions, or let me know what you do for your baby?

Just in case: It's a 91 LS400...... Cold days out here being -35C and sometimes worst (that's -31F for my friendly neighbours to the South)

Thanks a million!

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When I saw the thread title I thought, "Oh, that's me." But it's balmy here in the winter compared to where you are. I recall a Central Alaskan asking about similar things at clublexus. Not sure how helpful the answers are, but check out this thread, and you might pm the poster.

http://clublexus.com/forums/showthread.php?t=247416

Good luck. Brrrrr.

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Hmm. I think I can one up you, my lexus splits it's time between Fort McMurray (northern Alberta) and Edmonton. Usually it's parks underground while in Edmonton, however I do leave it outside while driving to the university. It may not be the "healthiest" thing to do for the car, but I make sure it warms up well before I take off. But... now that you mention it.. mine does have a "plug" on the front of the car, near the electric fans. I'm guessing thats for the block heater, maybe I should try it out sometime. lol.

So ya.. I guess there is such a thing! Somewhere...

Sure handles beautifully on snow/ice, considering it's a RWD beast. :)

91 ls 400 btw. :)

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What tires, Jify? (Ever tried all-seasons in snow? Mine, old Michelin Energys, aren't so great.)

Just bought 4 good-year Ultra-Grip 7s. Very nice, soft rubber compound, tons of slits (the fancy name escapes me at the moment), and aggressive tread placement. Going from my bald all-seasons to these new winter tires, I think I may have the same amount of traction now (with a few inches of hardpacked snow/ice on the road) that I had this summer! lol

Heres some googled pictures of the tires. Only had one slight mishap so far.. which involved a snow storm, black ice, a pile of snow, and completion of a full rotation (360 degrees) while driving down a highway at 120 km/h. Sure opens your eyes... O.O

http://www.autoreview.ru/archive/2006/21/t.../05goodyear.jpg

http://www.reifen-elke.de/bilder/UG7%2520Schnee_s.jpg

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Sanpete, thanks for the link, I'll chase that for a bit!

Jify, I must disagree, even though i know you are not in Edmonton, and I am not in Winnipeg, but we are respectfully "close enough"

Just lean your eyes towards the coldest months for both (January), as well as the span of !Removed! cold temps on both... No doubt that neither is vacation weather, but I would be missing my "canadian" duty if I didn't go out of my way to show that Alberta doesn;t have "it all"...J/J Jify, thanks for the help though!

Winnipeg

http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/world/city_gu...ml?ctt=TT000930

Edmonton:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/world/city_gu...tml?tt=TT000910

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Sanpete, thanks for the link, I'll chase that for a bit!

Jify, I must disagree, even though i know you are not in Edmonton, and I am not in Winnipeg, but we are respectfully "close enough"

Just lean your eyes towards the coldest months for both (January), as well as the span of !Removed! cold temps on both... No doubt that neither is vacation weather, but I would be missing my "canadian" duty if I didn't go out of my way to show that Alberta doesn;t have "it all"...J/J Jify, thanks for the help though!

Winnipeg

http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/world/city_gu...ml?ctt=TT000930

Edmonton:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/world/city_gu...tml?tt=TT000910

Look pretty similar to me, was curious and did a little digging on the topic...

Fort McMurray:

Average Maximum Temperature -10.2°C

Average Minimum Temperature -19.6°C

Holy Crap! lol. Thats averaged with +35 summers!

Anyways, I feel your pain. Any luck with your block heater?

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Sanpete, thanks for the link, I'll chase that for a bit!

Jify, I must disagree, even though i know you are not in Edmonton, and I am not in Winnipeg, but we are respectfully "close enough"

Just lean your eyes towards the coldest months for both (January), as well as the span of !Removed! cold temps on both... No doubt that neither is vacation weather, but I would be missing my "canadian" duty if I didn't go out of my way to show that Alberta doesn;t have "it all"...J/J Jify, thanks for the help though!

Winnipeg

http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/world/city_gu...ml?ctt=TT000930

Edmonton:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/world/city_gu...tml?tt=TT000910

Look pretty similar to me, was curious and did a little digging on the topic...

Fort McMurray:

Average Maximum Temperature -10.2°C

Average Minimum Temperature -19.6°C

Holy Crap! lol. Thats averaged with +35 summers!

Anyways, I feel your pain. Any luck with your block heater?

Yeah, once the wind starts blowing and it's below -20, it no longer matters to anyone what the thermometer says, it's just COOOOOOLD.

On the block heater remark, I am going to closely look at possibly getting a sticky element (permanently sticky) that affixes to the oil pan to keep the oil warm, and on top of that, if I can find the room, I am going to think about installing a coolant heater/recirculator as well as a battery warmer.

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Sanpete, thanks for the link, I'll chase that for a bit!

Jify, I must disagree, even though i know you are not in Edmonton, and I am not in Winnipeg, but we are respectfully "close enough"

Just lean your eyes towards the coldest months for both (January), as well as the span of !Removed! cold temps on both... No doubt that neither is vacation weather, but I would be missing my "canadian" duty if I didn't go out of my way to show that Alberta doesn;t have "it all"...J/J Jify, thanks for the help though!

Winnipeg

http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/world/city_gu...ml?ctt=TT000930

Edmonton:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/world/city_gu...tml?tt=TT000910

Look pretty similar to me, was curious and did a little digging on the topic...

Fort McMurray:

Average Maximum Temperature -10.2°C

Average Minimum Temperature -19.6°C

Holy Crap! lol. Thats averaged with +35 summers!

Anyways, I feel your pain. Any luck with your block heater?

Yeah, once the wind starts blowing and it's below -20, it no longer matters to anyone what the thermometer says, it's just COOOOOOLD.

On the block heater remark, I am going to closely look at possibly getting a sticky element (permanently sticky) that affixes to the oil pan to keep the oil warm, and on top of that, if I can find the room, I am going to think about installing a coolant heater/recirculator as well as a battery warmer.

Could you let me know how that battery warmer works out? I never actually knew they even made them until I read this thread. Went out and bought a deep cycle, spiraling something battery. Had a TON of juice in the summer, winter seems to have dishearted it's spirits, enough to make me sometimes worry about starting my car. Guys in Canadian Tire wanted to sell me a battery half the size for an early model ES/GS? I told them to hang onto their little 650 CCA battery and give me the big guy.. glad I did. :) (and by big guy, I mean SERIOUSLY half the size of the old lexus 250 lb sucker that was in there!)

edit: Link! http://www.canadiantire.ca/browse/product_...408474396672453

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Jiffy, I have the same tires on my 2000 LS400 with stability control.

They are high speed, directional snows.

Mine came off an OPP pursuit car ... I bought them slightly used at $200 for all 4 tires.

I've driven them for 2 seasons on my STS, with great results.

They still have lots of tread depth, but so far I'm not impressed. Our roads are very bad right now

in Orillia ... muddy, slick slop, lots of hills. I'm hoping when they clean up the roads a bit, the car will

stick a bit better.

I would rate the rwd/ultragrip setup as average right now .... hoping it improves.

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I would rate the rwd/ultragrip setup as average right now .... hoping it improves.

I wouldn't count on the tires IMPROVING grip with time.

I had a set of Ultragrip Ice snow tires on my Cressida--1st season they provided simply amazing traction. 2nd season noticeably less.

Since you guys are living in fairly cold climate year round you may wish to consider the Nokian WR tires--they have the extreme service snow rating plus are good for dry pavement. You can leave these on year round. I have a set on my LS400 now, but I do also run dedicated summer tires on larger wheels.

For cold, also consider a remote starter--I put one on mine and by the time I get in it's nice and toasty and the rear window is also set to come on when its started--plus you can just drive away immediately since it's already warmed up.

I've only had it to -20F and it started right up, but you guys are in another class of cold altogether!

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Hey aarman4,

My 1997 LS400 always spent its time outside. Use of a block heater is a must here in North Bay during the cold winter months. I would also consider using synthetic oil as this tends to warm up in the engine quicker than conventional oils. The battery warmer is a good idea too (I had one of those on a 1988 Toyota Celica Turbo AWD I owned back in the day). But with a brand new battery, you should be good for guaranteed starts for 2-3 winters. I had my Lexus battery die on a bitterly cold December day back in 2004 ... it was like -40 C that day.

Cheers!

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-30°F ?? Wooh! I bet those tanks really make some strange noises in those frigid temps!

My LS400 has spent its entire life in central Georgia (until last week) and probably has not seen temperatures below 10°F. :) Now its in northeast TN and hopefully it will be awhile before it sees any ever that cold again. :unsure:

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bossman,

I am still having a heck of a time tracking down a block heater that I can install.... Too mechanically inclined (cheap) to go to Lex and get her done... I suppose the old "light bulb in a coffee can under the oilpan" trick will have to do for this winter unless I can get into a heated garage free of charge sometime soon to play... I have the synthetic in there already, hell of a cost, but it's my baby right?

I am actually in vancouver right now with family for the holidays, and despite the above freezing temps, I'll take the bitter cold over this grey skies and rain stuff any day.....Time to go back to the prairie!

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Aarman, I am in north NB and thinking of buying a LS400, around 1995. I do not know if these would have block heaters as I have to buy it in Ontario. I was told that the Lexus have problems with their doors during winter. I have a Garage and my current car is parked inside but it is not heated and it could get to - 35 to 40C here occasionally, though the average is arounf -25 to -30 usually.

Also how is the Lexus in winter driving in the snow?

Thank you and wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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Magic,

I haven't driven it much in the snow, but with my yokohama avid's it was pure crap in the snow, with traac on or off, didn't matter. I got some kelly wintermarks (old goodyear design) and put them on all 4 tires. Night and day difference between them and the avids. It is alot better, and when the trac is on, it is quite capable of busting through even some of the loose snow in my driveway. packed snow is a piece of cake... Definitelely needs the snows though!

Best of luck!

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Hey aarman4,

Yes, the synthetic oil is costly, but anything that keeps the baby running smoothly is worth it ... imho.

That "light bulb in a coffee can under the oil pan" remark brought back some memroies. That old '88 Celica Turbo 4WD I had also did not have a block heater (Toyota claimed the engine compartment was too packed to be able to fit it in ... go figure). Anyways, I did have to resort to the light bulb trick on one occasion. That's when I found a magnetic base block heater that simply attached to the outside of the oil pan. I think I got it at Canadian Tire, but that was back many years ago. Something to check on though ... you just have to remember to remove it before you drive away ;)

Cheers,

Bossman

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Dear God, how do you guys do it up there? My sincere condolences! Mind you not my location, spent several years in Kansas, with windchills in the -65f range "why do you think I live in NC now!". I'm sure whatever advice I give, is elementary to what you guys know, but just in case, remember the cans of Heet for the gas tank to prevent the condensation from freezing up the lines, and synthetic is a must! If I recall, the birth of synthetic oils was from Amsoil for those ice-truckers running the Alaskan routes. There has to be some sort of block heater that would work on your car, has to be! If not, somebody needs to start working the LLC company name and make one, you'd be wealthy cats up there! What about an electric blanket draped over the engine? Would it catch fire? Or how about a rubber pad on the garage floor to insulate the radiation cooling from the concrete below?

Whatever you do, let the car idle for at least 5 minutes to get the other fluids moving too. I'm sure your steering must be like rubber. I'd keep an eye on the tranny fluid too, keep up with the drain-n'-fill procedure to make sure it's up to snuf for that kind of weather.

I'm sure you guys do hear some creaks and squeeks that guys like me have never heard before. I'd be curious what your opinions are about the ride characteristics of a frozen LS400.

Man..ouch...dang...that's some cold cold weather! It's 45f here tonight, and I'm freezing my butt off from just turning out the christmas lights. I think my tallywacker would go "turtle" for life if I lived up there. :ph34r:

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Man..ouch...dang...that's some cold cold weather! It's 45f here tonight, and I'm freezing my butt off from just turning out the christmas lights. I think my tallywacker would go "turtle" for life if I lived up there. :ph34r:

Just spit on my computer screen laughing...

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Aarman, do you have any problems with the wipers in the winter, because they click back into the groove when at rest?

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Aarman, do you have any problems with the wipers in the winter, because they click back into the groove when at rest?

I haven;t had any problems with them at all yet, but I do keep it in the garage, and in my area, though it is very cold for a long period of time, we do not get alot of snow, and when we do, it is usually "dry light snow" that doesn't require the wipers to run, or it won;t stick simply because the car is moving to fast for that... (All highways in my area).

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I use motul synthetic oil as it flows better than anything in cold . I park outside and use my car starter to give it a good warming first.

Last night was -32 with windchill but hey it is plus 13 on Sunday. That is in Celsius.

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I was thinking of getting a battery jacket for my ls, but since I don't drive it much in the winter that idea is on the shelf for now. Instead, whenever I'm going to take her out I put a trickle charge with an autoshutoff on the battery the night before. That way I know I've got plenty of cranking power the next day. I do have a block heater (on a timer) in my everyday ride volvo and run synthetic. It's parked outside but starts in 1.5 cranks. Starts blowing warm air within 2-3 minutes no matter what the temp is.

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