View Full Version : Extreme cold

Ron T.
01-30-2008, 11:15 PM
Hi, I joined the list yesterday and have some small issues with extreme cold operation. First item, today I broke off one of the rear wheel mud guards, I'd just installed it a couple of weeks ago, but at the temperatures we're experiencing rubber and plastic parts are very brittle. Are there alternatives to the stock mud guard that would handle the cold better?

Other issues are stalling, when coming to a stop the idle RPM will drop to below 500 RPM and often the engine quits. This seems to happen at temperatures below -25, but not consistently. Sometimes it dips to 400 or 500 RPM and then overshoots and settles down around 600 RPM. Shutting the engine off for a few minutes and restarting has often cleared the problem. I have a 97 Disc 1 with the 4.0L gas engine.

Otherwise, with a tarp over the hood at night, the block heater plugged in (it really is inadequate), and a battery heater pad, it has handled the cold pretty well. Night time temperatures for the last week have been down to -45 C (-49F) and rising to -36C during the (short) day. The real test will be tomorrow night, the forecast low is -48C (-54 F). Our weather forecast link is http://text.weatheroffice.gc.ca/forecast/city_e.html?nt-24&unit=m

This is my first winter with my Discovery, is there anyone else with experience at exceptionally cold temperatures?

Ron T.

01-31-2008, 10:44 AM
Welcome to RoversNorth.com forums! Glad to hear from you way up in the white cold north. Brrrrrr. We normally have sub zero temp readings as well here in Vermont this time of year, but have only experienced -10 or so below so far... :sly:

I would suggest looking into the German made Espar Hydronic series coolant heaters. Made for both petrol and diesel. Not cheap, but absolutely worth it. It's like having a baby jet engine warming up all your coolant, engine and interior. All set with a 7-day timer.



Other than this, keep the ignition system totally fresh with new spark plugs, wires, cap, rotor, etc. Also, make sure to use good quality petrol and don't forget low viscosity synthetic engine oil. Just look at some of Amsoil's pour ratings at well below zero temps.

Amsoil ASM 100% 0-20w full synthetic oil pour point is -65 below ZERO.

The Espar heater is the way to go. Keep us tuned in to your progress, good luck.

Ron T.
01-31-2008, 08:27 PM
Thanks for the information. The heater looks like a very good idea. Should I call Rovers North for the price or could you e-mail it to me. How difficult is the installation, and how may it affect my vehicle insurance, especially with respect to fire insurance?

Last night I think I passed the temperature limit, today the vehicle almost overheated, the most common type of breakdown at these temperatures. I think the rad gelled up overnight and I've probably lost too much antifreeze. Fortunately the weather forecast has been changed, we're only expecting lows around -44C for the next few days, last night it dropped to -46C (-50F).

Lastly, I need to replace just one mud guard.

I must go out and get some antifreeze. Good night!

Ron T.

Ron T.
01-31-2008, 09:53 PM
Just got back from buying anti-freeze. Almost overheated on the way to the garage. It took 6 litres before I had warm air from the heater. No evidence of a leak, the radiator likely froze up on the way to work this morning. For now it seems OK. The weather is forecast to warm up on Wednesday, by warm up I mean the night time lows should be warmer than -40.

Ron T.
02-19-2008, 11:17 PM
The engine front cover gasket gave out, 17 litres of oil and antifreeze were drained out of the oil pan. Apart from that apparently no permanent damage was done, as it runs fine after replacing the gasket, oil filter, oil, and topping up the antifreeze. FWIW, the stock AM/FM/CD works great even at temperatures colder than -40C (or F). Before next winter I should put synthetic lubricant in the differentials, and put a heater pad on the oil pan and transmission, along with the (inadequate) 300W
block heater and battery heater pad. An interior heater would be a good idea too I think, on the mornings with -46C (-50F) I was concerned about breaking plastic parts such as the internal pieces of the headlight and turn signal switches. Hopefully we've seen the last of the -40 temperatures for this winter. Ron T.

02-20-2008, 10:44 AM
Ron, glad you got this fixed :thumb-up:. Sorry to hear about the low temps causing so much - ouch.

ps... the Espar Hydronic heaters work on the whole cooling/heating system of your Land Rover, not just the interior. Basically, this little jet unit, heats up your entire anti-freeze cooling system. All the hoses, radiator, and anti-freeze you've got. The added benefit is a hot toasty Discovery before you drive off, without even starting the engine.

I'll agree with you that the battery wrap, insulating transmission, and 300w blanket most likely just get warm in -40 below.