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Last night, the temps here dropped into the 0 and -teens. With wind chill, it was -40 today. I expected to have SOME issue firing up the Commander this morning, and was surprised how quickly it fired up. BUT, the catch is that it made some strange noises that sounded awful - like a metal on metal screeching. It went away after about 20 seconds, but was disturbing while it was going on. Also, my tire pressure dropped about 8 pounds in each tire. Can anyone from the colder climates relate to this?
 

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The tire pressue goes down in colder temps. I always have to add air in my tires, at the begining of winter.

With the temps like the -40, I would be using a good synthetic oil. The have better flow chartaristics in cold temps. I put Penzoil Platinum 5w-30 in my commadner and have been very happy with it so far, and I'm in Michigan.
 

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Polar, I heard the same noises this morning, sounded like the belts spinning up in sub-zero temps. I know my tires are lower too, need to add some air tomorrow.
 

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Last night, the temps here dropped into the 0 and -teens. With wind chill, it was -40 today. I expected to have SOME issue firing up the Commander this morning, and was surprised how quickly it fired up. BUT, the catch is that it made some strange noises that sounded awful - like a metal on metal screeching. It went away after about 20 seconds, but was disturbing while it was going on. Also, my tire pressure dropped about 8 pounds in each tire. Can anyone from the colder climates relate to this?
I'm in northern B.C., Canada, and our temps have dropped to -30C at night with wind chills in excess of -40C. Heard the same sounds the first two mornings of this week until I finally found the block heater. The cord is tied to your dipstick tube (if you have one.) If not, I would buy a magnetic oil pan heater to keep that oil warm until you can get a block heater installed. Just my experience living in a winter wonderland all my life!
 

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I'm in northern B.C., Canada, and our temps have dropped to -30C at night with wind chills in excess of -40C. Heard the same sounds the first two mornings of this week until I finally found the block heater. The cord is tied to your dipstick tube (if you have one.) If not, I would buy a magnetic oil pan heater to keep that oil warm until you can get a block heater installed. Just my experience living in a winter wonderland all my life!
Thanks for the heads up. I'm fairly certain I HAVE a block heater installed from the factory and I will definitely go hook it up tonight to keep the Commander happy in the mornings.

Any thoughts on what the horrible sounds ARE? Specifically? Any mechanically inclined people have an idea?
 

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Garage
Pronunciation:
\gə-ˈräzh, -ˈräj; Canada also -ˈrazh, -ˈraj; British usually ˈga-(ˌ)räzh, -(ˌ)räj, -rij\
Function:
noun
Etymology:
French, act of docking, garage, from garer to dock, from Middle French garrer, probably ultimately from Old Norse vara to beware, take care; akin to Old High German biwarōn to protect — more at ware

1 : a shelter or repair shop for automotive vehicles
 

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Last night, the temps here dropped into the 0 and -teens. With wind chill, it was -40 today. I expected to have SOME issue firing up the Commander this morning, and was surprised how quickly it fired up. BUT, the catch is that it made some strange noises that sounded awful - like a metal on metal screeching. It went away after about 20 seconds, but was disturbing while it was going on. Also, my tire pressure dropped about 8 pounds in each tire. Can anyone from the colder climates relate to this?
Welcome to the North! Yeah, pressure drop in the tires is normal. It is usually just from the condensing of air, but occasionally the cold can reveal leaks, but normally once you add air you are good. As far as the screeching, my guess it is the power steering pump. Always a wonderful sound ;-)
 

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it dropped to zero here today too. Had no problems with my commander, but i did add air in the tires.
 

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The most common sound is the power steering pump cavitating. And, as you noted, the oil within began to circulate within about 30 seconds. This is normal for just about any vehicle. I swear, even the owners manual mentioned this potental but I guess I'll have to re-read it again to find the page.
Regardless, fear not, all is well.
As far as tire pressure, keep in mind that they lose 1lb. pressure for every 7 degree drop in ambient temp.

Rob
 

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My tires are Nitrogen... and I don;t seem to have a problem with leaks...yet. As for the belt sound, I have the same thing. It use to happen just when I started the vehicle, but now even after I've been driving it will appear. Mind you it is -18 F/-28 C, with a windchill of -42 F/ -41 C. I am squeeking and complaining just like the Commander in this cold weather too.
 

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mine lives in the shop. its a balmy 45* right now.

but in cold weather.

run all synthetics. let your vehicle warm up for about 15 minutes before driving it.

get a block heater, or better yet a oil warmer.

http://www.padheaters.com/

warm oil is much better for starting then warm coolant.
 

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Common issue Polar, you will hear your XK whine a bit as it warms up (power steering usually which is normal). That being said, make sure you pack an extra belt in your kit as I have lost more belts in the winter then the summer.

Synthetic Oil is the best as it takes approx 30seconds to lube the engine from a cold start whereas regular 10-30 takes 2 minutes due to the viscosity of the oil at sub zero temperatures.

The cord to the block heater is zip tied to the Oil Dip Stick and is barely long enough to stick out in the front of the hood.

I recommend that you put a timer on your heater if you’re trying to save money on utilities so it turns on about 2hrs before you venture out.

I do recommend installing a 4 Outlet block (also comes in handy when working on the engine and need a plug in =D ) in the engine compartment if you wish to add oil pan, trans pan, battery heaters so you may plug in all your heating equipment into a central location and then have a single arctic grade cord coming out where you desire to place your plug.

Circulation heaters are awesome too BUT they have been known to turn cars into a melted pile of metal as they have a highier risk of catching fire then block heaters. The cool think about circulation heaters is that your antifreeze is constantly moving through your system at a temp of 100+ degrees.
 

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Also if you really wanna get carried away during long cold stints a old heavy blanket over the hood helps too when its plugged in.
 

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Great advice all around. I plugged in the Commander last night before bed and had no issues firing up this morning - still had a little bit of an ungodly whine which I suppose must be the power steering pump. It went away quickly.

Any ideas how much draw the factory block heater draws? Just curious how much extra it costs to run it all night as opposed to just the couple hours before driving.

If I get stationed in Alaska, I'll definitely be gearing up for colder weather.
 

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If you get stationed in Greely or Wainwright I recommend a cold front, and the pads. Richardson the stock block heater will do. I use mine with no issues, the only wierd thing that has happened to me is running at 20 below or colder if the vehicle in front of you dumps a load of snow on the ground as you drive through the thick mist it created you may get a engine code which basically states the temperature the tranny sent is invalid.
 
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