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I just bought a new 2011 FJ Cruiser in Oklahoma City, Ok. I then found out that I will be moving to Fairbanks, Alaska for my job. What do I need to do to get it ready for the extreme cold. It can get down to -55 degrees (F) up there. Will the stock fluids work? Is there a block heater available? Is a circulating heater better? This is my first FJ, so any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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I just bought a new 2011 FJ Cruiser in Oklahoma City, Ok. I then found out that I will be moving to Fairbanks, Alaska for my job. What do I need to do to get it ready for the extreme cold. It can get down to -55 degrees (F) up there. Will the stock fluids work? Is there a block heater available? Is a circulating heater better? This is my first FJ, so any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks,

Dave
 

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You don't need to worry too much.... just a few things that probably need to get done that I can think of.... hopefully others will pipe in with other tips too. The rad fluid and washer fluid are the 2 things that pop into my mind.

Radiator fluid (aka coolant) - you can get a tester for about $5 at your local auto parts store and test it for what temp it's rated to.... The mixture might be alright already. It needs a good mixture for heat as well as cold.

Washer fluid - drain it any way you want (sit and hold the switch, or pump it out) then get some washer fluid that is rated for -40 or -45. I suggest "Rain-X" brand.... I'm quickly becoming a huge fan of it. In my opinion it's worth the extra couple dollars.
If you don't change out the fluid you may damage your washer pump, not to mention the fact that the lines will freeze and it won't work worth s**t.

Block heater - grab one from one of the vendors here for a better price. I paid about $75 from a local dealer here (I wasn't impressed). The block heater for the FJ is a bit different than the old school ones where you had to drain all the fluid and such. This one you just lube the heck out of it with dialectic grease and slip 'er in ;) The routing of the cord can take longer than the "sticking in". Run a search here and you'll find good instructions (of course :rocker:)

I would go to a hardware store and buy my own extension cord... buy a 20' section of at least 14 gauge wire (the bigger the wire means a lower number gauge, and the lower the gauge means more power can flow through unrestricted) with a black outer coating to it that is rated for cold weather. Then go and buy the plug ends and put them on yourself. The cheap cords get really stiff in the cold and crack easily. You also have to fight with the plug end getting your block heater into the extension cord and also to fight getting it off. When the wind is blowing this is really irritating. Of course the cheap cords will work in a pinch.

Remember to not use your air recirculation option on your heater controls when the cold hits. Your windows will never get clear. Use the windshield defrost option or the defrost/floor option... this cycles the A/C which helps clear the windows. Also uses more fuel, but you can't really avoid that.

[Optional]
Change gear oil in differentials and xfer case to full synthetic. Full synthetic won't get so viscous in the extreme cold, allowing the gears to move and be lubricated. This will reduce (albeit a small amount) the reduction in mpg's in the winter.

Remember that no matter how much you warm up your engine.... the diff's will still be cold. Don't jump right into highway speeds right away, ease into it.

There are also magnetic block heaters that can be stuck onto your oil pan. I priced one out the other day and it was about $65 here. It's overkill for my climate though.... and it gets to about -40 or -45 with the windchill here. The actual temperature reaches about -35 or so at times. (temps are all in celcius)

There are a few guys here from Alaska.... from their posts that I've read, they seem pretty decent. There's a thread about a trip to Alaska in the Expedition threads.... and they've posted in there.

Good luck! Congrats on the job!
:cheers:
 

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I just bought a new 2011 FJ Cruiser in Oklahoma City, Ok. I then found out that I will be moving to Fairbanks, Alaska for my job. What do I need to do to get it ready for the extreme cold. It can get down to -55 degrees (F) up there. Will the stock fluids work? Is there a block heater available? Is a circulating heater better? This is my first FJ, so any help would be greatly appreciated.
Here you go. This is from Kendall Toyota in Anchorage. It just happens to be called the "Fairbanks Package".
http://www.toyota.oeaccessories.com...QCaIOdr+mS4zpWEGRnijMXNIb+qETfRD53jQyFwmP50s=
 

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Welcome to Alaska!! You will love your vehicle up here, here are a few things I have learned about Alaska since moving here in October (in addition to what everyone else is posting - repeat...block heater):
1) Make sure your insurance covers your glass (or lower your deductible) - 3 rock chips so far (due to sand/gravel from the snow trucks)...You will see MANY cars with cracked windows here...and unfortunately the FJC front window is very susceptible to rock chips/cracks.:flame:
2) Snow tires - the stock tires are fine, but you will want a good snow tire up here, many cars run studs from Oct-Mar, but winter ice tires do the trick! The roads are basically covered in snow pack/ice all winter. I wish I would have found a set of steelies, and snow tires in California before I left - the tires you can find up here...not so much the rims.:boohoo:
3) Rubber floor mats (I got the Husky's - they are awesome) you will appreciate them with all of the snow!
4) If there are any modifications you are wanting to do, AND the mod part is HEAVY - buy it in the lower 48 before you leave...shipping to AK is NOT cheap!:thinkerg:
5) Front grill/bull guard (or steel front bumper) for the wildlife here (go to "youtube" and search moose hits), the front bumper/grill of the FJC is all plastic and can be damaged rather easy.
6) Auto start is a VERY VERY NICE addition - you will definitely appreciate it in the winter!
NOTE: Front window (driver/passenger) window tinting is illegal in Alaska - so if you are thinking about it, Google it for more info...

Have fun on the trip up, sounds like you are coming up at the end of the winter, so bring your camera and take a lot of pictures on the ALCAN Highway!:bigthumb:

Lastly...do not forget the ice scraper:p
 

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Oil pan heater is definate, at -40 nothing will flow nice. you can get blanket type ones that you silicone to the pan perminatly. A battery blanket is another strong suggestion, it's a heated blanket for your battery. You will need all the CCAs you can get.
 

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Adding to winterpeg's post it is a good idea to going to a full synthetic engine oil after you engine break in period. I haven't used my block heater and it starts up just fine at -30 C, I have amsoil full synthetic 0W-30
 

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Adding to winterpeg's post it is a good idea to going to a full synthetic engine oil after you engine break in period. I haven't used my block heater and it starts up just fine at -30 C, I have amsoil full synthetic 0W-30
I run semi-synthetic mostly because I'm cheap :lol:
 

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1. Sub-artic rated antifreeze and winshield washer solvent.
2. Change all grease and oil to synthetic with proper temperature rating.
3. Check the temperature range of the thermostat.
4. Install block and/or oil heaters.
5. Install Aux battery.
6. Install Aux fuel can carrier with locks.
7. Install locking gas cap and/or locking gas door.
8. Install flat-blade technclogy wipers w/spare in vehicle.
9. Survival kit (blankets, flares, cables, lighter, man-made fire logs, flashlight, Med-kit).
10. Shovel, snatch strap.
 

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A few years ago we reached temps of -60. The FJ was plugged in and started fine. At that temp there were a lot more creaks and moans coming from the FJ (and me). In town the FJ was still throwing heat once I hit the highway (45mph) I watched the temp gauge drop almost back down to the C.

Will the FJ hadle it, sure thing. At those temps everything is a little slower.

When you buy an extension cord make sure it is one rated for cold weather - they stay flexible on cold temps where a regualr one gets all hard stiff like a Woodpeckers lips.
 

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I dont live in Fairbanks but I saw an ad for a company in Fairbanks that sells a block heater, battery blanket and oil pan heater that is connected together and has 1 retractable power plug for all. I thought the retractable power cord was neat since I know from experience that messing with a power cord in sub zero temps is a PITA.
 

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I dont live in Fairbanks but I saw an ad for a company in Fairbanks that sells a block heater, battery blanket and oil pan heater that is connected together and has 1 retractable power plug for all. I thought the retractable power cord was neat since I know from experience that messing with a power cord in sub zero temps is a PITA.
I wouldn't rely on a retractable anything in the cold.

:cheers:
 
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