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Total engine protection in cold weather

January has seen some extremely cold temperatures, with icy conditions, frost and darker evenings causing a challenge on the road. For all drivers and road users, the importance of appropriate engine oil and coolant selection in helping to keep vehicles on the roads cannot be overstated.

This advice follows the bitter cold and snow chaos that the ‘Beast from the East’ brought to the country earlier this year and recent reports suggesting that the UK and potentially Ireland could be hit by up be a lengthy period of snow.

Engines have to work even harder during cold weather, and lubricants and coolants play a crucial role in maintaining the reliability of vehicles.

Low temperatures reduce the effectiveness of oil and make it thicker meaning circulation through the engine is not as efficient as thinner oil, which can lead to damage to the components, and even a failure to start.

Using the right type of premium quality oil that provides outstanding wear protection is therefore essential to engine health and performance during adverse weather conditions. If it is too thick, it may prevent the engine from starting, and if it is too thin, it won’t provide adequate protection. The ‘W’ on the code on the label stands for ‘winter’ and indicates the oil’s cold weather ability. The lower the number next to the ‘W,’ the more effectively it will perform..

The entire Total Quartz range offers excellent engine protection, reduced component wear, enhanced fuel economy and improved performance. It also features Age Resistant Technology (ART) which fights against friction, corrosion, and deposits within the engine and therefore reduces potential cold start issues.

As well as oil, it is also essential to check the coolant level and concentration regularly during the cold months to ensure protection at sub-zero temperatures. Coolants are a necessity all-year-round, but the winter brings significant challenges that can affect the performance of the cooling system, making it more challenging to start vehicles on freezing mornings.

The cooling system helps prevent damage caused by freezing, cavitation, corrosion, overheating and the formation of deposits.

Should the cooling system not function correctly, the engine will begin to fail, as could the radiator, water pump, head gasket or engine block. In the worst-case scenario, the engine could overheat and seize.

Total Lubricants provide a suite of premium quality and officially approved OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) products for cars and an array of other vehicles. The range, which is formulated based on Organic Acid Technology (OAT), includes both ready-to-use and concentrate types and many products that protect against freezing, even in temperatures as low as -37°C.

Total Glacelf and Coolelf coolants contain the additives required to protect a full range of different types of vehicles while providing exceptional performance in freezing temperatures.

The Glacelf SI-OAT is the concentrate which is added to de-mineralised water at different concentrations to give the desired low-temperature operation: freezing point -20°C at 33% and -37°C at 50%. This product is a ‘very-long-life’ antifreeze made of monoethylene glycol, while the Coolelf SI-OAT -37°C is pre-mixed ready for use.

The advantages of OAT are:

Increases heat transfer efficiency;

Extends the life of the coolant;

Has superior high-temperature aluminium protection

Extends water pump life by up to 50%;

Offers excellent cavitation protection;

Provides high-temperature oxidation stability;

Reduces cooling system scaling and deposits;

Requires less product disposal;

Provides environmentally friendly inhibitors;

Decreases maintenance costs.

Bob Wood, technical engineer at Total Lubricants, said: “Ensuring vehicles start first-time and keeping them running smoothly presents more of a challenge in winter, so, when the temperature starts to drop, it’s worthwhile using appropriate and high-quality lubricants and coolants as this can help keep engines operating in peak condition while protecting vital components.”

Finol Oils are the National partner of Total Lubricants in Ireland, providing a nationwide distribution and technical service for over 40 years. To find out more about the range of Coolelf/ Glaself Coolants and Total Quartz Engine Oils, contact the finol team at 01-455 5484 or go to