It is going to be very cold in Chicagoland over the next few days, with windchills in the -50s (F). There are fuel additives like Heet that claim to protect against the cold, but I'm wondering if it is worth it. I know that I should have the fuel tanks full or nearly full.

I have two vehicles, a 2009 Pontiac G6 and a 2014 Buick Encore, and I live in an apartment, so they are not in garages unfortunately.

  • 2
    Wind chills are not relevant, air temperature is. Wind can cool down things faster due to better heat transfer. On the skin, cold wind feels much colder than it is, and that's called wind chill temperature.
    – sweber
    Jan 30 '19 at 2:59

I would not pay for an additive, but as long as you have the radio codes, I would take the batteries indoors and keep them warm.. Fit to the vehicle and start... Batteries at room temperature work much better than cold ones especially that cold. Gasoline will still burn...

I don't have a garage either, but I can get a mains lead to the car so a heater (small 400W under the bonnet) and a battery charger work wonders...


Heet is methanol and dissolves water to prevent it from freezing , so if there is no water phase you don't need it. It is redundant with the 10% ethanol required in the US which also dissolves water. That ethanol is sure doing a job on Global Warming there ! I think you have a good chance of starting because of fuel injection and the low viscosity oils like 5 W 20. I remember trying to start a car in very cold weather there ; the starter turned the engine over very slowly about 3 times and the oil pressure gauge showed 30 psi for the 10 W 30 oil ( car never started ). PS , as @solar mike noted , I had kept the battery in a warm apartment overnight .

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