Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Northeastern BC
Just thought I'd add my 2 cents. I've had some experience with very cold climate in Fort St. John. I think you're on the right track with the block heater -- that's key.
The issue is the oil gets more viscous when it's cold, making for harder starting. Once the engine gets up to normal temperature, then the oil is going to do what it's going to do. Using a block heater, you're going to be okay with 10W30, IMHO. When the engine is up to temperature, it doesn't matter what the outside air temperature is.
Have you tried any oil additives, specifically the ones designed to fix leaking seals, etc.? I've had good results in the past, after having that option reccommended by an experienced mechanic. I think the one I used on my old Nissan truck was from Bardahl. I just used one treatment, and it seemed to fix a fairly small leak from my rear crankshaft seal permanently. Never saw another drop of oil come out of it for the years I drove that truck afterwards, and it didn't seem to have any negative effects on the engine. I think those additives work by swelling soft items like gaskets, seals, and o-rings, that harden-up and shrink with age.
If Princess Auto were a real girl, I'd ask her to marry me.