5W20 Short Trip Myth ?

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Recently there has been talk here that 5W20 base stock may provide better short trip protection due to lack of VII's contained in thicker 5W30 which are heat activated . *It occurs to me that Europeans short trip as well as Americans - yet they are still recommending 5W30 weight oils (or thicker) in most situations ... What gives here ? Does a "grocery getter " with 5W20 printed on the oil cap using say M1 5W30 versus M1 5W20 going to really be any less protected on under 5 mile trips ?
 
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No. If anything, the 30wt will give you better protection against fuel dilution from the short trips. But the short, sweet, and unloved answer here is: Use what the manufacturer recommends, and if you're making 5 mile trips change it on the severe service schedule or more frequently if UOA shows a need for it due to viscosity loss out of grade, low TBN, or fuel dilution above 7%. In all reality, down in Georgia if you're that worried about it, use a 10W30 which should have even less VII than a 5W20, and never cause a problem... your area just doesn't really get cold enough to need a 5W, especially in summer.
 
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Originally Posted by SubieRubyRoo
No. If anything, the 30wt will give you better protection against fuel dilution from the short trips. But the short, sweet, and unloved answer here is: Use what the manufacturer recommends, and if you're making 5 mile trips change it on the severe service schedule or more frequently if UOA shows a need for it due to viscosity loss out of grade, low TBN, or fuel dilution above 7%. In all reality, down in Georgia if you're that worried about it, use a 10W30 which should have even less VII than a 5W20, and never cause a problem... your area just doesn't really get cold enough to need a 5W, especially in summer.
Fuel dilution itself isn't the end of the world. Sure there are instances where excessive amount of fuel dilution can cause a problem but that's an engine specific issue.
 
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Originally Posted by ChrisD46
Recently there has been talk here that 5W20 base stock may provide better short trip protection due to lack of VII's contained in thicker 5W30 which are heat activated . *It occurs to me that Europeans short trip as well as Americans - yet they are still recommending 5W30 weight oils (or thicker) in most situations ... What gives here ? Does a "grocery getter " with 5W20 printed on the oil cap using say M1 5W30 versus M1 5W20 going to really be any less protected on under 5 mile trips ?
IIRC Europeans have moved or are moving to lighter weight oils on their gasoline powered cars but not the diesels. Take BMW for example with their 0w20 LL14 FE+ specification. I don't know how long they'll stay there. It's probably a stop gap until the market as fully transitioned to hybrid or BEV. In the next decade we're all going to drive BEV's with a "lawnmower engine" as an onboard generator.
 
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Patman

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Don't forget the fact that when you're running short trips your engine spends more time with it's oil not up to temperature (and therefore thicker) than it does at full operating temperature. So for all intents and purposes that 20 weight oil really doesn't get all that thin for very long.
 
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My father short trips, or at least doesn't drive much. I put 5W-20 M1 HM, but not because of short tripping, I just clearanced it out of Target. In any case, I take his car out once a month and drive it on the freeway for about 30 mins...
 
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Originally Posted by BMWTurboDzl
Fuel dilution itself isn't the end of the world.
I know it's not an issue; in fact, good looking UOAs on 3.5 EBs with 8-10% fuel dilution tell me it's not as big of an issue as some would like to make it. However, it would be an issue if it causes an oil to drop severely out of grade on the thin side. Then, it should show up as elevated lead or iron... but barring that indicator I think it's essentially a moot point.
 
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I did a year, ~6,000 miles, of nothing but 10 mile short trips in my Caliber with M1 EP 5w20 last year. UOA came back great, it's over in the UOA section if y'all are interested.
 
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Originally Posted by ChrisD46
Recently there has been talk here that 5W20 base stock may provide better short trip protection due to lack of VII's contained in thicker 5W30 which are heat activated . *It occurs to me that Europeans short trip as well as Americans - yet they are still recommending 5W30 weight oils (or thicker) in most situations ... What gives here ? Does a "grocery getter " with 5W20 printed on the oil cap using say M1 5W30 versus M1 5W20 going to really be any less protected on under 5 mile trips ?
Virtually all new Audis specify 0W-20 in Europe and elsewhere.
 
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Originally Posted by SubieRubyRoo
Originally Posted by BMWTurboDzl
Fuel dilution itself isn't the end of the world.
I know it's not an issue; in fact, good looking UOAs on 3.5 EBs with 8-10% fuel dilution tell me it's not as big of an issue as some would like to make it. However, it would be an issue if it causes an oil to drop severely out of grade on the thin side. Then, it should show up as elevated lead or iron... but barring that indicator I think it's essentially a moot point.
Closer to 3% 8-10 are outliers. 5W30's have dropped into 20 grades and it has not affected engine longevity like you stated.
 
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Todays engines run so well that fuel dilution generally is not an issue. I never had any indicated after repeated analysis on oil used during short trips.
 
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Originally Posted by Skippy722
I did a year, ~6,000 miles, of nothing but 10 mile short trips in my Caliber with M1 EP 5w20 last year. UOA came back great, it's over in the UOA section if y'all are interested.
10 miles is not a short trip. I drive 8 miles and my vehicles heat to normal after only about five miles. If you are city driving, your engine is normal temperature long before 10 miles occurs The average person idles his vehicle for 1-2 minutes before driving away. In the winter, that amount of time spent idling doubles.
 
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Originally Posted by Triple_Se7en
Originally Posted by Skippy722
I did a year, ~6,000 miles, of nothing but 10 mile short trips in my Caliber with M1 EP 5w20 last year. UOA came back great, it's over in the UOA section if y'all are interested.
10 miles is not a short trip. I drive 8 miles and my vehicles heat to normal after only about five miles. If you are city driving, your engine is normal temperature long before 10 miles occurs The average person idles his vehicle for 1-2 minutes before driving away. In the winter, that amount of time spent idling doubles.
The water might reach op temp, but the oil won't until at least 20 mins...
 
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Originally Posted by Triple_Se7en
Originally Posted by Skippy722
I did a year, ~6,000 miles, of nothing but 10 mile short trips in my Caliber with M1 EP 5w20 last year. UOA came back great, it's over in the UOA section if y'all are interested.
10 miles is not a short trip. I drive 8 miles and my vehicles heat to normal after only about five miles. If you are city driving, your engine is normal temperature long before 10 miles occurs The average person idles his vehicle for 1-2 minutes before driving away. In the winter, that amount of time spent idling doubles.
No real city driving. The water gets up to temp, but the oil and transmission definitely aren't up to temp.
 
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So how much longer does the oil continue to rise in temps, once the engine coolant temp stops rising? This UOA discussion need-not include the trans. Not sure how the trans fits into this UOA topic, unless it's overworked in short distance-order. Then if it is, so is the engine oil temp. If all that occurs, then the oil temp has reached it's peak. So after all this, how hard are you working that engine in under 8 miles? (OR) Are you the guy everyone passes around for driving too slow in those first several miles? Are you the old-timer that never puts the accelerator down more than half-way?
 
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Originally Posted by Triple_Se7en
So how much longer does the oil continue to rise in temps, once the engine coolant temp stops rising? This UOA discussion need-not include the trans. Not sure how the trans fits into this UOA topic, unless it's overworked in short distance-order. Then if it is, so is the engine oil temp. If all that occurs, then the oil temp has reached it's peak. So after all this, how hard are you working that engine in under 8 miles? (OR) Are you the guy everyone passes around for driving too slow in those first several miles? Are you the old-timer that never puts the accelerator down more than half-way?
smirk2 Dude, it's just an oil discussion, you don't need to get so worked up over it. But no, all life's problems can be solved with ample application of throttle.
 
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