Choosing the right oil for the cold. With a video!

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We always talk about how poor, pour tests are because they lack representation of what is actually going on in an engine. Well I stumbled upon this video which actually does show what's going on internally. It is a bit old but still a good video. The fun starts at 4:35.
 
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As per previous times, the video is more representative of what happens when you grossly misapply a lubricant... Have a look at the older, 1984 J300 specs...in particular "borderline pumping" Temperature. They have chosen to demonstrate their pour test, start test, and sump pump tests at -35, a point at which only the 0W oil would be expected to pump/flow in the the first place. The "test" would be great to see at (say) -20C, so we could see actually how much better the 0W30 was versus the 10W30, rather than a demonstration of what happens when you use an oil that has no place being in the engine at that temperature anyway. People here discount MRV and CCS as irrelevant in choosing an oil, but clearly it IS relevant...if you are playing in the temperatures demonstrated in the video, 0W anything is sound.
 
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Originally Posted By: Shannow
People here discount MRV and CCS as irrelevant in choosing an oil, but clearly it IS relevant...if you are playing in the temperatures demonstrated in the video, 0W anything is sound.
Exactly. While the taxis ran 10w-30 year round, they never were turned off for extended periods of time, and if they were for some reason, it was in a heated garage. My vehicles, which spent almost all their time outside until the last number of years, simply got a 5w-30 year round, and that saved a lot of grief. Nonetheless, rule number one is to have your battery and charging system in proper working order because if not, low viscosity oil and block heaters won't save you. wink
 
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Many Moons ago when I lived in Wisconsin I used about 20% MMO in the during the severe Winter months. During operation covered part of the radiator with cardboard and had a electric oil pan heater that was used when possible. My first car was a 1952 Ford with a flat head V-8. Oils sure have come a long way over the years.
 

pbm

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I enjoyed that video. I'm still wondering if Mobil 1 0w30 or a regular or syn 5w20 (all of which I already have) is better for cold starts (this coming winter) in my 2008 Corolla (which originally spec'd 5w30 but is back spec'd to 5w20). I know the 0w30 would be better at -20*F but the coldest I usually see is 0*F with teens being more likely. Sorry for going slightly OT.
 
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If it's back-spec'd to 20, use 0W-20 EP. Appears to be quite the oil.
Originally Posted By: pbm
I enjoyed that video. I'm still wondering if Mobil 1 0w30 or a regular or syn 5w20 (all of which I already have) is better for cold starts (this coming winter) in my 2008 Corolla (which originally spec'd 5w30 but is back spec'd to 5w20). I know the 0w30 would be better at -20*F but the coldest I usually see is 0*F with teens being more likely. Sorry for going slightly OT.
 
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I wonder if 5W20 Group III Synthetic is good for -25degC after seeing this video. I am surprised at how slow 0W30 poured, so I am guessing that 5W20 Synthetic would pour roughly the same. Would have loved to see 0W20 in the video!
 
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Originally Posted By: Oil Changer
If it's back-spec'd to 20, use 0W-20 EP. Appears to be quite the oil.
Originally Posted By: pbm
I enjoyed that video. I'm still wondering if Mobil 1 0w30 or a regular or syn 5w20 (all of which I already have) is better for cold starts (this coming winter) in my 2008 Corolla (which originally spec'd 5w30 but is back spec'd to 5w20). I know the 0w30 would be better at -20*F but the coldest I usually see is 0*F with teens being more likely. Sorry for going slightly OT.
Exactly what I am doing for winter this year on my 2007. Oil change in November with a TRD filter and M1 0w20 EP. Plan on running it 6 months or more.
 
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That's been posted before, but it's still good to review before winter. IMO they did the pour example at -35 to clearly illustrate the difference; a higher temperature might not have given as clear an indication. FYI -35 is certainly possible in northern Canada, on a frequent basis in the winter. Here in MT, we're 60 miles south of the border and we often get those temps overnight for a week or two in Jan/Feb.
 
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Originally Posted By: Falken
I wonder if 5W20 Group III Synthetic is good for -25degC after seeing this video. I am surprised at how slow 0W30 poured, so I am guessing that 5W20 Synthetic would pour roughly the same. Would have loved to see 0W20 in the video!
As previously stated, the 5W was the wrong application for the temperature, your -25 would be markedly better than the demonstration at -35, as the oil should not flow at these temps (well flow well). Your 5W20 has the same cold cranking and pumpability tests dino or synthetic, and if it performed as well as the 0W30, it must be labelled as a 0W. I've been messing with small narrow vials in my freezer, (-20C), and 5W20, 5W30, and 5W50 all perform about the same in the "fall over on the bench and flow to the cap" test...15W is nearly solid, SAE30 IS solid, and 0W40 store brand oil outperforms them all...if I can find penrite 0W60 in a litre bottle, that will go in too.
 

RamFan

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Originally Posted By: Shannow
As per previous times, the video is more representative of what happens when you grossly misapply a lubricant... Have a look at the older, 1984 J300 specs...in particular "borderline pumping" Temperature. They have chosen to demonstrate their pour test, start test, and sump pump tests at -35, a point at which only the 0W oil would be expected to pump/flow in the the first place. The "test" would be great to see at (say) -20C, so we could see actually how much better the 0W30 was versus the 10W30, rather than a demonstration of what happens when you use an oil that has no place being in the engine at that temperature anyway. People here discount MRV and CCS as irrelevant in choosing an oil, but clearly it IS relevant...if you are playing in the temperatures demonstrated in the video, 0W anything is sound.
You are definitely correct that the test shows the extreme limits of oils and shows how an inappropriate oil acts compared to an appropriate oil. But, I think that was the point. People need to think ahead in terms of EXPECTED temperatures during an OCI when choosing their next oil. Let's use this past winter as an example, January 6th-9th saw our coldest lows. Not to say that the rest of the winter wasn't bitterly cold. The temps for those days were as follows; -26.7*C, -25.6*C, -25.6*C, and -26.1*C. These temps all surpass the limits for borderline pumping of a 10w. Many vehicles still on the road recommend a 10w, however I certainly wouldn't recommend using a 10w in our winters. Would a 10w synthetic be better? Perhaps. Though I would still rather go with a 5w Conventional over a 10w Synthetic in these temps (depending on type of driving). Regardless of Conventional or Synthetic I think the video was trying to establish a fact, the lower the winter number the better the cold weather pumpability. For the month of January my town had an average low of -23.3*C and an average high of 1.6*C, these are temperatures which should make anyone act proactively about their oil selection. P.S. I'm so glad you're still on the site. Not too many "old timers" left on here from the early days of BITOG, it's nice to have intelligent and engaging discussions, something you are always able to supply.
 
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pbm

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Originally Posted By: Rolla07
Originally Posted By: Oil Changer
If it's back-spec'd to 20, use 0W-20 EP. Appears to be quite the oil.
Originally Posted By: pbm
I enjoyed that video. I'm still wondering if Mobil 1 0w30 or a regular or syn 5w20 (all of which I already have) is better for cold starts (this coming winter) in my 2008 Corolla (which originally spec'd 5w30 but is back spec'd to 5w20). I know the 0w30 would be better at -20*F but the coldest I usually see is 0*F with teens being more likely. Sorry for going slightly OT.
Exactly what I am doing for winter this year on my 2007. Oil change in November with a TRD filter and M1 0w20 EP. Plan on running it 6 months or more.
If I was going out to buy oil I'd probably just buy AFE 0w20 but as I stated I have (a lot of) oil already on hand and want to use it up. Basically my question is whether 0w30 or 5w20 synthetic flows faster at 0*F on up to 32*F (which is typical for my NY winter)?
 
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To think I could tell difference by sound at only -16C between AFE0w20 and dealer bulk Castrol 5w20 in our departed Mazda 3. I also remember similar temps in my previous Forester w/ again dealer bulk 5w30. It sounded very angry in the morning but not as stiff as the transmission was until I replaced the gear oil. Nice to be able to look at this in a visual sense especially the valvetrain, that was fantastic. Needless to say I use synthetic now exclusively.
 
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