Cold oil change?

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May 12, 2009
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First off, I apologize if this has been covered elsewhere. My search abilities must have failed me... I'm planning to do an oil change today. The car has been sitting in the garage for a couple days. Ambient temps in the garage this weekend have been around 80 (fracking hot here this week.) So...I know the conventional wisdom is to warm the engine before draining. This is normally how it goes for me, too. However, in this case, my head is telling me that, as it sits in the garage, most of the available used oil is sitting in the pan. And, since I have all day, I can let the thing drain as long as I want. So, given the ambient temps and the long drain time available, is there really any reason not to just do a cold drain? And, yes, the filter gets changed, too. Thanks, Jim
 
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Most people change the oil hot, and that is how I prefer to do it. If I were you and had all day, I would get the engine good and hot, and drain the oil. Then leave the plug out for a few hours, change the filter, then refill it. My guess is after about 2-3 hours all the oil that ran down from parts would be in the pan anyway. Changing the oil hot gets any moisture that might be in the oil out, it gets the dirt into suspension, and it flows better (that shouldn't matter too much in the summer though). AD
 
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 Originally Posted By: SilverC6
Change it cold. Don't sweat the small stuff.
When I first joined this site, I was so anal about things like this. Life's too short to worry about things like this. Drain it cold, have a brewsky or two, and it should be good to go. I generally go for the 3 brewsky drain.
 
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I recently changed the oil on a car that hadnt been started in 8 months, and the oil was probably a few years old. that was some thick nasty oil there.
 

Kestas

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Changing the oil hot is better for the engine (marginally). It stirs up anything settled in the engine. Changing the oil cold is more comfortable for your hands. I agree with everyone above. Either way is fine.
 

Thorzdad

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Thanks, all. I figured there probably wasn't any big deal, one way or the other, as long as I let it drain well. But, I also figured if there WAS a reason not to, someone here would let me know.
 
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You didn't mention the weight of oil... If its 20w50 I'd say run the engine to warm it up. If its 5w30 or lighter, it won't be much thicker than water at 80.
 
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Don't be a Wuss as was stated earlier get her nice and HOT and then let her drain all day, get all the crud in the pan floating in the oil and drain it ALL out
 
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the problem is with the orientation of the drain plug. i always put it on a ramp so the car has a tilt, and the drain is lowest. if drain is on back of pan, i drive up both ramps, so car has tilt towards the back. just take it out for a 5 minute drive, and then drain it for an hour, that should do the job. if you already put it on a ramp the night before, then don't bother. i usually find that there is no "crud in the pan" when the engine is in good condition and the OCI have been followed.
 
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I would drain cold if need be, but I also pour some oil in while draing to help get as much of the old out as possible.
 
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Ok - not to sound anti-social but who the heck has all day to drain oil?! LOL! The compromise I see between hot & cold drain is that: 1) Cold - all the oil has come down from the crack & crevices of the engine into the pan (given that u hadn't run the car in awhile). 2) Warm - particles are suspended but not all oil has come out unless u plan on draining the entire day which theoretically would make it cold oil by the time it comes out.
 
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No one is addressing the new filter sealing when cold. Long time ago (1974 Cincinnati in winter), I changed the oil on a cold car, and filter will leak, it will not catch on cold surface. I know a lot has changed, but I throw this point in anyway. 03 Pontiac Montana
 
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Vermont
 Originally Posted By: tripleM
Ok - not to sound anti-social but who the heck has all day to drain oil?! LOL! The compromise I see between hot & cold drain is that: 1) Cold - all the oil has come down from the crack & crevices of the engine into the pan (given that u hadn't run the car in awhile). 2) Warm - particles are suspended but not all oil has come out unless u plan on draining the entire day which theoretically would make it cold oil by the time it comes out.
Excellent analysis and the final answer would be to alternate hot and cold OC's!! Brilliant.
 
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