extending OCI through winter?

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Aug 27, 2019
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Hi fellas, I don't see an "introductions" subforum here, so I will let this be my introduction. I have poked my head in on this forum a handful of times over the last few years but nothing really consistently. recently i have done a bit more reading on here and found some info that makes me question a few "ideas" i had about oil/filters/changes. I live in Canada, Regina Saskatchewan to be specific. My wife and i own 2 cars, a 2008 acura TL (3.2 v6 auto) and a 2010 Mazda 3 (2.5 i4 auto) both of which I do the maintenance on. Both cars have ~120,000km/ 75,000mi. The I drive the TL around 1200km/month, 80% city driving, the mazda gets maybe half of that, also mostly city driving. Neither vehicle is driven spiritedly on a regular basis, the Acura on occasion only. Up till now i have changed oil 2x per year, fall and spring with castrol edge synthetic (I am considering changing to a different oil as this one seems to be on sale less frequently, and others do have better sale prices that i have seen locally, but this is besides the point). I have not really kept track or done the math until now, because i knew i was under the recommended OCI for synthetic, but that means ~7200km/4500mi OCI for the Acura and again half of that for the Mazda. I have always been aware that synthetic oils can safely be used for longer OCIs in the typical DD case, and after reading on this forum and doing the math above, i realize i am potentially using a lot more oil than i need to, especially with the Mazda. I am considering stretching out my OCI's, potentially for a full year but i do have some reservation with doing that. The main thing holding me back is our climate. I see others on here have done 12-18 month OCI's, but i haven't noted the climate/location driven. Here in SK we have temperatures in the 30C/86Fduring the summer, but also have portions of winter when the temperature doesn't get warmer than -20C/-4F for a week straight, dipping down to -40 at times. It is the winter that worries me, and is part of the reason i have changed my oil 2x per year recently. I am not confidant my commute to work gets the car warm enough to boil out condensation/fuel in the oil (12km/7mi, all city). Am i safe to run the entire year on the same oil, through such winters, or is it better to play it safe when it comes to the potential of water/fuel in the oil? Part 2: if it is reasonably safe to run 1 year OCIs, would you prefer fresh oil heading into the winter season, or heading into summer? please forgive the noob questions, and if this question has already been asked/answered please point me to the thread/s. i did do a search but came up empty. thanks in advance for the help.
 
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Welcome to the forum. You'll get a lot of guesses, some educated. The only way to know for sure is with a UOA. If I were in your shoes I'd change the oil while the weather is still cooperating. Take a sample and get a UOA. Then post the results and let the data determine if you can do it or not next year.
 
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Originally Posted by demarpaint
Welcome to the forum. You'll get a lot of guesses, some educated. The only way to know for sure is with a UOA. If I were in your shoes I'd change the oil while the weather is still cooperating. Take a sample and get a UOA. Then post the results and let the data determine if you can do it or not next year.
100% agree. Until you have some data on your vehicle and your driving habits, the rest is guesswork. So that's #1. #2: I prefer to have fresh oil going into the winter, in order to make sure that it's going to have the cold start abilities required for the lower temperatures. Since you're changing now and will have data before spring, it's a great matchup for your plan. Make sure to post up the UOA when you get it, and as demarpaint said, welcome
 
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No one wants to change oil outside between Dec and March. You can easily go 7500 miles on synthetic oil and more if you do a UOA.
 
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Are you able to get the cars out once or twice a month for a spirited drive at operating temp? This'll help with the fuel dilution or any water you're getting via blow by. As for extended drain intervals... what everyone else has said. Arm yourself with some data before making a decision whether to go longer or not. As for changing it summer v. winter..I suppose that depends on you. If you drive harder and more often in the summer because it's nicer outside, maybe a fresh fill at that time makes sense but I'm not sure it really matters all that much. But if it were me, I do more driving in the summer so I like a fresh fill for the road trips I'm going to make (during the summer). It gives me the warm and fuzzies....‚ In the winter the car sits more so a thinned out lube (say for example it went from a thick 5w30 at the beginning of summer to a thin 5w30 at the start of winter) from summer drives is not a great concern for me. Plus for me, changing the oil in the mid of winter can suck.. just depends on the weather.
 
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I live in a similar climate, cold as heck in the winter. Did an oil change about 4 years ago on a winter short tripped Cobalt. Used Bosch filter cartridge and PP 5W-30. About 5,000 km oil change interval. The oil filter was gelled something bad and had collapsed on itself. Engine was healthy, did not use coolant or oil. I would not go one year OCI in our climate if it was my car.
 
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dgoodsy

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Thanks guys, I figured the UOA suggestion was coming. I was hoping there was a more settled debate about short tripping in a fairly cool climate, and how it affects recommended OCI's, seems some of you don't feel it is an issue. Since I feel confidant that my oil can go farther that the 4500mi that are on it now, I may wait until we have a good stretch of cold weather and then send a sample for analysis, that should give me a good idea of the water content/fuel dilution.
Originally Posted by JLTD
[quote=demarpaint] #2: I prefer to have fresh oil going into the winter, in order to make sure that it's going to have the cold start abilities required for the lower temperatures. Since you're changing now and will have data before spring, it's a great matchup for your plan.
Originally Posted by Mad_Hatter
In the winter the car sits more so a thinned out lube (say for example it went from a thick 5w30 at the beginning of summer to a thin 5w30 at the start of winter) from summer drives is not a great concern for me.
These are the 2 theories that had me waffling between changing oil in spring or winter. Do i want fresh oil for winter for cold starts, or do i want fresh oil in the summer and tolerate the thinned out oil in winter...I know i'm likely overthinking it but i figure if one option is truly better than the other i may as well figure it out. As for changing the oil in the winter, it's not a real big concern. I do have a garage and can raise the temp until its comfortable. Any suggestions for UOA in SK, or Canada even? I have been in touch with Wearcheck, they charge $35/sample not including shipping. I would like to see other options, especially something cheaper or closer.
Originally Posted by Lolvoguy
There's no reason not to extend you OCI's in saskatchewan
Even when doing almost all short trips in winter? What is your logic behind this?
Originally Posted by Mad_Hatter
Are you able to get the cars out once or twice a month for a spirited drive at operating temp? This'll help with the fuel dilution or any water you're getting via blow by.
Yes, and i do try to do this for this exact reason. I do wonder if it is wise to use this as the reasoning behind extending my OCI beyond what i currently do. Like you all are pointing out, this just points towards getting a UOA. Any suggestions for UOA in SK, or Canada even? I have been in touch with Wearcheck, they charge $35/sample not including shipping. I would like to see other options, especially something cheaper or closer.
 
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Originally Posted by dgoodsy
Thanks guys, I figured the UOA suggestion was coming. I was hoping there was a more settled debate about short tripping in a fairly cool climate, and how it affects recommended OCI's, seems some of you don't feel it is an issue. Since I feel confidant that my oil can go farther that the 4500mi that are on it now, I may wait until we have a good stretch of cold weather and then send a sample for analysis, that should give me a good idea of the water content/fuel dilution.
Originally Posted by JLTD
[quote=demarpaint] #2: I prefer to have fresh oil going into the winter, in order to make sure that it's going to have the cold start abilities required for the lower temperatures. Since you're changing now and will have data before spring, it's a great matchup for your plan.
Originally Posted by Mad_Hatter
In the winter the car sits more so a thinned out lube (say for example it went from a thick 5w30 at the beginning of summer to a thin 5w30 at the start of winter) from summer drives is not a great concern for me.
These are the 2 theories that had me waffling between changing oil in spring or winter. Do i want fresh oil for winter for cold starts, or do i want fresh oil in the summer and tolerate the thinned out oil in winter...I know i'm likely overthinking it but i figure if one option is truly better than the other i may as well figure it out. As for changing the oil in the winter, it's not a real big concern. I do have a garage and can raise the temp until its comfortable. Any suggestions for UOA in SK, or Canada even? I have been in touch with Wearcheck, they charge $35/sample not including shipping. I would like to see other options, especially something cheaper or closer.
Originally Posted by Lolvoguy
There's no reason not to extend you OCI's in saskatchewan
Even when doing almost all short trips in winter? What is your logic behind this?
Originally Posted by Mad_Hatter
Are you able to get the cars out once or twice a month for a spirited drive at operating temp? This'll help with the fuel dilution or any water you're getting via blow by.
Yes, and i do try to do this for this exact reason. I do wonder if it is wise to use this as the reasoning behind extending my OCI beyond what i currently do. Like you all are pointing out, this just points towards getting a UOA. Any suggestions for UOA in SK, or Canada even? I have been in touch with Wearcheck, they charge $35/sample not including shipping. I would like to see other options, especially something cheaper or closer.
If either of your vehicles are GDI, have them tested for fuel dilution using Gas Chromatography (GC) and viscosity shearing. If fuel dilution is above 2%, follow the severe service OCI or change the oil whenever the oil viscosity drops by 20%.
 
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dgoodsy

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Originally Posted by Danno
I live in a similar climate, cold as heck in the winter. Did an oil change about 4 years ago on a winter short tripped Cobalt. Used Bosch filter cartridge and PP 5W-30. About 5,000 km oil change interval. The oil filter was gelled something bad and had collapsed on itself. Engine was healthy, did not use coolant or oil. I would not go one year OCI in our climate if it was my car.
that is the oil and filter you put in when you changed the oil, or it is what was in there up until the oil change? or both?
Originally Posted by Talent_Keyhole
If either of your vehicles are GDI, have them tested for fuel dilution using Gas Chromatography (GC) and viscosity shearing. If fuel dilution is above 2%, follow the severe service OCI or change the oil whenever the oil viscosity drops by 20%.
both vehicles are port injection.
 
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Regina, no hills, no extended idling on congested freeways. Cold weather keeps excessive temperatures to a minimum. Unless the oil smells like petrol, I can't think of a reason why possibly you wouldn't be able to extend. I think Kramer equipment up by Buck's Auto Parts/IPSCO has UOA services. Not sure of the terms.
 
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Cold temperatures means less heat stress on oil. I suppose less chance of it burning into carbon tars. Definitely extend an oil change till the spring, as long as the oil still has a good filter.
 

NO2

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Fuel dilution is more of an issue in short climate short tripping, even with your port injection engines. Try to use a block heater, and combine your trips so you drive on a warm engine. I would not be concerned about extending the oil change a few months. If you are concerned, use an extended life oil like M1 EP and change it once a year.
 
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" I drive the TL around 1200km/month, 80% city driving, the mazda gets maybe half of that, also mostly city driving." That's low mileage per month, even for the TL. If driven daily, that means a lot of short tripping for your two cars (severe service schedule). What schedules do the owner's manuals show for severe service? They should both have OLM's, and I would go by that and not worry about time of year the change is done.
 

dgoodsy

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Originally Posted by sdowney717
Cold temperatures means less heat stress on oil. I suppose less chance of it burning into carbon tars. Definitely extend an oil change till the spring, as long as the oil still has a good filter.
Yeah, I'm not real concerned with the oil "wearing out" due to heat or burning, but am more concerned with fuel dilution and moisture. I have been using wix regular filters and just picked up some fram ultras for the next changes, so I should have decent filtration from my reading here.
Originally Posted by NO2
Fuel dilution is more of an issue in short climate short tripping, even with your port injection engines. Try to use a block heater, and combine your trips so you drive on a warm engine. I would not be concerned about extending the oil change a few months. If you are concerned, use an extended life oil like M1 EP and change it once a year.
This is my concern. I do use a block heater when the temps get about -10C/14(?)F or cooler. This winter will be the first winter I will have a heated garage which will help in that regard too. I do try to combine trips when cold as much as I can, but admittedly that's partly for my comfort as well.
Originally Posted by carviewsonic
" I drive the TL around 1200km/month, 80% city driving, the mazda gets maybe half of that, also mostly city driving." That's low mileage per month, even for the TL. If driven daily, that means a lot of short tripping for your two cars (severe service schedule). What schedules do the owner's manuals show for severe service? They should both have OLM's, and I would go by that and not worry about time of year the change is done.
Yes, my commute to work is fairly short which is most of my driving. The mazda doesnt have an OLM, but my 6 month OCIs were roughly 50% what the OLM recommended for the TL. I havent looked in the manual for recommendations, I suppose that would be a good starting point, i should have thought of that!
Originally Posted by pitzel
Regina, no hills, no extended idling on congested freeways. Cold weather keeps excessive temperatures to a minimum. Unless the oil smells like petrol, I can't think of a reason why possibly you wouldn't be able to extend. I think Kramer equipment up by Buck's Auto Parts/IPSCO has UOA services. Not sure of the terms.
Yes, you are pretty much bang on about the driving conditions here. Odd days of traffic congestion, but certainly not what major centers experience daily. Thanks for the tip about Kramer, I work right near there!
 
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I would change it before winter. Seams clean oil flows better than dirty oil. I live in Florida so it really doesn't matter here. I may see 5 mornings just below 32 a year if lucky. I run 5w 30 synthetic year round. If I lived up there I would run a 0w 30 synthetic
 

dgoodsy

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I checked the owner's manual, says nothing about OCI's apart from using api approved 5w20, and following the OLM. I expect the OLM would take into account the winter operating conditions the car sees, but I would feel better with that verified with a UOA.
 
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Has your oil ever smell like gasoline? Your just extending the use, and your not going as far as many people do between oil changes. As long as the engine is at normal temp and driven far enough, water and fuel vapors will evaporate out of oil as it runs. and winter gasoline evaporates faster, it is more volatile than summer blend, which also means it is not going to dilute the oil. As long as engine is running normally, it will be fine. If it had a problem as in running rich, then more of a problem with it no matter how hot or cold it is. Even in warm weather, many short trips are harder on oil than longer trips is what I read.
 

dgoodsy

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I have never notice a gasoline smell during oil changes, but I have never smelled specifically for it. Will definately do it next change. As for water and fuel evaporating from the oil, especially on cold the -20 to -30 days the car is just getting up to temp when I get to work, so I feel like the water/ fuel is maybe just starting to come out of the oil, but it's really kind of hard to know. Good to know about winter fuel being more volatile, that will make me feel better. No indication of running rich, beyond regular cold start richness.
 
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Originally Posted by dgoodsy
Originally Posted by Danno
I live in a similar climate, cold as heck in the winter. Did an oil change about 4 years ago on a winter short tripped Cobalt. Used Bosch filter cartridge and PP 5W-30. About 5,000 km oil change interval. The oil filter was gelled something bad and had collapsed on itself. Engine was healthy, did not use coolant or oil. I would not go one year OCI in our climate if it was my car.
that is the oil and filter you put in when you changed the oil, or it is what was in there up until the oil change? or both? both vehicles are port injection.
What was in when I changed the oil, went to PP and OE filter on next oil change.
 
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