Is a thin oil better for a short trip car?

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499
Location
toronto
hello my wife's 1992 Acura gets driven only 2miles a day to her office and back. The rest of this car's trips are all short. We're in toronto so the winter's get pretty brutal too. The question is, since the oil in this car rarely gets hot(or even warm in winter, probably) wouldn't I be better off with a 0W20 oil that is as thin as possible for better protection. I've got Mobil1 5W30 in it now and I'm doing 2X/year changes. spring and fall. mileage at each OCI is usually less than 5000miles. thanks.
 

Patman

Staff member
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22,017
Location
Guelph, Ontario
I've always felt that a 0w20 would be the best oil for any car that is only driven very short distances and rarely gets up to full operating temperature.
 
Messages
1,381
Location
Southeast Kentucky
I think you are on the right track. Start-up wear is probably this vehicle's greatest enemy so 0w20 or 0w30 would be good choices. I would try to run it for 20 to 30 minutes on occasion to cook off any moisture forming in the oil.
 

berge

Thread starter
Messages
499
Location
toronto
quote:
Originally posted by mikemc: I think you are on the right track. Start-up wear is probably this vehicle's greatest enemy so 0w20 or 0w30 would be good choices. I would try to run it for 20 to 30 minutes on occasion to cook off any moisture forming in the oil.
does that actually help. I know you can get rid of some of the condensation but the fuel dilution and the acid's aren't really going anywhere. sad part is 1 month of my wife driving the car=me taking it on the highway for 45minutes. same distance covered.
 

berge

Thread starter
Messages
499
Location
toronto
quote:
Originally posted by Patman: I've always felt that a 0w20 would be the best oil for any car that is only driven very short distances and rarely gets up to full operating temperature.
[Cheers!]
 
Messages
225
Location
tyler, tx
The additive package of the oil should be considered along with viscosity. If the short trips bring down the TBN too far, then the engine is being damaged. Frequent oil changes may be helpful.
 
Messages
1,381
Location
Southeast Kentucky
quote:
Originally posted by berge:
quote:
Originally posted by mikemc: I think you are on the right track. Start-up wear is probably this vehicle's greatest enemy so 0w20 or 0w30 would be good choices. I would try to run it for 20 to 30 minutes on occasion to cook off any moisture forming in the oil.
does that actually help. I know you can get rid of some of the condensation but the fuel dilution and the acid's aren't really going anywhere. sad part is 1 month of my wife driving the car=me taking it on the highway for 45minutes. same distance covered.

That is why you change the oil at least once a year on a low mileage vehicle, to remove acids, soot, etc.
 
Messages
130
Location
New York
Fuel is more volatile than water. It will evaporate first.
quote:
Originally posted by berge:
quote:
Originally posted by mikemc: I think you are on the right track. Start-up wear is probably this vehicle's greatest enemy so 0w20 or 0w30 would be good choices. I would try to run it for 20 to 30 minutes on occasion to cook off any moisture forming in the oil.
does that actually help. I know you can get rid of some of the condensation but the fuel dilution and the acid's aren't really going anywhere. sad part is 1 month of my wife driving the car=me taking it on the highway for 45minutes. same distance covered.

 
Messages
987
Location
Houston, TX
Have you seen/smelled old gas? What does fuel do when it sits? The volatiles do go away, and what is left eventually turns to varnish. Accumulation over a long period of time will leave the oil really nasty. I would use at least a 5W-30 and change every 3 months. I probably would not waste my money with full synthetic unless needed for the climate.
 

berge

Thread starter
Messages
499
Location
toronto
this is interesting. from Redline, about their 5W20 "The lightest multigrade street engine oil that we sell. Excellent performance in weather where cold starting and short running duration are concerns."
 
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