Low temp. viscosity and pour point question...

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Feb 15, 2003
Southeast Kentucky
I have been reading some older threads and I get the idea that low temp. (cold cranking) viscosity is a better indicator of cold weather behavior than pour point. Is that correct? I noticed that when comparing 5w30 oils, Pennzoil dino has a very low pour point of -42C but a Ccs of <6600@-30C. Chevron Supreme has a -36C pour point but the Ccs is 5700@-30C. M1, a true synthetc 5w30 has a nice low 3600@-30C. So is it the cold crank viscosity that's the true measure? Thanks.
This is true. Pour point is just the temp that the oil shows some movement. Cold cranking is more important. Actually Mobil dino 5w-30 pours at -33f but yet has one of the best cold cranking at about 5500. I haven't looked at the Mobil web site for a few months, but this is what they used to be.
In addition to the posted cold cranking and flow numbers, or if they are not listed, I like to use the viscosity index of an oil as an indication of its cold performance. For example, if an xxW30 has a VI of 180, it will likely pass an 0W flow and crank test.(= 0W30) If the oil has a VI of only 100 then it will likely be a straight weight. (=SAE 30)
My rule of thumb is: For cold operation look for high VI numbers, for hot operation look for high flash point and low volatility and evaporation rates.
Some engine oils have high VI and flash points, and low evaporation rates making them suitable for a broad temperature range. At a higher cost of course.
I think that high VIs add little to the hot performance of a lubricant and are more of a cold flow indicator.

Originally posted by Drew99GT:
When looking at cold cranking viscosity, what are you looking for? The lower the number, the better the cold weather performance?

The lower the cold cranking and pumping viscosity the better. But look carefully at the temperature. The low temperature cranking and pumping viscosities are specified at a certain temperature. Don't try to compare viscosities at different temperatures.
So the Dino Petro Canada supreme 5w30 is performing pretty well in cold weather
cold cranking method d5293=4310@-30c or 22f
poor point -42c-44f

Looks good to you ?
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