Oil warm up

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Feb 12, 2004
Western Washington
In a typical gas engine, which heats up first, the oil or the water? I've heard that the water heats up first, does anyone know for sure? If it is the water heating up first, about how long will it take after the water warms for the oil to get to operating temp?
On two of my vehicles the oil pressure will stabilize after about 10 to 14 miles driving. By stabilize I mean drop from the cold pressure to its normal hot pressure. So I think for full oil warm up, 10 miles maybe? However, I think you are ok to drive it harder after maybe 5 or 6 miles, after all it is getting hot, just thicker than the grade (like a 10w30 might be acting like 40 weight before the full 10-14 miles, should not be a problem).
Oil always takes longer to warm up than the coolant, but how much longer depends on the engine design, driving conditions and how hard you drive it.
One my Saabs and Volvos which had oil pressure and water temperture the water temp stabilized after about 6 minutes and the oil temp in about 15 minutes when driven under a light to medium load. Ed Hayes
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