Put in less oil in the winter?

Patman

Staff member
Messages
21,989
Location
Oakville, Ontario
Tell me if this is a completely stupid idea. In the winter, should we run less oil in our cars, say 10 or 20% less, and that way on a cold start there is less resistance? Also, by having less oil in the extreme cold, would it not warm up a bit faster too? I'm talking about areas that get close to 0F or less of course. Is this just another silly idea from the Patman or does it have any merit at all? [ November 07, 2002, 10:45 AM: Message edited by: Patman ]
 

Jay

Messages
1,607
Location
Idaho Falls, ID
I don't understand how you figure that the oil would have less cranking viscosity. I can see that the smaller volume would heat more quickly, but at the same time you'd have less acid-neutralizing capability.
 

Patman

Staff member
Thread starter
Messages
21,989
Location
Oakville, Ontario
I guess I figured that with less oil in the oil pan, the engine would have a bit easier time turning over? Or does the crank not extend that far down into the oil when the engine is first started up and all the oil is in the pan?
 

driven2services

Administrator
Messages
0
The crank must never contact the oil level in the sump--it'd whip the oil into froth--or worse...break the crank. The cold oil viscosity problem is mainly with the oil between the pistons and the cylinders, and somewhat less with the oil in the engine bearings. Ken
 
Messages
485
Location
Montgomery, AL
quote:
Originally posted by Patman: I guess I figured that with less oil in the oil pan, the engine would have a bit easier time turning over? Or does the crank not extend that far down into the oil when the engine is first started up and all the oil is in the pan?
Patman--Don't you also run with the oil indicating less than full on the dipstick? Remind me why you think the dipstick is not accurate.
 

Patman

Staff member
Thread starter
Messages
21,989
Location
Oakville, Ontario
In my LT1, I need to add 5.5 quarts in order to get the oil level to show on the full line on the dipstick. But general consensus from other LT1 owners I know say that with the long filters, they only need to add 5 quarts. The last LT1 I owned needed about 5.25 quarts to show full. So I still wonder if when I have my dipstick showing full, if I'm not running too much oil. It doesn't seem to cause a problem running it that high though, so I think I may continue this trend.
 

Al

Messages
19,199
Location
Elizabethtown, Pa
quote:
Originally posted by Ken: The crank must never contact the oil level in the sump--it'd whip the oil into froth--or worse...break the crank. The cold oil viscosity problem is mainly with the oil between the pistons and the cylinders, and somewhat less with the oil in the engine bearings. Ken
Ummm... unless they have changed engine technology lately. The crank does contact the oil for the purpose of cylinder lub and cooling. Patman: You are a thinker who questions things-don't stop. You may eventually come up with a good idea- just kidding [Big Grin] . Anyway, probably most of the resistance is probably the cold oil which is in the bearings and the cold oil being pumped in there while it is very cold.
 

Patman

Staff member
Thread starter
Messages
21,989
Location
Oakville, Ontario
Thanks for the kind words Al! [Smile] I'm always trying to think outside the box! Especially since when I'm inside the box it's kinda cramped so I can't think very well! [Big Grin]
 
Messages
485
Location
Montgomery, AL
You may have a point Patman but, IMHO, other issues make a case for more not less oil. Extra protection against oil starvation, more additives, more dirt holding capacity and improved ability to carry heat when helping to cool the engine.
 

RC

Messages
46
Location
Michigan
Patman, I too applaude your out of the box thinking, but if you are looking for less resistance, why not run a different grade of oil. I too am under the impression the crank does not come in contact with the oil. At 5k RPMs that would really be whipping the oil.
 
Messages
97
Location
Kissimmee/Orlando, FL
quote:
Originally posted by RC: I too am under the impression the crank does not come in contact with the oil. At 5k RPMs that would really be whipping the oil.
It does, thats why some people round off the counterweights on the crank so it slices though the oil easier. I dont know about all motors but my LT1 (350ci V8) has a windage tray which helps keep the crank from whipping up all the oil and possibly starving a bearing.
 

Patman

Staff member
Thread starter
Messages
21,989
Location
Oakville, Ontario
quote:
Originally posted by RC: Patman, I too applaude your out of the box thinking, but if you are looking for less resistance, why not run a different grade of oil. I too am under the impression the crank does not come in contact with the oil. At 5k RPMs that would really be whipping the oil.
But when the engine is running all of the oil is not still in the pan, a lot of it is flowing through the engine. I just thought that when the engine was initially cold, with all of the oil still in the pan, at that point the crank might be slightly submerged in the oil. I have no intentions of going to a thinner viscosity, this was just an idea I had in my head that's all. I would rather run a bit more oil in order to reduce the overall stress on it anyways, especially with the extended intervals I plan to run (9k)
 
Messages
34
Location
Arizona
quote:
Originally posted by Patman: I guess I figured that with less oil in the oil pan, the engine would have a bit easier time turning over? Or does the crank not extend that far down into the oil when the engine is first started up and all the oil is in the pan?
You could put 10 quarts in for the summer and get better splash oiling too! [crushedcar] I like dipsticks that are on the level mark [LOL!]
 
Messages
39
Location
South Bend, In.
I would say keep it full in the winter. I checked the oil in my ford pickup while the engine was running before it warmed up and it wouldn't show on the dipstick. It had all pumped up to the top and hadn't drained back down yet.
 
Messages
229
Location
Louisville, KY
quote:
Originally posted by Patman: But when the engine is running all of the oil is not still in the pan, a lot of it is flowing through the engine. I just thought that when the engine was initially cold, with all of the oil still in the pan, at that point the crank might be slightly submerged in the oil. (9k)
If the crank were even slightly submereged in oil it would foam the oil or...destroy itself. Oil getting splashed onto the crank at high rpm's will destroy it becuase it throw it out of balance. This is why it's a bad idea to overfill the crankcase.
 
Top