Short driving and condensation: Witnessed it today.

Messages
398
Location
Chicagoland, IL USA
Well, I've read on hear a lot that short trips are really hard on an oil, and that it doesn't give the engine much of a chance to heat up and burn off the condensation/water in the oil. Today, I went and got the oil and filter changed in my girlfriends 2002 Mustang GT (4.6L SOHC V-8). It's got a little a little over 26,000 miles on it, and up till 23,000 miles, had been on a diet of Castrol 5W-20 and Mobil-1 oil filters. At 23,000, I switched her over to Mobil-1 0W-20 and a Mobil-1 oil filter. She goes around 5 miles to and from the train station every weekday, and then short trips around town. She's also been driving her winter car a lot, so the Mustang hasn't been driven a lot this winter. I don't remember how long in months the oil has been in there, but it was run darn close either way to 3,000 miles. The guy changing the oil brings the oil fill cap in and all in it is this thick foamy substance. He called it even before I did: Short trips, not much heating up of the oil...said he sees a lot of this especially during the winter. So, to all who run their cars for short durations, you might want to consider taking it out once a week to let it burn some of the condensation off. Definitely the short trips are hard on oil myth has been disproven. Sending the oil off for anaylsis ASAP...will be interesting, not many Mobil-1 0W-20 Ford 4.6L UOA's out there. Take it easy! [Smile] Chuck
 
Messages
3,704
Location
Chattanooga, TN
Although the condensation in the oil filler cap does not necessarily mean the oil has a heavy fuel concentration and/or water and will also be a bad UOA. Sometimes it just accumulates in the cap. For the first time this winter, running a dino oil for the RX clean and rinse I noticed the white foam in the cap. Wonder if it is less with synthetic, never saw it before with the Amsoil.
 
Messages
526
Location
Manitoba Canada
I've noticed this in every car and light truck I have ever owned, especially in temps below -18 C / 0 F. Even if you do highway miles only, at -40 you will still have that foamy milky stuff on the oil fill cap. With time it can cause damage. Especially some little old granny who only brings it in to Canadian Tire once a year for an oil change. That milky foamy stuff turns to sludge in hot stop-n-go. I've noticed if you run a HDEO the extra detergents seem to minimize this problem. Now you know why motors in very cold climates don't last long. Jerry
 
Messages
263
Location
San Diego, CA
quote:
Originally posted by heyjay: I've noticed if you run a HDEO the extra detergents seem to minimize this problem.
With that said, is running something like Delo 400 in my girlfriend's '92 Mazda 626 a good idea? She drives about two miles uphill in the morning, and two miles downhill every day (for school). I like the 'idea' of an HDEO with its better additives, but is the 15W-40 a little TOO much on the thick side? The idiot gauges show 'normal' water temp by the time the two miles are over, but i was highly contemplating going with GC for the much better low temp viscosity. Even though it doesn't get below 45F here, i would suspect the 0w-XX would give better numbers. ferb!
 
Messages
1,759
Location
Elizabeth City NC
My son is doing real well using the delo 400 15w-40 in his 95 Mazda. We did and auto-rx treatment and started him on this oil and engine oil consumption is way down. Some is probably the auto-rx and some is the oil. We tested the 5w30 havoline he was using and it was 20w after only 3000 miles. In our area it seldom gets below 32F so it is a great oil for us.
 
Messages
526
Location
Manitoba Canada
quote:
Originally posted by Ferb:
quote:
Originally posted by heyjay: I've noticed if you run a HDEO the extra detergents seem to minimize this problem.
With that said, is running something like Delo 400 in my girlfriend's '92 Mazda 626 a good idea? She drives about two miles uphill in the morning, and two miles downhill every day (for school). I like the 'idea' of an HDEO with its better additives, but is the 15W-40 a little TOO much on the thick side? The idiot gauges show 'normal' water temp by the time the two miles are over, but i was highly contemplating going with GC for the much better low temp viscosity. Even though it doesn't get below 45F here, i would suspect the 0w-XX would give better numbers. ferb!

You live in San Diego? Heck yes I would consider the HDEO 15W-40. Your summer temps can be what, 105? I've seen 45 F where I live too ... on BOTH sides of zero! Jerry
 
Messages
263
Location
San Diego, CA
quote:
Originally posted by heyjay: You live in San Diego? Heck yes I would consider the HDEO 15W-40. Your summer temps can be what, 105?
Well it doesn't get THAT hot here-- maybe 85F consistantly and 90-95F on hot days. We get a nice Pacific breeze most days, so it's not too bad. But if i lived 30 minutes inland, those 105 temps would be on the cool side. Good to know about the HDEO. I'll probably try a little ARX on the next shuffle too. Checked under the valve cover this afternoon and it's a lot dirtier than i'll allow. ferb!
 
Messages
1,357
Location
California, USA
The '67 VW used to get mayonnaise-like deposits plugging up the PCV tube. The car was driven to school and back, about two miles each way. A switch from Valvoline Super HPO 30 to Pennzoil LongLife 30 cured the problem. HDMO was the answer. My current '68 gets Delo 400.
 
Messages
235
Location
Ar
I think this is odd because I do almost nothing but "short trips around town" and I've never seen this white milky/foamy stuff on the filler cap that everyone speaks of. [I dont know]
 
Messages
526
Location
Manitoba Canada
quote:
Originally posted by goldfinger: I think this is odd because I do almost nothing but "short trips around town" and I've never seen this white milky/foamy stuff on the filler cap that everyone speaks of. [I dont know]
Try the "short trips around town" in temps of 0 F / -18 C or colder. You WILL see that milky/foamy stuff. Jerry
 
Messages
184
Location
CT, USA
This "milky oil" thread is alive and well on the RX-8 forum. Seems the condensation builds up in the dipstick area when temps go below 50F or so. Quite a few people have this happen. We were hoping that there would be no long-term effects...
 
Messages
1,025
Location
Albany NY
the coolant may warm up in 5 miles, but not the oil. posted 23-02-2004 02:14 PM -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I'd still check the thermostat...engine should warm up after 5 mi.... -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Posts: 1356 | Registered: May 2002
 
Messages
1,837
Location
Pac NW
IMHO a HDD 15W-40 is just about ideal for California. With the normal exceptions of warranty considerations, ultra high performance, etc. The reason a lot of us still believe in dino oil and shorter OCI's is that draining out the old oil after winter weather drains out the condensate, too. And the acids, and the dirt, and the gunk, goop & other stuff! [Burnout] [Cheers!]
 
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