Thinning or replacing Delvac 1300 for winter?

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Oct 24, 2002
Detroit (Rock City)
The owners manual for my winter car, an '87 Audi 4000 Quattro, allows the use of 15w50 down to 0F. I sometimes take in on winter trips, though, and it can be exposed to overnight lows lower than that. 10w30 or 40 is good to -10F, and 5w30 to -20F.

This car burns some oil, even running the Delvac, so I'm not thrilled with the idea of running a thinner oil. Plus, it's rare that the temp is out of range for it, and D1300 is both cheap and good (wow!). So...

Do I just add a quart of M1 10w30 to my 4 quart sump? Tough it out with D1300? Switch to something else?

All input appreciated!

What about the Delvac1. It's a 5-40 that has a pour point of -54. Might be cost prohibitive if it burns a lot though.

My old 85 318i was spec'd 20w50 year round. That's all the dealer ever put in it. Didn't really know much about oil then other than to change it. Always had to really let it warm up well if it sat outside overnite. We had low's in the single digits on occassion.
I am not familiar with Delvac 1300, but have run Rotella 15w-40 thru our Michigan winters. My manual also stated down to 0 with 15w-40. Had a block heater so was not a problem in my case. Is your car in a garage at night?
My garage stays at about 20F for the coldest nights.
I have talked to a Shaeffers rep who lives about 150 miles north of you and he runs Shaeffers 15w-40 in his gas engine pickup all year and has no trouble. Of course have heard Shaeffers is pretty good in the cold.
If your car is outside you might have some trouble if it is well below zero.
I am sure many will advise 5w-30, I use 10w-30 myself.
There is a report that just came in and its a very good one using Delvac 1300. I say go for it! It's cheaper then D1.
I'd stay with the plain Delvac. An occasional start below the recommended temp won't kill the engine. What are we talking, 5 or 6 really cold starts a year?
Looking at the spec. sheets, you should be just fine.

But, as always, spec. sheets don't tell the whole story.

Give it a try...if starting gets really hard or you notice a great deal of noise of start-up, then switch to something lighter.

Otherwise, you have one good year-'round oil...

If your burning oil, have you considered Pennzoil Long-Life (there I go again friendly...
). I switched from Delo to Long-Life, and my consumption dropped drastically.

I just want someone else to try it out and see if they notice the same thing...
Thanks all!

I'm inclined to agree with mrchecker and jelly- a couple colder starts won't hurt much, but... This is the car I take to my buddies property up north and it gets -cold- there. Also, if I get a no-start there it's a loooong hike out. We'll see- I'll keep running the D1300 and if we get a cold snap I'll top up with the M1.

Well I am pretty liberal with cold temperatures. But personally I would not run the 15W dino oil at that temp. Thats just me though. a 10W synthetic or a 5W dino oil is as low as I would go. I'd go with the 10W-30 Mobil 1 and possibly a quart or 25% of the 15W-50 M 1 mixed in or a mix of 5W-30 and 10W-40 dino oil.

Thats just me though.
Porterdog, Your coldest start is in the early morning. Why not get an oil pan heater. I got mine at I figure with the heater I eliminate the coldest starts. Still have to start at 4pm every day so I am not inclined to go 15w40 in winter. I am running 10w40 and plan to keep it through the winter. May top up with a half qt of synthetic for a cold flow edge, but the 10w is supposed to be good to zero F. 15w shows 10 F in my Chilton's manual.

V6 Diesel: Did the block heater really do much to heat the oil?

[ November 20, 2003, 12:41 AM: Message edited by: TallPaul ]

Originally posted by TallPaul:
V6 Diesel: Did the block heater really do much to heat the oil?

Yes, it would start fast idle smoothly and quietly. Owners manual even stated straight 30w could be run below 0 as long as the block heater was plugged in for 8 hours. Just don't let that 30w cool off away from electricity.

Originally posted by TallPaul:
Porterdog, Your coldest start is in the early morning. Why not get an oil pan heater.

The aforementioned property where the coldest of cold starts will occur has no electricity, LOL!

This motor is relatively old, has big clearances, uses some oil, and has -very- low specific output, 2.2l I-5, 115hp. I'm not going to use synthetic in such an understressed application.

[ November 20, 2003, 12:51 PM: Message edited by: porterdog ]
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