Time for oil flow

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Nov 17, 2003
los angeles
The thread title may be a little confusing and have many meanings, but I've been meaning to ask how long oil takes to flow to where it should when a car is started. More specifically, Mobil 1 5w-30 in 40 degree weather. I want to know because I want to get it to that level, wait another 10-15 seconds and then drive off. Any other advice to this? I figure I'm not going to sit there and wait for all parts to warm up because in cold, rainy weather it will take too long - causing too much engine idle and too much wasted fuel. I just want the oil where it should be, fluids flowing in good order, and take off.
Also depends on what kind of engine. On my beater car, it takes exactly 32 seconds from start up do smooth things down. What I mean is, I can hear the lifters ticking for that long, then it smooths out. That is a '90 Cutlass with a 3.3l V6, Pennz. dino oil. On my 01 5.4l F150, again by listening closely, it takes about 15 seconds to get things nice a quite. You can learn a lot about engines by just listening. If you really want to listen, get a 2x4 or some solid piece of wood and place on the engine itself right after you've cranked, then put your ear to it. You'll hear all kinds of stuff, then it will quite down after X amount of time.
On my Marauder (4.6L DOHC), I wait until the fast-idle has come down to normal, which takes anywhere from 15 to 30 seconds, depending on ambient temperature...they I drive it with a light foot on the gas until the temp gauge has come up to about normal (approx 3 miles or so). I have no start-up noises, even down to -10°F, so I figure when the car idles down to normal, it must know what it's doing and it's ready to go... [Wink]
Thanks for the responses. When it's really cold out (which is 40F for me!) the car starts and gets up to about 1,800rpm. I usually wait until it's down to 1,100 before I take off. That takes about a minute. Is this too long or too short? Generally, my engine idles at 900rpm.
a minute is fine, maybe a little longer than needed but no harm there, just be easy with the skinny pedal wile driving until it gets up to temp the listening technique from Schmoe above sounds good, I have a mechanics stethoscope never have tried it during startup, need to do that
A fellow Audi owner had his car garaged for half a year or so. In the spring he decided to start it up, but he was terribly afraid he'd ruin something. He removed the valve cover(s) and observed while cranking the motor. He said oil appeared at the oil holes near the cam bearing within a couple seconds. I interpret that as "2 seconds." Sounds good to me. I'm not sure if he got splashed. [Razz]
Hi, a lot if not all depends on engine design Many engines have non-return valves in vital areas like the valve train so that oil is circulating within 1 to 5 seconds of start up BMW for instance say not to exceed 4k rpm before the oil temp reaches 60C. Donaldson have FF filters that enable good filtration at around 40F So there are many design factors to consider Regards
Thanks, everyone. I guess I might have decent oil flow since I'm using Mobil 1 5w-30. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't getting too much wear at starts since it gets 2-3, maybe even 4 cold starts a day on some days. I can't wait until summer hits. Good for riding my bike, too.
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