When do I change my oil???

I've heard that it's not good to change cold oil (i.e. after the car has been sitting overnight), but, I also know that it takes a little while for the oil to drain to the bottom of the oil pan. Now, draining oil out of a HOT engine is bad news, unless you are wearing a fire resistant suit, or if you just love hot oil all over your hands. So, what would be a good wait time to change the oil? I've heard to wait at least 15 minutes, but even after 45 minutes the engine is still too hot to touch. I don't know about anybody else, but I'm to too keen on getting burned. What would be a good wait time, to allow the max amount of oil to drain to the bottom of the pan, but still be warm enough to flow good. I'm just trying to get as much of the old oil out as possible. I know, there's always gonna be some old oil still in the engine.....
 
Messages
22,188
Location
Colorado Springs
I usually let it sit an hour or so if it's been driven a while before I change it. I'd really find something else to worry about. This is not gonna make or break your engine. I'll bet you get many more drops of oil out compared to a quickie lube. Have a [Cheers!]
 
Messages
6,424
Location
New Braunfels
A fram sure drain or fumanto valve would hellp stop hot oil spillage. I like to drain it hot and let it continue drain for a half hour or more. It's amazing how much will come out if you give it time and a hot engine block. Secret uptight oil change habit alert: (I even do a chaser of a few ounces of new oil through the fill hole to drain out any trapped by oil pan wier's. Once all the oil draining turns clean and new I know it is time to shut it in and fill the crankcase)
 

bighead

Thread starter
Thanks guys. It wasn't something I was worrying too much about, just I wanted a few other opinions. The main reason I asked this question is because the last time I changed the oil in my Explorer, I drained it fairly warm. I always let it drain till I start seeing just a small trickle coming out, then put the drain plug back in. Anyway, it's a 5 qt sump, so I bought a 5 qt jug of M1 and just poured the whole thing in. Now it reads about 1/4 inch or so over full when I check it, even after it's been sitting overnight. The M1 was 5w-30 flavor, and right now has about 5K on it (give or take 100 miles) and there is NO oil consumption. I'm getting ready to change it out here in a few weeks, so that's the reasoning for my question... [Cheers!]
 
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1,983
Location
New Brunswick
I change my oil as hot as possible, usually within 5-10 minutes after the car is shut off. I usually let the oil drain 10-15 minutes. Yes, it does burn having to stick my arm in a gallon of hot oil to fish out the drain plug that jumped right out of my fingers, but it's all part of the fun.
 

bighead

Thread starter
LOL @ part of the fun. Well, I'm usually pretty impatient, and so I don't like to sit there and let the oil drain for hours on end. I'm usually running out of daylight, and of course I don't own a flashlight, or one of those things you always see hanging inside the hood (can't think of the name lol). I do it later in the afternoon, because it gets hot where I live and me and the heat just aint the best of friends. I guess what I'll do next time is just give myself a little more time to let it drain, and start when the engine is still relatively warm....
 
Messages
1,904
Location
Canada
We had this discussion a month or two ago, try the search feature. It really doesn't matter is the conclusion generally reached. A modern detergent motor oil suspends solids just fine whether the motor oil is hot or cold. Hot oil and engines cause burns, cold oil and cold engines don't cause burns, simple as that.
 
Messages
13,132
Location
By Detroit
Some advantages of cold changes: 1. As stated above, you don't get burned on the oil or exhaust. 2) The filter usually does not drip near as much as when hot. 3) Less chance of over tightening the new filter (cold or ambient filter canister onto hot block usually equals over tightened after the temps equalize). Just make sure the last time you shut the engine off is after a long run so the oil was good and hot. That way most of the oil will have drained down into the pan and will have carried more suspended crud with it. I bet the worst is if you leave it all day at the local shop for a minor repair and oil change. By the time they get around to it the engine may be cold. Then they run it for the one minute it takes to drive into the bay, hoist it, and drop the drain plug. A lot of that cold oil they just pumped up top probably is not going to drain down during this change.
 
Messages
1,203
Location
Oregon
I always change my oil right after its been driven 15+ miles. The hotter the better as far as I'm concerned. I feel hot oil will more likely get rid of more contamination, debris and sludge.
 
Messages
1,203
Location
Oregon
quote:
Originally posted by pitzel: A modern detergent motor oil suspends solids just fine whether the motor oil is hot or cold.
I taken more than 50 motors apart in my life. I have yet to see one that did not have a collection of debris on the inside of the bottom of the oil pan.
 
Messages
7,550
Location
North Alabama
I always drain the oil in my VW 1.8T hot. I will usually let it sit for 5-10 minutes, then drain. Sure it's hotter than two rats getting it on in a wool sock, but it aint that bad really. The one thing I'm NOT obsessive about is trying to get all the old oil out of the pan. I just let it drain until the oil is dripping 1-2 drops a second, then re-install the plug.
 
Messages
1,979
Location
Houston
for the hot drain plug, I attached a screen over the top of the catch bucket to keep it from going into the drink. I used a double layer of fiberglass window screen, attached around the edges of the bucket. Oil goes thru, plug stays out. a side benefit (ah rekkin...) would be that if there are any chunky bits in the oil they too would be caught. Never seen any tho. fwiw, I let em cool about 1 hour. Or do them in the morning stone cold. Appears to make no diff except in the time to drain factor.
 
Messages
22,188
Location
Colorado Springs
quote:
Originally posted by 55: I change my oil as hot as possible, usually within 5-10 minutes after the car is shut off. I usually let the oil drain 10-15 minutes. Yes, it does burn having to stick my arm in a gallon of hot oil to fish out the drain plug that jumped right out of my fingers, but it's all part of the fun.
I hate that, and it happens every time I change my the oil on my Dad's truck. Arrghhhhhhhh. It happens cause the plug is scolding hot and the rush of oil just goes right over my hand. I try and tell my hand to hold on to the plug but it's an instictive reaction to just let it go!
 
Messages
36,403
Location
ME
I use one of those drain pans with the funnel built into the top. Has two holes for the oil to find its way down into the bottom portion. Drop the scorching hot drain plug immediately after driving the vehicle and it usually winds up mostly blocking one hole... no matter, the oil winds up down the other hole. Find the drain plug, spin her back in, tighten down, and wait maybe 20 minutes before pulling the filter... the real scorcher! [Smile]
 
Messages
48
Location
Minnesota
for you guys who like to change the oil hot but hate buring your fingers on the oil and drain plug do this: Crack open the drain plug with your normal wrench/socket. Then throw on a 3" or longer extension and back it out by hand the rest of the way. This will keep your fingers away from the plug and the oil stream. If the plug happens to fall in the oil bucket, use a magnet to pull it out. Or use a fumto/sure drain style device like earlier mentioned.
 
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