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Infrequently run engines more likely to wear? #4483237
08/08/17 11:13 PM
08/08/17 11:13 PM
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 537
New York
NoNameJoe Offline OP
NoNameJoe  Offline OP
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 537
New York
Say you have two identical engines in two identical cars. Car A is used every day of the week, car B is used once a week. Let's say the oil is a 0W-20 and the climate is normal (winters are cold, summers are hot but nothing extreme either way).

What's the general consensus on wear? Would the engine on car B wear more than car A because there is less oil film on the parts after sitting one week since the last run? Or is the surface tension between the close parts enough to keep an oil film there indefinitely? Surely some parts will lose oil film right? Like maybe parts of the timing chain?

Then again maybe this behavior (if it exists at all) occurs within a span of time short enough (over night for example), such that starting the engine every day is actually worse than starting it once a week?


2015 Civic LX Coupe
Re: Infrequently run engines more likely to wear? [Re: NoNameJoe] #4483245
08/08/17 11:26 PM
08/08/17 11:26 PM
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 3,518
Colorado
Chris B. Online content
Chris B.  Online Content
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 3,518
Colorado
I have a 1997 GMC sierra that only sees between 800 to 1200 miles per year. It sits for months at a time. When I do use it I heat it up fully and drive it long distances and then it gets parked in the garage again till next time. I get my oil analyzed and it always shows pretty low wear in single digits across the board for the most part.

Re: Infrequently run engines more likely to wear? [Re: NoNameJoe] #4483251
08/08/17 11:38 PM
08/08/17 11:38 PM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 306
Los Angeles, CA
190E26FTW Offline
190E26FTW  Offline
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 306
Los Angeles, CA
It depends what type of engine you have. Some older ones have hydraulic lifters like my old Mercedes M103. I notice that if I dont drive it for 6 months then all the oils drain out of it and it is very noisy on start up with clacking. Was rebuilding head gasket.

I let it idle for 30 mins which helps draw oil back in to quiet it down before I drive it again. Its probably best to crank engine once a week to keep the parts coated in oil so they dont rust.

Re: Infrequently run engines more likely to wear? [Re: NoNameJoe] #4483257
08/09/17 12:06 AM
08/09/17 12:06 AM
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 537
New York
NoNameJoe Offline OP
NoNameJoe  Offline OP
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 537
New York
Sorry should have mentioned that, let's say it's not hydraulic lifters and it's just the normal solid ones you have to adjust.

Engines can rust inside? Seriously?!? I always thought even though the oil returns to the sump, there's at least a microscopic film left behind (not enough to protect against wear). That's worrying.

So if I were to pour engine oil on metal and leave it vertical, the oil will be completely dry after a while? I'm going to try that as an experiment, didn't know that.


2015 Civic LX Coupe
Re: Infrequently run engines more likely to wear? [Re: NoNameJoe] #4483316
08/09/17 05:07 AM
08/09/17 05:07 AM
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 104
Pennsylvania
bugeye Offline
bugeye  Offline
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 104
Pennsylvania
My '73 Chevy is rarely driven. It has a carburetor. I squirt MMO down the carburetor after a fully warmed run. It may sit a year in an enclosed warm garage. Smokes at startup due to the MMO. The fuel tank is drained. Fresh fuel is added prior to a run.

Re: Infrequently run engines more likely to wear? [Re: 190E26FTW] #4483409
08/09/17 07:25 AM
08/09/17 07:25 AM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 7,171
Waco, TX
Linctex Offline
Linctex  Offline
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 7,171
Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: 190E26FTW
Its probably best to crank engine once a week to keep the parts coated in oil so they dont rust.


They DO NOT.

I deal with a lot of used engines from wrecking yards. If the rain can't get in it, the engine internals will stay that way forever without "rusting inside".

I have pulled engines out of cars that have have not run and sat in a cow pasture for 50+ YEARS! Including old cars from the 1920's and 30's.... If you DON'T let water in, they will NOT rust (from just sitting).


"The evidence demands a verdict".
(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."
Re: Infrequently run engines more likely to wear? [Re: NoNameJoe] #4483422
08/09/17 07:36 AM
08/09/17 07:36 AM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 7,390
Oklahoma
Schmoe Offline
Schmoe  Offline
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 7,390
Oklahoma
After sitting, I'd say letting it warm up fully would offset any damage. If you ain't running it, you ain't wearing it. Boat engines sit for months on end at times and never seen to have a problem is stored and started correctly.


01 Supercrew Lariat 4X4
06 Accord EX-L V6
14 CRV EX-L (RIP) 2018 CRV EX-L
Re: Infrequently run engines more likely to wear? [Re: NoNameJoe] #4483441
08/09/17 07:55 AM
08/09/17 07:55 AM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 884
California
mbacfp Offline
mbacfp  Offline
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 884
California
I asked a similar question about my motorhome diesel (on this forum). I was worried about the same thing. The oil forms a Tribo-layer film on the metal surfaces throughout the OCI...so sitting for months at a time shouldn't cause anymore wear at start up. My regimen is once or twice a month I run it to full temp. Someone posted a chart that showed most wear might occur somewhere between cold and full temp. So logically, the less startups should result in less wear over an OCI. Correctly me if I am wrong, but that is my impression from the titbits I have gathered.


2014 F-550 PSD..........M1 Delvac ESP 5w-40 + OEM
2018 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
2012 Toyota Sienna LTD 3.5L V6
2003 Dodge Durango R/T 4x4 5.9L V8
Re: Infrequently run engines more likely to wear? [Re: NoNameJoe] #4483965
08/09/17 05:25 PM
08/09/17 05:25 PM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 216
Detroit
Kurtatron Offline
Kurtatron  Offline
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 216
Detroit
Vehicle with less hot cold cycles would fair better. the difference in oil protection between 1 day and a week is minimal. Sure oil drains to the sump, but you either have oil pressure or you don't. but think of the numbers, if the car started daily accumulates say 5 seconds of startup time with no oil pressure, will the car started once a week take 5 seconds to get oil pressure? Doubtful.

Also cold starts are hard on engines because of excessive fuel. Running rich coupled with cold oil (additives haven't activated yet) makes cold starts an engine's worst enemy. There's a reason police cars and taxi's can last so many miles without much engine wear: the engine doesn't cool down much!

http://papers.sae.org/600190/

Last edited by Kurtatron; 08/09/17 05:30 PM.
Re: Infrequently run engines more likely to wear? [Re: NoNameJoe] #4483983
08/09/17 05:51 PM
08/09/17 05:51 PM
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 537
New York
NoNameJoe Offline OP
NoNameJoe  Offline OP
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 537
New York
All good points!

Quote:
Also cold starts are hard on engines because of excessive fuel.

And that's purely for emissions? To warm up the cat faster? At what point does it stop being rich? I'm assuming the temperature just has to be enough for the system to go into closed loop and not full operating temperature?


2015 Civic LX Coupe
Re: Infrequently run engines more likely to wear? [Re: NoNameJoe] #4484020
08/09/17 06:26 PM
08/09/17 06:26 PM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 216
Detroit
Kurtatron Offline
Kurtatron  Offline
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 216
Detroit
Easier to start a rich mixture, especially in the cold. Rich mixture also helps warm up the car faster, which again shows why a warm engine is a happy engine.

Re: Infrequently run engines more likely to wear? [Re: NoNameJoe] #4484738
08/10/17 12:37 PM
08/10/17 12:37 PM
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 841
US
bunnspecial Offline
bunnspecial  Offline
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 841
US
Originally Posted By: NoNameJoe
All good points!

Quote:
Also cold starts are hard on engines because of excessive fuel.

And that's purely for emissions? To warm up the cat faster? At what point does it stop being rich? I'm assuming the temperature just has to be enough for the system to go into closed loop and not full operating temperature?


Have you ever had a carbureted vehicle?

Generally, if the mixture is set correctly a car with a carb will not start easily when cold unless it is "choked." Basically, when you choke a carb what you're doing is increasing the vacuum in the throat which leads to a richer mixture and-as said-is easier to ignite. Ambient temperatures actually don't make a huge difference here-you'll often need to choke a cold car when it's 100 outside, although it certainly will be easier to start than when it's 0F. BTW, the carbed car I have now doesn't have a true choke, but does have a mechanism to enrich the mixture in the carburetors.

In any case, one of the principle problems-regardless of the fuel delivery mechanism-is that cold gasoline doesn't vaporize as easily as warm gasoline. Remember that only gasoline vapors burn, so by dumping more in(a richer mixture) you can actually get a mixture that burns.

A rich mixture is actually bad both for emissions reasons and for engine health. Rich mixtures dump out VOCs, CO, and can actually cook a catalytic converter(not generally a problem with fuel injection). A rich mixture also increases fuel dilution of the oil. The ECM will lean out the mixture as quickly as it possibly can in a fuel injected car for this very reason, although it will only do so in such a way as the engine will support it.

BTW, by the 1960s most American cars had automatic chokes, and I think for m/y 1975 it became a requirement for all US market cars for emissions reasons(prevent people from inadvertently choking it too long or forgetting to turn it off). My MG has a manual choke-I start the car fully choked(or with the fuel enrichment circuit fully engaged) and then once it starts I back off the choke as much as will support the car continuing to run. If I drive, the car reaches operating temperature in about 3 minutes or less, and as it warms up I back off the choke more and more. With an automatic choke, you typically push the pedal all the way to the floor to "set" it(on many carb designs, that also activates the accelerator pump to squirt gasoline into the intake and "prime" the engine). As the engine warms up, the carb either uses an electric heater or monitors the water temperature to take the choke off.

I know carbs are ancient tech in the automotive world now, but still the basic operating principles of a gasoline IC engine are the same regardless of the way fuel is delivered.


2010 Lincoln MKZ-Mobil 1 5W-30
1970 MG MGB Roadster-Valvoline VR-1 20W-50
Re: Infrequently run engines more likely to wear? [Re: NoNameJoe] #4485036
08/10/17 06:00 PM
08/10/17 06:00 PM
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 1,580
Toronto
PeterPolyol Offline
PeterPolyol  Offline
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 1,580
Toronto
If car B warms up fully and gets a good run in it's weekly drive, then there should be no difference in lifespan, mile for mile.

If Car B is a short tripper and gets moved a lot without warming up, then I'd worry about acidic condensation buildup inside of the engine. Chemical wear is quite slow, but sure!


Scambling for solutions is a hopelessly futile endeavour and potentially dangerous, without first coming to a solid, personal understanding of the problem. Beware riding the ideological hobby horse.
Re: Infrequently run engines more likely to wear? [Re: bunnspecial] #4486222
08/11/17 11:19 PM
08/11/17 11:19 PM
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 537
New York
NoNameJoe Offline OP
NoNameJoe  Offline OP
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 537
New York
Originally Posted By: bunnspecial
Originally Posted By: NoNameJoe
All good points!

Quote:
Also cold starts are hard on engines because of excessive fuel.

And that's purely for emissions? To warm up the cat faster? At what point does it stop being rich? I'm assuming the temperature just has to be enough for the system to go into closed loop and not full operating temperature?


Have you ever had a carbureted vehicle?

Generally, if the mixture is set correctly a car with a carb will not start easily when cold unless it is "choked." Basically, when you choke a carb what you're doing is increasing the vacuum in the throat which leads to a richer mixture and-as said-is easier to ignite. Ambient temperatures actually don't make a huge difference here-you'll often need to choke a cold car when it's 100 outside, although it certainly will be easier to start than when it's 0F. BTW, the carbed car I have now doesn't have a true choke, but does have a mechanism to enrich the mixture in the carburetors.

In any case, one of the principle problems-regardless of the fuel delivery mechanism-is that cold gasoline doesn't vaporize as easily as warm gasoline. Remember that only gasoline vapors burn, so by dumping more in(a richer mixture) you can actually get a mixture that burns.

A rich mixture is actually bad both for emissions reasons and for engine health. Rich mixtures dump out VOCs, CO, and can actually cook a catalytic converter(not generally a problem with fuel injection). A rich mixture also increases fuel dilution of the oil. The ECM will lean out the mixture as quickly as it possibly can in a fuel injected car for this very reason, although it will only do so in such a way as the engine will support it.

BTW, by the 1960s most American cars had automatic chokes, and I think for m/y 1975 it became a requirement for all US market cars for emissions reasons(prevent people from inadvertently choking it too long or forgetting to turn it off). My MG has a manual choke-I start the car fully choked(or with the fuel enrichment circuit fully engaged) and then once it starts I back off the choke as much as will support the car continuing to run. If I drive, the car reaches operating temperature in about 3 minutes or less, and as it warms up I back off the choke more and more. With an automatic choke, you typically push the pedal all the way to the floor to "set" it(on many carb designs, that also activates the accelerator pump to squirt gasoline into the intake and "prime" the engine). As the engine warms up, the carb either uses an electric heater or monitors the water temperature to take the choke off.

I know carbs are ancient tech in the automotive world now, but still the basic operating principles of a gasoline IC engine are the same regardless of the way fuel is delivered.


Interesting! Nope never had a carbureted vehicle. Learn something new here all the time.

Quote:
If car B warms up fully and gets a good run in it's weekly drive, then there should be no difference in lifespan, mile for mile.

Yup, at least a nice long drive is definitely reasonable once a week.


2015 Civic LX Coupe
Re: Infrequently run engines more likely to wear? [Re: NoNameJoe] #4487964
08/13/17 10:17 PM
08/13/17 10:17 PM
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 1,460
CA
user52165 Offline
user52165  Offline
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 1,460
CA
My 1976 Honda Accord - first year and one of the first 1000 made - had a manual choke.

I still have the window sticker $3995

68 hp 5 speed stick - but it would scoot.

met CA emissions without a cat can.

Last edited by user52165; 08/13/17 10:19 PM.
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