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#4491073 - 08/17/17 01:29 PM Oil for Winter Storage
Building3 Offline


Registered: 04/30/17
Posts: 87
Loc: Michigan
I know for flat tappet engines a high zinc oil is mandatory. This site has many recommendations from which to choose. However, what about long-term/winter storage of cars that need the high zinc oil? For instance, those of us who own muscle cars and 1960's era cars in the upper mid-west need to have them out of the snow and cold for 2 to 5 months. So to prevent bearing wear upon start-up in the spring after months of storage: 1. Is it better to have a 0w, 5w or 10w oil, or a "heavier" 15w to 20w oil in the engine upon start-up? 2. Is synthetic oil or conventional Dino oil preferred in this situation? Thanks!

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#4491088 - 08/17/17 01:44 PM Re: Oil for Winter Storage [Re: Building3]
kschachn Offline


Registered: 12/26/05
Posts: 9514
Loc: Upper Midwest
In cold situations one would never want the oil any thicker than it already is, so as low a "W" number as you can get is desirable. Oil is immensely more thick at low temperatures compared to operating temperature. Remember that the "W" rating is a cold cranking specification not a viscosity, so there are no situations where a 10W, a 5W or a 0W oil is ever too thin per that rating. It is the other number that would make the oil too thin at operating temperature.

And a question, I thought flat tappet engines only required high ZDDP for break-in, not for continued operation?
_________________________
1994 BMW 530i, 227K
1996 Honda Accord, 262K
1999 Toyota Sienna, 397K
2000 Toyota ECHO, 267K

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#4491096 - 08/17/17 01:50 PM Re: Oil for Winter Storage [Re: kschachn]
redbone3 Offline


Registered: 06/09/12
Posts: 661
Loc: Reno, NV
Use an oil appropriate to the temperature you expect on removal from storage.
_________________________
2014 Passat Wolfsburg, 1995 Miata.

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#4491101 - 08/17/17 01:53 PM Re: Oil for Winter Storage [Re: Building3]
andyd Offline


Registered: 09/25/04
Posts: 7273
Loc: Marshfield , MA
I've started 20w50 dino down to 10F. On the 528e, I just added a pint of MMO to winterize them.
_________________________
'16 Camry LE STP synth 0w20 and STP filter. the Fridge

1994 Ranger ,the Rat, 5w30 dino, STP filter

'16 Camry SE, Valvoline HM 0w20 and OEM filter
Thick oil is better grin2

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#4491105 - 08/17/17 01:58 PM Re: Oil for Winter Storage [Re: redbone3]
kschachn Offline


Registered: 12/26/05
Posts: 9514
Loc: Upper Midwest
Originally Posted By: redbone3
Use an oil appropriate to the temperature you expect on removal from storage.

This is correct, I apologize I didn't read the OP's question correctly where the car is just sitting for the winter and not being started. As long as it is above freezing it isn't going to make much difference at all what the W rating is.
_________________________
1994 BMW 530i, 227K
1996 Honda Accord, 262K
1999 Toyota Sienna, 397K
2000 Toyota ECHO, 267K

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#4491116 - 08/17/17 02:10 PM Re: Oil for Winter Storage [Re: kschachn]
Building3 Offline


Registered: 04/30/17
Posts: 87
Loc: Michigan
Thanks for the several quick replies. Maybe I confused the question by talking about the cold. The temperatures will always be above freezing during storage and during start-up and initial use in the spring. What I am most concerned about is bearing wear and getting oil to the main bearings so that they are not starved for oil upon initial staring after 2-5 months of sitting idle. Any suggestions on oil or starting procedures would be appreciated. Thanks!

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#4491118 - 08/17/17 02:11 PM Re: Oil for Winter Storage [Re: Building3]
newbe46 Offline


Registered: 01/19/17
Posts: 207
Loc: Ontario, Canada
The first couple of years after I bought the M3, I would put fresh dino oil (5w30 or 10w30) for winter storage and I do not start the engine until spring. Only then I would drain the storage oil and put the 10w60 (synthectic) back.

Over the year I have become more lazy. Right now I would just leave the same oil I have in the summer until the next spring and put fresh oil in.
_________________________
2003 E46 M3 Convertible
2004 Odyssey EX-L
2004 Impreza TS Wagon

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#4491122 - 08/17/17 02:15 PM Re: Oil for Winter Storage [Re: Building3]
HemiHawk Offline


Registered: 03/09/16
Posts: 877
Loc: PA,US
Originally Posted By: Building3
Thanks for the several quick replies. Maybe I confused the question by talking about the cold. The temperatures will always be above freezing during storage and during start-up and initial use in the spring. What I am most concerned about is bearing wear and getting oil to the main bearings so that they are not starved for oil upon initial staring after 2-5 months of sitting idle. Any suggestions on oil or starting procedures would be appreciated. Thanks!


I think its been discussed here before that a car that has sat for years, maybe even decades, still had oil on the components when the engines were opened.

What I do with my car that gets garaged for longer periods of time is cycle the engine without it starting. In modern manual cars you can depress the gas pedal fully when turning the ignition and it wont fire. This cycles the engine at cranking speeds to hopefully move some oil around prior to firing. I guess on an older car removing spark or fuel would essentially do the same thing.
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2016 Nissan Frontier Pro4x
2017 VW GTI sport
1997 Jeep GC 4.0

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#4491138 - 08/17/17 02:33 PM Re: Oil for Winter Storage [Re: HemiHawk]
newbe46 Offline


Registered: 01/19/17
Posts: 207
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: HemiHawk
Originally Posted By: Building3
Thanks for the several quick replies. Maybe I confused the question by talking about the cold. The temperatures will always be above freezing during storage and during start-up and initial use in the spring. What I am most concerned about is bearing wear and getting oil to the main bearings so that they are not starved for oil upon initial staring after 2-5 months of sitting idle. Any suggestions on oil or starting procedures would be appreciated. Thanks!


I think its been discussed here before that a car that has sat for years, maybe even decades, still had oil on the components when the engines were opened.

What I do with my car that gets garaged for longer periods of time is cycle the engine without it starting. In modern manual cars you can depress the gas pedal fully when turning the ignition and it wont fire. This cycles the engine at cranking speeds to hopefully move some oil around prior to firing. I guess on an older car removing spark or fuel would essentially do the same thing.



That's interesting. I have heard people manual cranking the engine while the car is in storage to keep most of the moving parts lubricated.

You mention depressing the gas pedal fully when turning the ignition and the engine won't fire. Do you mean depressing the clutch?

I always wonder how important it is to crank the engine during winter storage. I have heard both sides of the argument and I'm at the point where I don't even know which side to take.
_________________________
2003 E46 M3 Convertible
2004 Odyssey EX-L
2004 Impreza TS Wagon

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#4491155 - 08/17/17 02:55 PM Re: Oil for Winter Storage [Re: newbe46]
kschachn Offline


Registered: 12/26/05
Posts: 9514
Loc: Upper Midwest
Originally Posted By: newbe46
You mention depressing the gas pedal fully when turning the ignition and the engine won't fire. Do you mean depressing the clutch?

No, the engine won't crank unless the clutch is fully depressed.

I'll have to try the accelerator pedal thing on my ECHO and see if it prevents it from igniting.
_________________________
1994 BMW 530i, 227K
1996 Honda Accord, 262K
1999 Toyota Sienna, 397K
2000 Toyota ECHO, 267K

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#4491169 - 08/17/17 03:05 PM Re: Oil for Winter Storage [Re: Building3]
FordCapriDriver Offline


Registered: 10/22/15
Posts: 2449
Loc: Balearic Islands , Spain
If you won't be starting it in sub freezing temperatures really even a 15W-40 will flow fine, i've started my 1975 Capri with 20W-50 in the sump at slightly below freezing with zero issues.
_________________________
1975 Ford Capri II Ghia 3000 V6, - Shell Helix HX3 20W-50.
1988 Ford Escort MkIV 1.6 Xr3i Cabrio, - Comma X-Flow XS 10W-40.
1999 Peugeot 106 II 1.1 Max, On standby

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#4491180 - 08/17/17 03:22 PM Re: Oil for Winter Storage [Re: Building3]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 6186
Loc: Waco, TX
You could prime the oil pump with a drill in the spring.

Or add an oil accumulator... close the valve when you are putting it away, it'll hold pressure all winter. Open it so it pre-lubes the system before you start it.
_________________________
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(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."

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#4491211 - 08/17/17 03:58 PM Re: Oil for Winter Storage [Re: Building3]
dlundblad Offline


Registered: 09/30/13
Posts: 10190
Loc: Indiana
Are you planning on changing the oil after storage? Supertech 20w50 will work if so.. (Somewhat wasteful IMO, but to each their own. ~$15-20 to sleep well at night is worth it. Don't let store brand conventional scare you. It'll hold up well with 1 hr and a few miles of use. smile )

If not, do yearly changes of Valvoline VR1. Run the car on the road until hot, change the oil when the filter is scorching your hands, get her hot one last time then park until Spring. Do not start it up during storage.

I bought a whole bunch of VR1 for $2 a quart for dad's 240z's for Christmas. I want to say Oreilly has it for $25 a jug, which I feel is a decent price for a yearly oil change on a toy.





Edited by dlundblad (08/17/17 04:00 PM)
_________________________
03 Jeep WJ 4.0 199k Castrol Edge 10w40 HM Fram XG16
02 Volvo S60 2.4T 177k M1 0w40 Mahle OX149D
97 Chevy Blazer 4.3 149k Rotella T5 10w30 Supertech ST3980


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#4491269 - 08/17/17 05:16 PM Re: Oil for Winter Storage [Re: Building3]
Audios Offline


Registered: 11/19/11
Posts: 952
Loc: Lyndhurst NJ
What about a cheapie magnetic stick on block heater that you can use for a few hours before startup, and keep the oil warm. You can also pull the fuse for the fuel pump, and crank the engine a decent amount to get the oil up.
_________________________
2002 VW Golf TDI-Mobil 1 5/40 TDT
2005 BMW M3 BMW Twin Power 10/60
1998 BMW M3/4/5 Fuchs 5/40
2007 Mercedes GL320 CDI Fuchs 5/40 GT Pro XTL

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#4491320 - 08/17/17 06:16 PM Re: Oil for Winter Storage [Re: Building3]
SilverFusion2010 Offline


Registered: 06/29/11
Posts: 1670
Loc: Crawfordville FL
I would go with a 10w30, but I don't think the viscosity matters.

To accomplish what I think you are going for... Fill the crankcase with oil on storage, and drain to correct level before starting. If you were careful, you could keep a container of clean, "storage" oil and reuse it every year. If you do this I would pick whatever you can get cheapest.

Please note that this would be ridiculous overkill and probably doesn't matter. There is residual oil on the parts. It doesn't evaporate or magically disappear in a closed crankcase.
_________________________
2010 Ford Fusion SE 3.0L V6, 178k miles M1 HM 10w-30

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