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Oil for Winter Storage #4491073
08/17/17 12:29 PM
08/17/17 12:29 PM
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 101
Michigan
Building3 Offline OP
Building3  Offline OP
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 101
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!

Re: Oil for Winter Storage [Re: Building3] #4491088
08/17/17 12:44 PM
08/17/17 12:44 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,284
Upper Midwest
kschachn Offline
kschachn  Offline
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,284
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, 238K
1996 Honda Accord, 266K
1999 Toyota Sienna, 407K
2000 Toyota ECHO, 280K
Re: Oil for Winter Storage [Re: kschachn] #4491096
08/17/17 12:50 PM
08/17/17 12:50 PM
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 694
Reno, NV
redbone3 Offline
redbone3  Offline
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 694
Reno, NV
Use an oil appropriate to the temperature you expect on removal from storage.


2014 Passat Wolfsburg, 1995 Miata.
Re: Oil for Winter Storage [Re: Building3] #4491101
08/17/17 12:53 PM
08/17/17 12:53 PM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 7,812
Marshfield , MA
andyd Offline
andyd  Offline
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 7,812
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
Re: Oil for Winter Storage [Re: redbone3] #4491105
08/17/17 12:58 PM
08/17/17 12:58 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,284
Upper Midwest
kschachn Offline
kschachn  Offline
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,284
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, 238K
1996 Honda Accord, 266K
1999 Toyota Sienna, 407K
2000 Toyota ECHO, 280K
Re: Oil for Winter Storage [Re: kschachn] #4491116
08/17/17 01:10 PM
08/17/17 01:10 PM
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 101
Michigan
Building3 Offline OP
Building3  Offline OP
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 101
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!

Re: Oil for Winter Storage [Re: Building3] #4491118
08/17/17 01:11 PM
08/17/17 01:11 PM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 323
Ontario, Canada
newbe46 Offline
newbe46  Offline
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 323
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
Re: Oil for Winter Storage [Re: Building3] #4491122
08/17/17 01:15 PM
08/17/17 01:15 PM
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 1,013
PA,US
HemiHawk Offline
HemiHawk  Offline
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 1,013
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.


2016 Nissan Frontier Pro4x
2017 VW GTI sport
1995 Mustang GTS
Re: Oil for Winter Storage [Re: HemiHawk] #4491138
08/17/17 01:33 PM
08/17/17 01:33 PM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 323
Ontario, Canada
newbe46 Offline
newbe46  Offline
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 323
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
Re: Oil for Winter Storage [Re: newbe46] #4491155
08/17/17 01:55 PM
08/17/17 01:55 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,284
Upper Midwest
kschachn Offline
kschachn  Offline
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,284
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, 238K
1996 Honda Accord, 266K
1999 Toyota Sienna, 407K
2000 Toyota ECHO, 280K
Re: Oil for Winter Storage [Re: Building3] #4491169
08/17/17 02:05 PM
08/17/17 02:05 PM
Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 2,798
Balearic Islands , Spain
FordCapriDriver Offline
FordCapriDriver  Offline
Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 2,798
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 w/ 20% Rimula R4X 15W-40 HDEO.

1988 Ford Escort Mk4 Xr3i Cabrio, - Shell Rimula R4X 15W-40, w/ 30% Helix 3 20W-50.

Finnish expat in Spain.
Re: Oil for Winter Storage [Re: Building3] #4491180
08/17/17 02:22 PM
08/17/17 02:22 PM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 7,143
Waco, TX
Linctex Offline
Linctex  Offline
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 7,143
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.


"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: Oil for Winter Storage [Re: Building3] #4491211
08/17/17 02:58 PM
08/17/17 02:58 PM
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 10,679
Indiana
dlundblad Offline
dlundblad  Offline
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 10,679
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.




Last edited by dlundblad; 08/17/17 03:00 PM.

03 Jeep WJ 4.0 202k Castrol Edge 10w40 HM Fram XG16
02 Volvo S60 2.4T 186k M1 0w40 Mahle OX149D
97 Chevy Blazer 4.3 153k Synpower 5w30 Supertech ST3980 (Ecore)

Re: Oil for Winter Storage [Re: Building3] #4491269
08/17/17 04:16 PM
08/17/17 04:16 PM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 1,240
Lyndhurst NJ
Audios Offline
Audios  Offline
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 1,240
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
2007 Mercedes GL320 CDI Fuchs 5/40 GT Pro XTL
2005 BMW M3 BMW Twin Power 10/60
2003 BMW M5-Fuchs 5/40
1998 BMW M3/4/5 Fuchs 5/40
Re: Oil for Winter Storage [Re: Building3] #4491320
08/17/17 05:16 PM
08/17/17 05:16 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,803
Crawfordville FL
SilverFusion2010 Offline
SilverFusion2010  Offline
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,803
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, 181 miles M1 HM 10w-30
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