Winter engine oil /fuel dilution buildup question

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Gray
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Winter engine oil /fuel dilution buildup question

Postby Gray » Mon Jan 21, 2008 9:22 pm

Just wondering if any have looked at what damage short run -20 C winter driving does to engine oils and engines. I've pulled the dip stick a few times during this last cold snap and was amazed how bad the PF oil smells since the last 700 mile oil change and it's getting progressively worse rather than stabilizing. You drivers living further south in the relative tropics are lucky that you can drink cold beers, wear shorts 365 days and don't have to worry about shoveling snow or what the hell your engine oil is doing. :wink:

I think I'll give that oil a few more miles and then change it out. Maybe it'll warm up soon so I won't have to do many more early oil changes this winter.


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BMXPath
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Postby BMXPath » Mon Jan 21, 2008 9:51 pm

What oil are you using? Are you using synthetic? I always heard that synthetic was mandatory in really cold climates.

I couldnt imagine what -20C is like, especially being in Texas most of my life.

Gray
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Postby Gray » Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:51 pm

BMXPath wrote: What oil are you using? Are you using synthetic? I always heard that synthetic was mandatory in really cold climates.
Few Canadians with a grain of common sense use other than synthetic oils for Winter and the average -40 to -50 C pour points to protect engines, I'm using a synthetic oil with a -75 C pour point though as sometimes I get asked to kick turds a little further north.

Synthetic nor any other oils don't help get the engine to operating temps for time periods sufficient to cook off cylinder blowby products though. Plugging the truck in helps, long trips don't create a problem but the short corner store runs at these temps are an oil killer I think.
BMXPath wrote:I couldnt imagine what -20C is like, especially being in Texas most of my life.
I'll post a couple of pics, needless to say there are few winter homeless folk here. :)

I live in central Alberta which is similar to Denver CO weather.

.

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geoffstgermaine
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Postby geoffstgermaine » Tue Jan 22, 2008 6:14 am

We had a couple of -35 mornings last week. I have the PF plugged in and in the garage but it still isn't happy about driving in these temperatures. I've only put about 500 km on the PF, but I'll be switching to synthetic at the next (early) oil change, probably in another 500 km.

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NVSteve
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Re: Winter engine oil /fuel dilution buildup question

Postby NVSteve » Tue Jan 22, 2008 9:54 am

Greybrick wrote:You drivers living further south in the relative tropics are lucky that you can drink cold beers, wear shorts 365 days and don't have to worry about shoveling snow
I only drink beer if I have any in stock from out of state visits, otherwise I don't drink the water here. Yep, shorts year 'round, but I do have to shovel snow.
I live in central Alberta which is similar to Denver CO weather.
Not quite. If you mean precip, then I could agree. Temperature-wise, no way. I live in Salt Lake, which is virtually identical to Denver, in terms of weather. They get an annual average of 60.3" of snow in the winter, Salt Lake gets 58.5. Winter temps are almost identical, but it does get much hotter here in the summer. I have a few friends up north. One in Calgary (I could live there easily). I know for a fact that their winters are not as warm as ours are. Just a tad too cold for my tastes. Once it drops below 10F, I just don't want to be outside at all, which makes me wonder how my poor bastard friends in North Dakota & Wisconsin can handle living where they do.

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Re: Winter engine oil /fuel dilution buildup question

Postby Gray » Tue Jan 22, 2008 10:49 am

NVSteve wrote:
I live in central Alberta which is similar to Denver CO weather.
Not quite. If you mean precip, then I could agree. Temperature-wise, no way.
Image
Mean monthly temperature and precipitation values for Denver, USA.

Image
Mean monthly temperature and precipitation values for Calgary, Canada.

There is about a 5 C average temperature difference throughout the year between the two areas, but in terms of precipitation Denver is considerably drier than central Alberta during summer months and about equivalent in snowfall during the winter due to the chinook phenomenon which affects both foothills cities in a similar way. If anything the Calgary area averages slightly warmer than Denver during the spring and fall seasons possibly due to closer proximity to the west coast. I'd have to agree with many who know both areas and call the respective climates similar. :)

http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/7v.html

.

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NVSteve
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Re: Winter engine oil /fuel dilution buildup question

Postby NVSteve » Tue Jan 22, 2008 2:17 pm

Greybrick wrote: There is about a 5 C average temperature difference throughout the year between the two areas
If you look at it in terms of degrees F, it's a noticable difference. For example, Calgary's normal max. daily temp is 26.96F for January. Denver's is 43.2F for January. The Celsius scale makes things look more even than they really are. It's kind of close, but 10 degrees F is a big difference, especially over the course of a month.
but in terms of precipitation Denver is considerably drier than central Alberta during summer months and about equivalent in snowfall during the winter due to the chinook phenomenon which affects both foothills cities in a similar way. If anything the Calgary area averages slightly warmer than Denver during the spring and fall seasons possibly due to closer proximity to the west coast. I'd have to agree with many who know both areas and call the respective climates similar. :)
Similar to a certain degree (pun intended), but not similar enough if one moved from one place to another to not notice a difference. Geographically speaking, they share many similarities, although latitude ultimately dictates that there have to be differences. But, I'm looking at this as someone whose emphases in college were climatology and cartography.

My home town of Reno is more similar to Salt Lake City than Salt Lake is to Denver, yet the differences are & have been very obvious to me.

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geoffstgermaine
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Postby geoffstgermaine » Tue Jan 22, 2008 4:06 pm

I've lived in both Calgary and Colorado Springs and IMO the climates are pretty similar. I can't say that I noticed too much of a difference. Of course latitude plays into it, but Denver is also about 2000' higher than Calgary.

Of course, my definition of pretty similar might be different than some others since I've also lived in Comox, BC and Kugluktuk, Nunavut. The difference in temperature between Kugluktuk and Comox in the winter is probably about 40ºC.

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NVSteve
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Postby NVSteve » Tue Jan 22, 2008 4:45 pm

geoffstgermaine wrote:Of course, my definition of pretty similar might be different than some others
Can't argue that! Everyone deals with temperature in different ways. I don't mind cold weather, but my body sure can tell the difference even with a 5F shift. On the other hand, I don't consider anything "hot" until it hits 110F, humid or not. Anything else just feels warm. I've worked with, um, large people before who broke a sweat when it was below freezing outside.

Yes, point conceeded to Greybrick. Perceived differences will be across the board, but statistically speaking, Calgary is colder.

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Postby Gray » Thu Jan 24, 2008 12:59 am

NVSteve wrote:...point conceeded to Greybrick. Perceived differences will be across the board, but statistically speaking, Calgary is colder.
Not to worry about that, statistics can be shifted one way or another. I'm probably at fault for not mentioning that these local central Alberta weather conditions are more similar to Denver than to say Fairbanks or Las Vegas. Either way the truck's dipstick smells foul and the grocerygitter gits a new filter and oil change this weekend. :)

You'd think that after about 100 years of engined vehicles someone would have invented a quick spot oil/fuel dilution checker tool and put it on the market for $59.99 rather than I still have to use my nose like my daddy taught me and when I remember to think of it. Net searches show that there is an engine oil fuel dilution apparatus available to folks financed by government funds and such and also named the Sniffer.

The Fuel Sniffer

BTW I sniffed my dipstick a few times during the past summer and fall and never had my eyes water like this time around,...foul stench, eyes watering, yup maybe time to change out the oil. :)

.

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NVSteve
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Postby NVSteve » Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:50 am

What really gets me is that in 100 years of automobiles, nothing has essentially changed. Everything that was there in the beginning has only been improved upon. Nobody is really thinking outside of the box. I mean the current vehicles are great for going from point A to point B, but it sure makes me wonder if there is a better way of getting between points. I'm sure that when something truly different comes along, it will be one of those "that's so simple, why didn't I think of it" kind of things.

For all their technological wonders, the Inca didn't even have the concept of a wheel in use.


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