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Old 25th November 2010, 01:18 PM   #1
oilman
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Default Oil & Cold Starts - Good Advice from Opie Oils

At this time of year, itís beneficial to use an oil that has good cold start flow properties as it will get to the parts of the engine that need it far more quickly when you turn the key on those sub zero mornings.

The "w" number which means winter is the key here and the lower it is the better cold start performance the oil will have.

A 15w or 20w rated oil will struggle to get around the engine in very cold temps and we would strongly recommend using a 10w, 5w or 0w for better cold start performance.

It is a fact that around 90% of all engine wear occurs on cold start because the oil is at its thickest. The colder it gets the thicker the oil becomes and this affects the rate of flow which affects the rate of wear.

These numbers help to explain the oils thickness and therefore cold flow performance at various temperatures.

Grade.................At 0C.................At 10C..............At 100C

0W/20.............328.6cSt...............180.8cSt.... ........9cSt

5W/40.............811.4cSt...............421.4cSt.... ........14cSt

10W/50............1039cSt...............538.9cSt...... ......18cSt

15W/50.............1376cSt..............674.7cSt...... ......18cSt

20W/50.............2305cSt...............1015cSt...... ......18cSt

Centistokes (cst) is the measure of a fluid's resistance to flow (viscosity). It is calculated in terms of the time required for a standard quantity of fluid at a certain temperature to flow through a standard orifice. The higher the value, the thicker the oil.

Winters in the UK are fortunately not too cold but, below zero temperatures are regular features in some parts of the country.

Compare the thickness of the oil at 0degC and 100degC and you will see the big difference.

Just something to consider on those frosty mornings.

The Opieoils Team.
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Old 8th October 2013, 03:42 PM   #2
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Thanks for the info, makes interesting reading. The S54 needs 10w60 but is that too think for cold starts?
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Old 8th October 2013, 03:50 PM   #3
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Unforunately, with cars that need a SAE60 oil, you can't really do much better than a 10w cold viscosity. A 0w-60 or 5w-60 (there as some around) isn't very stable due to the large gap in viscosity between hot and cold.

Cheers

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Old 8th October 2013, 06:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oilman View Post
Unforunately, with cars that need a SAE60 oil, you can't really do much better than a 10w cold viscosity. A 0w-60 or 5w-60 (there as some around) isn't very stable due to the large gap in viscosity between hot and cold.

Cheers

Tim
Thanks Tim, so I take it the 60 is the higher temp stability of the oil?
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Old 9th October 2013, 07:48 AM   #5
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Hi

No, it's the viscosity at 100C.

Cheers

Tim
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Old 9th October 2013, 03:00 PM   #6
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It's 60 something's good at 100 degrees? Better than 40/45 something's at 100 degrees ?
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Old 9th October 2013, 03:05 PM   #7
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In an M3 yes, as they should use a 10w60. In most other things a thinner grade is a better option.

Cheers

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Old 10th October 2013, 11:01 AM   #8
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Is 10w60 thicker than a 5w30 then?
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Old 10th October 2013, 11:16 AM   #9
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Yes it is. both cold and hot
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Old 10th October 2013, 11:33 AM   #10
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Never realised that. So although thicker, is it thicker at 100 degrees than 5w30?
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Old 10th October 2013, 12:17 PM   #11
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Yes, a 10w-60 is thicker than a 5w-30 whether it's hot or cold.
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Old 9th October 2014, 01:27 PM   #12
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Useful information for the winter! I currently use 5w30 Gulf competition oil in my Type R. Interesting to know why the bmw uses 10w60 and no 5w60 for example.
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Old 9th October 2014, 02:12 PM   #13
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Hi

The bigger the gap in the cold and hot viscosity, the less stable an oil is, so a 5w-60 is more likely to break down to a thinner grade than a 10w-60. I have come across a couple of 5w-60s, but they are pretty rare.

Cheers

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