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motor oil storage in cold

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by JoeyM, Mar 24, 2010.

  1. JoeyM

    JoeyM Formula Junior

    Jan 29, 2007
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    Joey M
    i read AEHaas's oil FAQ, and he wrote:

    Motor oil becomes permanently thicker with exposure to northerly winter type weather. This is more of a problem to mineral based oils. Waxes form. This is why it is a bad idea to even store a bottle of oil in a cold garage. It goes bad on the garage self just because it is exposed to the cold.



    is this true? how important is this? i store all my oil in my garage, which does get freezing.
     
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  3. Glassman

    Glassman F1 World Champ
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    If it gets thick on the shelf its going to get thick in the car too. So now its a bad idea to store your oil in the car? I'm not going to waste very much time worrying about this one. I've stored many quarts in my cars this winter in very cold conditions.
     
  4. JoeyM

    JoeyM Formula Junior

    Jan 29, 2007
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    well, i think the idea goes along with his theory that oil should be changed in the spring regardless for the same reason.


    it's not that it gets thick temporarily, its that it actually changes its makeup.


    i am just curious as to whether this is true, as i have not heard about it before.
     
  5. UroTrash

    UroTrash Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Jan 20, 2004
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    Only one way to find out.

    Get 2 bottles of identical oil.

    Put one in the freezer for a week.

    Take it out for a day or so.

    Then, take each bottle, remove the caps, lay them on their sides simultaneously over the edge of your work bench. Hava a clean pan to collect the oil so you can use it next oil change.

    See if they run out at the same time.
     
  6. JoeyM

    JoeyM Formula Junior

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    good plan. i am probably too lazy to do it, but i still like it.
     
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  8. saw1998

    saw1998 F1 Veteran

    Jun 8, 2008
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    Pretty cool Dean, but this only addresses viscosity. I think Ali was also referring to chemical changes in the petrochemical fractions themselves (e.g., the formation of long-chain hydrocarbon polymers).

    Perhaps, Ali will comment.
     
  9. AceMaster

    AceMaster Three Time F1 World Champ

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    Scott - you are a walking encyclopedia...by the way, what language is your post in so I may get the appropriate translator :):)
     
  10. UroTrash

    UroTrash Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Forgive my ignorance, but wouldn't that be reflected in viscosity?
     
  11. FF8929

    FF8929 Formula Junior

    Apr 12, 2008
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    +1.
     
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  13. flipdowt

    flipdowt Karting

    Dec 13, 2008
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    i don't think the auto supplier stores extra cases of oil in a climate controlled area, so whats the difference if it's in my garage?
     
  14. AceMaster

    AceMaster Three Time F1 World Champ

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    You mean there are guys who actually don't change the oil immediately after the winter storage?
     
  15. eulk328

    eulk328 F1 Rookie

    Feb 18, 2005
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    Anybody know if this "deterioration" due to cold temperature also applies to full synthetic oils?
     
  16. twright

    twright Karting

    May 15, 2005
    225
    Indianapolis USA
    My oil is stored in an unheated garage. I have stored oil in this garage and others of similar midwest USA temperatures for over 30 years. I don't have oil or engine problems.

    I'm leaving the oil in the garage.
     
  17. AEHaas

    AEHaas Formula 3

    May 9, 2003
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    #14 AEHaas, Mar 25, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2010
    Here is some brief information. I am looking for a specific article (that I know of) that answers the question in greater detail. I will keep looking.

    Regarding cool whether gel formation, a small except from SAE j300 1999:
    4. Because engine pumping, cranking and starting are all important at low temperatures the selection of an oil for winter operation should consider both the viscosity required for oil flow as well as cranking and starting, at the lowest expected ambient temperature.
    Pumping viscosity is a measure of an oils ability to flow...during the initial stages of operation. Test in ASTM D 4684. ....samples are tested after a slow cool cycle. This cycle has predicted as failures several SAE 10W-30 and 10W-40 oils which are known to have suffered pumping failures in the field after short-term (2 days or less) cooling. These field failures are believed to be the result of the oil forming gel structures that result in excessive yield stress and viscosity of the engine oil...
    A.2.1...After preliminary warming, the sample is subjected to a controlled temperature/time cycle over 5 1/2 to 7 days. The cycle reproduces ...instability or reversion which has occurred during storage of oils in moderately cold cyclic conditions. Recent work shows relevance to engine oil pumpability failure. Oils exhibiting pour reversion have solids resulting from wax gel formation, at temperatures significantly higher than their ASTM D 97 pour points.
    Extracted, from ASTM D 4485-03 Standard Specification for Performance of Engine Oils, copyright ASTM International, 100 Barr Harbor Drive, Wets Conshohocken, PA 19428, USA.

    aehaas
     
  18. eulk328

    eulk328 F1 Rookie

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    Does this apply to full synthetics?
     
  19. saw1998

    saw1998 F1 Veteran

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    #16 saw1998, Mar 26, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2010
    Sorry for the delay in re-posting, I've been off of FChat for a couple of days. Yeah Dean, your REALY ignorant. :) I am not a petrochemical engineer, nor do I play one on TV, but I would hazard a guess that if polymers formed, their effects on the oil's viscosity would be dependent upon: (1) the length of the polymer chains; (ii) the Stokes radii; and (iii) the propensity of said polymers to form cross-linking or aggregates.

    I was, rather poorly, trying to bring-up the possibility of actual molecule changes to the fractions; where certain petrochemical fractions (that supply lubricity) would precipitate-out without effecting viscosity per se, but would really diminish the ability of the oil to lubricate engine parts.

    Then again, I probably just have my head up my ass. I'll let the expert, Ali, take it from here. I'm going to go back to my lab and hide.


    BTW, great question eulk328, I was wondering the same thing myself.
     
  20. Roberto Japanini

    Aug 13, 2007
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    Robert Dunn
    Well, I'm thinking that most chemical reactions occur faster in the presence of heat. So to prevent degradation of the oil and additive package I'm going to start storing all my oil in the freezer!
     
  21. jonesdds

    jonesdds Formula 3

    Aug 31, 2006
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    I'm sorry, but I cant' see this being a real problem. If concerned, keep your stored oil inside. If your're storeing the car at freezing or below temps, change the oil before driving after winter is done. Personally, any change is minimal and not really that important but changing oil ain't that hard or expensive in any of our cars...
     
  22. don_xvi

    don_xvi F1 Rookie

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    Disappointingly, we (which really means AEHass) still can't seem to find numbers to put to this temperature. I'm left to surmise that permanent oil degradation due to exposure to cold temperatures, being so hard to find reference to in the literature, isn't a significant concern. I continue to believe that changing the oil in the fall (and then running the engine some) is better so you can get combustion by-product acids out of the engine.

    Perhaps drain the oil and refill with fresh, run the engine for 5 minutes, then drain that out and store it inside! :D
     
  23. carl4emaj

    carl4emaj Karting

    Feb 10, 2009
    89
    sounds like yer all jus splitting hair's
     
  24. M Baker

    M Baker Formula Junior

    Apr 9, 2010
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    From: http://www.mobiloil.com/USA-English/MotorOil/Car_Care/AskMobil/Shelf_Life_Collection.aspx
    ==========================================
    Question:
    What's the Shelf Life on Opened Bottles of Mobil 1?
    I could not find an exact answer in the FAQs. I did read that Mobil 1 has a maximum shelf life of 5 years for un-opened containers. Is this true also for opened containers? I have a quart of Mobil 1 Extended Performance (15W-50) that is eight months old, kept in a cool dry place and was wondering if is still good to use and what is the shelf-life on open containers? Thank you very much!!
    -- Eric Bush, Chino, CA

    Answer:
    An 8-month-old oil, even opened, should work well in your engine. As long as the bottle is capped and kept dry, the product is safe to use for up to 5 years. Keeping it cool and dry are the key conditions to control degradation and additive drop-out.

    ==========================================
    Question:
    Shelf Life of Unopened Mobil 1 Quarts
    Does Mobil 1 synthetic motor oil (in an unopened quart) have any sort of shelf life, like conventional motor oil?
    -- John Lantz, Littleton, CO

    Answer:
    ExxonMobil recommends a five year maximum shelf-life for engine oils, including Mobil 1.

    ==========================================
    Question:
    Where on the Bottle is the Manufactured Date?
    How can I determine the manufacture date of a bottle of your motor oil since your company recommends a shelf life maximum of five years?
    -- Charles Strait, Rockford, IL

    Answer:
    A code representing the manufacturing date is laser-printed with every batch on each bottle. If you need to know the manufacturing date of a particular product, please send that number to us and we will gladly confirm the manufacturing date.
     
  25. M Baker

    M Baker Formula Junior

    Apr 9, 2010
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    Redmond, WA
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    Mark
    From: http://www.mobiloil.com/USA-English/MotorOil/Car_Care/AskMobil/Best_Season_for_Changing_Motor_Oil.aspx
    ==========================================
    Question:
    Best to Change Motor Oil in the Spring or Fall?
    I have a 2007 Corvette and use Mobil 1. I typically change the oil in the spring, drive 3,000 miles during summer and then store it 4 months in winter. Question - would it be better to change the oil in the fall and store with new oil or continue with the spring change cycle?
    -- James Muench, Urbandale, IA

    Answer:
    We recommend that you continue to do what you are doing. During downtime in the winter, some moisture could be accumulating in the oil and since the car is not used and warmed up it would not be driven off. You can also accumulate moisture in the summer but we assume you are getting the engine hot and this will drive off the moisture.
    ==========================================
    Question:
    Protecting An Infrequently Used Engine
    I use my Porsche infrequently. Will Mobil 1 drain away from the parts more quickly and therefore potentially leave them "dry" when I re-start the engine. Is there anything I can do to minimize this problem?
    -- Mike Hughes, Felixstowe

    Answer:
    Any motor oil is going to drain off the internal components of your engine when it is shut off. It is not likely that the components will be completely dry, but after an extended time the amount of oil residue may not provide the necessary protection to avoid rusting and also may not provide enough lubricity for start-up. Mobil 1 will provide maximum protection and will flow much more quickly than conventional oil to all the engine components when the engine is started. We suggest you review with your Porsche dealer how often you should start and drive your vehicle to assure good protection for your vehicle's lubricated components.

    We suggest changing your engine oil yearly and doing that change just before the time you will be using your vehicle the most.
     
  26. don_xvi

    don_xvi F1 Rookie

    Nov 1, 2003
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    OK.
    I'll change my view.
    In addition to Mobil's recomendations above, I've also considered that if one is going to have a leak in their injection system (semi-common in CIS cars?) over the winter, it would be best to change the oil in the spring to get rid of all of that fuel-diluted oil.
     

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