View Full Version : Oil Change after long storage: Hot? Or Cold?

03-05-2013, 03:08 PM
Frito has been sitting in the shop for months. He needs an oil change before next week's month-long road trip.

Should I drain the oil before I start him? All the oil will have drained down into the pan and startup will then circulate nothing but clean, fresh oil.

Or should I follow conventional practice and get him up to operating temperature first, thus pumping old oil throughout the engine before I drain it all out.

Aqua Puttana
03-05-2013, 03:37 PM
I would get up to operating temperature. Hot oil is less viscous so it drains from passages more readily. You may also help to drive off any accumulated moisture within the engine. FWIW. vic

03-05-2013, 04:52 PM
I'm with Vic here.
Heating it up will circulate the oil and help drive off moisture.
It may not make much difffrence on moisture but it sure helps it drain better.
I always thought a long drive was best for drying out oil.

03-05-2013, 04:55 PM
Me too, warm oil drains much better.

03-05-2013, 05:30 PM
Warm it up! (unless the oil is REALLY funky, in which case perhaps change twice?)


Old Crows
03-05-2013, 05:42 PM

(Crow assumes his position as friendly feathered contrarian ....)

So.... Frito has been stabled for awhile..... other than that.... why would you believe that he needs and OC? Seems to me that just because it's been sitting its not a credible justification for changing the oil (unless you just like to change oil! Crow is guilty as charged... but has joined a support group and with proper meds is in recovery!)

How old is Frito's oil right now? Close to needing a change anyway? or nearly fresh? slightly used? past it's best used by date?

Oil, in a closed system (bottle... or in an engine) doesn't go bad just sitting. It may collect some moisture due to condensation within the engine but that is driven off when the oil gets hot. Admittedly a problem in diesels as they are cold blooded beasts.

As a case in point... and it's the only one I can draw on from memory.... a B-24 (Wiki Lady Be Good) crashed in the Libyan desert in '43.... it was discovered in '58. Hydraulic fluid and oils examined from the wreck determined that they were still serviceable after 25 years of 'storage.' True it's the desert and dry.

Still, with the modern equipment and lubricants that are better engineered to protect over a long time interval, we should be OK today.

Many of the Sprinters are RVs. They sit more than they are used and they don't seem to suffer for it... as long as the oils are changed at the routine schedules.

Were it me.... I'd take it on the trip. Knowing it would get good and hot....plenty of circulation for quite a long time to clean things up.... and change it when I returned.

03-05-2013, 05:50 PM
I actually agree with Crows, if it doesn't need changing, why change it? It has always been my practice to change the oil in an engine BEFORE long term storage. The advantge is that (most) if the acids in the acids in the oil are not there sitting, working on internal parts during storage. That said, sitting for a few months, unless the old is really due, or it is a very humid environment, driving it and changing at the normal interval should be fine.

But if you do change it, I would warm it up,


03-05-2013, 07:34 PM
Thanks, boys. Good advice. Especially that part about storing it immediately AFTER the oil change. I usually do this, but this winter, I failed. :bash:

He's due. It'll happen tomorrow, right after I get his insurance.

Wanna know where I'm off to? :thinking:

Death Valley. :rad: At least, that's the excuse. :idunno:

And other points south. Especially Spring Training Baseball. Can't friggin' WAIT!. It's been a long winter.