Oil & Cold Starts - Good Advice from Opie Oils - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Oil & Cold Starts - Good Advice from Opie Oils

At this time of year, its 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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Hello there guys - this is great !

I've seen this post and been on your website. For my 1999 Spider 2.0TS Lusso it recommends a 10W/40 engine oil or equivalent. Obviously I check the levels regularly, but can I 'top up' with one of those recommended (Opie Oils - car oil and motorbike oil sales and recommendations) as and when the level drops - next service is not due for about 8,000.

Also, can you mix the different oils (ie. I have no idea what is in the engine now as I've only had the car since August), but the level is behaving nicely so far in 4,000 miles or so.
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Hi

Glad you like the info.

Those oils are all fine. Personally, I'd go for one of the 5w-40s as it gives better cold start protection when you come to service the car, but for top ups, any of those will be perfectly okay.

Pretty much all oils mix, the only ones that don't are Castor based oils and some plant based biodegradable ones, something that well over 99% of Alfa owners won't have to worry about.

Cheers

Tim
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Cheers Tim, I'll get shopping !
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