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Old 02-10-2014, 13:26   #1
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Winterizing - Must I Change my Oil?

I have religiously changed the motor oil on my boats every year as part of winterizing. Due to injury we had a very curtailed season this year and I put only 18 hours on my diesel engine (Westerbeke 82B4) and 4 hrs on my diesel genset (Westerbeke 8.0 BTD). This is about a third of an average season. In any other case it seems silly to change these oils now, but in the marine case it seems like an insult to the petroleum gods to not do so. It's not about cost or effort - I don't mind either - but it's just a practical mater and to a small degree an environmental one (less oil to be recycled).

I guess I should ask the same question about raw water impellers and fuel filters.

What would you do?

Thanks,

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Old 02-10-2014, 13:31   #2
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Re: Winterizing - must I change my oil?

You gotta change the oil. Acid and such is bad for thinly plated surfaces like bearings etc. I just try and lube rubber impellers.
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Old 02-10-2014, 14:32   #3
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Re: Winterizing - must I change my oil?

In a perfect world you really should change the oil, but many thousands of boaters don't change oil until the beginning of the season each year.
I'd change it just so I didn't worry about it all winter, besides you can't change it too often
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Old 02-10-2014, 14:39   #4
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Re: Winterizing - must I change my oil?

I wouldn't. Lube oil for diesels contains a base designed to neutralise the acid formed in the crankcase. With so few hours there is still plenty of neutralising comound in the oil.
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Old 02-10-2014, 21:12   #5
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Re: Winterizing - must I change my oil?

I would. All winter you'll say "I should have changed the damn oil". ��
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Old 02-10-2014, 22:21   #6
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Re: Winterizing - must I change my oil?

I don't change mine till the spring. While maybe there is some "acid" in the oil, modern oils have additives and I think it is waste of time to it in the Fall instead of the spring


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Old 02-10-2014, 23:16   #7
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Re: Winterizing - must I change my oil?

In the big picture, I don't think your engine will care one way or the other.
CF posters will care but really the only one you have to satisfy is yourself.

You will be either a "must do it anyway" kind of guy or a "only do it there is demonstrated need" kind of guy.

So the ball is in your court
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Old 03-10-2014, 11:55   #8
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Re: Winterizing - must I change my oil?

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Originally Posted by Jim Walsh View Post
I would. All winter you'll say "I should have changed the damn oil". ��
I agree. Given the low hour and todays oil it's not necessary but if it will be on your mind all winter and cost and labor isn't a concern do it. God forbid you should have a sticky valve come spring.
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Old 03-10-2014, 13:06   #9
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Re: Winterizing - must I change my oil?

I would not worry too much. Send someone you trust and they will change the oil for you. Then ask them to start the engine so that it is flushed with this clean oil.

Old oil is not good for an engine that is laid up for any longer period.

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Old 03-10-2014, 13:24   #10
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Re: Winterizing - must I change my oil?

I wouldn't loose sleep over it. I've never seen any actual proof that today's oils will become acidic, and the hours you put on are low. Some people buy a used boat that may have been sitting for years with black oil in the engine... then they pamper the engine like a crème puff.... but they really don't know the history. So your situation wont be nearly that bad....
Has anyone ever seen pictures of "acidic oil damage"? Guess I'll go Google that...
later:
After doing some reading it appears that water and or glycol is the major cause of acidic conditions. However, if condensation causes water from sitting unused, you are not running the engine, so the acidic situation (if any) really isn't causing much damage until you run it.... so if you change it first thing in the spring... wouldn't you be OK?
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Old 03-10-2014, 13:26   #11
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Re: Winterizing - must I change my oil?

I once witnessed two very knowledgeable and respected marine pros argue opposite answers. And both were adamant in being right. One, a naval engineer by education and long time merchant marine captain with every position in between was arguing for leaving the old oil over the winter and changing it in the spring. The other, naval architect and a boat builder of many years, arguing for pre-winter oil change. I was cracking up listening to their scientific arguments and reasons for their respective opinions as both sounded very reasonable. I then asked what about doing both. To which they replied that it may be the best solution if the winters are harsh and there are a lot of ups and downs temperature wise. Wish I remembered their respective reasons for their positions.
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Old 03-10-2014, 13:34   #12
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Re: Winterizing - must I change my oil?

Here's a chart I found indicating acid levels by color of oil.... any idea what your oil looks like after 18 hrs? big up turn once your oil is really black...
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Old 03-10-2014, 13:50   #13
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Re: Winterizing - must I change my oil?

Do what makes you happy. If it is a concern change it. It cost nothing compared to losing sleep over it.
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Old 03-10-2014, 13:52   #14
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Re: Winterizing - must I change my oil?

Well, now you have the answer to your question, right?

If this is a poll, I'm going with the "change the oil" crowd.
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Old 03-10-2014, 14:44   #15
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Re: Winterizing - must I change my oil?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cadence View Post
Do what makes you happy. If it is a concern change it. It cost nothing compared to losing sleep over it.
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