That's right, another engine oil question.

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Jun 01, 1991

Dear Tom and Ray:

Engine oil seems to be a favorite topic of concern. I change my car's oil every 3,000 miles. Is it bad to change it when the engine is cold? I realize warm oil will carry away more contaminants, but not having a pair of asbestos gloves means I burn the back of my hands groping around down there. What do you recommend.

TOM: We recommend the asbestos gloves, Eric. There are two reasons to change the oil soon after the engine has been running. First, when you agitate the oil, the oil gathers up contaminants that have settled in the oil pan and around the nooks and crannies of the engine.

RAY: But the primary reason to get the oil warm is so it flows better. It's hard to get cold oil out of a crankcase. Have you ever tried pouring oil out of a can that's been sitting outside on a winter day? It's like pouring cold mo??lasses! If you drain the oil when it's cold, you may be leaving some of the old junk--along with the old oil--in there.

TOM: So we suggest you drive the car for fifteen or twenty minutes before draining the oil. You can let it cool down for a few minutes--it's not imperative that you burn ALL the hair off the back of your hand--just don't let it cool down completely.

RAY: And if you can't stand the heat, Eric, get out of the garage.

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