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      01-11-2013, 11:37 AM   #1
TheRuss
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Optimum temps?

OK, so when it comes to my car I'm pretty OCD with mechanical sympthy and warm it up very carefully until the oil temp reaches about 100 degrees celsius (212F) before I start to boot it a bit.

Anyway, I just read through this thread http://www.e90post.com/forums/showth...ight=stett+cai where the OP is installing a Stett oil cooler kit with a thermostat that kicks in at 180F (82C).

Now, I'd been under the impression that the engine ought to be at the designed operating temp of approx 100C - 110C (212F - 230F) to be kind to it, and that driving it hard below these temps could be harmful, which makes me wonder why people want the oil temps to be so low?

Now, I'm guessing I've got it wrong, so can anyone enlighten me? Am I OK to start driving the car hard from 80C upwards? Or is it better to wait until the oil is fully warmed to over 100C?

Thanks in advance for any insight that anybody can offer.

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      01-11-2013, 11:49 AM   #2
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For WOT you probably don’t have to wait until that high a temp, but for auto-x or tracking I’d wait as long as is possible since you’ll be asking much more of the engine dynamically. The thermo on that STETT oil cooler kicks in at whatever temp it may, but it’s not like it literally freezes the temp in place, it will still rise when you get on boost. It just does a better job of anticipating the temps rising, and pinning them down when they get to 230 or whatever it may be depending on other factors. Personally I try to stay off serious boost/stay under 3k revs until the oil temps get into the 200 range, though once the needle gets off the 160 peg I don’t worry too much if it needs a bit of gas. Maybe I’m just a bit anal like you, the thought of “hurting” my car scares me. Your approach is certainly not going to cause trouble, so if it's what makes you comfortable, it's all good.

Oh and I don't know any N54s that sit at 210 when everything is hot and the car is being driven with decent load, unless it's extremely cold outside. "normal" temps i see with stock oil cooling are more like 220-250 depending on the outside temps and load. Then again MD is probably a good deal hotter than the UK for most of the year.
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      01-11-2013, 12:01 PM   #3
TheRuss
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Yeah, mine probably finishes up at about 220F as my needle usually shows between 100 - 110C once fully warmed up over here. I just personally use 100C (212F) as the mark where I allow myself to put my foot down. Problem is, I'm almost home by then, so I don't get much time to have fun. Oddly, I have the opposite problem to most, in that my oil temps are never high enough!

In that Stett review though, the oil coooler would bring the temps back down to about 180F with normal driving, and it'd stay in that sort've region, which IMO would be too cold. If my car never got over 180F then I'd never be able to drive it hard, using the warm-up logic above. I'd never be able to get it over 180F either, as you need to boot it to get it over that figure, which is what makes me wonder if my thoughts on warm-up are correct?

Does the oil need to be at 220F to lubricate the engine properly? Will any harm be caused if I drive hard at 180F?
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      01-11-2013, 01:20 PM   #4
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Temps have been in the high 20's low 30's here and my temp gauge doesn't come off bottom (160f) until I've driven about 15 minutes.
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      01-11-2013, 04:49 PM   #5
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Sure, it takes a while for the temps to get that high. But what I'm asking is what's the best temp for the engine to run at? I was led to believe that it should get up to 230F ish before driving the car hard, yet others are fitting oil coolers with thermostats that kick in at 180F, suggesting that you can drive the car hard at temps as low as that without any damage/extra wear. Either that, or people are fitting thermostats that are keeping their oil temps too low for the good of their engine...?

I mean, if you have an oil cooler that kicks in at 180F, and the only way to get the temps above 180F is to drive the car hard, but you shouldn't drive the car hard at 180F because it isn't up to operating temp, then you'll never reach operating temp and never be able to drive the car hard. That's what I'm not getting.
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      01-11-2013, 05:26 PM   #6
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Let the oil get flowing, get out of the neighborhood, then proceed to drop the hammer!
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      01-11-2013, 05:43 PM   #7
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I like to get 200F before exceeding 3k rpm, but that's just my driving style.

I do have a related question.

do we need to let the turbos cool down before shutting the engine down? I remember posts on the audi forum when I had my 2,7tt and everyone there were getting turbo timers. I have not seen any posts regarding that subject here.

Thanks

Al
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      01-12-2013, 09:55 AM   #8
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I also asked this elsewhere recently. The general consensus was, no - you don't have to worry about it these days. Maybe after you've been racing on a track, but not from everyday road driving.
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      01-12-2013, 10:19 AM   #9
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The 135i's electric water pump continues run and to cool the turbos after shut down, although it's not a bad idea to be gentle on the turbos for the last mile or two before turning the car off. If you're only seeing oil temps of 230 then you are probably not at risk. Most people upgrading their oil cooler are seeing temps approach 270 (on the track).
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      01-12-2013, 10:42 AM   #10
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All oils advertised high temp viscosity is at 100C, anywhere form there on and the oil becomes thinner, if the oil could be kept at 100C all the time to me that wold be ideal but if you have the oil at 90C for normal driving and then when thrashing the car it goes to the nominal 100C that would be perfect. You should be able to ask full performance to the engine from 70-75C without doing any harm as the oil in this range is a bit thicker and will take the abuse. With today's oils the advanced additive package do a good job to maintain protection beyond optimal fluid temps. The cooler to me is a good idea, I actually don't like my oil going past 120, which by the way is still within very acceptable ranges.
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      01-12-2013, 02:06 PM   #11
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Interesting. So, basically I don't have to let my engine get up to 100C where it starts to "equalize" a bit to be kind to it? Driving hard can be done from 70C without any negative effects to the engine, even though the oil hasn't "fully warmed up"?

So when is the engine best protected? At 100C - 110C where the oil cooler tries to keep temps? Or anywhere from 70 - 110C?
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      02-08-2013, 01:21 PM   #12
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Just wondering if anybody else could shed any light on the above. All this driving like a granny til 100 degrees Celsius is annoying, so if it's not necessary that'd be ace.
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      02-08-2013, 01:22 PM   #13
TheRuss
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Just wondering if anybody else could shed any light on the above. All this driving like a granny til 100 degrees Celsius is annoying, so if it's not necessary that'd be ace.
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      02-08-2013, 01:32 PM   #14
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Just wondering if anybody else could shed any light on the above. All this driving like a granny til 100 degrees Celsius is annoying, so if it's not necessary that'd be ace.
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      02-09-2013, 11:53 PM   #15
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I would definitely wait till the needle registers at 160 degrees F (minimum reading on our cars). But I will mention my friend who has a Subaru STI. His aftermarket oil temp gauge reads 180-210 max. Like I said, it's an aftermarket unit so maybe its calibrated differently than ours. But this brings up the question of whether other performance cars have lower oil temps when fully warmed up? If so, then it's probably fine to get on it at lower oil temps than 230-250.
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      02-10-2013, 10:10 AM   #16
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The oil temps and warming up your engine

I am the same way. Driving my car on the interstate at 67 mph until oil temp reaches 200F. This takes during the winter month 10-15 Minutes. Then I go up to 77mph. I do the same with my motorcycle.
I feel the issue is not the oil temp, it is rather the temp of the components. You creat stress if one part of the (for example) cylinder head is hot and the other part is freezing cold. This could also kill the gaskets long term and lead to leakages.
On the other side I know many people the never care about that stuff and the cars are doing just fine. (Even in Germany where you have partially higher speeds).
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      02-10-2013, 02:06 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sven_Mueller View Post
I am the same way. Driving my car on the interstate at 67 mph until oil temp reaches 200F. This takes during the winter month 10-15 Minutes. Then I go up to 77mph. I do the same with my motorcycle.
I feel the issue is not the oil temp, it is rather the temp of the components. You creat stress if one part of the (for example) cylinder head is hot and the other part is freezing cold. This could also kill the gaskets long term and lead to leakages.
On the other side I know many people the never care about that stuff and the cars are doing just fine. (Even in Germany where you have partially higher speeds).
Hmm, I'll do 70mph on the motorway before the gauge starts moving, as the engine isn't revving that high at 70, and isn't working that hard really. I just don't accelerate fast making the engine really work. Running at middling rpms with low load is probably the best/kindest way to warm the engine up.
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