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To oil change or Not to oil change, that is my question


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I usually do my oil changes when I do my spring maintenance. In the winter I do a good winterization, but in the spring is when I do all of my maintenance and repairs and/or upgrades, that way if anything else pops up over the winter months, I get it all fixed at one time.

I have read through the forum and have found that most of you guys (and gals) change your oil when you winterize.

Is there a benefit to this? If so, what is it?

Thanks!!

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Oil builds up acidity over the course of normal usage. Changing it in the fall allows you to have fresh oil in the engine for the winter set up. Personally, I don't feel it makes that big of a difference and I change mine in the spring. I think having the oil open to moisture all winter long then having 5 month old oil in the boat for summer is worse. This always strikes up a good debate though.

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Old oil is more corrosive than new oil, I prefer to change it before winter. It also gives you the opportunity to see any weirdness that might be in the oil so that you can deal with it now rather than in the spring when you want to use the boat.

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Unless you run your engine after changing the oil, changing in the fall is pointless, because the old oil that can not settle into the oil pan will still be laying in your engine. But your pan will look like new!

edit; I do everything during winterization. Boats are ready to go in the spring, just install battery, gas up, launch, and turn the key.

Edited by electricjohn
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I drain the oil to winterize in Oct/Nov...but I don't know the virtue in filling with the new oil just to let it sit in the pan for 5-6 months before the first run. I just put the new oil in right before the first outing in spring.

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I don't know about the wisdom of not putting the oil back in. Sounds like an opportunity for failure to me. Sort of like not putting the drain plugs for the block and manifolds back in. Hey their just going to sit in the block all winter doing nothing. I guess it doesn't matter as long as everything gets put back together before you start it up. I'm too careful/nervous to leave anything in a condition that could cause major destruction if something somehow didn't get completed but that's just me.

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I guess I don't understand the concern of the engine sitting all winter with new oil in it. I don't see a difference between it sitting in the engine all winter and it sitting on the shelf in the store all winter.

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I go overkill. Change oil in the fall (and run the motor for a bit to get the oil ran throughout it). Spring I get the motor running for a few minutes then change the oil and filter at that time. Ensures the cleanest oil possible sits in the motor for the season. I'm sure many would say my method is a waste of $20 in oil and the time it takes to drain/fill but it's keeps things nice in there and I'm sure any future buyer would be happy to hear about me following this method.

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I usually do my oil changes when I do my spring maintenance. In the winter I do a good winterization, but in the spring is when I do all of my maintenance and repairs and/or upgrades, that way if anything else pops up over the winter months, I get it all fixed at one time.

I have read through the forum and have found that most of you guys (and gals) change your oil when you winterize.

Is there a benefit to this? If so, what is it?

Thanks!!

Clean oil sitting in your engine is better than dirty oil sitting in your engine for the reasons mention

I go overkill. Change oil in the fall (and run the motor for a bit to get the oil ran throughout it). Spring I get the motor running for a few minutes then change the oil and filter at that time. Ensures the cleanest oil possible sits in the motor for the season. I'm sure many would say my method is a waste of $20 in oil and the time it takes to drain/fill but it's keeps things nice in there and I'm sure any future buyer would be happy to hear about me following this method.

Well, the other way to look at it is when you change the oil not all of the dirty oil comes out, so if you run the motor a bit between changes it will help flush out the dirty oil and you will end up with cleaner oil over the life of your motor by changing it twice at what is effectively a short interval. So you can be a bit smug that your oil is cleaner than my oil. :)

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I go overkill. Change oil in the fall (and run the motor for a bit to get the oil ran throughout it). Spring I get the motor running for a few minutes then change the oil and filter at that time. Ensures the cleanest oil possible sits in the motor for the season. I'm sure many would say my method is a waste of $20 in oil and the time it takes to drain/fill but it's keeps things nice in there and I'm sure any future buyer would be happy to hear about me following this method.

If a seller tells me that, I'm not going to believe another word he says about the boat.... :whistle:

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I change mine when I get around to it....usually sometime in the fall. I may winterize the boat 7 or 8 times thru the off season, which only takes a few minutes. The oil change takes a little more time, not to mention the oil & filter.

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I do it on all my vehicles post winter. Synthetic oil lasts the winter unlike petroleum based oils but during the heating/cooling of winter the condensation that is created inside the engine has to go somewhere. This is a similar reason on why you fog engine cylinders. It's to help protect from the condensation.

If you don't use synthetic and you live in a place where it gets below freezing you'll want to absolutely change the oil after winter. Most petroleum oils contain parafin and this will crystalize. The additives in the oil that help prevent it from crystalizing will break down fast in real cold weather. Oils become permanently thicker during winter and petroleum oils are a million times worse for this.

If you have time, I always recommend reading through this http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/motor-oil-101/

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Maybe for a stock, run of the mill Malibu. But a cared for one that's one of the most modded SV23's out there?

Well, maybe, but I gotta see the mods and check out the craftsmanship.

I will never buy a house again from a guy who says he built it himself until I get a bunch of plywood and 2x4s and watch him make a doghouse. Too many craftsmanship issues with our house, and we bought it even after he told us he built it, because I pictured what it would be like if I built it. The two are not the same.

Anyway, I'm sure you could convince me, especially if you offer a beer while I'm checking out your work. But I have no need for a big ol' vee drive....

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Thanks everyone. I think I'm going to stick with my current schedule. I like starting the spring with fresh fluids, plugs, wires, yada, yada, yada. I also have a mechanic run through it looking for anything I missed. I feel like, during the season, I am on the boat weekly and know what is going on, but after not being on it for 5 months, who knows what has decayed or locked up.

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I don't know about the wisdom of not putting the oil back in. Sounds like an opportunity for failure to me. Sort of like not putting the drain plugs for the block and manifolds back in. Hey their just going to sit in the block all winter doing nothing. I guess it doesn't matter as long as everything gets put back together before you start it up. I'm too careful/nervous to leave anything in a condition that could cause major destruction if something somehow didn't get completed but that's just me.

I agree with what you said in regards to putting the oil back in. However, I always leave the manifold plugs/block plugs out until the spring. Most boats up here in Canada are prone to being in harsh winter conditions so if there is even a trace of water in your manifolds/block when youre finished winterizing by leaving the plugs out, the pressure of possible ice build up has somewhere to go.

I always change oil when I winterize, run the boat for a couple minutes on the fake a lake hooked up to a bucket of plumbing antifreeze, then pull all plugs again and leave them out.

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I think everyone is way over thinking this, fresh oil is key to engine life most people change their oil @ 50 hours or 1 year when the oil is still fresh. Moisture is evaporated when engine hits operating temp. I for one do all preventative maintenance during the winter so it is ready to roll in the spring and end up with an oil change mid season but i do use my boat pretty regularly. If it was a car it would equivalent to changing your oil every 1,500 - 2,000 miles.

  • Like 3
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bturner me too.. gotta get the new oil on the parts... its the fuel in the oil that does the damage not the dirt!(especially if you ski course only, and /or small lake... fuel dilution is mush greater!}

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If you plan on running your engine while it is winterized, sure, new oil but let's be realistic here people, it's not sitting in your engine, it's sitting in your oil pan. Rule of thumb is every 6 months or a certain amount of hours/miles, whichever comes first. What's the point of letting your oil sit, again, in the oil pan, for several months before using it?

One thing is for sure;

There will never be total agreement on this topic, diesel versus gas tow vehicles OR which is the best truck.

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There will always be "my way is better than your way" when talking about oil changes on a boat. Figure out which way makes more sense to you and stick with it so you do it the same way every year. I would change mine every 50hrs, but still haven't got 50hrs in a season. So, with that, I change at the end of the season. I change out all my fluids at that point, hook up the hose, run it for a few minutes, recheck fluid levels to make sure I didn't overfill anything, pull the plugs and fog the cylinders, drain all the water, pull the impeller, flush my heater core out with RV antifreeze, put my bilge heater in, cover it, plug in battery charger and bilge heater...DONE.

Edited by gorilla
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