"Water forms during the combustion process, and when an engine is hot, it will burn it off. But if the engine never gets hot, you will get a buildup of water in some of its cooler parts," he explains. "That's one reason why you also don't want to idle an engine for long periods of time. The engine just doesn't get as hot as it should to burn off that condensation. Plus, it's costing money because you're burning fuel."
Oils I & Lubricants Select the Right Fluids for Cold Weather Operation Don’t let slow fluids hurt performance. By Kim Berndtson F or contractors in the Upper Midwest, record-setting 70°+ temperatures at the beginning of tors like us to use more synthetic oils. And in fact, some oil specifica- tions can’t be met without using a November were followed by snow synthetic oil.” flurries and below-normal tempera- tures a few days later. So while the Match viscosity calendar may say it’s December, the ratings to temps unpredictability of the weather — Whether synthetic- or mineral- regardless of where you live — can based, choose an engine oil with make it difficult to know what to do a viscosity grade that maintains with your fluids program to maxi- pumpability when the temperature mize performance. drops. In general, most will stay fluid That’s why it’s important to to -20° F. But if you live in an area anticipate what weather is normally where it can drop to -40° F, you need like in your area. “In places like to pay extra attention. “There will be Wisconsin, at this time of year, you a big difference in performance,” says know it won’t stay in the 70s for Gapinski. “For temps below -40° F, long,” says Dan Arcy, technical man- you will need a specialty fluid.” ager, Shell Global Solutions. Make sure the fuel and fluids used in your equipment can provide the Multi-grade oils, like a 10W-30, All fluids used in heavy-duty protection required throughout the colder months. will have better low-temperature equipment are susceptible to poor properties than mono-grade oils, performance in colder weather, notes flow, the transmission and hydraulic Many contractors turn to syn- such as an SAE 30. “That’s because Richard Gapinski, BP Lubricants. systems wouldn’t operate at all,” says thetic engine oils during the winter they contain a viscosity modifier,” Colder temperatures can slow or stop Gapinski. “If they’re put in motion because they maintain better fluidity. says Gapinski. “When these are pres- their flow, which can cause excessive without the proper lubrication, you “Synthetics will flow better in cold ent, they help flatten the response of wear or, in the worst-case scenario, can have a lot of expensive repairs.” temperatures,” says Arcy. “You will be an oil to temperature. The higher the equipment failure. Diesel fuel is also more vulnerable able to get the oil to the critical part viscosity index number, the less the Although wear actually decreases to colder ambient temperatures than of the engine faster, and it will take fluid changes with temperature.” with thicker fluid, there comes a gasoline, says Arcy. Make sure any less energy to start that vehicle.” For multi-grade oils, the number point where it can become too thick fuel you purchase is designed for the Although mineral-based oils are in front of the “W” is a measure to flow. “If the viscosity increases temperatures you will be working in more prone to solidifying in the of pumping and cranking perfor- severely, the lubricant will cease to for the time frame it takes to empty cold, Group II mineral oils are less mance, with each step lower (15W, flow and damage to the equipment your storage tanks. “If a tank lasts a susceptible than Group I oils. That’s 10W, 5W, 0W) representing a 5° C could occur,” says Gapinski. And couple of months, consider the typi- because Group II oils are more high- (9° F) increase in low-temperature even if excessive wear doesn’t show cal ambient temperatures for that ly refined; wax and other compo- capability, explains Eric Olsen, lubri- up immediately, a few months down entire time period,” he says. “You nents that can cause the oil to turn cants technology, engine oils team, the road, you may have a failure don’t want it to gel up.” into a solid at low temperatures have Chevron Global Lubricants. that could be related to fluid perfor- Pay special attention to biodiesel. been removed. “Generally, an SAE 15W-40 mance over the winter. It has different flow properties, so Synthetic oils are becoming more will have good pumpability down talk with your fuel supplier to ensure common because the price difference to -25° C (-13° F), while an SAE Effects based you’re covered for the
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