Running thinner oil???

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Well-known member
Dec 13, 2007
hi guys,
does anyone switch to thinner oil in the winter months? if so, how thin is it possible to run keeping in mind my skids could run 24+ hours pushing snow. i have no way to plug them in,


Well-known member
Jun 29, 2007
Steve if you type [oil winter] in the search box there are some posts. Here is one I thought may interest you.Our temperature does not usually get as cold but it does refer to a N/H.

Re: 15w40
Posted: 27 Nov 2007 10:28 AM

We run it in our semi year round but we also have a oil pan heater to go with the block heater. I would not feel to comfortable starting a engine below -10 or 15f without heating the oil pan somehow using 15/40. (set a qt outside and see how it pours this winter.)
The block heater will make you machine start, but it won't warm the pan much. If you tarp the loader and plug in all night it will some then. (Magnetic heaters are available that stick to the oil pan.) But not in a hour or two.
We use 15/40 alot in out site prep skidders (engine and hydraulics) but they only run in or out of the shop in the winter for maintenance. The hydraulics will barely move at 0 f until they run for 10 minutes.
I have never seen where Bobcat recommends anything heavier then 10/30. So why run a heavy oil even for summer use? I have never had a engine die at low hours on me and its hard to say if 15/40 will run more hours then say 5/30.
But I do know when you start a engine at -15 and colder, its a long 5 to 10 seconds before the pressures comes up and thicker oil makes it longer.
My Nh runs a small steel line (like a injector line) from the cam and crankshaft galleries to the head for the valves and rocker. The oil pressure sender is up on the head end. One -20 day last winter, I had 10/30 in it and for some reason I had left it outside over night. I needed it the next day (had not planned to use it but) so I plugged it in for a hour and it fired right up. I left it to run and was walking away and it died. I though it froze up the fuel. But when I walked back to it the buzzer was going and the engine had shut off because 30 seconds had elapsed (that the figure the shutdown system uses) and it still had no pressure at the sender. This is when I learned about the small line. Then I did not know if I should try it again or not. I tarped it up and put a heater under it for 2 more hours and it was ok. Made a point of parking it in the shop the rest of the winter. later I spoke to the NH dealer and they said 0w 40 year round. It has survived without any trouble since. But that was a sick feeling. I ran 0/40 all last summer without incident.
I believe in heavy oil for summer use, but if its all season use, I more of a fan of light oil, especially for engines I tend to run in short intervals, like my skidsteers. Unlike our semi that starts once and never gets cold the rest of the day.
My $.02


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