Oil dipstick heater- usefull or not? [Archive] - GrandAmGT.com Forum

PDA

View Full Version : Oil dipstick heater- usefull or not?


eBandit
01-07-2010, 12:03 AM
Those oil dipstick heaters you can buy almost anywhere, are they helpful at all for cold weather starts?

My GA has some sort of noise when first started up and I want to make it last as long and I can since I have not bought another car yet and am waiting for the right deal on the right car to fix up (I like buying newer model wrecks). Car first started the noise after switching to synthetic oil, went back right away to dino oil, but noise stayed around (not sure if the timing was just right or if that helped cause it).

Anyway, the noise has been listened to by many mechanics and they all say it is normal after so many miles on these cars and other v6 GM's etc... The noise goes away after the car warms up mostly and also if you lightly rev it. It has been doing it for like 2 years now. The car has over 130k on it now.

Just wondering if I would benefit from one of those or an engine block heater (never put one on anything before though).

Thanks.

edit* research tells me these are not worth it, at least not for me.

But what about the engine oil pan heaters that have a flexible pad that sticks to the oil pan with 3m adhesive, those worthless also?

Considered block heater kit, but might just switch my oil back to 5w-30 for the winter like I did before.

Nick M
01-07-2010, 11:18 PM
It sounds like you are describing piston slap, a common annoyance on the 3400 engine. The noise must be present in the summer months since you have been hearing it for two years and any type of engine heater will not eliminate it. The heaters are popular for diesel engine equipped cars. 5W30 oil and a good battery should get you through the winter months.

Mike Jung
01-08-2010, 06:51 AM
A quick post from cell...

WTF aren't you using 5W-30 or 0W-30 ?

eBandit
01-09-2010, 02:29 PM
because several mechanics recommended 10-30. I used to use 5/30 before that.

plus it could be me just being paranoid but i thought the noise was worse with 5/30

what does everyone say on 0/30? never used that before.

should i use 5/30 year round or o/30 in winter and 5/30 in summer?

I'm due to change my oil any day now so I might change it tomorrow. thanks

350rs
01-09-2010, 04:15 PM
i use 5/30 full synthetic, works great year round for me

eBandit
01-09-2010, 04:22 PM
I'm not going back to synthetic in this car anymore after the first try of it. next car I get I might use synthetic though.

eBandit
01-12-2010, 09:14 AM
It sounds like you are describing piston slap, a common annoyance on the 3400 engine. The noise must be present in the summer months since you have been hearing it for two years and any type of engine heater will not eliminate it. The heaters are popular for diesel engine equipped cars. 5W30 oil and a good battery should get you through the winter months.

by the way, I wasnt trying to get rid of the noise in the winter, just wasnt sure if the winter startups would be hard on the engine or not cause of the noise. wanted to do whatever I could to help it last a bit.



Also several mechanics suggested 10-30 cause of the noise.

5-30 wont cause any leaks easier will it? I also use a quart of rislone in each oil change cause of sticking lifters or something once. It worked great so I kept using it.

eBandit
01-16-2010, 01:48 PM
I bought 5-30 this time.

how would the engine be affected if i switched to either full synthetic or synthetic blend at this point with over 130k on it?

Does anyone recommend High Mileage oil cause that is what I buy? I noticed that one brand of high mileage uses a synthetic blend (Pennzoil maybe cant remember). I usually use Castrol GTX High Mileage, but did use Meijer store brand High Mileage before cause I friend says thats all he buys is store brand for years. I assume it is made by a major brand, but I don't normally buy it cause I don't know what the difference might be.

I also add a quart of Rislone on each oil change cause it worked great for me when it was needed to free a lifter or something once.

WidbyJ
01-16-2010, 04:14 PM
Since you seem to be experiencing wear related noise issues going to slightly thicker oil is probably a good choice, so 10w-30 is ok. I would stay with 5w-30 myself. Unless it gets way below zero you don't need an oil heater, just a good battery. I doubt it's cold enough to justify 0w-30 where you are.

I prefer synthetics but as long as you are changing oil and filters every 5k or less most any brand/type will do fine. The only common problem with synthetics involve worn seals which allow leakage, otherwise they are superior.

I wouldn't add anything extra each time you change the oil. Maybe use additive to top off with as needed betwenn changes because fresh oil already has additives in it.

Your best bet would be to either find a shop that does the BG treatment that gaurantees your motor -or- buy one of those warrantee style insurance policies they advertise. Wear and noise are pretty standard on any engine with that many miles (unknown history doesn't help either). You should plan ahead for a rebuild or replacement down the line, if you set aside just $100 a month you should be able to cover it all when the time comes.

lone_wolf025
01-16-2010, 04:34 PM
Since you seem to be experiencing wear related noise issues going to slightly thicker oil is probably a good choice, so 10w-30 is ok. I would stay with 5w-30 myself. Unless it gets way below zero you don't need an oil heater, just a good battery. I doubt it's cold enough to justify 0w-30 where you are.

I prefer synthetics but as long as you are changing oil and filters every 5k or less most any brand/type will do fine. The only common problem with synthetics involve worn seals which allow leakage, otherwise they are superior.

I wouldn't add anything extra each time you change the oil. Maybe use additive to top off with as needed betwenn changes because fresh oil already has additives in it.

Your best bet would be to either find a shop that does the BG treatment that gaurantees your motor -or- buy one of those warrantee style insurance policies they advertise. Wear and noise are pretty standard on any engine with that many miles (unknown history doesn't help either). You should plan ahead for a rebuild or replacement down the line, if you set aside just $100 a month you should be able to cover it all when the time comes.

What he said ^

For now the piston slap is nothing to worry about as its not gonna destroy the engine, its just annoying. I do agree with the suggestion of setting aside some money though. If properly maintained these engines can last upwards of 200k miles but by then you'd probably be dumping money into other things to keep the car running so food for thought.

Mike Jung
01-16-2010, 05:28 PM
Since you seem to be experiencing wear related noise issues going to slightly thicker oil is probably a good choice, so 10w-30 is ok. ... Unless it gets way below zero you don't need an oil heater, just a good battery. I doubt it's cold enough to justify 0w-30 where you are...
All I can say is :nono: :rolleyes:

eBandit
01-17-2010, 12:02 AM
Since you seem to be experiencing wear related noise issues going to slightly thicker oil is probably a good choice, so 10w-30 is ok. I would stay with 5w-30 myself.

I prefer synthetics but as long as you are changing oil and filters every 5k or less most any brand/type will do fine. The only common problem with synthetics involve worn seals which allow leakage, otherwise they are superior.

repair shops are the ones who suggested the 10-30 for the noise. It has 5-30 in it as of today. I change the oil and filter before 5k miles every single time.



I wouldn't add anything extra each time you change the oil. Maybe use additive to top off with as needed betwenn changes because fresh oil already has additives in it.

The Rislone was added when a lifter or something was stuck, it was tapping very loud non-stop, I was afraid to drive the car so didn't, when I explained it to a guy at Autozone who (at this store) seems to know the most, he suggested it or another brand. After using it, the noise started to get quieter within a couple minutes and was gone within 5-10 minutes. So I figured to prevent this again I should stick with it?


Your best bet would be to either find a shop that does the BG treatment that gaurantees your motor -or- buy one of those warrantee style insurance policies they advertise. Wear and noise are pretty standard on any engine with that many miles (unknown history doesn't help either). You should plan ahead for a rebuild or replacement down the line, if you set aside just $100 a month you should be able to cover it all when the time comes.

Any warranty outfits out there anyone suggests and trusts when it comes time to pay for repairs. I know some claim to not cost you out of pocket cash (maybe a deductible) and others reimburse which I don't trust!

I "might" consider a warranty if the price is right, but I am looking for another car currently, a light wreck with decent to low miles. might wait till I save a little more, not sure. I have the cash set aside if I needed an engine, tranny etc... but if the engine dies and no warranty, then the car will be sold, parted out, or converted to electric or electric/hybrid.

I prefer this cars engine to last as long as it can though, I have plenty of cash in all the new A/C parts I put on it.

need to change the transmission fluid and filter next, wish these cars had a freaking dipstick!!!

WidbyJ
01-17-2010, 11:10 AM
All I can say is :nono: :rolleyes:

Please explain as I am willing to learn from those who know and change what I've learned through past experience. :feedback: Personally I've run 20w50 in older pushrod engines with very good results but I don't recommend that to anyone....

Mike Jung
01-18-2010, 10:11 PM
Since you seem to be experiencing wear related noise issues going to slightly thicker oil is probably a good choice, so 10w-30 is ok. ... Unless it gets way below zero you don't need an oil heater, just a good battery. I doubt it's cold enough to justify 0w-30 where you are...

All I can say is :nono: :rolleyes:

Please explain as I am willing to learn from those who know and change what I've learned through past experience. :feedback: Personally I've run 20w50 in older pushrod engines with very good results but I don't recommend that to anyone....
You state a slightly thicker oil.

10W-30 & 5W-30 are the same viscosity range at 100C.
9.30-12.49 cSt.

A 10W-30 motor oil is not a good idea for someone in his climate area for winter.

While the cold crank ratings are:
-35C = 0w-x
-30C = 5w-x
-25C = 10w-x

But that is when the motor oil is brand new out of the bottle.
As the motor oil is used, the Pour Point Depressant additives breakdown.
(My dad found that out the hard way one winter. Castrol GTX 10w-30 in the car at around -20C. It would not start with Optima Red Top battery & a full tank of ethanol blended gasoline. It started up when it warmed up a bit.)

There is a reason that the owner's manual says to use the block heater when it is below -18C, even though 5w-30 motor oil is in it.
& to switch to synthetic motor oil 5w-30 or 0w-30 at those temps.


PS: The German Castrol Syntec 0W-30 synthetic motor oil is 12.1 cSt.
It is probably thicker in viscosity than all other 0W/5W/10W-30 motor oil out there, but still can cold crank at -40C/F.

Molson
01-19-2010, 12:08 PM
Look where I live, never used a block heater (its still wrapped in the original zip tie) and always ran 5w-30 or 10w-30, whatever I happened to grab. My pickup and cube van (305, and 351 respectively) has 10-30 and its for weeks at a time, aside from the crappy battery, it starts every time.