Got really hot here, in the high 80's, and I decided to take my Fiero (3800sc) across town. I have a oil temp gauge, along with a oil pressure gauge, and of course a coolant temp gauge.
After some normal high driving and then some city, stop-n-go, I was seeing around 180 F on the oil temps. Of course, the pressure dropped. At idle it was okay, around 15psi, and jumped with the RPMs. The engine ran fine, but I've never seen that high oil temps.
Typically, I have to ride for a while to get even to 120 F oil temp, with pressure being around 50psi even at idle.
I know some run 5w30, mine says to run 10w30.
God, I was thinking this thing may need an oil cooler. Anyone run one or feel it is needed?
The turbo on my 3800 is lubricated by engine oil and the oil return from the turbo runs right into the engine's oil pan. The turbo adds a significant amount of heat to the oil.
I have NO oil cooler. I have always run full synthetic oil with the highest content of zinc I can get.
I have had the turbo motor on the road since 2003 and have not had any engine OR turbo problems.
I would say if you run a quality full synthetic oil in your 3800 SC engine, you shouldn't need to worry about oil temps. 10W30 full synthetic should work just fine in the summer months (you may want to switch to a lighter weight oil if you drive it in the winter).
If you are worried about recent EPA regulations mandating that oil manufacturers reduce the amount of zinc content in their oil, you could always buy zinc additive and add some to your oil at every oil change if you want.
I ran a 3.4 turbo, and the turbo was water cooled. I saw the same high oil temps, and after about 15 minutes of driving the oil pressure dropped to zero at idle. Yes, it quickly jumped at throttle, but zero, at least what I was told, was never a good oil pressure.
I upgraded to the 3800 because I thought those low pressures were related to something else.
I experimented with a number of oil viscosities and always got the same result with the turbo engine. I never ran an oil cooler but I cant imagine heating oil that high, even synthetic, and it being okay.
What are normal operating temps, for dino, and synthetic? Anyone know?
After yesterday's 90 degree day I dont believe I have a problem, but if I lived in the south I would consider an oil cooler. We only have about 5-6 days like that up here.
180 deg oil temps are about what you want to run as a minimum during daily driving with a goal of not much more than 200 deg for oil longevity and good oil pressure. Engine oil usually runs hotter than the coolant temps and I'm surprised to see that you seem to be struggling to frequent temps in excess of 180 deg during Summer weather. With a turbo and no oil cooler my oil temps have always run in the range of 240 deg especially in town and during spirited driving in moderate to warm weather.
I recently put the stock water cooled oil cooler that came with my motor in use having previously dismissed it on receipt not realizing engine coolant generally runs cooler than oil temps on a warm motor and thinking I could do better with an external oil cooler. With the little sandwich adaptor cooler in place my oil temp gauge showed temps below 200 deg as long as the car was moving and about 170-180 on the interstate. At idle in traffic on a hot day it runs about the same as the engine coolant ~200 deg. It's the best way to cool the oil as far as I'm concerned because it's very compact and clean with a coolant feed from the side of the block.
Originally posted by Hudini:
My 3.4L turbo motor runs 265*+ (the gauge flashes "HI" after 265*) and that is with an oil cooler.
You want the oil hot so that water that condenses in the oil will boil off. 180* sounds about perfect to me.
I'd be very afraid of 265 deg oil temps on a boosted motor and would certainly run 50 weight oil if that was a common sight because I had bearings get wiped during a brief overheat on standard weight oil while limping the car home a short distance. After the overheat the oil light began to flicker at idle intermittently after coolant problem was taken care of and on tear down the low mileage rod bearings all had a little gold colored area showing on them.
[This message has been edited by Joseph Upson (edited 06-26-2013).]
Little change of subject but what weight do you guys run in your turbo 3800's? I realize it depends on your oil temps and outside temps but for a baseline? My series 2 is extremely low millage, I've always run 10w30 full synthetic in summer. 70-95° Ambient. But with going turbo I'm thinking more 10w40 or 15w50. Thoughts? Haven't decided on an oil cooler or not.
When I ran a turbo I had some high temps and at idle the pressure would drop to next to zero. You need a oil cooler with a turbo. Turbos really heat up engine oil. Now my 3800sc, just yesterday at 70 degress out, it ran to around 120 F. I've never even seen 200F on it, even on a hot summer day.