The Lotus Cars Community banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
insert clever title here
Joined
·
7,702 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Is there a process documented in the owner's manual for replacing ALL of the car's oil at once? I believe the standard procedure is to just replace what's in the engine sump and leave the few quarts in the oil coolers and lines alone, right? I've always been taught to use oil from the same manufacturer when changing oil, and yet...how do you ensure this is done in the Elise if you only change 2/3 of it? Or is it not a big deal after all?

Two scenarios I see: One, we don't know if the Elise came from the factory with conventional or synthetic oil (or do we?). I don't see mixing synt with dino-oil as being a good thing. Second scenario is where the car has been running on synthetic for some time, and you switch brands, wanting to do a complete changeover.

How do other owners intend to handle this?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
592 Posts
In jet engines we allow mixing of different types of oils. All (modern) jet engine oils are synthetic, but there are a couple of different types (Cleverly named Type I and Type II and HTS) of oils manufactured by a couple of big companies. We allow changing over of different types of oils by topping off with the new oil to eventually change over. From the AeroShell website:

OIL CHANGEOVER
Generally synthetic turbine oils in one viscosity group are compatible and
miscible with all other synthetic oils in the same viscosity group (and in
many cases other viscosity groups as well). However, in changing from one
synthetic turbine oil to another, an operator must follow the engine
manufacturers’ recommendations.
Change by top-off (mixing) allows the change over to take place slowly
and there is increasing evidence that this is less of a shock to the engine
and engine oil system. Whilst most engine manufacturers e.g. Rolls Royce,
GE, P&W, CFMI, etc., allow change by top-off (mixing), other engine
manufacturers e.g. Honeywell, do not and only allow changeover by either
drain and refill or drain, flush and refill.
It is Shell’s policy to always recommend that the engine manufacturer’s
recommendations are followed. In addition it is recommended that for the
initial period during and after change over the oil filters are inspected more
frequently.

Many "synthetic" oils are a combination of synthetic and mineral oils. I believe that mixing mineral oil into synthetic oil degrades the synthetics performance but causes no other issues.

Note: My experience is with Jets - it is been over 20 years since I worked with piston engine oils.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,374 Posts
The car's manual indicates that the factory original "break in" oil is not synthetic. It states that to top off the oil during the break in period that a high grade mineral (if I remember correctly) or semi-synthetic oil should be used. If I remember, it then indicates that a synthetic can be used after that. The difficult part is going to be finding the proper oil - the manual indicates that 5w40 oil should be used.

Tim Mullen
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,802 Posts
Tim,
But I thought the manual said full synthetic from the start. Remember at first service the oil cooler oil is NOT changed, therefore you'd be mixing synth and petroleum.

Chris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,374 Posts
zvezdah1 said:
But I thought the manual said full synthetic from the start. Remember at first service the oil cooler oil is NOT changed, therefore you'd be mixing synth and petroleum.
Darn, I knew I should have brought the manual with me...

I could easily be wrong (I'll check tonight again), but I do remember that they allowed semi-synthetic oil for topping off - that'd be mixing ...

Tim Mullen
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,374 Posts
Hah! I was right. :D :D

My mind does still remember some things!!;)

From page 153 of the manual:

"For topping up purposes during the running-in period prior to the First After Sales Service, a top quality mineral or semi-synthetic 5W/40 oil should be used. At the First After Sales Service and the completion of the running-in period, a full synthetic 5W/40 oil such as Texaco Havoline Synthetic should be used. This oil has been tested in all climatic conditions likely to be encountered, and offers advantages in ease of cranking, smooth cold running and fuel economy at low temperatures, in combination with good wear protection at elevated temperature and at high engine speeds. If Texaco/Havoline products are not available, an oil meeting the following specification should be used.

NOTICE: Note that Lotus does not recommend the use of any oil additives and use of such additives may invalidate the terms of you car's warranty."

Dino oil for the break in, synthetic after that...

Tim Mullen
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,802 Posts
HI Tim,:bow:
Yep read that too, but this means you'll still only be running semisynthetic oil after the first service as they only change the 4.4 liters in sump. They don't drain any oil cooler oil.

Looking at the maint. schedule I didn't notice a "change oil cooler oil" unless I missed it.
Chris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,374 Posts
zvezdah1 said:
Looking at the maint. schedule I didn't notice a "change oil cooler oil" unless I missed it.
I didn't either. The closest is:

"On cars fitted with front mounted oil cooler, it is not necessary routinely to attempt to drain the cooler circuit."

I'm not sure how you would go about draining the oil coolers anyway - if you did, there would be a long time on startup before the oil pressure came back up...

Tim Mullen
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,955 Posts
How difficult is it to access the oil filter? I used to change my oil on my MG and VW, since it was eay to get too, but on my current cars they are a pain to get to, so its easier to pay someone to do it.

Does the car use a standard Toyota filter in the normal spot, or did Lotus install some type of adapter that goes where the filter normally is that has the lines running to the oil coolers, and mount the filter somewhere else.

I was just at the dealership for a test drive and they were prepping a car for delivery and one of the Lotus guys from LCUSA was there helping out. Now I remember to ask...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
100 Posts
Oil Issues - First Service

Had the initial service this AM. Unfortunately, the machine that reads the ECU was "out for repair" so I've gotta return to get the printout.

The dealer (Park Place) uses Texaco synthetic 5w-40 but charges about $10. a quart for it. I brought my own (Mobil 1, 0w-40) and my own filter. The counter guy asked where I got the filter (10004) and I told him the local Toyota dealer for $14. He said their cost from Lotus for the same cost was $18. so I'm sure they charge $30 or $35 for it.

I got out the door for $186. The mechanic said he sees no issue with the synthetic mixing with the dino oil.

He also found a headlight out (fuse) and fixed an exhaust vibration at idle I hadn't even noticed.;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
431 Posts
Well you could mix them but the problem is dino oil will eventually break down (even if it is clean) and you really dont want it in the engine at that point. I have been very much thinking of a way to get it all out at the first service point in time also. I'm thinking of disconnecting the 2 hoses for the cooler lines and using a hand pump to pump new oil through the cooler system till it is full of the new oil. Thats the best I have come up with so far. This is gonna be a pain to do but it should work. Getting air in the lines shouldnt be a big deal. The first time the oil system thermistat opens and the oil gets circulated through, the air will come out. Just have to check your oil level after that as it may read a bit lower.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
183 Posts
oil in coolers dirty?

I think one issue has been semi-resolved with this thread and another, perhaps more important one, remains outstanding.

I am in agreement that mixing "dino" oil and synthetic is generally not a problem. In fact there are several brands of oil available that are just that.

The issue I don't think is answered is this, "aren't we mixing clean oil with dirty oil?" Draining the engine/sump, changing the oil filter and filling with synthetic, after break-in, makes perfect sense. But isn't the oil in the coolers dirty and why isn't Lotus recommending it gets changed? I realize that before the first service we are not supposed to run the engine hard, and perhaps the oil in the coolers doesn't get circulated except in extreme/high temp running conditions, but it all seems a bit puzzling to me.

Anybody have any insight into this one?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,985 Posts
I've seen others post that our oil change frequency is about double what other manufacturers using synthetic (i.e. BMW) are recommending. Sounds like there's enough excess lubrication capacity in the system to more than make up for a little old oil mixed in with the new.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,374 Posts
TECK said:
The issue I don't think is answered is this, "aren't we mixing clean oil with dirty oil?"
Yep. Unless you completely tear-down your engine after every oil change on all your cars, you are doing just that with every oil change. There is always some left over - it's all a matter of degree (and remember that the coolers get filtered oil). Lotus took that into consideration when they specified the 7,500 mile oil change interval. Draining the oil coolers/lines and getting air into them will do more damage than any amount of "dirty" oil left in the system after an oil change. I don't plan on worrying about it.

I plan doing my own oil/filter changes, using good filters and oil and doing usual 5,000 mile change interval (it's easy to remember) and not worrying...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,343 Posts
Is air in the oil cooler line really a bad thing or is this just rumor?

After you start the car the pump will push oil down the line and through the coolers. If there's an air pocket it will get pushed out right? no biggie.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,343 Posts
Just had a thought ... if the lines and coolers are empty then putting in 5 qrts won't be enough. You'd have to fill the lines and coolers and then add even more oil. Hmm.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,374 Posts
doma said:
Is air in the oil cooler line really a bad thing or is this just rumor?

After you start the car the pump will push oil down the line and through the coolers. If there's an air pocket it will get pushed out right? no biggie.
Except that it gets pushed out through the bearings in the engine. A pocket of air being pumped through the engine is equivalent to oil starvation for a moment - probably not a good thing, and probably more damaging than any amount of "dirty" oil that may be left behind.

Kind of like when you change oil, and it takes a moment before the oil pressure comes up that's only from the lack of the oil in the filter for a moment (less than a quart). If I remember, the cooler and lines holds 3 quarts... And it might not happen at startup, but instead when the engine is at speed and gets to the point that the thermostat to the oil coolers open up.

I suspect that there is a reason that Lotus recommends against attempting to drain the oil coolers and lines...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Original oil

A British publication indicated that Lotus sends the Elise out with organic oil in the sump for break-in period use of at least 1000 miles. Only then to they recommend synthetic. But I cannot remember the reference and source.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
804 Posts
I switch to 10W60 TWS at my 1st service since I intend to track often. I wanted to get all the original oil out, so I requested to have the oil coolers flushed too. This required the tech to open the oil lines near the engine and at the front left oil cooler. With air pressure he pushed all the old oil out of the lines and oil coolers. Then he pressure filled the oil coolers from the front left oil cooler, reconnected, filled from the oil line near the engine, reconnected, and filled at the engine. There are probably still some voids and small air pockets, but I think the tech did a good job in getting most of it out before running the engine. Didn't have to fill any oil after engine was run for 5 mins and didn't need to be filled when I checked it home. Took about 7 quarts to get it all done. Don't intend on flushing the oil coolers again unless something drastic happens...

Oh, there was something about the oil bleed too before the engine was turned on. I believe that was another mechanism to get air out the oil system...
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top