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Old 01-21-2002, 11:09 PM   #1
Keith99RS
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Question High Idle When Cold

My fiance's 1997 Outback has a high idle that sticks when cold. It will idle ok when you start it but when you intially start to drive it before the temp gage gets into the normal range, the rpm's will not drop below 2500-3000. I'm thinking it may be the TPS. Does anyone have any ideas or similiar experiences?? Thanks!!
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Last edited by Keith99RS; 01-21-2002 at 11:25 PM.
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Old 01-21-2002, 11:20 PM   #2
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My 2000 GT does that too. I'm not concerned.

Kevin
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Old 01-21-2002, 11:25 PM   #3
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Exclamation You Should be Concerned

I AM concerned because I think it may cause the clutch to wear more than it should. I just don't think that engaging the clutch at 3K rpm is a good thing. You can feel the car buck and lurch forward when you shift. This is not normal and wasn't there before this fall when the temperature dropped. My RS does not do this so I am curious.
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Old 01-22-2002, 09:43 AM   #4
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It is not a big deal. If it bothers you let the car warm up before you drive it. The car revs high when cold to make sure the thick cold oil is pumped. It should only last for 2-4 minutes and is common in most cars. All my cars did the same thing.
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Old 01-22-2002, 10:10 AM   #5
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Exclamation

FYI, there was a recall for Outback's with high idle problems. Around the 1600rpm when warmed up. But if the high idle is just when the car is cold then drops to normal ~700 when warmed up, that's entirely normal. You should only be concerned if it stays up that high even after driving around for a little while.

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Old 01-22-2002, 10:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by HIHO
It is not a big deal. If it bothers you let the car warm up before you drive it. The car revs high when cold to make sure the thick cold oil is pumped. It should only last for 2-4 minutes and is common in most cars. All my cars did the same thing.
Technically, the oil is thinner when cold.....one of the few things out there that defy the normal logic of being thinner when hot, and thicker when cold.

The main reason for the high idling is so the car warms up faster, and the emmissions devices can start doing their job faster, hence less pollution......it's all about the damn emmissions stuff now a days.

But ya...it's normal.
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Old 01-22-2002, 10:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Technically, the oil is thinner when cold.....one of the few things out there that defy the normal logic of being thinner when hot, and thicker when cold.
HAHAHAHAHAH where did you hear that. Technically oil is THICKER when cold. Oil thins when hot that is what causes Thermal break down the oil gets so hot and thins out so much it loses its protection qualities. Please people are trying to learn something here so don't post your nonsence here.

Quote:
Pour point is 5 degrees F above the point at which a chilled oil shows no movement at the surface for 5 seconds when inclined. This measurement is especially important for oils used in the winter. A borderline pumping temperature is given by some manufacturers. This is the temperature at which the oil will pump and maintain adequate oil pressure. This was not given by a lot of the manufacturers, but seems to be about 20 degrees F above the pour point. The lower the pour point the better. Pour point is in degrees F.
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Old 01-22-2002, 10:41 AM   #8
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Cool Viscosity my friend....

I don't know where you got that idea about oil being thinner in the cold... Physics 101..... Viscosity levels. There's a reason why it's recommended to change oils when it's warm for easier flow, and also oil burns that REALLY hurts.
Now, if you're using 10W40 which I use, you may want to run the car little longer, since the oil itself is a bit thicker.

But sorry legacy777. HIHO and I have to disagree with you this one.... unless you have good facts and data that backup your reason, we're not convinced.

HIHO - I sense a :monkey: from somebody.
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Old 01-22-2002, 11:13 AM   #9
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Read this

http://econofix.com/oiltypes.html

this

http://cartalk.cars.com/Columns/Arch...01/May/11.html

and finally this

http://www.dot.state.co.us/Programs/...me/winter.html

If you're still not convinced.....I think ya need to do your own homework!

Like I said....it goes against all normal logic.
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Old 01-22-2002, 01:45 PM   #10
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Default The recall

I wanna know what's up with the high idle recall. I'm having that problem every once in a while. The other day I drove home (20 minute commute) and my car still idled high (about 1.5k). Shut off engine and refired and normal revs. Weird.
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Old 01-22-2002, 05:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Tom: So a 5W30 oil would be the same as a 10W30 once the engine is hot, but it would be thinner when the engine is cold (when it hasn't run for several hours). And that's why Ford, and most manufacturers, now recommend it.

Quote:
This means that 5W-30 oil is thinner than 10W-30 when cold.
Quote:
An oil's viscosity is just how thick it is. Viscosity is measured by an oil's "weight" Way back when all cars used 30 wt (weight) oil. This is a single grade oil: its actual viscosity varies with temperature. single grade oil gets thinner when hot and thicker when cold. Multigrade oils have labels like "10w-40" or "20w-50". Their thickness changes with temperature also, but they change the opposite way from single grade oils. A 10w-40 motor oil behaves like a 10 wt oil when cold and behaves like a 40 wt oil when hot.
Is this what you are talking about. This is not saying that oil is thinner when cold. It is saying that a 5W-30 oil will be thinner than a 10W-30 when cold. Duh. The first number is the thickness when cold (5-10). The second number is thickness when hot(30-30) So a 5 will be thinner than a 10 when cold but the same (30-30) when hot. Please go back and read carefully. If you still don't believe it buy some oil and put it in the freezer. See if it is thicker out of the freezer.

I was going to be cool because I figured you made a mistake, but APEXBOY was right you need a :monkey:

PS- Bet you don't know what the "W" stands for.
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Old 01-22-2002, 05:14 PM   #12
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HIHO - Man!!! LMAO!!!!
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Old 01-22-2002, 05:16 PM   #13
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Have a Nice Day? Let me re-explain

I'm almost positive it isn't the recall problem and I'm fairly certain this is not normal. Like I said, my RS does not do this at all. I can understand a slightly elevated idle like about 1.5K rpm or so to get things warmed up like a choke would (like all of the above previously stated), but up to 3k rpm??? It does a normal 1.5K idle or so when started, but as soon as you drive it the rpm's don't drop past the highest you revved the engine. For example, if I leave the driveway and my first shift is at 2.5K rpm, the tach and engine will stay at that rpm when the car is cold and the clutch is placed in and it will not kick down. If my RS did the same thing, I could dismiss this as normal, but I just don't think so. Thank you guys for all the help though.
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Old 01-22-2002, 06:38 PM   #14
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legacy777, that was one of the funniest things I have read in a long time. Thanks

Kevin
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Old 01-22-2002, 06:58 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by HIHO


Is this what you are talking about. This is not saying that oil is thinner when cold. It is saying that a 5W-30 oil will be thinner than a 10W-30 when cold. Duh. The first number is the thickness when cold (5-10). The second number is thickness when hot(30-30) So a 5 will be thinner than a 10 when cold but the same (30-30) when hot. Please go back and read carefully. If you still don't believe it buy some oil and put it in the freezer. See if it is thicker out of the freezer.

I was going to be cool because I figured you made a mistake, but APEXBOY was right you need a :monkey:

PS- Bet you don't know what the "W" stands for.


Alright....I'm not goin to turn this into a flaming war here.

But I think you need to reread what you told me to reread. You must have missed the important points.

"Multigrade oils have labels like "10w-40" or "20w-50". Their thickness changes with temperature also, but they change the opposite way from single grade oils. A 10w-40 motor oil behaves like a 10 wt oil when cold and behaves like a 40 wt oil when hot."

That is directly from http://econofix.com/oiltypes.html How does that statement not prove what I said huh?


From the second article: http://cartalk.cars.com/Columns/Arch...01/May/11.html

"Ray: Well, we should first tell you what the multi-viscosity numbers mean. 10W30 means that the oil acts like a thinner, 10-weight oil when it's cold and like a thicker, 30-weight oil when it's hot. "

again I only see one way to read that....

The third article you're right

5w-30 will be thinner then 10w-30 when cold.....that's a no brainer.....so that one wasn't the best article.

Here's another one that states multi-weight oils are thinner when cold and thicker when hot: http://www.clbryant.com/documents/mu...for-racing.pdf

"To summarize this, multi-viscosity means the oil meets two viscosity requirements, one at a low temperature depending on the first number of the viscosity grade, and a second at 212F for the second number in the viscosity grade. What all of this means is that an SAE 20W/50 oil flows like an SAE 50 oil at 212 F and flows like an SAE 20W oil at 14 F."

Here's a blurb from pennzoil: http://www.pennzoil.com/carcare/faq/default.htm#7

"5. How does a VI improver thicken at high temperatures but not thicken at low temperatures?

A VI (Viscosity Index) improver can be thought of as a very long string which at low temperatures is tightly coiled into a small ball and floats suspended in the oil with little effect on the viscosity of the oil. At high temperatures this ball expands and uncoils and encloses a much larger volume of oil within its structure. This effectively prevents the oil from thinning because of the greater volume taken up by the expanded balls of VI improver molecules."


So, with that last bit of info. I guess you can say the oil itself is not thickening up, but rather these "viscosity improvers " which are found in multi-weight oils, are changing shape or doin whatever they do to make the oil act like it is a thicker weight oil.

Maybe I should have been more clear in my original post, but for your average everday oil buying consumer, they are more then likely going to be able to understand and choose a multi-weight oil if it's described as "being thinner when cold, and thicker when hot" Then telling them the oil has polymers in it, which are called viscosity improvers and these chains are inert when cold, but as temp increases they expand.

So if I caused all this mess by not sayin that the "viscosity improvers" are what changes the oils physical properties, I apologize.

BTW: The "W" stands for Winter.
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Old 01-22-2002, 07:14 PM   #16
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legacy777- You have just proved that you are a TOTAL moron. Everyone who reads your post will automaticlly become dumber. I won't even try to explain to you the difference between a single grade oil and a multi grade oil.
You have not proven your point at all. Every quote you added was exactlly what I am saying. How do you post info with your total lack of common knowledge. Maybe you live in some strange area where oil is thicker when hot.
The main reason for this post was a question about high idle. I said that the car idles high to get the cold thick oil to pump. When the engine warms up the oil thins so the idle drops.(Less pressure is needed to make the oil flow.) You said that high idle has nothing to do with the oil being thick. You said oil is thinner when cold. You are totally WRONG. No liquid in the world becomes thicker when hot.
One more for ya.:monkey:
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Old 01-22-2002, 07:16 PM   #17
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I don't think there's any reason to be such cocks towards legacy777. For one, I've seen some pretty moronic things posted by those of you who are laughing at him. And, I'm pretty sure he's right.

I'm not going to profess being an expert on oil viscosity, but let's go back and read again the quote that HIHO posted as an example of how screwed up legacy777 is:
Quote:
single grade oil gets thinner when hot and thicker when cold. Multigrade oils ... thickness changes with temperature also, but they change the opposite way from single grade oils.
Logic would say that if single grade oils get thinner when hot and thicker when cold, and multigrade oils' thickness change opposite to single grade oils, then multigrade oils would get thinner when cold and thicker when hot. Follow me so far?

Now let's think about this, those of you who are sooooo smart and laughing at legacy777. Why the hell would you design a multigrade oil that would get even thicker in cold temperatures than a single grade oil? What purpose would that serve? The whole point of having a multigrade oil is that it works better at both extremes of the temperature band. A 30wt oil is hard to pump at low temperatures, which means when the engine is at it's most vulnerable state (during warm-up) the oil isn't getting around as easily as we'd like it to. Would it make sense to design a multigrade oil that makes it even harder to move the oil throughout the engine? Or would it make sense to make the oil thinner when it was cold so that we can minimize wear and tear during that critical warm-up period? Hmmmmm....

And wouldn't it make sense that when the engine is hot and at WOT we want the maximum protection? In other words, when the oil is hot, we want it to maintain it's thickness so we don't wreck all the bearings. Hmmmmm....

Last but not least, which type of oil is thinner, 30wt engine oil or 90wt gear oil? I'm gonna go with the 30wt motor oil being thinner. So that means a larger number = thicker oil. So, since 5W-30 acts like a 5wt when it's cold, and a 30wt when it's hot, and 5 < 30 (last time I checked ), the 5W-30 would be thinner when it was cold.

I'll be perfectly honest, I can't explain why motor oil pours like syrup when it's 10deg out but pours more smoothly when it's 80deg out. I'm just telling you what the numbers say, and I'm telling you what makes sense from an engineering stand point. Anyone who wants to prove me wrong feel free to do so - I haven't bothered to read any of the links that legacy777 posted, so who knows, maybe I'm out to lunch.

Pat Olsen
'97 Legacy 2.5GT sedan
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Old 01-22-2002, 07:28 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by HIHO
legacy777- You have just proved that you are a TOTAL moron. Everyone who reads your post will automaticlly become dumber. I won't even try to explain to you the difference between a single grade oil and a multi grade oil.
You have not proven your point at all. Every quote you added was exactlly what I am saying. How do you post info with your total lack of common knowledge. Maybe you live in some strange area where oil is thicker when hot.
The main reason for this post was a question about high idle. I said that the car idles high to get the cold thick oil to pump. When the engine warms up the oil thins so the idle drops.(Less pressure is needed to make the oil flow.) You said that high idle has nothing to do with the oil being thick. You said oil is thinner when cold. You are totally WRONG. No liquid in the world becomes thicker when hot.
One more for ya.:monkey:
You posted this while I was typing my previous post. This is real simple, HIHO - explain the statements that legacy777 just quoted from various websites that explain how multigrade oils get thinner when they are cold. So far as you've succeeded in showing me is that you are the moron. legacy777 just gave you the proof, from a number of websites, including Pennzoil's (but what could Pennziol possibly know about oil that HIHO doesn't? ). Where's your counter argument? Where's your proof, dude? I see nothing but name-calling in any of your posts, and you have yet to refute the arguments that legacy777 has made.

Oh, and the high idle isn't to warm the oil, it's to warm the engine. Yeah, that's kinda semantics (which is a big word, I know, but you can probably find it in your Fisher Price dictionary), but there is a difference. Here's a quote from another thread in which I took someone to school recently - class is in session:

An engine is designed to operate most efficiently when it is at or near it's normal operating temperature (NOT, as we call it in the nuclear Navy). When the engine is not at NOT, you pay the price with increased friction and wear and tear. An excellent example of this is the tick-tick-tick noise you hear when you start your Subaru in very cold weather. That noise gradually goes away as the engine warms up to NOT and "normal" operating tolerances are obtained. Anyway, the longer the engine runs while it is not at NOT, the more wear and tear is occuring.

What's the best way to warm up an engine? With a load, of course. Hopefully it's obvious that if you start the engine and immediately take off down the street at WOT, it's going to reach NOT a helluva lot quicker than an engine left at idle. Hopefully it's also obvious that starting a cold engine and immediately taking it to WOT is a horrible thing to do - hence the BMW's adaptive redline, and the advice in your Owner's Manual to take it easy until the drivetrain is warmed up. Even if you didn't got to WOT immediately, the loaded engine will warm up faster. For instance, if you pulled out of your parking space and just cruised along at 2000rpm in 1st gear, the engine would warm up faster than if you sat in the parking space and held the unloaded engine at 2000rpm.

If you do a bit of research, you will find that automotive experts recommend that you start the cold engine, allow it to idle for about 30sec or so, and then drive the car, proceeding somewhat gently until the drivetrain is at NOT. You want to idle it for a brief period to let the oil start circulating a bit before you hit the road. Then you want to drive the car (with due moderation) to put a load on the engine so it gets to NOT quicker. You don't want to beat on the car to make it warm up even faster, because putting full load on a cold engine is even worse than idling a cold engine. So it's kind of a compromise.

Idling a car for longer than necessary is just hard on an engine. The engine's not working at all, so there's no heat in the combustion chamber, which means you can end up with deposits in the combusion chamber. Emissions are at their worst when the engine is cold because the emissions system isn't at its optimum temperature, etc etc. Will idling your car for 10-15min every day kill your engine? No. Is it a less than healthy thing to do to your engine? Yes. I can think of a number of similar examples - do I need to put a turbo timer on a WRX? No, but it sure will make the system happier if I do put one on. Do I need to use synthetic oil in my engine? No, but in the very long run it's better for the engine. This is the same kind of thing, it's just another way to treat your car right.


So there you go, everything you ever wanted to know about engine warm-up. Any questions?

Pat Olsen
'97 Legacy 2.5GT sedan

Edit: Oh, and to Keith99RS, it sounds to me like the throttle cable is binding up slightly. Maybe it needs to be greased a bit? You said the revs stick at whatever your highest RPMs were - that sounds to me like the throttle cable is encountering some sort of stiction. Or perhaps the throttle return spring is hosed up somehow? Just a couple ideas that actually relate to what this thread was started for.

Last edited by Patrick Olsen; 01-22-2002 at 07:37 PM.
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Old 01-22-2002, 07:44 PM   #19
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Pat,

You're the Man!! You actually read the entire posts before flaming someone that has given proof of his statement, unlike HIHO.

I'm glad someone knows what's goin on here.

HIHO, Like Pat said.....you have posted no proof to why you are right, all you have done is spout off that your right and I'm wrong, I'm a moron...blah blah blah. I'm sorry if your attention span is not that long to be able to read and comprehend a long post.

I have no problems admitting when I'm wrong, nor do I claim to be an expert on oil. However I do know how to do credible research to back up my statement. And if that wasn't enough, in my last post I said that it was the viscosity modifiers that actually change properties when temperature changes, this in turn changes the overall properties of the oil as temp changes.
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Old 01-22-2002, 08:52 PM   #20
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Why can't you guys understand this, it is VERY VERY simple. Oil is thicker when cold. You can not argue that fact to me. Now look at it this way. You guys keep bringing up the whole VI issue. The VI's in oil make them ACT like that weight of oil. The oil is still THINNER (physically).Everything that you two posted clearly states that.

Quote:
Oh, and the high idle isn't to warm the oil, it's to warm the engine
I never said it was to WARM the oil it is to get it to FLOW. I'm the one who needs to read?

Quote:
Multi viscosity oils work like this: Polymers are added to a light base (5W, 10W, 20W), which prevent the oil from thinning as much as it warms up. At cold temperatures the polymers are coiled up and allow the oil to flow as their low numbers indicate. As the oil warms up the polymers begin to unwind into long chains that prevent the oil from thinning as much as it normally would. The result is that at 100 degrees C the oil has thinned only as much as the higher viscosity number indicates. Another way of looking at multi-vis oils is to think of a 20W-50 as a 20 weight oil that will not thin more than a 50 weight would when hot.
Quote:
Logic would say that if single grade oils get thinner when hot and thicker when cold, and multigrade oils' thickness change opposite to single grade oils, then multigrade oils would get thinner when cold and thicker when hot. Follow me so far?
The weights given on oils are arbitrary numbers assigned by the S.A.E. (Society of Automotive Engineers). These numbers correspond to "real" viscosity, as measured by several accepted techniques. These measurements are taken at specific temperatures. Oils that fall into a certain range are designated 5, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 by the S.A.E. The W means the oil meets specifications for viscosity at 0 F and is therefore suitable for Winter use. The viscosity improvers are the reason the oil ACTS but isn't really as thick as lets say a 30. Let me repeat this. The oil ACTS(not really) like a 30 because of the viscosity improvers. You might want to look up arbitrary in your dictionary.

Quote:
HIHO, Like Pat said.....you have posted no proof to why you are right,
No proof? Everything you two posted PROVES what I am saying.

Quote:
For one, I've seen some pretty moronic things posted by those of you who are laughing at him. And, I'm pretty sure he's right.
Yeah I bet you can give examples of all?

Quote:
I have no problems admitting when I'm wrong, nor do I claim to be an expert on oil. However I do know how to do credible research to back up my statement. And if that wasn't enough, in my last post I said that it was the viscosity modifiers that actually change properties when temperature changes, this in turn changes the overall properties of the oil as temp changes
Exactlly what I have been saying the whole time. But is the oil acctually thinner when cold and thicker when hot??????????????????????????????????????????????? ?????????????????????????????????????????????????? ?????????????? So say after me " I legacy777 and Patty O. are WRONG!!!!!!

For more info that might help you guys understand go here.http://www.vtr.org/maintain/oil-overview.html
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Old 01-22-2002, 08:55 PM   #21
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Gents,
This is Way out of character for the Legacy Board and I hope everyone understands that we need to show some Patience and make real efforts to continue communicating until we achieve the goal....Understanding.
That said, may I suggest that the crux of the misunderstanding here may lie in this:
1) No-one will deny that there is a reason you drain the oil for an oil change when warm, right? The oil is thinner than if you just stepped into the 35degree garage and drained it.
Without reading the references I can understand the issue here is the statement "behaves like..." When cold a 5W oil is thinner and easier to pump than a 30W. That's a given. Ok
Along the same vein, a 5W30, When hot, "behaves like" a 30W oil.
Hence you're both correct! Think about it!

And Pat's suggestion that the throttle cable is sticky seems to get to the original point exactly! Again, when cold whatever is obstructing the smooth movement of the cable is thick, and as the engine warms up it frees up allowing the cable to slide freely. Previous owner/mechanic probably lubricated it and over time it's also collected some dust/grit to worsen the condition, worst WHEN COLD!

Glenn O

HIHO, I see we were both typing simultaneously here. You've made your point, but the name calling and sarcasm is really uncalled for. Let's get a grip.

Last edited by nuburu2; 01-22-2002 at 09:00 PM.
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Old 01-22-2002, 09:21 PM   #22
Keith99RS
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Talking That sounds more reasonable

Thanks for the help with the throttle cable suggestion Pat and nubaru2. Now my next question is how do I go about cleaning it and relubing it? Can I just use some carb cleaner to degrease it then spray it with some WD-40? Any help in regard to methods or lubricants would be greatly appreciated.

*puts on flame suit for oil topic*

Perhaps I may make a definition that my highschool shopteacher used to explain multiweight oils to us in class waaaayyy back in 1991. Here goes....The first number indicates the flow characteristics of the oil. The second number indicates what level of protection the oil offers. For example, a 10W-30 oil would have the flow characteristics of a 10 weight, but offer the protection of a 30 weight. Of course temperature plays a role. The colder the temperature, the thicker the oil. Just like when it is really cold and your manual tranny feels like it is shifting through molasses. Now please, can't we all just play nice??? I didn't mean for this topic to degrade into a oil tech war!!!
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Old 01-22-2002, 09:28 PM   #23
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Your right I appoligize for the moron thing. Sorry Legacy777 and Pat. Pat did sort of call me a moron too.

I don't want to look like the bad guy here. I just got a little upset because it is soooo easy for me to understand and so hard for others. j/k. So to put all this to rest I am going to do a little experiment. I will post the results later. The hot oil will be at room temp amd the cold will be left in the fridge for an hour.





Again I am sorry for the name calling. I like being a distinctive group in the I-club. I just hope we ALL learned something from this thread.
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Old 01-22-2002, 09:35 PM   #24
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Thanks HIHO. That's more in "character" And at this point I'm sure everyone will agree you ARE ONE!!! JK Bro'

Keith, I don't think you want to use WD40. I'm reasonably sure there are some "dry" lubricants out there that will lube without repeating the original error. You may be on the right track with the cleaning part. I'm sure the $600 factory manual has a listed lubricant, but, alas I don't have one!

Glenn O
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Old 01-22-2002, 10:52 PM   #25
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RESULTS

The cold was left in my freezer for an hour. I hope you can all tell that the cold(34 degrees) is THICKER than the hot(69 degrees). The cold gets so thick it turns darker in color. The bad part is thinking about the oil in my car when it gets cold out. You know when the idle goes high to get it to flow. Just imagine a single viscosity oil(30W) I bet it would get really thick when cold.
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