View Full Version : Waking up from hibernation

02-22-2004, 11:45 PM
I've stored my '97 vert in my workshop that has remained heated to about 40 degF since mid November. I changed the fluids, put Stabil in the gas, removed the battery and installed a car cover. I did start it once in late December and ran it for about 10 minutes, but not since.

I've got the battery charged and will be changing the engine oil (I use Castrol Syntec 10W30). Should I start it first to warm the oil before changing after not having started the car for 2 months, or should I change the oil first? I can heat the workshop to 70 degF before starting. WIll the oil change before starting it really help lubricate the engine better for the cold start or should I do something else?


02-23-2004, 08:08 AM
First, use 5w30 oil, not 10w30.....read your manual.
Second, I would change the oil before starting the car...as it sits now all the oil has drained down into the oilpan...perfect time to change it versus putting some of the old oil back into the heads (which hold a ton of oil).
Third, I wouldn't worry about heating the garage higher than the temp you've been keeping it....the engine/car isn't that fragile.

02-25-2004, 04:59 PM
Thanks for your advice, as always, Tom. I will definitely change the oil before starting it.

On the subject of the oil grade, I have read the manual, cover to cover, and just about everything else I can get my hands on regarding this car and engine. I have found many references recommending that if using synthetic oil, use 10W30 if the car is not driven in extreme cold (which mine is not). This is an excerpt from Red Line:

"Red Line 10W30: Best all-weather viscosity grade for gasoline engines in cars and light trucks that are driven on the street on a daily basis. Reduces turbo lag and provides more power and economy while providing thicker bearing oil films at operating temperature than a petroleum 10W-40. Best all-round, synthetic oil for stock or slightly modified engines in high- performance cars that are street-driven. Best choice to replace a 5W-30 or 10W-30, petroleum-based or other-brand synthetic oil if maximum durability is preferred. Acceptable for engines that are occasionally operated in extreme cold weather."

I also suspect that this trend of automobile manufacturers to specify lighter and lighter grade oils has a bit to do with improving fleet fuel economy. I have used Castrol 10W40 in winter and 20W50 in summer in all of my vehicles for the past 20 years, from 4 cyls to V8s. I have never had a problem; in fact, I attribute their reliability in part to this choice in oil. This Cobra is my first use of synthetic oil...

02-25-2004, 10:40 PM
The Cobra engine has VERY small oil passages, use 5w30 oil, synthetic or dino.......

It's possible to cause damage (though an extreme case) by using too thick an oil. Your engine will not get the lubrication it needs at start-up with too thick an oil. Those in extreme cold climates should consider 0w30 oil.

Cobra manual states 5w30 oil, that's what you use.

02-25-2004, 11:50 PM

Thank you.

02-26-2004, 11:12 PM
I have been using Mobil 1 in my cobra since it had 2500 on the clock, and ALWAYS 5w30. I live "in the cold" but store my car in my heated garage all winter. I start it about once every other week and let it run for about 20 mins then rev it a few times to expel any left over condensation in the exhaust. I change my oil before I store it, and again before I take it back out for the season. I would highly sugest changing the oil after it has been sitting for a week or more, as Tom said it is the perfect time when all the old stuff is in the pan... it also is a good way to get fresh oil into the head (left) before starting.