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Gunk in the oil dipstick tube

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.

1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
1997 - 2000 S70, S70 AWD
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Rattnalle
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Re: Gunk in the oil dipstick tube

Post by Rattnalle » Thu Nov 22, 2018 9:54 am

Taking an extra hours drive each week just to boil the oil off doesn't make sense compared to just shortening the OCI a bit. Factor in wear on tyres, fuel etc and it just doesn't make sense.

And the obvious: walk or ride a bike if it's so short the car doesn't even get warm. Cheaper and healthier for both car and driver.
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Re: Gunk in the oil dipstick tube

Post by June » Thu Nov 22, 2018 10:44 am

Rattnalle wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 9:54 am
Taking an extra hours drive each week just to boil the oil off doesn't make sense compared to just shortening the OCI a bit. Factor in wear on tyres, fuel etc and it just doesn't make sense.

And the obvious: walk or ride a bike if it's so short the car doesn't even get warm. Cheaper and healthier for both car and driver.
This makes 100% sense to me. I thought 6K oci on a short trip driven car has to be bad for engine longevity. June
My Volvo cars owned
1989 740 GLT ordered
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1996 960 ordered
1998 S90 ordered totalled after 3 weeks
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2002 S80 T6 ordered totalled
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Re: Gunk in the oil dipstick tube

Post by Rattnalle » Thu Nov 22, 2018 11:21 am

June wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 10:44 am
Rattnalle wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 9:54 am
Taking an extra hours drive each week just to boil the oil off doesn't make sense compared to just shortening the OCI a bit. Factor in wear on tyres, fuel etc and it just doesn't make sense.

And the obvious: walk or ride a bike if it's so short the car doesn't even get warm. Cheaper and healthier for both car and driver.
This makes 100% sense to me. I thought 6K oci on a short trip driven car has to be bad for engine longevity. June
Factory OCIs, 20000km in my case, are always specified for "beneficial conditions". That is long trips att moderate speed in a temperate climate. They never specify how much shorter they should be for other conditions though..
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Re: Gunk in the oil dipstick tube

Post by misha » Thu Nov 22, 2018 3:28 pm

Shorter oil change interval will not prevent oil condensation and milky dipstick from frequent short trips in cold weather....the fact is that it can appear in a few days after oil change....and vanish the same day after longer driving.
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Re: Gunk in the oil dipstick tube

Post by June » Thu Nov 22, 2018 6:22 pm

misha wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 3:28 pm
Shorter oil change interval will not prevent oil condensation and milky dipstick from frequent short trips in cold weather....the fact is that it can appear in a few days after oil change....and vanish the same day after longer driving.
I was thinking more of fuel dilution of the oil and the length of time it would take to put 6K miles on a car that primarily ran short trips would have to be a recipe for wear and sludge? June
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1989 740 GLT ordered
1994 850 4door standard shift ordered
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1998 V70 GT dealer stock car
2002 S80 T6 ordered totalled
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Re: Gunk in the oil dipstick tube

Post by Rattnalle » Thu Nov 22, 2018 11:08 pm

misha wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 3:28 pm
Shorter oil change interval will not prevent oil condensation and milky dipstick from frequent short trips in cold weather....the fact is that it can appear in a few days after oil change....and vanish the same day after longer driving.
The issue to care about is water and fuel buildup in the oil though. Not cosmetic condensation in the dipstick tube. Sure it might be an issue for the pcv too but as long as the car does some longer trips it'll be fine.
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Re: Gunk in the oil dipstick tube

Post by abscate » Fri Nov 23, 2018 4:23 am

Rattnalle wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 9:54 am
Taking an extra hours drive each week just to boil the oil off doesn't make sense compared to just shortening the OCI a bit. Factor in wear on tyres, fuel etc and it just doesn't make sense.

And the obvious: walk or ride a bike if it's so short the car doesn't even get warm. Cheaper and healthier for both car and driver.
I never considered the economics of this but you are absolutely right of course.

One extra 20 mile trip per week is 1000 miles per year, or something like $200 in cost for a depreciated car.
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Re: Gunk in the oil dipstick tube

Post by Rattnalle » Fri Nov 23, 2018 4:28 am

abscate wrote:
Fri Nov 23, 2018 4:23 am
Rattnalle wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 9:54 am
Taking an extra hours drive each week just to boil the oil off doesn't make sense compared to just shortening the OCI a bit. Factor in wear on tyres, fuel etc and it just doesn't make sense.

And the obvious: walk or ride a bike if it's so short the car doesn't even get warm. Cheaper and healthier for both car and driver.
I never considered the economics of this but you are absolutely right of course.

One extra 20 mile trip per week is 1000 miles per year, or something like $200 in cost for a depreciated car.
Over here 1000 miles is about $200 in fuel alone. Plus the other stuff. While one oil change with 5w40 and filter is closer to $30.

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Re: Gunk in the oil dipstick tube

Post by Sommerfeldt » Fri Nov 23, 2018 4:54 am

Yup... driving a whole heap of tiny trips with horrendous fuel economy, a cold engine and water in your oil and then changing that oil more often makes a whole lot more sense. [/sarcasm]

- S
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Re: Gunk in the oil dipstick tube

Post by Dave in Maine » Fri Nov 23, 2018 6:06 am

I'd like to thank all who contributed their advice. A couple points:
1. The 6000 miles oil change interval was on synthetic. On non.synthetic I had limited my interval to 3000 miles or less. The 5600 miles I drove on that oil change included about 3500 or 4000 miles of high-speed highway driving, including a pretty-much-nonstop trip from Detroit MI to Portland Maine (~900 mi), two round trips from Portland to NYC plus a couple weeks of highway commuting in the NYC area (375 mi one way, plus daily commutes of 30 mi one way on the Jersey Turnpike), and various highway driving around home. If I feather the gas pedal correctly, my trip computer tells me I'm getting 24-26 mpg on extended highway cruising at 70 mph. Yes, there is a lot of in-town driving recently, too.
2. I had the PCV valve (and tuneup) done about 3000 mi ago. Seemed like it was time, since I'd driven the car about 70k since acquiring it and hadn't had either done. PCV had about 50% varnish; plugs may have been original. Mileage went up by about 4-5 mpg highway immediately.
3. It has been cold here the last couple weeks. It is 6F (-15C) here this morning. (Yes, it starts right up, first try.) I would not be surprised if there was a lot of condensation going on.
4. I will discuss with my mechanic having him do the combustion gas test on the radiator. As noted above, it seems cheap insurance.
5. Walks are good. But at 6F the only reason I'd be taking them is to walk the dog, and I no longer have a dog.
I'll keep you posted how this turns out.
Thanks again!

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