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      07-08-2012, 05:15 PM   #1
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How to lower engine oil temps

Hey guys ive seen a couple threads now saying that heat is an issue with our cars and I knew that it was before I even bought this car. So here is my experience and mods that I have experimented with so far.

Once my maintenance was over with BMW I switched over to Mobil 1 0w40 oil that is approved for our cars. My oil temps used to hover around 240F and when I pushed it hard my temps would climb to about 260 to 265 which was hot and with cobb v301 my car actually reduced power once when it got that hot. After the switch temps hovered around 230 and when pushed hard maybe 245-250 which I thought was awesome considering all I did was an oil change and switch.

Then I got e85 and running about 25/75 e85/93 oct and got a map made by a member on this forum for my cobb and seems to be great for power and temps are around the same as after the oil change. So for more power staying at the same oil temps was great.

Afterwards I decided to get a dyno to see where I was before and seems the map increased power by about 15whp and 20wtq and overall a flatter torque curve which is much better than v401. But as we were trying to dyno we couldnt find an engine signal to get torque at first so we took off the engine cover and found a good signal. Well that got me thinking to keep it off as the shop owner was telling me how hot my engine was and seems to be hotter than any FI car he has ever seen.

So after keeping it off for a few days and driving back and forth to Phili to get my OS Giken lsd installed temps seem to have dropped considerably. The temps around the mid atlantic has been humid and 100f+ degrees. With the cover off my temps have been 210-220 around town and when pushed hard around 240-245. It seems to be too low but im pretty excited. My temps dont ever go past 250 no matter how hard I drive it and no matter how long I drive it hard. And I have been driving it really really hard since I have gotten my lsd...love drifting around.

Even though the gauges tells me that is the temps I would like confirmation....would someone else try this (taking off the engine cover) and drive for a few days and let me know if you have similar results.
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      07-08-2012, 05:34 PM   #2
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You don't seriously think that changing to 0W-40 oil viscosity and removing your engine cover is going to reduce your oil temperature, do you? The only way you're going to accomplish that goal is to increase your oil cooling capacity with a larger oil cooler.
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      07-08-2012, 05:40 PM   #3
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You don't seriously think that changing to 0W-40 oil viscosity and removing your engine cover is going to reduce your oil temperature, do you? The only way you're going to accomplish that goal is to increase your oil cooling capacity with a larger oil cooler.
first of all...the whole viscosity thing was not what I was going with...i thought that mobil 1 could overall be a better oil.

and second why wouldnt keeping the engine cover off help? it has so much padding thats touching the engine itself and keeping all that heat built up in there. now that its off more air flows through the engine bay and the heat can actually go somewhere.

have you actually ever taken off your engine cover?

I think you should actually do before you speak...you havent even tried it and already talking trash.

Just go try it and if it doesnt work then obviously its something to do with my e85 flash...dont know if cobb flashes can actually control the readings of temps, but maybe.
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      07-08-2012, 06:14 PM   #4
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Different brand/viscosity oils do play a roll in oil temps, but i dont know if it's that's much of a difference in daily driving. I also don't see the cover making a 20F difference, however you can confirm this just by putting the cover back on and see what the temps do.


FWIW, Cobb is developing engine cooling management tables for ATR.
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      07-08-2012, 06:15 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by cleex024 View Post
first of all...the whole viscosity thing was not what I was going with...i thought that mobil 1 could overall be a better oil.

and second why wouldnt keeping the engine cover off help? it has so much padding thats touching the engine itself and keeping all that heat built up in there. now that its off more air flows through the engine bay and the heat can actually go somewhere.

have you actually ever taken off your engine cover?

I think you should actually do before you speak...you havent even tried it and already talking trash.

Just go try it and if it doesnt work then obviously its something to do with my e85 flash...dont know if cobb flashes can actually control the readings of temps, but maybe.
I doubt your oil had much to do with it but as far as your engine cover there have been some that have removed their engine cover and cowl and supposedly gotten lower temps but no one has documented this well. You should read the "Limp Mode Party at the Track" thread in the "tracking section".

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=412156

Only oil coolers and probably increasing cooling system efficiency will assist with oil temp reduction. At least that is a summary of the data we have so far.

If you could provide temps with and without cowl and doing the same course of road on the same day/ambient temp then it would be more significant info. Having said that I will likely run without my engine cover and cowl at the track as I think there is no good airflow to allow escape of the hot air. If you have your engine on and hood open you will see that the majority of the hot air is being pushed up and backward by the radiator fan as you would expect. However this air has plenty of obstruction to flowing out the back of the hood and over our windshield. Removing the engine cover and cowl should reduce this as would a vented hood. But like you I have not proven this to myself or anyone else,...yet.
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      07-08-2012, 06:26 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by N54_Fan View Post
I doubt your oil had much to do with it but as far as your engine cover there have been some that have removed their engine cover and cowl and supposedly gotten lower temps but no one has documented this well. You should read the "Limp Mode Party at the Track" thread in the "tracking section".

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=412156

Only oil coolers and probably increasing cooling system efficiency will assist with oil temp reduction. At least that is a summary of the data we have so far.

If you could provide temps with and without cowl and doing the same course of road on the same day/ambient temp then it would be more significant info. Having said that I will likely run without my engine cover and cowl at the track as I think there is no good airflow to allow escape of the hot air. If you have your engine on and hood open you will see that the majority of the hot air is being pushed up and backward by the radiator fan as you would expect. However this air has plenty of obstruction to flowing out the back of the hood and over our windshield. Removing the engine cover and cowl should reduce this as would a vented hood. But like you I have not proven this to myself or anyone else,...yet.
well just take off the engine cover and try it for a day or so and let me know...the whole engine oil thing was most likely due to the fact that the bmw oil was just old and dirty.

also i changed the oil at 7000 miles and it was completely black so I cant imagine what it looks like at 15000 miles like some people do on here lol.

so yeah most likely the temps reduced by oil change was not because of brand switch but most likely the switch to new oil.

either way will someone just try this and not keep telling me that by taking the engine cover off will not do anything...you guys saying that is only speculation while I have actually done it and has lowered temps.

again it might have something to do with the e85 flash but please just go try it and let me know.
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      07-08-2012, 11:10 PM   #7
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anyone else try this yet?
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      07-08-2012, 11:21 PM   #8
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Thermostat modification of the stock oil cooler.
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      07-08-2012, 11:42 PM   #9
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Thermostat modification of the stock oil cooler.
yeah im thinking about doin this but then my oil will take longer to heat up no?

always thought you would want to heat up your oil to normal driving temps as quickly as possible then cool it enough to not exceed that.
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      07-09-2012, 12:24 AM   #10
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No one sells an aftermarket thermostat by itself, that would kill business (I called STETT & asked). If you're oil temps are that bad, the only guaranteed way to get any results is to buy an aftermarket oil cooling kit.

If you buy a STETT oil cooling kit, you can special order (for an additional fee) a thermostat with a lower temp. IIRC, there is a 180, 200 + 210 F thermostat options. I'm not crazy about the 180 since water might not boil out, so a 200/210 thermostat might be the best option. The OEM thermostat starts cooling at 230, so shaving 30 degrees is a fairly significant amount.

Now if you hypothetical bought the aftermarket thermostat & started cooling at 200, the oil temp won't be 200 F, the operating temp will be something higher like ~220 (this is a guess since the OEM thermostat starts cooling at 230 + normal operating temp is ~250).
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      07-09-2012, 12:27 AM   #11
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Thermostat modification of the stock oil cooler.
this.
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      07-09-2012, 12:35 AM   #12
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anyway you guys have to go back and read the OP as I stated that removing the engine cover, changing the oil to mobil 1 0w40 (most benefits came from just changing to new oil) and using e85 with cobb atr e85 map.

wondering if anyone out there has also done this and lowered temps...or if anyone is willing to do it to find out if it also helps you.

by doing all the things listed above, my oil temps dropped by at least 20F
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      07-09-2012, 12:49 AM   #13
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Quote:
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anyone else try this yet?
Yep I have modified my cowl, taken off most of the bull shit and currently my engine cover is off, I typically don't ever go over 230 and typically hover around 210-220 with outside temps being around 100. Also I am running 0w40 Mobile1, I can't attest to it making a difference, but how could it not reduce under-hood temps. Do you have a blanket on your bed and for what reasons??
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      07-09-2012, 12:50 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cleex024 View Post
Hey guys ive seen a couple threads now saying that heat is an issue with our cars and I knew that it was before I even bought this car. So here is my experience and mods that I have experimented with so far.

Once my maintenance was over with BMW I switched over to Mobil 1 0w40 oil that is approved for our cars. My oil temps used to hover around 240F and when I pushed it hard my temps would climb to about 260 to 265 which was hot and with cobb v301 my car actually reduced power once when it got that hot. After the switch temps hovered around 230 and when pushed hard maybe 245-250 which I thought was awesome considering all I did was an oil change and switch.

Then I got e85 and running about 25/75 e85/93 oct and got a map made by a member on this forum for my cobb and seems to be great for power and temps are around the same as after the oil change. So for more power staying at the same oil temps was great.

Afterwards I decided to get a dyno to see where I was before and seems the map increased power by about 15whp and 20wtq and overall a flatter torque curve which is much better than v401. But as we were trying to dyno we couldnt find an engine signal to get torque at first so we took off the engine cover and found a good signal. Well that got me thinking to keep it off as the shop owner was telling me how hot my engine was and seems to be hotter than any FI car he has ever seen.

So after keeping it off for a few days and driving back and forth to Phili to get my OS Giken lsd installed temps seem to have dropped considerably. The temps around the mid atlantic has been humid and 100f+ degrees. With the cover off my temps have been 210-220 around town and when pushed hard around 240-245. It seems to be too low but im pretty excited. My temps dont ever go past 250 no matter how hard I drive it and no matter how long I drive it hard. And I have been driving it really really hard since I have gotten my lsd...love drifting around.

Even though the gauges tells me that is the temps I would like confirmation....would someone else try this (taking off the engine cover) and drive for a few days and let me know if you have similar results.
Shit I would pull over if I ever saw my temps that high, thinking something was wrong.
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      07-09-2012, 01:43 AM   #15
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Are you talking about the engine cover? and the cowl? I have heard from a few people by removing the cowl does significantly decrease temps as the air has somewhere to exit. but engine cover as well?
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      07-09-2012, 07:44 AM   #16
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All well and good; however:

1. The synthetic oil we use (be it Castrol, Mobil 1, or whatever) turns a dark color not long after it's introduced into the engine. Dark oil is not a sign of it becoming ineffective. Oil at 15K is no darker than it is at 7.5K miles.

2. Engine oil temperature in an N54 is a result of the heat of combustion transferring itself throughout the engine (particularly the cylinder head) and circulation of oil through the turbos, where it picks up even more exhaust heat. Removing the cowl and engine cover might help dissipate some engine compartment heat, but the effect on oil temps would be negligible. Circulating the oil through a larger "radiator" is the only way to carry heat away from it. That's why they make aftermarket oil coolers.

3. Oil brand and viscosity is not going to make a noticeable difference in oil temperatures - at least not 20 or more degrees - except in extreme situations where viscosity is lost and the oil begins breaking down. Running low on oil could increase temperatures, as there's less of it to carrry off the heat it absorbs from the engine, but oil doesn't have any special "coolant" additives. Its main job is reduction of friction and to carry off heat without degrading to the point of losing its lubricating quality.

Now - as far as "trying this", I prefer to use common sense coupled with some engineering knowledge versus removing parts from my car. You could remove the hood and reduce temperatures, as you could by removing your front bumper to expose more of the radiator area and the engine block itself to the air. But that would impose other problems and thus really wouldn't be practical. However, if you want to drive around with no engine cover and cowl, that's your business, but it's not what most people would call a fast solution - it's only half-fast at best.
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      07-09-2012, 08:08 AM   #17
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Quote:
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All well and good; however:

1. The synthetic oil we use (be it Castrol, Mobil 1, or whatever) turns a dark color not long after it's introduced into the engine. Dark oil is not a sign of it becoming ineffective. Oil at 15K is no darker than it is at 7.5K miles.

2. Engine oil temperature in an N54 is a result of the heat of combustion transferring itself throughout the engine (particularly the cylinder head) and circulation of oil through the turbos, where it picks up even more exhaust heat. Removing the cowl and engine cover might help dissipate some engine compartment heat, but the effect on oil temps would be negligible. Circulating the oil through a larger "radiator" is the only way to carry heat away from it. That's why they make aftermarket oil coolers.

3. Oil brand and viscosity is not going to make a noticeable difference in oil temperatures - at least not 20 or more degrees - except in extreme situations where viscosity is lost and the oil begins breaking down. Running low on oil could increase temperatures, as there's less of it to carrry off the heat it absorbs from the engine, but oil doesn't have any special "coolant" additives. Its main job is reduction of friction and to carry off heat without degrading to the point of losing its lubricating quality.

Now - as far as "trying this", I prefer to use common sense coupled with some engineering knowledge versus removing parts from my car. You could remove the hood and reduce temperatures, as you could by removing your front bumper to expose more of the radiator area and the engine block itself to the air. But that would impose other problems and thus really wouldn't be practical. However, if you want to drive around with no engine cover and cowl, that's your business, but it's not what most people would call a fast solution - it's only half-fast at best.
1. As for the oil change there was a massive change in temp...this was not a placebo effect. Once I changed it the oil never went past 250F where before I would be in the 265F range. Now I dont really care why this happened whether it was because Mobil 1 is better or if the viscosity made the difference or actually if it was the new oil. Either way the oil change made a significant decrease in oil temps. And if you really dont believe that your oil should be changed at 7-8k miles then go ahead and change it every 15k miles...i dont care.

2. Circulating oil through a bigger oil cooler will of course make a good difference in cooling the oil...but again if your oil temps to begin with are over 260F its still hard to pull that down 20-30F to where I am now. With the temps I see now there is no point in having one. If you seriously just go under your hood and spend 5 minutes to pull the engine cover off then you will see how it could possibly keep in the heat. the padding is literally inches think and is burnt in a couple places where it has touched the hottest pard of the engine. Would you want air there is foam padding?

This point it absolutely pointless...you make a weak argument here as not having a hood could ultimately put too much trash in your engine bay area and I would not want all the water going in there through rain storms. Also parts could be stolen if you left your hood on and when it comes to your front bumper that would be a safety issue as you need it to set off airbags...and little fender benders would be a lot more disastrous as your bumper would no longer take the hit and cushion it. Also it would just be ugly as hell driving around with no bumper or hood.

Now taking of your engine over is different...im pretty sure BMW did this to only make your engine bay area look a little nicer and maybe reduce sound slightly. I dont hear the engine more in the cabin but when I pop my hood when the engine is running is where I hear the engine being a little louder. There is no safety issues with taking off an engine cover...and no I have not taken off my cowl as there would be less protection against water getting to the ecu.

The whole point is when I changed my oil it made a difference, but I am not sure if the engine cover actually made a difference as things seemed a little finicky after the e85 map was installed...again I dont see how this could possibly control temp gauges. I would just like to see if someone else would try to take off the engine cover and drive around a couple days to see if they see any kind of difference in oil temp.
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      07-09-2012, 08:09 AM   #18
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Some oils DO transfer heat better than others. I've seen it myself on identical 335s at a track, one running BMW OE oil, other running Motul. The Motul car was not only turning same/faster lap times, but it did not go into limp mode from high oil temps, while the other 335 did every session.

Any real synthetic should be better than the original BMW Group 3 oil (not really "synthetic" in the traditional sense of man-made oil).
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      07-09-2012, 09:49 AM   #19
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OP, if you're simply going off the dash temp guage this isn't exactly "accurate". The oil temp gauge isn't meausring the hottest oil temps since it the sensor isn't on the block. Changing oil temps won't make a significant temp change, and it's likely you'd be better off changing the actual coolant (higher ratios of coolant:distilled water).

And this is just me, but the engine cover is on there to cover the engine from shit that gets kicked into the engine bay. I don't see any problem with removing the soud deadening foam (lots of people who run meth do this since the foam is known taking a small spark into an inferno), but I'd still want some cover on the engine. You'll get more passive airflow with the foam removed and if that's not good enough, go buy a CF cover (holds lower temps, better heat dispersion for quicker cooling).
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      07-09-2012, 09:52 AM   #20
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I would love to keep oil temps down so I stop evaporating oil system gaskets in my car.
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      07-09-2012, 09:56 AM   #21
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OP, if you're simply going off the dash temp guage this isn't exactly "accurate". The oil temp gauge isn't meausring the hottest oil temps since it the sensor isn't on the block.
Actually, the oil temp is hottest in the pan. The old way of measuring oil temps (on earlier M cars that had oil temp gauges such as E30 M3 and E36 Euro M3) was after the cooler going back into the engine galleys. 240-250F in the pan is not great, but that is the hottest point the oil sees before getting pulled up into the pump and off to the oil cooler.

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Originally Posted by benzy89 View Post
And this is just me, but the engine cover is on there to cover the engine from shit that gets kicked into the engine bay. I don't see any problem with removing the soud deadening foam (lots of people who run meth do this since the foam is known taking a small spark into an inferno), but I'd still want some cover on the engine. You'll get more passive airflow with the foam removed and if that's not good enough, go buy a CF cover (holds lower temps, better heat dispersion for quicker cooling).
That's a good point about the cover. Water can get in, and the injectors are not supposed to get wet. Dirt builds up and is very hard to blow out of the valley in the middle of the head. I might run it off on track, but on the street, there's just too much dirt swirling around to leave it off.
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E28 M5 w/ buncha stuff, R171 SLK350
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      07-09-2012, 09:58 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by themyst View Post
I would love to keep oil temps down so I stop evaporating oil system gaskets in my car.
Stett cooler with lower temp thermostat is ideal for street driven / track cars. I'm going to make up my own this summer once I get a spare second when I'm not completely exhausted.
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RRT Racing
E92 335i/6MT Dinan Stage 3: intercooler, oil cooler, intake, flash, exhaust, LW dual-mass flywheel.
Vishnu PWM methanol custom trunk mount, Diffsonline 3-clutch Salisbury custom diff, Ohlins Road and Track coilovers, Vorshlag camber plates, much more...
E28 M5 w/ buncha stuff, R171 SLK350
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