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  1. #1
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    Default Oil change before winter storage or after ? Your thoughts?

    Iíve always done my oil change before storing for the winter. Does it make a difference if I wait till the spring ?

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    oil is acid so you need to change it before storing, in fall,

    sergiu

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    Very Active Member bmwlarry's Avatar
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    Im in a bit of a different position. I do not change it in the fall. the oil
    change kit is way to expensive to change annually if the mileage is very low. I ride the spyder at least every month and will watch the condition of the oil when I check it after every ride. It certainly cannot need changed after a thousand miles when the actual interval is WAY higher. Thats my view
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  4. #4
    aka: akspyderman ARtraveler's Avatar
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    When I lived in Alaska, which has a winter layover season, I would always do my oil changes at the beginning of the season. My mileage then was usually less than the annual 9,300 oil change or once a year recommendation.

    For me, it seemed better to get the "new oil" at the beginning of the season. I know others will not agree.

    Now, in Arkansas, we run the Spyders until they need them and do them within the recommended period. Had oil changes in 2019 in August and again in April of 2020. Coming up on 2,500 more miles and it will be change out time again. Late Oct/early Nov sounds about right.
    Last edited by ARtraveler; 09-16-2020 at 12:02 PM.

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    Previously : 2008 GS-SM5 (silver), 2009 RS-SE5 (red), 2010 RT-S Premier Editon #474 (black) 2011 RT A&C SE5 (magnesium). 6 Spyders, 11 years, 167,000 miles


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    Very Active Member ThreeWheels's Avatar
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    I wonder how much of this "Acid Oil" is a real issue, or just a thought experiment.
    I liken it to nitrogen for tire inflation.
    Assuming you change the oil on a regular basis during normal operation, in theory, you should change the oil before it sits for the winter, but how much impact does it have in real practice ?
    And......the acid needs water to make it more damaging, so just make sure you put it away for the season after you've ridden it long enough to thoroughly heat the oil and drive off any water.

    Just my opinion. I could be wrong. If I am, I'm sure many many people on this forum will be happy to let me know.
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    Very Active Member Lew L's Avatar
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    About 80% of what in in a quart bottle of modern motor oil is ------- oil. The rest is additives. One of those 8 or 9 additives is a buffer to neutralize acids from combustion gasses that get into the oil. That buffer is used up over time ( as are most of the other additives, Thus we have regular oil changes). I change my oil once a year ---- usually before I put the up for its winter nap.
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  7. #7
    Very Active Member Haze's Avatar
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    I usually schedule a lot of repair, maintenance, and farkle work for the late fall or early winter.
    That is after the road crews lay down the first salt brine and sand. Gives me a good time to
    change the oil when the tupperware is off during my seasonal maintenance.
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    Put away ????
    That's why they invented studded tires .
    And heated hand grips

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    TBN (total base number)of oil gives an indication of the alkaline reserve buffer left in the oil.
    TAN (total acid number) of oil is the measure of acid concentration.
    Acids cause varnish,sludge and corrosion.
    You can speculate, but the only sure way of knowing if the oil is spent in your application is a used oil analysis. Blackstone, Polaris, Apex are a few labs. They can check TBN and TAN and make a recommendation.
    I change in the fall before storage, but it would be extremely rare for lightly used oil to cause any harm if left to set over winter. Oil close to your chosen change interval (or max Can-Am recommendation) should be changed before storage.

  10. #10
    SpyderLovers Sponsor BajaRon's Avatar
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    A lot has changed over the years. Oil has made quantum leaps. Old information and habits (which were prudent in the past) die hard.

    If you are using a decent oil, you're good to go over the winter, run some miles in the springs and change it then. Always change your oil hot, if at all possible. It makes quite a bit of difference.

    Here is something that is common, but should not be done with any internal combustion engine. Do Not start it up and let it idle (or high idle). If you're not going to ride it long enough to get the oil up to operating temperature (not just the coolant which heats up quickly). You'll just deteriorate the oil more quickly. You can't get the oil hot by letting it just sit and idle. You have to ride it for the oil to get hot enough to off gas water and other contaminates. Ride it, or let it sit.
    Last edited by BajaRon; 09-16-2020 at 08:32 PM.
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  11. #11
    Very Active Member Highwayman2013's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackie312001 View Post
    I’ve always done my oil change before storing for the winter. Does it make a difference if I wait till the spring ?
    No, oil does not go bad over winter. It has anti-acid additives.

    This may help from Blackstone Laboratories

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    Very Active Member Highwayman2013's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sergiu1 View Post
    oil is acid so you need to change it before storing, in fall,

    sergiu
    Oil is NOT acid.
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  13. #13
    Active Member Stache's Avatar
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    I LOVE these oil threads! There are more opinions about oil brands, oil changes, timing for oil changes than there are oil brands or days in the calendar

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    Very Active Member Saluda's Avatar
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    Do our changes according to mileage which means they are done mostly during the season rather than before winter storage. Most I have talked to see no issue with that.
    ​Never stop questioning

  15. #15
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    Thanks for asking. In Canada, the typical answer is/was to change the oil (and add Stabil to the gas tank and top up the gas) before storing it for the winter. I've never put that many kms on my rides (25 years of 2 wheels), so I'm ok with only changing it before storing.

    Actually, just had a friend help me change the oil for the first time (since I bought this ST), and when putting the plastic back on we ended up with an "extra" bolt. I guess I'll do some practicing with removing and reinstalling the panels to figure out where it belongs.

  16. #16
    Ozzie Ozzie Ozzie Peter Aawen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenerator View Post
    ...... Actually, just had a friend help me change the oil for the first time (since I bought this ST), and when putting the plastic back on we ended up with an "extra" bolt. .......
    Yeah, I've got friends who think that's a funny thing to do too!!

    I've learnt & now recommend to all that you should never let that sorta friend near when you're doing something important; saaay, like doing an engine strip down & re-build, or you're likely to end up with a 'spare' valve spring &/or just one surplus big end bolt left in the tray once everything is all buttoned up again!

    You'll know that you put it all back together properly; and you're pretty sure it's just those 'so called' friends having a laugh at your expense (usually cos they ARE wetting themselves laughing as they watch! ) but there's always juuust a little niggle.... .
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    SpyderLovers Sponsor BajaRon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stache View Post
    I LOVE these oil threads! There are more opinions about oil brands, oil changes, timing for oil changes than there are oil brands or days in the calendar
    You've got that right!

    Quote Originally Posted by Highwayman2013 View Post
    Oil is NOT acid.
    I think this was in reference to the fact that oil used to have a problem becoming acidic when stored having combustion contaminants from being run in an engine. Over a winter the PH factor going to the acidic side could do damage and erode hard parts. But all decent oils have additives these days to control the PH. It's no longer the problem it used to be.
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  18. #18
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    I have my dealer change the oil before laying up the bike for the winter. I also have any required maintenance like coolant change/brake fluid change/clutch fluid/air filter done. Then take it home and I pull my battery and put it on a battery tender.

    When spring rolls around I am not waiting in line behind dozens of others to get the parts / service I need. If you do all of your own work, do it as required at a time that suits you.

  19. #19
    SpyderLovers Sponsor BajaRon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terrance View Post
    I have my dealer change the oil before laying up the bike for the winter. I also have any required maintenance like coolant change/brake fluid change/clutch fluid/air filter done. Then take it home and I pull my battery and put it on a battery tender.

    When spring rolls around I am not waiting in line behind dozens of others to get the parts / service I need. If you do all of your own work, do it as required at a time that suits you.
    Yes, if you don't do your own maintenance, there are other concerns which enter the equation.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Aawen View Post
    Yeah, I've got friends who think that's a funny thing to do too!!

    I've learnt & now recommend to all that you should never let that sorta friend near when you're doing something important; saaay, like doing an engine strip down & re-build, or you're likely to end up with a 'spare' valve spring &/or just one surplus big end bolt left in the tray once everything is all buttoned up again!

    You'll know that you put it all back together properly; and you're pretty sure it's just those 'so called' friends having a laugh at your expense (usually cos they ARE wetting themselves laughing as they watch! ) but there's always juuust a little niggle.... .
    In his defense, he has always been a technical, mechanical kind of guy, and unfortunately last summer half his face was torn open by a huge dog, so his memory and aptitude seem to have taken a bit of a hit as well. He was just being a dear and helping me with a task.

  21. #21
    Very Active Member SteveLaoyster's Avatar
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    I always do before that way when good weather hits in the spring all I have to do is check tire pressure.
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  22. #22
    Very Active Member Deanna777's Avatar
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    I have my can am dealer change the oil,and etc. when it is in hibernation. When the spring rolls around I am ready to ride.


    Thanks for the reminder Next month my spyder goes into hibernation: gaah: Then I get ready for the sled season, I don't have much down time between the spyder season and the sled season, I usually have about a month in between the 2 seasons.


    I am in Vermont.


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  23. #23
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    When I worked on the railroad as a machinist (diesel mechanic) we had Alco's, EMD's and GE diesel electric locomotives...We never changed the oil...We tested the oil and added additives that were needed...When these iron horses were not out on the rail pulling loads the were idling in the yard waiting on the next trip...The only time they were shut down was when they were in the shop for maintenance...If one were to encounter problems on the rail while working and it automatically shut down one engine, the engineer had to stop the train and drain the coolant from that engine...(TREATED WATER, NOT ANTIFREEZE)...Reason being, if it were winter the coolant could freeze, and the other reason was when these big engines cooled down they leaked water internally into the cylinder and crankcase excessively...This may have now changed since back in the late sixties and early seventies??? larryd

  24. #24
    Very Active Member Mazo EMS2's Avatar
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    Another vote for before storing. My thinking is that it's better to have the bike sitting idle with fresh oil that doesn't have any breakdown or acidic "junk" in it that could do any harm to an idle motor. I have no basis for this thought, but that's my story and I'm stickin to it.

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