Changing the oil with a cold engine

4 replies to this topic
  • ace402

Posted March 22, 2009 - 08:33 AM


Is it OK to change the oil with a cold engine? I've done it a few times and the bike seems to run fine afterwards.

I use a triangle stand to hold the bike up and remove the bigger of the two bolts on the bottom backside of the engine. Not much if anything comes out of the small hole and of course nothing comes out of the hole on the front of the frame if I pull that one too.

I know that with out the engine warm the oil doesn't flow as freely but I am still getting 99% of the oil out right?

I wouldn't think it would be that big of a deal changing the oil this way but I just wanted to check. It's a 05 450


  • grayracer513

Posted March 22, 2009 - 08:42 AM


When you refill the engine on an '03 or later model, you are putting the oil in the crankcase, not the feed supply. This means that the engine will run without any oil circulating until it has returned enough of this oil to the frame for it to be pumped into the filter well. No oil will flow farther than that until the filter well has been refilled, and only then will oil be delivered to the vital parts. All of this can take as long as 15 seconds or so, and for that reason alone, you should run the engine prior to changing the oil, as the manual says.

The reason you get little or nothing from the frame when you do it cold is because you have let it sit so long that the tank has drained to the crankcase.

Cold oil changes can be done, but it's more advisable to do them after at least a brief run up.

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  • ace402

Posted March 22, 2009 - 08:44 AM


Makes sense. Thanks a lot Gray!

  • ace402

Posted March 22, 2009 - 08:58 AM


Just thinking...but wouldn't it still take 15 seconds to get oil to the vitals on a normal start up without doing an oil change? If so, then why would it matter to warm the bike up? Unless it was simply to give the internals a fresh coat of oil. I would think that cold oil changes would just be simplifying the process.

I don't know the intricacies of the oil system. With a cold engine full of oil, is there a spot that a certain amount of oil sits in order to be picked up sooner to lube the vitals earlier?

I'm not trying to argue, just thinkin'......

  • grayracer513

Posted March 22, 2009 - 09:02 AM


It's true that under normal circumstances the oil will drain to the crankcase, and there will be a delay in getting circulation started, but normally, the filter well won't drain, and normally 100% of the oil in the tank doesn't drain out, either, so the delay is not as long as after an oil change.

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