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Change oil before each trackday, novices too?

Michael_vroomvroom

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I had my first trackday ever with a car some weeks ago, in my 5.0 2020 GT manual transmission. That was my first trackday, so I did not do anything before/after with regards to the oil, but kept the same 5w-20 oil there as I've been using for my daily driving, assuming it'd be ok for my novice self.

Now I'm planing to join another trackday at the same track in a few weeks, and wonder a whether I need to change the oil and filter before and after, as the owner's manual says, or if that's something mostly for the more proficient drivers and won't matter much for someone at my level?

I was the slowest guy on the track, but I did get a fair amount of track time and did around 70 x 3km laps I estimate. The estimated oil life went from 30+ something to 11%, and I like to keep the RPM high on the laps where I'm pushing it (I'm used to bikes, and at 7,000 rpm, we're just cruising relaxed on the highway ;-), but I did not get any overheat warnings.

The lack of overheat warnings which so many others seem to get on stock cars, and with the ambient temperature being quite hot at 86+ F, I'm guessing implies I'm not really driving that hard yet.

Ideally I'll change the oil/filter before the trackday, to the recommended 5w-20 for DD (since it's already at 11% life or less), but not not do anything more. Is that just being a stupid cheapskate, or you guys think it's ok for someone at my level?
 

Davesvt2000

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Personally, I would change it before, especially since you lost almost 20% on the last event, and now you’re down to 11% life remaining.

if it’s your last event of the year, even after fresh oil change before hand, you’ll still be at estimated 90% life after the event.
 

Michael_vroomvroom

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Personally, I would change it before, especially since you lost almost 20% on the last event, and now you’re down to 11% life remaining.

if it’s your last event of the year, even after fresh oil change before hand, you’ll still be at estimated 90% life after the event.
Sorry, maybe I was unclear. I meant I wonder if it's ok to change the oil before the trackday to 5w-20, (even though that is the oil recommended in the owner's manual for daily driving), but nothing more. I.e, not change to 5w-30 before the trackday, then throw away that oil after the trackday and change again to 5w-20. Unless others think that even with a novice tracking the car, I should change to 5w-30, and then change again to 5w-20, I prefer to save that money and time.
 

Grafanton

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I do a fair number of track days each year, so I change my oil frequently.

I figure a fresh oil change is good for 2 track days depending on how hot it is and road mileage in between.
If it were me, I would definitely change the oil in your car prior to my next track day.

I also like to change my oil at 50% of the indicated oil life regardless of the number of track days. My car is also my DD and has a fair amount of mileage (93,000). Cheap insurance.
 

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If you’re tracking the car, changeit more often. Keep records. Don’t overthink it. Its perfectly fine to daily drive on 5w30 in the summer.

If you want real data, sample the oil and send it off for testing. A lot of people actually do that.
 

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Ok so my first season I changed my oil every other track day.
Same this year my OLM is at 28% after 2 very hot track days like 90+ degrees hot. I will change before next track day for sure. I drive at 5w20 oil but changing oil often make the OLM to perform strange. So I prefer to watch the stick about what my oil level is. I suggest you to get passenger side catch can if you plan to track your car. This was a must have upgrade for me as I was burning tons of oil at the track but now I'm not.
 

Ewheels

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So when I started tracking my car, I followed the owner's manual by the book. I ran 5w20 for the street, changed to 5w30 for the track and then changed back to 5w20 for the street again. This was time consuming and costly.

Really the need to change oil for street use is the oil slowly breaks down over time and loses its lubricating characteristics. The need to change oil for track use is due to heat. The high heat from track breaks down the oil at an accelerated rate. So using old oil on the track is bad and equally using heat soaked or "burnt" oil on the street is bad.

I now use 5w30 all the time for street and track. I change AFTER the track event now. I frequently track my car so the oil isn't getting too old from street driving.
 
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LethalBlake

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If you heavily track the car it would definitely be a good idea to change the oil far more often than standard use. Track use you are going to see more consumption and break down so changing it out will give you more peace of mind to not have to worry :)
 

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fatbillybob

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To OP sounds like if not getting temp warnings at your level you should be just fine with stock oil as daily driven and change per the WSM intervals.

I'm 100% race on my S550. Raced other cars in the past 20 years and some HPDE tracdays before that.

The answer to oil change interval and what oil to use is to start at the WSM. In the USA Blackstone labs is one of the biggest test facilities that we can get oil tests for cheap. What I do is runs some races and send in an oil test and get the results. Those results tell you how good the oil is and predicted life. You do that a few times and zero in on what works at your level. Anyone changing oil after every event or two will be in for a surprise at how long you can actually go between oil changes. I my case we are racing and wasting gas and polluting the environment but the world does not need more waste oil and the synthetic oil is $7 bucks a qt so every change is near 100 bucks DIY. The blackstone oil tests are well worth the money and give you real data based on the conditions you run. Spend a little upfront on oil tests and extend your oil change interval because that's what the data will show and save some money.
 

Michael_vroomvroom

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Many thanks for the advice. My takeaway is that at least until my driving level improves, I don't need to be overly concerned about not changing the oil before and after each trackday, but have a fair amount of leeway on that.
I've only driven about 4,000 miles since my previous (and first) oil change about 6 months ago, but oil life is now down to 6%. I read it's only calculated based on various external things, and not actually based on any oil measurements, but find it interesting anyway.

Guess now I should start thinking about investing in an oil catch can too.
 

fatbillybob

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Guess now I should start thinking about investing in an oil catch can too.
Not yet! Save your money. See how it goes 1st as you improve. CC's are not universally needed but universally applied because people are told they need them and often times they do. Many things can cause you to puke extra oil besides just driving faster. What I have learned over many engines racing in the same chassis, is that sometimes you make great horsepopwer and torque proven on the dyno and yet sometimes you puke oil and sometimes you don't. You have to see what your motor wants under the conditions you drive. On my new 2019 s550 racing only at about 1000miles I use almost no oil just like I would expect from a new tight motor. I'll top (a few ounces) it off at the end of a weekend of racing for the next race. I had one LS motor puke so much oil I had to go to a passive PCV system with return to the sump (AKA self draining CC)! But the motor was perfect in every other way and used no oil but a few ounces after the race weekend. So the best thing to do is understand what a CC does and what you are trying to catch and where you need to catch it from and fabricate accordingly or just throw cash at it put in a pair of cans and add maintaining those to your trackside punch list.
 

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To OP sounds like if not getting temp warnings at your level you should be just fine with stock oil as daily driven and change per the WSM intervals.

I'm 100% race on my S550. Raced other cars in the past 20 years and some HPDE tracdays before that.

The answer to oil change interval and what oil to use is to start at the WSM. In the USA Blackstone labs is one of the biggest test facilities that we can get oil tests for cheap. What I do is runs some races and send in an oil test and get the results. Those results tell you how good the oil is and predicted life. You do that a few times and zero in on what works at your level. Anyone changing oil after every event or two will be in for a surprise at how long you can actually go between oil changes. I my case we are racing and wasting gas and polluting the environment but the world does not need more waste oil and the synthetic oil is $7 bucks a qt so every change is near 100 bucks DIY. The blackstone oil tests are well worth the money and give you real data based on the conditions you run. Spend a little upfront on oil tests and extend your oil change interval because that's what the data will show and save some money.
FYI used oil gets recycled (unless you pour it on the ground rather than taking it to the proper facility).

To the OP, I prefer to change oil more frequently. I follow the manual. If the manual says to change after X hours on track, that's what I do. My goal is not to keep the oil as long as possible. My goal is for the engine to last as long as possible and also for my factory warranty to stay valid. SO I use what the manufacturer recommends and change it as recommended. Same goes for the transmission and rear differential lubricants.
 

fatbillybob

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FYI used oil gets recycled (unless you pour it on the ground rather than taking it to the proper facility).

To the OP, I prefer to change oil more frequently. I follow the manual. If the manual says to change after X hours on track, that's what I do. My goal is not to keep the oil as long as possible. My goal is for the engine to last as long as possible and also for my factory warranty to stay valid. SO I use what the manufacturer recommends and change it as recommended. Same goes for the transmission and rear differential lubricants.
I do not knowingly use any recycled oil in my cars. It still costs resources to recycle. It is best not to make excess waste. There is much more 1st use oil being used than recycled oil I think? I wonder where are the recycled oil is being used?

I'm 100% race so the manufacturer recs are a bare minimum and inadequte. The 1000 race miles on the chassis is much more punishing than 1000miles at 70mph cruising the freeway. This is a HPDE/racing board. We are all exceeding the OEM's intent and if we want to keep our motors healthy longer we need to do more than the minimum. We are putting stress on things for which there is no data.
 

Hack

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I do not knowingly use any recycled oil in my cars. It still costs resources to recycle. It is best not to make excess waste. There is much more 1st use oil being used than recycled oil I think? I wonder where are the recycled oil is being used?

I'm 100% race so the manufacturer recs are a bare minimum and inadequte. The 1000 race miles on the chassis is much more punishing than 1000miles at 70mph cruising the freeway. This is a HPDE/racing board. We are all exceeding the OEM's intent and if we want to keep our motors healthy longer we need to do more than the minimum. We are putting stress on things for which there is no data.
I agree it's good to avoid excessive waste, but I don't think that's what I do.

I understand you are beating your chest about racing the car. Maybe I misunderstood what you said earlier (quoted below). It sounded like you were trying to extend oil change intervals as much as possible based on testing your used oil. So which is it? Are you changing frequently because the manufacturer recommendations are inadequate or are you extending the service intervals longer than the manufacturer recommends based on third party test info?

fatbillybob said:
The answer to oil change interval and what oil to use is to start at the WSM. In the USA Blackstone labs is one of the biggest test facilities that we can get oil tests for cheap. What I do is runs some races and send in an oil test and get the results. Those results tell you how good the oil is and predicted life. You do that a few times and zero in on what works at your level. Anyone changing oil after every event or two will be in for a surprise at how long you can actually go between oil changes. I my case we are racing and wasting gas and polluting the environment but the world does not need more waste oil and the synthetic oil is $7 bucks a qt so every change is near 100 bucks DIY.
 

fatbillybob

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Maybe I misunderstood what you said earlier (quoted below). It sounded like you were trying to extend oil change intervals as much as possible based on testing your used oil. So which is it? Are you changing frequently because the manufacturer recommendations are inadequate or are you extending the service intervals longer than the manufacturer recommends based on third party test info?
Yes misundertand. These not real numbers: Lets say ford says change at 5000mi. street driving. What to many HPDE guys do? I hear people changing after an event! One day on track is maybe 200miles? Is 200 track miles = 5000 street miles? I think we can agree that track miles are harder on car than street so the change number is going to be less than 5000miles. So do you change at 2000 street miles + 1 or 2 trackdays? Why guess? An oil test will tell you based on your actual use. That is all I am saying. You will spend the least on consumables, waste only the oil your need, keep your motor in good shape.
 

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