Winter Storage Oil Change

I store my scooter in a heated (55F) garage. I changed the oil just before putting it up for the winter. This, I’m told, is so the contaminants in the oil won’t etch the engine during its long nap. OK, that’s reasonable.

I’ve read, however, that I should also change the oil (again) when it’s time for the bike to wake up in the Spring. This seems wasteful.

Is this necessary or advisable?

I know of no reason to do so. The oil doesn’t degrade sitting in your sump any more than it would sitting in a bottle on a shelf, and contaminants aren’t being produced.

It’s fairly common advice for a lot of “small and/or seasonal” motors like motorcycles.

Gary T, while a brand new engine without any use would store the oil almost exactly the same as bottle, during a winter period, a used engine, though drained of oil prior to storage, still has some old oil, and other “contaminants” in the engine case. Water could still be in the engine, which is absorbed by the storage oil, old fuel, or other contaminants, could also be in the engine. These could have been cleaned off internal engine parts by the new oil, which is now “dirty.” (Though not nearly as dirty as the oil being replaced)

It’s probably not a bad idea to do it anyway, but I don’t think you’d be in any trouble if you didn’t… assuming your maintenance is otherwise ok. I’d do it, as it’s probably not more than a few quarts, which isn’t expensive, and won’t strain the capacity my oil storage/disposal containers.

Example: Boat after boat gets an engine- and gear-oil change for winterization. The joy is that come spring time, it’s one less thing to do! Straight from the manufacturer’s guide and from every high-performance gear head I know.

Don’t even think about changing out the oil again. The fresh oil has capacity to suspend and deal with any residual from the old stuff. What is going to happen to the oil in the next 500 miles is much more significant than what it experiences as part of its winter layover, and I doubt anyone is on a 500-mile change interval.