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Info/advice - Oil Temperatures

Caterham Aftersales

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With the track day season in full swing and warmer weather here, we have received a large number of queries from various quarters regarding acceptable oil temperatures on k series Supersport cars and Superlights.


We would expect the oil temperature to reach in excess of 100c when driven enthusiastically, but not reach the red.


What has become apparent is that the single most important factor affecting the temperature is the fuel being used. We believe that the quality of 95RON unleaded has detiorated recently, possibly as a side affect of price competition, and this is causing poor combustion at sustained high rpm. This is generally not felt by the driver.


Experience has shown that cars run on Super Unleaded or other high octane fuels (such as Shell Optimax) do not experience this problem. In tests, the oil temperature has been significantly lower under hard use (though it will be similar in general road driving). Note: Whilst our guage only reads to 120c, the engine is rated to a much higher temperature (as is any good quality oil).


Therefore, to safeguard your engine from lubrication related problems, Caterham Cars strongly recommend the use of Super Unleaded or equivilant fuel for track days and racing.

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Good advice to use SUL on track regardless.


110 degrees bulk oil temperature measured in an Apollo tank equates to a much higher temperature in the working areas of the engine. Mobil One motorsport 15W50 is *only* rated to 130 degrees. Mobil One 0W40 is rated higher - 150 degrees IIRC.



253 BHP K-seriesteeth.gif, no gearboxbum.gifid=red>

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I agree - it's good to see a Caterham contributing - the first time I've seen it.


As a complete coincidence I've just posted to chitchat suggesting that there should be a tech notes and /or FAQ section on the Caterham site or on the L7c site to which Caterham contribute regularly!


The Mole - it's better than being a rat

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Hi Steve


True, true! Just sprints this year so no chance to let the oil get that hot. I do find it warms up a bit at over 4,000 revs sustained on motorways etc.


I was hoping to be sprinting at Goodwood on the 29th where the 2002 Academy will be as well but prior commitments and all that have put paid.


How's the racing?


NN blush.gif

Lotus @ Herts

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I have looked at my R500 Datalogging for the Snetterton round of the Centurian Challenge last year. This was held on one of the hottest days of the year. The car did not have an Appollo tank fitted at the time.

The oil temperature was in the 93-98 degree range and for 3 laps briefly passed 100 degrees. This was exceptional and Minister prefer R500 oil temps to run under 90 degrees. However Jason Krebs saw temps of 140 degrees running in our slipstream that day!

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I have fitted adhesive temperature indicators at 3 pints arond the oil system - filter housing , scavenge and return pipes , plus a sender in the bottom of the belltank .

During this season including trackdays on warmish days ( 25C track temp) I have yet to see the indicators above 104C . The car is driven hard , but only for 15 min maximum bursts .

This is running to 8100 rpm , with Optimax . The optimax I believe does make my engine feel "sharper" and more responsive , of course - would I notice if someone filled it with S'unleaded ??? who knows .



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