Top 3 Ways to Protect Your Engine From Dry Starts

When you start your car after it has been sitting for a while, the oil in the engine has a chance to drain back down into the oil pan. This can cause a "prolonged dry start," where the engine does not have enough oil to lubricate the moving parts properly. Oil pressure is also required for systems such as variable valve timing cam phaser gears and cam chain tensioners to engage and work properly.

There are various methodologies for preventing prolonged dry starts, and the best solution can depend on your model of engine. However, it is key to first make sure you are using the correct oil, and keeping the oil system clean by doing regular oil changes according to your manufacturer’s standard.

First Option: Use a Pre-Oiler

One system for preventing dry starts is using a pre-oiler. Most car engines use mechanical oil pumps, which mean the engine only starts pumping oil once the engine is started. Because engine systems usually engage their electronic systems before ignition and their mechanical systems, pre-oilers are electric powered devices that begin pumping oil before ignition. This provides lubrication and pressure across the engine before the engine is started, preventing dry starts.

Pre-oilers are primarily used in aircraft engines, but can also be found in boats, and some automotive vehicles. Downsides of pre-oilers include selection and installation, as it can require a greater understanding of your engine to both choose the correct pre-oiler for your system, as well as install the device within your engine.

Second Option: Pre-Fill Your Filter

The second solution for preventing prolonged dry starts is using quality filters with anti-drain back valves. Some engines are often designed with top-mounted cartridge style oil filters for easy oil filter replacement, do not include anti-drainback valves and can not be prefilled. When the engine is turned off, the oil can completely drain from the filter and oil cooling system. When the engine is restarted, the oil filter and cooling system has to be refilled, thus causing a delay of oil delivery and pressure to moving comonents.

Most bottom or side mounted spin-on style oil filters contain an anti-drain back valve. The valve allows for the oil filter to remain full and retains more oil volume post filtration in the engine for fast oil pressure at startup.

If your engine or filter features the integrated anti-drainback valve, but you are still hearing a grinding or ticking sound in your engine, it is worth seeing a professional to see if the valve is having problems or if you are facing a different problem in your engine. Ensuring your anti-drainback valve and oil system is working correctly may be the main solution for preventing dry starts depending on your engine.

Third Option: Use an Anti-Drainback Adapter

Some engines do not include the anti-drainback valve. These include various models and years of Ford EcoBoost, Toyota, and Jeep vehicles. This design flaw is often because of the use of cartridge-style oil filters, which do not contain anti-drainback valves.

To provide prolonged dry start prevention to these vehicles, the addition of an anti-drainback valve is needed. Because many cartridge-style filters do not contain anti-drainback valves, these valves are often included in a cartridge-style to spin-on style oil filter adapters. The adapter allows for the use of a spin-on, top-mounted oil filter for a system designed for a cartridge filter.

At Baxter Performance, we manufacture patented adapters for these cartridge-style oil systems to prevent prolonged dry starts. Our adapters are easy to install, expertly designed for each engine, and made in the USA. We make adapters for popular models such as but not limited to the Subaru Outback, Crosstrek, and Forester, Ford F150, Edge, and Fusion, Toyota Camry, Tacoma, and Rav4, Jeep Wrangler and Cherokee, and Dodge Durango, Challenger, and Charger. If you are interested in saving your engine with a Baxter Performance adapter, find the right adapter for your make and model here.

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Using Baxter Performance adapters solves all of the issues caused by cartridge filters by replacing your cartridge system with spin-on. This simple change will drastically improve the performance and lower the cost of maintaining your car. Shop for your vehicle's adapter or contact Baxter Performance today to start protecting your engine and saving money on your car!

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