OIL CHANGE: I rarely drive my car, about 1000 miles a year. How often should I get an oil change?

August 4, 2009

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 caligirl50 August 4, 2009 at 10:57 pm

once u reach like 30,000 or something like that .
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2 517 August 4, 2009 at 11:44 pm

Once a year.
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3 Layton B August 5, 2009 at 12:18 am

about once every three years or five years if it’s older
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You actually drive it closer to 3000 miles ayear if you bought it in 05.

4 nj2pa2nc August 5, 2009 at 1:05 am

every 6 months
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5 Dragnet August 5, 2009 at 1:25 am

You can probably get away with twice a year. Remember that the oil will break down even if you don’t drive it. This also creates varnishes to the inside of the engine.. It heats up just sitting in the summer or winter.
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6 Fellside13 August 5, 2009 at 1:36 am

As 517 says ‘Once a year’ but I think you should seriously drive it more often, it won’t do it any good just sitting there not being used.
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7 chuckles August 5, 2009 at 2:03 am

when you cant see through the oil that’s a good sign that its time to change it other wise just keep it on a regular sched.
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8 99999999999 August 5, 2009 at 2:32 am

Experts say around every 6000-8000 miles or twice a year every 6 months for an average driver of around 25,000 miles. I think it comes down to how old your car is ect. I know people that change oil ever 5 years. In your case if your car is over 3 years old don’t bother. Once a year would be enough at present.
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9 James I August 5, 2009 at 3:06 am

I agree with 517. Once a year sounds good. If you seldom drive it, soot still accumulates, and metal parts and gaskets can start to deteriorate from oil that’s not moved around that often.
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10 dathinman8 August 5, 2009 at 3:49 am

Being that it sits a lot without being driven, you should change the oil at least once a year, if not twice a year. The oil will break down over time and the additives would evaporate out of the oil. When oil gets old, it turns to a greasy sludge, and that’s not good for your motor.
Even though you don’t drive the car often, it’s probably a good idea to at least start the engine once every 2-4 weeks and drive it a few miles to get it up to temperature and circulate the oil and fluids throughout the engine and drive train. Seals can dry out quickly if they aren’t kept lubricated. It may sound funny, but the worst thing you can do to a car is not drive it.
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11 kelly_f_1999 August 5, 2009 at 4:04 am

every 3000 miles is best…so your up for a change now… and the way you drive one a yrs maybe
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12 jonshaw9123 August 5, 2009 at 4:40 am

dnt listen to these other people if you dnt want youre engine ruined… you definitely need to at least crank it every now and then to keep the battery charged and keep everything working… and seriously i would advise changing the oil at least every six months, because the oil just sitting like that turns into sludge and it can clog up youre engine and ruin the cylinders and many other things like that… and i would say to drive it kind of hard everynow and then to keep the engine clean of things cause when you drive it hard it blows all the crap in the engine that shouldnt be there out of it… i hope i helped. =)
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13 bond1967 August 5, 2009 at 4:59 am

If anything, I would recommend driving your car monthly and an oil change once per year should be fine. I have a classic corvette with original engine and I drive it at least once a month without fail. I only put 500 miles on the car each year, and I have found that changing the oil before winter storage is the best time.
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Car enthusiast; engineer

14 kneedeepkz650 August 5, 2009 at 5:45 am

every three months.the car should be started at least 1 time a week.run it to operating temp then your good to go.when the car sits too long the oil that is on the cylinder walls will all run down the cylinder leaving it dry and free to rust,thus dry start.NOT GOOD.if the car sits for long periods and you are not able to start it add risoline-other wise known as slick 50 it coats the cylinder walls better than oil and will extend the viscosity life in the oil about 2-3 extra months.when the car sits too long and the fluids are not being moved thru the engine the seals have a tendency to dry out and begin to leak.
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a.s.e. mastertech 35 years

15 Eye Try2 'elp August 5, 2009 at 6:17 am

Every 3000 miles will do you.(which is about a year seeing as you have 8 now, by the time you reach 9, do it. And oil filter too. Nothing much else happens. You basically are changing the storage container of the oil, from can(or plastic jug) to engine. And oil can stay in cans/jugs for years. The same holds true in the engine, except now that you have opened the can/broken the seal – the micro amounts of additives the oil companies added to the oil will have either evaporated or have become chemically inert…so no benefit(if there was any in the first place.)
Your battery is the next thing that will fail on you though…..as it will sulfate up….then not put out a charge or accept a charge. And you will have to replace that-there is no fix.
Really, you ought to consider as to why you still own a car; if it is needed so little. Financially, it does not make logical sense. Better to get a horse. It is simple to diagnose : it runs or it is dead.
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16 mobile auto repair (mr fix it) August 5, 2009 at 6:35 am

The 3,000 Mile Oil Change MythBy Bill Siuru, Greencar.com provided by: According to a recent study by the California Integrated Waste Management Board, 73 percent of California drivers change their oil more frequently than required. This same scenario no doubt repeats itself across the country. Besides wasting money, this translates into unnecessary consumption of $100-a-barrel oil, much of it imported.
Using 2005 data, the Board estimates that Californians alone generate about 153.5 million gallons of waste oil annually, of which only about 60 percent is recycled. Used motor oil poses the greatest environmental risk of all automotive fluids because it is insoluble, persistent, and contains heavy metal and toxic chemicals. One gallon of used oil can foul the taste of one million gallons of water.
» Article provided by GreenCar.com
It’s been a misconception for years that engine oil should be changed every 3000 miles, even though most auto manufacturers now recommend oil changes at 5,000, 7,000, or even 10,000 mile intervals under normal driving conditions.
Greatly improved oils, including synthetic oils, coupled with better engines mean longer spans between oil changes without harming an engine. The 3000 mile interval is a carryover from days when engines used single-grade, non-detergent oils.
For several years, automakers like General Motors, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz have installed computerized systems that alert drivers via an instrument panel light when it’s time to change oil. As an example, the General Motor Oil Life System (GMOLS) analyzes the engine temperature, rpms, vehicle speeds, and other driving conditions to calculate the rate of engine oil degradation. Then, software calculates when the oil needs to be changed. Other systems work similarly.
Because of the many external conditions and parameters that have to be taken into account, calculating the precise maximum service interval using mathematical models alone is difficult. Now, Daimler AG has developed a more direct and precise way to monitor oil quality directly on board a vehicle.
Daimler uses a special sensor integrated into the oil circuit to monitor engine oil directly. Oil doesn’t wear out, but rather dirt and impurities cause oil to lose its ability to lubricate properly, dictating the need for a change. Daimler uses the oil’s “permittivity,” that is, the ability to polarize in response to the electric field. If the engine oil is contaminated by water or soot particles, it polarizes to a greater extent and its permittivity increases.
To evaluate the quality of the oil, permittivity is measured by applying an AC potential between the interior and exterior pipes of an oil-filled sensor to determine how well the oil transmits the applied electric field.
Because not all impurities can be measured with sufficient precision via the electric field method, Daimler also measures the oil’s viscosity to detect any fuel that may have seeped into the oil. Daimler researchers measure viscosity while the vehicle is in motion by observing the oil’s side-to-side motion in the oil sump. The slower the oil moves, the higher its viscosity. This movement is registered by a sensor and the viscosity is calculated on this basis.
A single sensor, along with the information already monitored by on-board computers, is sufficient to determine the various parameters of the engine oil. Daimler will likely use the technology first on its commercial vehicles. Here, large oil reservoirs mean larger quantities of oil can be saved. Plus, a predicted 25 percent increase between service intervals and reduced downtime will be of interest to fleets, and thus justify the added cost of installation.
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in a nutshell most people can go 7000 miles on a change for you i would change once a year in early summer or late spring just to get rid of condensation that occured in the winter as you dont drive it enoulf

17 Checks B August 5, 2009 at 7:23 am

I just watched CNN’s international Channel(3pm EST), breaking the news that oil price spikes again. But the anchor and the reporter assert it is China’s diesel demand contributed to the hike.

Waited a sec ! It is already THIRD time I am hearing CNN’s assertion of China’s diesel demand. The first time was about two weeks ago. What’s going on?

Then, Israel’s-Iran-attack-drill news flashing back——-Which Was Just Happened This Morning ! That “unmistakable signal” is surely an act to have a consequence of oil supply disruption ! Why is it not reported as a oil spiking cause ? !

Time to scapegoat China again before a major offensive ? To verify, I went to CNN web site , there it is :

China hikes fuel prices http://money.cnn.com/2008/06/20/news/international/china_fuel.ap/index.htm

China to raise energy prices

But nowhere saying that Israel’s-Iran-attack-drill will unstablize the oil supply region, causing the oil price up.

For Israelis Iran Strike Drill see
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