Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

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Lynx310650
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Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by Lynx310650 »

We have a pair of Hondas that even before COVID we were driving less than 5000 miles/year. It's now less than 1000/car over the last year.

We've always just gotten annual oil changes per the recommendation in the owner's manual.

One of our cars is now at about 14 months since the last oil change. I'm a tad uneasy about car maintenance during these times, and am also questioning whether an oil change is a must due to the very low miles. That being said, it has been 14 months...
tibbitts
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by tibbitts »

Lynx310650 wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 1:56 pm We have a pair of Hondas that even before COVID we were driving less than 5000 miles/year. It's now less than 1000/car over the last year.

We've always just gotten annual oil changes per the recommendation in the owner's manual.

One of our cars is now at about 14 months since the last oil change. I'm a tad uneasy about car maintenance during these times, and am also questioning whether an oil change is a must due to the very low miles. That being said, it has been 14 months...
Depending on the climate there may be some issues with contamination over long periods, but it probably won't hurt to extend a while if you are not in the warranty period. But given the bleak outlook for Covid, when you decide it's time to change your oil, maybe have someone come to you to change it. Stay in the car during the process, so you'll have no contact with anyone.
rich126
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by rich126 »

I've also been negligence on any maintenance. My "sticker" said April and it is now September although I'm barely over the mileage. I'll probably take it in soon.
Mike Scott
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by Mike Scott »

Your manual probably says "XXXX miles OR annual" for oil changes. Age of oil and water condensation is a concern on low mile cars.
runner3081
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by runner3081 »

Why are you uneasy? Mask up, schedule an appointment, wait outside and wipe down your car when you get home.
squirm
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by squirm »

Oh oh another car motor oil thread, these should be banned.
Anyways imo, no.
TheDDC
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by TheDDC »

The worry is misplaced. Take care of your car. This too shall pass.

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rooms222
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by rooms222 »

It making me lean back to doing the oil change myself outdoors. Haven´t done it for 20 years, but it is not difficult if the filter and oil drain plug are accessible while lying on the ground.
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Cubicle
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by Cubicle »

In addition to physical degradation of oil (through the running of the engine), chemical degradation occurs over time no matter what, humidity & temperature fluctuations. One of my cars had 600 since I last changed the oil just about 52 weeks ago today. I will be changing it in the next 1-2 weekends.

Environmentally, oil can be (& usually is) recycled.

Financially, the cost of the oil change is usually a fraction of the value of most people's cars. At least you nor anyone else could never say "the engine disintegrated because you didn't change the oil...".
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batpot
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by batpot »

runner3081 wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:14 pm Why are you uneasy? Mask up, schedule an appointment, wait outside and wipe down your car when you get home.
yup.
got my oil changed a few weeks ago. It's a 2007 Civic that "calculates" the oil life. Average 8-9k miles between changes.

Jiffy Lube's new policy is you don't even get out of the car. You wind down the window enough to chat, and hand them a credit card.
Another way in which the pandemic has made things better.
ponyboy
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by ponyboy »

Oil is cheap, new engine is not. Change your oil.
260chrisb
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by 260chrisb »

squirm wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:15 pm Oh oh another car motor oil thread, these should be banned.
Anyways imo, no.


:D :D Want to know the best way to make your head explode? Google "when should I change my oil" or "which oil is best".......I've got lots of cars that don't see a lot of miles and some that very expensive; I generally change my oil every two years on everything except my daily driver which I do every 7-8000 miles. That said I also never take a car out for just a few miles but instead for at least 20-30 miles allowing the car and oil to get completely up to operating temps. I have a difficult time throwing out anywhere from 7 to 13 quarts of full synthetic oil with an oil change every year and have never bought in to the marketing campaigns of how great an oil is......and by the way, throw it away after a year. I'm guessing an oil change for a Honda isn't that expensive so if you're worried, change it.
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celia
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by celia »

You’re supposed to change the oil in your car???
:oops:

I think I need new walking shoes...to go buy some oil. This will be a new experience for me. How much does a can cost?
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mhc
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by mhc »

An oil change once a year is so cheap. Get it done.
Mr.Chlorine
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by Mr.Chlorine »

ponyboy wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:29 pm Oil is cheap, new engine is not. Change your oil.
Agreed. Full synthetic change for my vehicle costs $50 and they give me a "free" car wash!
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by Mako »

batpot wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:24 pm Jiffy Lube's new policy is you don't even get out of the car. You wind down the window enough to chat, and hand them a credit card.
Another way in which the pandemic has made things better.
Does that mean they won't check my cabin air filter and give me a crazy guilt trip to change it (for a mere $80). :mrgreen:
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

batpot wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:24 pm
Jiffy Lube's new policy is you don't even get out of the car. You wind down the window enough to chat, and hand them a credit card.
Another way in which the pandemic has made things better.
Do they still have their age old policy to try to drain the transmission instead of the oil, sending you away with an overfilled engine and empty transmission? (it's the reason Subarus use a T70 Torx instead of the 5/8" square female plug for transmission drain plugs)

Or just to use an impact gun to strip the oil drain plug, replacing it with a generic and leaky plastic replacement?
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mmmodem
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by mmmodem »

Read the manual. It's x number of miles or one year. Whichever comes close. You're overdue.

Having said that, If you are driving less than 1000 miles a year then the risk to engine damage driving on old oil is minimal? I wouldn't bring it in to change if I had qualms about it.

2 weeks ago, I did change the oil in my vehicle. I am not as worried but I don't fault those who are. I masked up and had the oil changed at the dealer after a mere 4000 miles because 1 year had elapsed.
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by jebmke »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:59 pm Do they still have their age old policy to try to drain the transmission instead of the oil, sending you away with an overfilled engine and empty transmission? (it's the reason Subarus use a T70 Torx instead of the 5/8" square female plug for transmission drain plugs)

Or just to use an impact gun to strip the oil drain plug, replacing it with a generic and leaky plastic replacement?
Right below the section where they don’t screw the plug in very far and it vibrates off on the way home, draining your oil along the way.
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inbox788
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by inbox788 »

With only 1000 miles in 14 months, don't worry about it. If you're concerned about water, got for a drive and burn it off. A longer drive (20-30 minutes) once or twice a month should be more than sufficient.

https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/t ... re.111373/

And if you're hurting your engine, so what if it's not going to make it 300k or 200k? Most likely it's going to age out (plastics, sun damage, paint and upholstery, etc.) before engine wears out.
clip651
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by clip651 »

runner3081 wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:14 pm Why are you uneasy? Mask up, schedule an appointment, wait outside and wipe down your car when you get home.
I'm not the OP, but guessing, because different people have different risk factors, as do the family members they live with. Someone caring for a 90 year old diabetic may have a different comfort level than someone who isn't, etc. And community spread of the virus varies by location - some areas are much higher risk at a given time than others.
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by Frugalbear »

Lynx310650 wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 1:56 pm We have a pair of Hondas that even before COVID we were driving less than 5000 miles/year. It's now less than 1000/car over the last year.

We've always just gotten annual oil changes per the recommendation in the owner's manual.

One of our cars is now at about 14 months since the last oil change. I'm a tad uneasy about car maintenance during these times, and am also questioning whether an oil change is a must due to the very low miles. That being said, it has been 14 months...
Oil still breaks down...regardless of mileage always get at least one oil change per year.
quantAndHold
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by quantAndHold »

I don’t think I’ve driven more than 3000 miles any year since 2012. This year, I’ve only filled up the gas tank 3 times. My biggest concern right now is the battery going dead.

There are so very, very many arguments on the internet about how often to change oil. The conclusion I come to when I read or listen to people who are both experts and aren’t trying to sell me something, is to....follow what the owner’s manual says. In my case, that’s once a year.

About pandemic safety and car maintenance, you don’t have to sit in their tiny waiting room while the job is being done. Mask up, drop it off, go for a walk or hang around outside. If they get into your car, wipe things down after they’re done. The short period of time you’re there talking to them, both masked up, is unlikely to cause a problem. If you’re uncomfortable, call first, and ask about precautions. I had a mechanical problem that had to be fixed last month while everything was peaking here. I called ahead, and when I got there, the owner came out, fully armored up, and we did everything outside.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
bugleheadd
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by bugleheadd »

do it once a year, even if it doesnt reach teh recommended miles to change.

its very easy to change oil and oil filter. all the tools and oil can be ordered online ...walmart, amazon, ebay, etc...

need the recommended motor oil, a funnel to pour new oil in, OEM oil filter, oil filter wrench, usually a 10mm socket adaptor on a ratcheting wrench, oil tub to catch the oil (they have ones with a spout to easily pour the used oil back into an empty container).
inbox788
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by inbox788 »

Frugalbear wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 3:20 pmOil still breaks down...regardless of mileage always get at least one oil change per year.
Oil is the breakdown of dinosaurs from a million years ago, an extra few months or a year isn't going to make much of a difference. Seriously, I worry more about breakdown of olive oil after 12 months.

Here's someone with similar annual mileage and longer change interval asking same question getting similar varied responses.

Oil filter has only 2k miles but 2 years on it. Can I leave it on for next oil change?
https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/t ... st-5522053

If oil analysis didn't cost about as much as an oil change, I'd use the data to help make the decision.
birder
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by birder »

I recently got my oil changed after putting it off for several months. I used my mechanic instead of one of the quick lube places. I called and made an appointment. I dropped the key in the drop box before they opened. They let me know when it was done and I asked them to leave the key someplace outside. They left it in their mailbox. I think I was not the first person to make this request. I paid over the phone. When I picked up the car I wiped down some of the surfaces and drove home with the window down. I had no contact with anyone and overall it was actually more pleasant than before the pandemic. If my mechanic thought I was being overly cautious they didn't let on; I am sure they want the business right now. I may try to do it this way after the pandemic as well.

It was a relief to get it over with. I think I could have waited longer, but I am glad I did it. I think if you call a mechanic or two you'll be able to get it done without any risk to yourself and you may be happy to have it off your mind.
illumination
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by illumination »

If it's synthetic oil, it's fine.

Is it "ideal"? No, but your car is not going to last any longer if you kick it out several more months if you're only putting 1,000 miles a year. The best thing you can do is when you do run it, make sure it gets up to full operating temp to burn off any moisture that's a natural byproduct of combustion. So if you have a 1 mile trip, drive an extra few minutes when you're done to bring the temp up to normal.

If it were my car, I wouldn't change the oil after a year with that few miles. I've let my motorcycle go longer than that for the same reason.
suemarkp
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by suemarkp »

Our subaru is 5000 miles or 6 months between oil changes. Because its under warranty, I'm staying close to the 6 month requirement (typically about 7 months). When the warranty is done, I'll go at least a year and maybe even 2 years between changes.
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Frugalbear
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by Frugalbear »

inbox788 wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 4:08 pm
Frugalbear wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 3:20 pmOil still breaks down...regardless of mileage always get at least one oil change per year.
Oil is the breakdown of dinosaurs from a million years ago, an extra few months or a year isn't going to make much of a difference. Seriously, I worry more about breakdown of olive oil after 12 months.

Here's someone with similar annual mileage and longer change interval asking same question getting similar varied responses.

Oil filter has only 2k miles but 2 years on it. Can I leave it on for next oil change?
https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/t ... st-5522053

If oil analysis didn't cost about as much as an oil change, I'd use the data to help make the decision.
thanks for the edu! i guess my thought process is a bit old hat.
palanzo
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by palanzo »

runner3081 wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:14 pm Why are you uneasy? Mask up, schedule an appointment, wait outside and wipe down your car when you get home.
No. Wipe you car down BEFORE you get inside.
Chuck107
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by Chuck107 »

.....
Last edited by Chuck107 on Sun Oct 04, 2020 6:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Alas, I find moderation of this forum too restrictive for my tastes, farewell.
SpaethCo
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by SpaethCo »

The regular oil change interval is only half about the oil.

The other big thing is having someone give a once over on how much brake material is left, if the brake fluid is starting to discolor, any bulges are forming in radiator hoses, and stuff like that. (This is another reason why most quick lube places are terrible)

I still take my car back to the dealership for oil changes - they do it pretty cheap, check for recalls every time, and they do a full inspection to look for work to upsell on the visit. Sometimes they catch a few things I've forgotten, and I meet them part way by paying their upcharge on parts even if I end up doing the work myself. :happy
mushripu
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by mushripu »

I have 1 nissan and 1 mazda.
I did oil changes in march 19. Vehicles seem to be ok but i worry a bit now.
I plan to do oil change before winter kicks in
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by surfstar »

1. Don't worry about it and do nothing. 99.9% it'll be just fine for 2 years even

B. If you are worried, can you go for a long drive once a month? 30+ mins or longer in cold weather, work the engine a bit, get the oil temp up. If you'd rather not drive for no reason, see #1.

*My VW is over 1 year on its oil. This is something I've never done before. We usually just drive too much (just checked, and average is 6.8 months for 10k change). Due to COVID and DW getting a Prius Prime, my mileage dropped. I'm still just going to wait until it hits 10k miles or 2 years to change it.
chrisam314
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by chrisam314 »

I just got my oil changed and tires rotated at my local toyota dealer. Brought my laptop and worked from there at my 7AM appointment. Wore a mask. Easy peasy. No virus is going to stop my '04 Highlander from hitting 250K miles this year. :wink:
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by A440 »

If one owns a Tesla, do they even have oil that needs to be changed?
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Chuck107
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by Chuck107 »

.....
Last edited by Chuck107 on Sun Oct 04, 2020 6:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Alas, I find moderation of this forum too restrictive for my tastes, farewell.
atikovi
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by atikovi »

Look at the oil on the dipstick. If it looks as clean as new oil, drive another 1,000 miles and check again. If dark, change now. Somewhere in between, wait another 6 months.
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by Trader Joe »

Lynx310650 wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 1:56 pm We have a pair of Hondas that even before COVID we were driving less than 5000 miles/year. It's now less than 1000/car over the last year.

We've always just gotten annual oil changes per the recommendation in the owner's manual.

One of our cars is now at about 14 months since the last oil change. I'm a tad uneasy about car maintenance during these times, and am also questioning whether an oil change is a must due to the very low miles. That being said, it has been 14 months...
You should always follow the instructions of your user manual.
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by Normchad »

Trader Joe wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 6:17 pm
Lynx310650 wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 1:56 pm We have a pair of Hondas that even before COVID we were driving less than 5000 miles/year. It's now less than 1000/car over the last year.

We've always just gotten annual oil changes per the recommendation in the owner's manual.

One of our cars is now at about 14 months since the last oil change. I'm a tad uneasy about car maintenance during these times, and am also questioning whether an oil change is a must due to the very low miles. That being said, it has been 14 months...
You should always follow the instructions of your user manual.
+1. This is the correct answer.

People on the internet get emotionally invested in this for some reason. They will fight for hours about good oil filters, etc. I’ve just never met anybody, who ruined their cars engine by using the wrong oil or filter, or waiting a bit too long to go change it.

I know someone who bought a new Chevy Astro and drive it for 4 years and 40,000 miles before changing the oil. It still lived a long life.....

Do what the manual says.....
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by solargod007 »

SpaethCo wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 5:04 pm The regular oil change interval is only half about the oil.

The other big thing is having someone give a once over on how much brake material is left, if the brake fluid is starting to discolor, any bulges are forming in radiator hoses, and stuff like that. (This is another reason why most quick lube places are terrible)

I still take my car back to the dealership for oil changes - they do it pretty cheap, check for recalls every time, and they do a full inspection to look for work to upsell on the visit. Sometimes they catch a few things I've forgotten, and I meet them part way by paying their upcharge on parts even if I end up doing the work myself. :happy
+1. I take my car to a local car mechanic shop for the same reason. Between 2 tire changes (one in late Fall and one in late Spring-winter tires -on/off), I do an oil change . So, my car gets "checked" 3 times a year. As I'm planning to ride them for longer, I like these periodic health checks.
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by Kenkat »

Mako wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:54 pm
batpot wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:24 pm Jiffy Lube's new policy is you don't even get out of the car. You wind down the window enough to chat, and hand them a credit card.
Another way in which the pandemic has made things better.
Does that mean they won't check my cabin air filter and give me a crazy guilt trip to change it (for a mere $80). :mrgreen:
No, they don’t even need to check the existing filter to know it’s bad and you need a new one.
sabhen
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by sabhen »

Get an electrical car. Just joking.
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by willthrill81 »

Cubicle wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:19 pm In addition to physical degradation of oil (through the running of the engine), chemical degradation occurs over time no matter what, humidity & temperature fluctuations. One of my cars had 600 since I last changed the oil just about 52 weeks ago today. I will be changing it in the next 1-2 weekends.
Bingo. Oil has a finite lifespan. Condensation is a real threat over time.
Cubicle wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:19 pmFinancially, the cost of the oil change is usually a fraction of the value of most people's cars. At least you nor anyone else could never say "the engine disintegrated because you didn't change the oil...".
I knew a guy who thought that changing the oil in a vehicle was stupid for some reason and rarely did it. His vehicles were all shot by the time they reached 50k miles.
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whodidntante
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by whodidntante »

Find a low risk way to get it done. COVID will still be with us at a point where it would be beyond irresponsible to leave the same oil in your car.
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by tibbitts »

Kenkat wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 7:41 pm
Mako wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:54 pm
batpot wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:24 pm Jiffy Lube's new policy is you don't even get out of the car. You wind down the window enough to chat, and hand them a credit card.
Another way in which the pandemic has made things better.
Does that mean they won't check my cabin air filter and give me a crazy guilt trip to change it (for a mere $80). :mrgreen:
No, they don’t even need to check the existing filter to know it’s bad and you need a new one.
I will say that with most of my three cars that have had filters (my newest car still doesn't have one), if I went to the trouble of removing the old filter to check it, I'd definitely replace it, just to delay having to deal with the experience again. Some other cars have super-easy-to-change cabin filters; mine haven't.
runner3081
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by runner3081 »

palanzo wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 4:46 pm
runner3081 wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:14 pm Why are you uneasy? Mask up, schedule an appointment, wait outside and wipe down your car when you get home.
No. Wipe you car down BEFORE you get inside.
I personally disagree. As long as hands don't go to nose/mouth/eyes after touching "potentially contaminated" steering wheel, gear shift, turn signal, door handles, etc., there is no harm.

I just know that my car is a danger zone and I need to wash my hands after driving it (based on going to work, stores, etc.)
palanzo
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Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by palanzo »

runner3081 wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 8:48 pm
palanzo wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 4:46 pm
runner3081 wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:14 pm Why are you uneasy? Mask up, schedule an appointment, wait outside and wipe down your car when you get home.
No. Wipe you car down BEFORE you get inside.
I personally disagree. As long as hands don't go to nose/mouth/eyes after touching "potentially contaminated" steering wheel, gear shift, turn signal, door handles, etc., there is no harm.

I just know that my car is a danger zone and I need to wash my hands after driving it (based on going to work, stores, etc.)
Well you would need to qualify what you said earlier. Also most people find it very difficult not to touch their faces.
bikesandbeers
Posts: 218
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:08 am

Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by bikesandbeers »

My oil change indicator will go from 100% to zero in 24 months regardless of mileage. It takes full synthetic.

I had to take my car to dealer, for warrenty repair and wiped in down before I got in.
runner3081
Posts: 3559
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2016 3:22 pm

Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

Post by runner3081 »

palanzo wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 9:24 pm
runner3081 wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 8:48 pm
palanzo wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 4:46 pm
runner3081 wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:14 pm Why are you uneasy? Mask up, schedule an appointment, wait outside and wipe down your car when you get home.
No. Wipe you car down BEFORE you get inside.
I personally disagree. As long as hands don't go to nose/mouth/eyes after touching "potentially contaminated" steering wheel, gear shift, turn signal, door handles, etc., there is no harm.

I just know that my car is a danger zone and I need to wash my hands after driving it (based on going to work, stores, etc.)
Well you would need to qualify what you said earlier. Also most people find it very difficult not to touch their faces.
I consider my hands to be covered with COVID at all times, until washed. This makes it easy for me to remember. Also helps that I am very OCD :)
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