Oil change interval for low-mileage vehicles

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ubermax
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Re: Oil change interval for low-mileage vehicles

Post by ubermax »

Earlier of one year or 10k !!
inbox788
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Re: Oil change interval for low-mileage vehicles

Post by inbox788 »

SQRT wrote: Sun Apr 04, 2021 7:54 pm
tj wrote: Sun Apr 04, 2021 6:52 pm
SQRT wrote: Sun Apr 04, 2021 2:10 pm I tend to buy new cars that include “free” maintenance for 4 years. Oil changes are covered as required by the service indicated in the on-board computer. This is mileage/usage determined or every 12 months if mileage is low. Good enough for me.
What brands include free maintenance for 4 years?
Bmw. In Canada for sure.
I don't know if it was Toyota that started this trend, but they've been doing 2 years for a while now. https://www.toyota.com/owners/parts-service/toyota-care

A few years back, BMW started with 4 years, but I think it's now only 3.
https://www.bmwusa.com/explore/bmw-valu ... -care.html

For the most part, the cost and value of this service is minimal. It's mainly oil changes, tire rotations and inspections, with little needed now that they're paying for it. It's a way for them to train customers to take the car into dealerships. If you're driving low mileage, it's basically worthless. You'll likely spend more than the free oil changes.

Hyundai is doing 3 years now.
https://www.hyundaiusa.com/us/en/assura ... aintenance

Who’s Got Free Car Maintenance?
By KBB Editors
March 11, 2020
Jaguar: Jaguar Elitecare provides the industry-longest complimentary maintenance program: all regularly scheduled maintenance for 5 years/60,000 miles.
https://www.kbb.com/car-news/who_s-got- ... intenance/

https://www.edmunds.com/car-buying/are- ... th-it.html
smitcat
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Re: Oil change interval for low-mileage vehicles

Post by smitcat »

ncbill wrote: Mon Apr 05, 2021 11:41 am
smitcat wrote: Mon Apr 05, 2021 7:59 am
ncbill wrote: Mon Apr 05, 2021 7:52 am The way to know for sure is to send out a sample & have it tested, e.g. after 6 months or 1 year, at some place like:

https://www.blackstone-labs.com

I suspect anyone using synthetic oil & driving 12,000 miles or less annually will find their oil is still working just fine even after a year.
FWIW - I have done numerous samples with Blackstone and have learned only one thing....
It costs almost the same to test the oil as it does to change the oil.
Of course your mileage may vary as I had never seen an abnormal 'wear' indication in any of the tests but I did see a TBN decreases that warranted a interval change.
Also note - these oils tests are only reasonably valuable if you follow sampling intsructions exactly and also supply the brand/type and age of the oil being tested.
After only a year, with synthetic oil, driven less than 12k miles?
I have tested many engines over time , not sure what you are asking. One example would be due to the posts on the Honda 1.5T engine we tested the oil on our nieces car at 6,000 miles and the TBN was getting quite low, maybe another 1,000 left. No other issues seen in any wear metals.

What have your experiences been with oil testing so far?
lazydavid
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Re: Oil change interval for low-mileage vehicles

Post by lazydavid »

inbox788 wrote: Mon Apr 05, 2021 1:32 pm A few years back, BMW started with 4 years, but I think it's now only 3.
https://www.bmwusa.com/explore/bmw-valu ... -care.html
It was more than a few years back. My 2000 BMW 3-series came with 4 years of maintenance, which included everything but tires. I got my wiper blades replaced annually, and pads/rotors for all 4 corners during the coverage period, for no charge.

Audi maintenance is also "nearly" free for the first 4 years, for lease customers. There is a cost to the Audi Care maintenance package (varies by vehicle), but the 1% bump in residual value that you receive for purchasing it usually brings the net cost pretty close to $0.
av111
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Re: Oil change interval for low-mileage vehicles

Post by av111 »

There is no mention of oil change in the manual for tesla. So I just change the car every few years
AV111
inbox788
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Re: Oil change interval for low-mileage vehicles

Post by inbox788 »

lazydavid wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:54 am
inbox788 wrote: Mon Apr 05, 2021 1:32 pm A few years back, BMW started with 4 years, but I think it's now only 3.
https://www.bmwusa.com/explore/bmw-valu ... -care.html
It was more than a few years back. My 2000 BMW 3-series came with 4 years of maintenance, which included everything but tires. I got my wiper blades replaced annually, and pads/rotors for all 4 corners during the coverage period, for no charge.

Audi maintenance is also "nearly" free for the first 4 years, for lease customers. There is a cost to the Audi Care maintenance package (varies by vehicle), but the 1% bump in residual value that you receive for purchasing it usually brings the net cost pretty close to $0.
Was that corporate on all vehicles or only local dealer? Local dealers have always done free oil changes to keep you coming back, sometimes lifetime, but corporate policy seems to ebb and flow.

February 13, 2006 12:00 AM
Bumper-to-bumper free maintenance remains a part of BMW's strategy
BMW is the only manufacturer still offering bumper-to-bumper free maintenance.
Two years ago, archrival Mercedes-Benz ended free maintenance.
https://www.autonews.com/article/200602 ... s-strategy

I can't seem to find when Toyota started the 2 year maintenance, but off the top of my head it seems to be about 10 years ago. Maybe a few years before that since these postings describe expansion/addition to Prius and Scion models. I don't think Lexus got added though.

https://www.autoblog.com/2010/10/07/toy ... on-all-mo/
https://priuschat.com/threads/what-real ... are.88792/

It's a smart strategy, since it costs them so little, and especially with leases they can sell as certified pre-owned.
av111 wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 12:02 pm There is no mention of oil change in the manual for tesla. So I just change the car every few years
LOL. Tesla should offer lifetime free oil changes.

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lazydavid
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Re: Oil change interval for low-mileage vehicles

Post by lazydavid »

inbox788 wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:09 pm Was that corporate on all vehicles or only local dealer? Local dealers have always done free oil changes to keep you coming back, sometimes lifetime, but corporate policy seems to ebb and flow.

February 13, 2006 12:00 AM
Bumper-to-bumper free maintenance remains a part of BMW's strategy
BMW is the only manufacturer still offering bumper-to-bumper free maintenance.
Two years ago, archrival Mercedes-Benz ended free maintenance.
https://www.autonews.com/article/200602 ... s-strategy
All vehicles, any dealer. Note the red words in the info you posted.

Besides, even dealers that offer free oil changes for customers don't offer free brakes for customers. At BMW part and shop rates, they did probably $1200-1500 of brake work for free.
inbox788
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Re: Oil change interval for low-mileage vehicles

Post by inbox788 »

lazydavid wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:19 pm
inbox788 wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:09 pm Was that corporate on all vehicles or only local dealer? Local dealers have always done free oil changes to keep you coming back, sometimes lifetime, but corporate policy seems to ebb and flow.

February 13, 2006 12:00 AM
Bumper-to-bumper free maintenance remains a part of BMW's strategy
BMW is the only manufacturer still offering bumper-to-bumper free maintenance.
Two years ago, archrival Mercedes-Benz ended free maintenance.
https://www.autonews.com/article/200602 ... s-strategy
All vehicles, any dealer. Note the red words in the info you posted.

Besides, even dealers that offer free oil changes for customers don't offer free brakes for customers. At BMW part and shop rates, they did probably $1200-1500 of brake work for free.
That was from 15 years ago. Do you know how long before 2000 they began the program, and were they the first (or who started that wave)? And aside from the 2017 changes (reduction) was it the same program for nearly 2 decades or more? Brake pads wearing out in the first 3 year is probably unusual, but maybe not for BMW drivers who are more likely to drive like they're on the track.

I googled and found this 2013 writeup.
According to BMW NA, in 1992 BMW made 3/36 scheduled maintenance coverage available for purchase. In 1993 BMW began covering scheduled maintenance for V12 models (750iL and 850i). Three-year/36,000 mile scheduled maintenance became standard across the BMW line-make in 1996. Three/36 “scheduled” was upgraded to 3/36 “full maintenance” on all BMWs in 2000. The four-year/50,000 mile BMW Maintenance
Program (the term “full” was dropped) was introduced across the BMW line-make in 2004.
https://www.dslreports.com/r0/download/ ... v03.13.pdf

BTW, it also mentions back then that
Oil analysis has shown the engine and driveline oils in new modern BMWs are literally full of metal at 1,200 miles – as has always been the case with any new car. For this reason, I recommend a 1,200-mile break-in service.
I used to hear that, but the conventional wisdom today is to do them at the recommended interval, no? Now 1,200 is a very low interval.

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lazydavid
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Re: Oil change interval for low-mileage vehicles

Post by lazydavid »

inbox788 wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:59 pm That was from 15 years ago.
Oh I know, was just pointing out that at that time, it had been going on for a while.
inbox788 wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:59 pmDo you know how long before 2000 they began the program, and were they the first (or who started that wave)? And aside from the 2017 changes (reduction) was it the same program for nearly 2 decades or more? Brake pads wearing out in the first 3 year is probably unusual, but maybe not for BMW drivers who are more likely to drive like they're on the track.
You found what looks like a pretty good timeline. I think it was a pretty similar program for the better part of those 2 decades. My pads actually weren't worn out, but the brakes were squealing badly, so the fix was to replace the pads and rotors. The fronts and rears got replaced about a year apart if memory serves.

Anyway, back to oil changes for low-mileage vehicles...
bb201
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Vehicle oil change frequency

Post by bb201 »

[Thread merged into here --admin LadyGeek]

I have a six year old Honda fit. I live in Hawaii. I only drive the car about once a week for about 7 miles, mostly freeway. I take my car to my mechanic once a year for an oil change and vehicle inspection. He has a 5 star rating and I do like him very much. However, he did not do the lube and oil change this year. He said it did not need it because of the few miles. What do you think. Can I go two years without doing the lube and oil change?
runner3081
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Re: Vehicle oil change frequency

Post by runner3081 »

I go every 6-8 months on my wife's car which is driven fewer than 4k miles per year. Keep in mind, this is non-synthetic since it is a 2012.
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lthenderson
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Re: Vehicle oil change frequency

Post by lthenderson »

Most Honda manuals I have had say change the oil at recommended mileage or after a year, whichever comes first.
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lthenderson
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Re: Vehicle oil change frequency

Post by lthenderson »

lthenderson wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 4:09 pm Most Honda manuals I have had say change the oil at recommended mileage or after a year, whichever comes first.
Edited to add from 2015 Honda Fit online manual:
Use only Honda genuine 0W20 engine oil. If the service indicator does not come on within the year, change your oil every 12 months.
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Re: Vehicle oil change frequency

Post by Monsterflockster »

bb201 wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 4:00 pm I have a six year old Honda fit. I live in Hawaii. I only drive the car about once a week for about 7 miles, mostly freeway. I take my car to my mechanic once a year for an oil change and vehicle inspection. He has a 5 star rating and I do like him very much. However, he did not do the lube and oil change this year. He said it did not need it because of the few miles. What do you think. Can I go two years without doing the lube and oil change?
If you drive it once a week I’m sure you’re fine. Are you worried the oil will go stale?
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willthrill81
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Re: Oil change interval for low-mileage vehicles

Post by willthrill81 »

Call me crazy, but I change the oil every 5k miles or year, whichever comes first, and that's with Mobil 1 full synthetic.
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Re: Oil change interval for low-mileage vehicles

Post by LadyGeek »

I merged bb201's thread into a similar discussion.
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inbox788
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Re: Oil change interval for low-mileage vehicles

Post by inbox788 »

lazydavid wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 2:13 pmAnyway, back to oil changes for low-mileage vehicles...
Not totally unrelated. I need another low mileage vehicle and am looking at used vs new. New vehicle "free" maintenance programs are extra cost (built into the sales price) beyond the new car costs that further discourages me to get a new car, but I plan to keep it a long time.
bb201 wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 4:00 pmI have a six year old Honda fit. I live in Hawaii. I only drive the car about once a week for about 7 miles, mostly freeway. I take my car to my mechanic once a year for an oil change and vehicle inspection. He has a 5 star rating and I do like him very much. However, he did not do the lube and oil change this year. He said it did not need it because of the few miles. What do you think. Can I go two years without doing the lube and oil change?
7x52=364!?! Skip 2 years! Just kidding, after 700 or so miles in 2 years, give the mechanic his oil change dues. I respect the mechanic more for passing on unnecessary work. (and even if you pass 2 years a bit, don't stress, you'll still be well under 1000 miles! I'd bet the oil analysis still says you can postpone the change, but the cost of the analysis is as much as the change, so I haven't done it. )

What do you lube? I've been doing my own oil changes for some time now, and I've not been lubing anything. What am I missing?

Came across this interesting article on fleets experimenting with on and off-site oil analysis and extending oil change intervals. They're extending mileage, vs. low mileage vehicles are trying to extend time intervals. Analysis does have the additional benefit of providing some early warnings about problems that may not be otherwise apparent, but you have to understand how to interpret the results and act on them. So it's hard to attribute success or failure for individual cases. For fleets, there's cost reduction and cars stay in service longer. Easier and cheaper to take a sample of oil for testing than doing the whole change. And it looks like they've been able to eliminate about 2/3 of the routine motor oil changes (going from 5000 miles 6 months to 15000 miles 18 months) and 1/2 the transmission oil changes.

Polk County Sheriff’s Office in Florida has extended its oil change intervals to 30,000 miles and filter change intervals to 10,000 miles.
https://www.government-fleet.com/157037 ... change-oil

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Re: Oil change interval for low-mileage vehicles

Post by Rajsx »

I use Synthetic AMSOIL Signature series($$$) 0W-20, it says on the bottle 25k miles or 1 year whichever comes first, our Toyota & Lexus cars have not had any engine problems so far. I have never driven 25k miles in a year, so I get the AMSOIL changed yearly.
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inbox788
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Re: Oil change interval for low-mileage vehicles

Post by inbox788 »

Rajsx wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 7:39 pm I use Synthetic AMSOIL Signature series($$$) 0W-20, it says on the bottle 25k miles or 1 year whichever comes first, our Toyota & Lexus cars have not had any engine problems so far. I have never driven 25k miles in a year, so I get the AMSOIL changed yearly.
That's overkill. Low mileage drivers need the complete opposite. Give us an oil that needs to be changed ever 2.5k or 10 years whichever comes first. I've yet to encounter an official oil recommendation that goes beyond 1 year, so we're on our own for now.

“Instead of time-based fluid changes, we’re going to try to transition to condition-based fluid changes.” https://www.government-fleet.com/157037 ... change-oil
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Re: Oil change interval for low-mileage vehicles

Post by IMO »

inbox788 wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 7:45 pm
Rajsx wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 7:39 pm I use Synthetic AMSOIL Signature series($$$) 0W-20, it says on the bottle 25k miles or 1 year whichever comes first, our Toyota & Lexus cars have not had any engine problems so far. I have never driven 25k miles in a year, so I get the AMSOIL changed yearly.
That's overkill. Low mileage drivers need the complete opposite. Give us an oil that needs to be changed ever 2.5k or 10 years whichever comes first. I've yet to encounter an official oil recommendation that goes beyond 1 year, so we're on our own for now.

“Instead of time-based fluid changes, we’re going to try to transition to condition-based fluid changes.” https://www.government-fleet.com/157037 ... change-oil
Thanks for that link. Makes for interesting reading. It does seem like it would work well for fleets and organizations that are willing to invest in the analyzer.

It sort of answers my question about what is so magical about the 1 yr interval especially for a low mileage vehicle. Yes perhaps there is some acidic or other by product combustion contamination into the oil, but the link begs the question, "is it really of significance" or is it just overkill if the data on oil analysis was used as the driving factor.

Imagine the massive environmental friendly oil savings for the US as a whole if oil changes could be data driven via a cost effective analyzer. Maybe when that Theranos person (Elizabeth Holmes) gets out of prison she could develop this type of test with a single drop of oil!
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Re: Oil change interval for low-mileage vehicles

Post by inbox788 »

inbox788 wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 7:16 pmWhat do you lube? I've been doing my own oil changes for some time now, and I've not been lubing anything. What am I missing?
Looks like there are two types of lube jobs, but I've never seen chassis lube done when I've gotten oil changes and only occasionally noticed the latter door hinges, etc. greased up, but mostly an oil change is just an oil change. Time does dry out some lubricants and rubber and plastic parts deteriorate, so lubricating some of these with the correct lubricant might help prolong their life. Just don't use something that might do more damage than good.

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sid hartha
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Re: Oil change interval for low-mileage vehicles

Post by sid hartha »

I'm driving so little these days I only change the oil once a year but make sure to use synthetic.
criticalmass
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Re: Oil change interval for low-mileage vehicles

Post by criticalmass »

IMO wrote: Sat Apr 03, 2021 3:24 pm Is there is specific science behind the 1 year interval?

I understand the thought of condensation, but isn't the oil in an essentially closed system?

What's somewhat odd is that for a typical wakeboard boat, the manual says to change the oil BEFORE winter storage. Shouldn't that instead be done 1st thing upon opening up the boat for next summer season?

Not saying don't change it once per year? But is there any real evidence for this? From what I understand, unopened oil doesn't spoil.
The crankcase is not a closed system. Combustion products, including water, enter the oil each time the piston moves. Modern vehicle engines have positive crankcase ventilation or similar to deal with this, but condensed water is only removed if it is hot enough to vaporize completely. That is one reason why long drives can be beneficial to oil / engine life.
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