4-Month Old Oil Before Long Trip

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1,084
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Colorado
The oil in my truck is 4 months old, but only has 2000 miles (I commute on train). Getting ready to take a round-trip to Arizona and Colorado, and I am inclined to change the oil with fresh TGMO, but leave the filter in place. I'll probably do some off-roading while out there, but nothing extreme. Just getting to remote trailheads. Thoughts?
 
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35,693
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NY
How many miles do you think you'll do? I wouldn't worry much about the 4 months at all. I'd probably change it when I got back, unless you're going to drive more than 4,000 miles round trip.
 

JerryBob

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Originally Posted By: demarpaint
How many miles do you think you'll do? I wouldn't worry much about the 4 months at all. I'd probably change it when I got back, unless you're going to drive more than 4,000 miles round trip.
Probably 5,500, door-to-door.
 
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NY
Originally Posted By: JerryBob
Originally Posted By: demarpaint
How many miles do you think you'll do? I wouldn't worry much about the 4 months at all. I'd probably change it when I got back, unless you're going to drive more than 4,000 miles round trip.
Probably 5,500, door-to-door.
Based on that, a 7,500 mile total OCI the bulk of it highway, I'd leave it till you get back.
 
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twin cities mn
I would change it. Based on the miles and having driven in Arizona and Colorado in July. Parts of Arizona can get pretty warm and dusty. Also there plenty of steep grades in both states, which will make your engine work harder. For a trip that far you will likely have the truck loaded heavier than usual also. I did base that on my truck and its 5000 mile OCI, not your Toyota though keep that in mind. I have never had the oil in my truck look as dark and runny as it did after my July trip to Arizona and Colorado. Of course it was 110-120 degrees every day we were there, and made a lot of short trips too. I had 1000 miles on my oil when I left and had 5000 on it when I got back.
 
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JerryBob

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Originally Posted By: jmb3675
I would change it. Based on the miles and having driven in Arizona and Colorado in July. Parts of Arizona can get pretty warm and dusty. Also there plenty of steep grades in both states, which will make your engine work harder. For a trip that far you will likely have the truck loaded heavier than usual also. I did base that on my truck and its 5000 mile OCI, not your Toyota though keep that in mind. I have never had the oil in my truck look as dark and runny as it did after my July trip to Arizona and Colorado. Of course it was 110-120 degrees every day we were there, and made a lot of short trips too. I had 1000 miles on my oil when I left and had 5000 on it when I got back.
I think along the same lines. The age of my oil concerns me, and the fact that it has been short-tripping for 4 months.
 
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2,298
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Michigan
You're just looking for validation. If it makes you feel better then change it. A majority (myself included) say it would be a waste to change it. But hey, it's your stuff do what you want. Make sure you change the oil when you get back! After all, you just put it through a real tough rode trip and will want it out of there.
Originally Posted By: JerryBob
Originally Posted By: jmb3675
I would change it. Based on the miles and having driven in Arizona and Colorado in July. Parts of Arizona can get pretty warm and dusty. Also there plenty of steep grades in both states, which will make your engine work harder. For a trip that far you will likely have the truck loaded heavier than usual also. I did base that on my truck and its 5000 mile OCI, not your Toyota though keep that in mind. I have never had the oil in my truck look as dark and runny as it did after my July trip to Arizona and Colorado. Of course it was 110-120 degrees every day we were there, and made a lot of short trips too. I had 1000 miles on my oil when I left and had 5000 on it when I got back.
I think along the same lines. The age of my oil concerns me, and the fact that it has been short-tripping for 4 months.
 
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'Stralia
Originally Posted By: JerryBob
Maybe a better question is, irrespective of the cost of the oil and the effort involved in changing it (both of which are not a concern to me), which would be better for the engine? Leaving it in, or changing it?
My honest opinion (and that's all it is) is that you have two choices. 1) Do your trip as is 2) Change the oil and filter before your trip Both in the maintenance history of the vehicle will be imperceptibly different in outcomes... one may make you feel more secure, so I'd recommend that one, whichever it is. I see no reasonable logic for changing the oil and keeping the filter if it's Option 1 gives you angst.
 
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Location
ohio
Originally Posted By: JerryBob
....... which would be better for the engine? Leaving it in, or changing it?
Neither will have any effect on the engine. If the engine doesn't go 300,000+ miles, it won't be because of this oil change.
 

JerryBob

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Originally Posted By: Shannow
Originally Posted By: JerryBob
Maybe a better question is, irrespective of the cost of the oil and the effort involved in changing it (both of which are not a concern to me), which would be better for the engine? Leaving it in, or changing it?
My honest opinion (and that's all it is) is that you have two choices. 1) Do your trip as is 2) Change the oil and filter before your trip Both in the maintenance history of the vehicle will be imperceptibly different in outcomes... one may make you feel more secure, so I'd recommend that one, whichever it is. I see no reasonable logic for changing the oil and keeping the filter if it's Option 1 gives you angst.
Good summation. I think of lot of our behavior wrt maintaining our vehicles is driven by wanting to feel comfortable, not science. Unfortunately, besides Blackstone, I don't have access to much science. It took me a while to convince myself that I am better off in NOT changing my filter than in changing it. That is based on what I've learned from BITOG about older filters filtering better.
 
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Michigan
Your air filter works the same and almost everyone here changes them too soon also. The air filter is more important than an oil filter.
Originally Posted By: JerryBob
It took me a while to convince myself that I am better off in NOT changing my filter than in changing it. That is based on what I've learned from BITOG about older filters filtering better.
 
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13,297
Location
ROCHESTER, NY
I didn't see what oil was in the OP's engine now, only what will go in later(TGMO). In April'14(when I retired), I took a round trip from W. NY State to Florida & Myrtle Beach and back totaling > 4000 miles...in the Altima in my signature. My OCI hadn't been done since early Dec'13 and by mid Apr'14(> 4 months), I only had 1500 miles on this oil. By my return home(May'14), I had > 5500 miles on the OCI. Engine ran great the whole trip. The oil level was only down 1/2 qt when I reached home again and I did another OCI as it was time. smile Both OCI's(Dec'13-May'14) were with QSGB/PuroClass Do what makes you sleep at night!
 
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40,735
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Great Lakes
Originally Posted By: whip
Originally Posted By: JerryBob
....... which would be better for the engine? Leaving it in, or changing it?
Neither will have any effect on the engine. If the engine doesn't go 300,000+ miles, it won't be because of this oil change.
Exactly. This place is full of OCD people, so my standard answer still applies: do whatever helps you sleep better at night.
 
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Location
Houston, TX
The total miles on the oil will be in the 7.5K range (give or take) which is not pushing even a conventional oil to the limit (not sure what you have in there now). So I would leave it. Even 4 months of short tripping is not that long and the trip that you are taking is a long highway trip which is typically very easy on oil. I would be sure to keep it topped off as that would be my worry and not the oil itself. Be sure to check belts/hoses/coolant levels too!
 
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2,107
Location
British Columbia, Canada
I went on a long trip, starting with some miles on the oil, in my Honda Accord V6. The Honda has an oil monitor. The oil monitor kept extending over the trip and I ended up with a lot more miles than usual and was still at 10% oil life left when I got home. The following oil change was at 10,195 Km (6400 miles) vs the more usual 8,000 Km (5000 miles). I know the monitor isn't monitoring actual oil condition but obviously Honda engineers must believe that operating conditions on a long trip are easy on oil.
 
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