Do I ever need to change my oil?

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Jun 16, 2003
Edmonton, AB Canada
One of my cars (1992 Nissan Sentra, with a 3 litre sump) uses and leaks 1L ever 2000km. The severe service OCI I follow is every 6000 km, because of short trips and cold Canadian weather. This means that by the time my odo reaches 6000km very little of the original oil is in the pan and some of the oil is only 2000 km old. So, could it be sound to just change the filter, top up the oil and keep going or should a person only ever do the full change, as I have always done?
I would just change the filter, you'd be changing nearly a quart of it when you do that...
You should change it. One older car I had slowed consumption significantly once I drained the pan and changed the filter. Not 100% of the ingredients in oil evaporate and get burned so you've got crud at the bottom and in various internal hiding places. If you're cheap you could change it according to the "normal" maintenance schedule since you are constantly adding new additives that fight the acids, etc. you get with cold startups.
yes change it. with the high oil consumption, I would imagine you have heavy oil deposits. drain it out. this car would be a good auto-rx candidate.
Between leaking and consuption their might be a very good way to get around frequent changes. You could start useing Lube Control. You might easily be able to go a year or more this way with out changeing! I have not tested this it is just theory on my part!
Not only would I never change it again, but I'd probably only use "recycled" 10W-30 if I could still find it on someone's shelves. And I'd probably only change the filter once every 20k km. If you really wanted to give the car a treat, use some 5W-40 diesel oil to keep it extra clean.
Originally posted by Eiron: If you really wanted to give the car a treat, use some 5W-40 diesel oil to keep it extra clean.
Yeah, you'd probably slow the leak if you used a thicker oil.
This was kind of moot question because I have too many oils and filters I want try out on this car. I think I'd go bananas not changing the oil and filter. I was surprised that many of you thought changing only the filter was sufficient. I think I've come to believe that most “Oildropers” are more conservative in their OCI. Guess I was wrong. P.S. This car is currently 1600 km (1000 miles) into it's first Auto-Rx treatment, to repair a crank seal oil leak. Compression is rock steady across all four cylinders, so I don't think I'm actually burning much.
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