How Often for Oil Changes

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Feb 12, 2006
Maysville, KY
Hey all. I just found this forum. I have 4 vehicles. I wanted to know the time limit for oil. It’s been 5 months since the last oil change on my ’83 Jeep CJ. It has less than 400 miles on that change. My ’04 Dodge truck is at the 3 month interval. It has less than 500 miles on it. The other two are at their 3 month intervals with less than 1000 miles on them. Do I need to stick to the 3 month limit on oil? I know the CJ is over the 3 month limit, but do I need to change oil as often as I do with such low mileage? I use Pennzoil 10W-30 or 5W-30, depending on what the vehicle calls for. My 2 tractors call for oil changes at 200 hours, but I change it once a year. Even though one tractor only gets about 100 hours and the other sees less than 50 hours. But that is a diesel service type oil. Am I changing too often?
I would change it at least twice a year (for me at least 3x a year, but twice a year likely would be ok). With such low miles getting them out on the highway once in a while would likely be just as good for them over the long run. Your oil wont go bad, but it will take on moisture and fuel from being under-used and you need to either burn it off or change it.
[Welcome!] We are practically neighbors. Well it doesnt look like you drive your vehicles alot and the problem with that is moisture and other contaminants, But as long as you take them out for a good drive from time to time I dont see a problem with 6 months or maybe a little longer. You could also switch too a good syn and probably go a year if you wanted. Are they stored inside or outside? As it will make a difference.
They are stored inside. The truck has less then 5000 miles on it. It only comes out if I have to haul or tow something. There may be times I might not start it for a month. The CJ is a toy. I may drive it to town once a month in the winter. Just to keep it running. The wife’s ’04 Neon doesn’t see much use either. It’s only 5 miles to work for here. My ’02 Jeep TJ sees the most use. That’s my daily driver. But after 3 ½ years, it’s got less than 19k on it. Do you really think a synthetic could last a year? It would sure cut down on the waste oil I generate. Morehead is only about 30 miles away. Maybe you could use some of this waste oil to burn some of those brush piles I see when I head that way. Oh wait, they chip that up and sell it for big bucks to Wal-Marts as mulch.
I'm not much of a syn user myself but I have heard of people under almost the same conditions running them for a year. But someone else will have to chime in on that one. But with the dino I'd say six months max.
I left my last oil fill (conventional) in for nearly 9 months before I finally achieved 3,000 miles on it. There was NO moisture in the UOA I had done on that oil less than a week ago. Blackstone specifically commented on low wear metals, and the low insolubles count. Oil in the sump does not magically accumulate water and contaminants just by sitting around in an infrequently used vehicle. Those contaminants are the result of frequent use without fully warming the oil to normal operating temperature.
That’s good to hear. So conventional oil is OK. That would cut down on waste a lot. I live on a farm and I use the old oil lubricating stuff. And I give some to my uncle and father-in-law for the same purpose. But it’s hard to use THAT much.
since the neon is only driven a short distance you would definetly want to change that frequently. i did 3 months with conventional on my fiances beetle and now im doing 6 months with synthetic. she only drives 1 - 2 miles to school. and it rarely gets more than 10 miles on a trip, unless we take it to hers or my parents house but mostly we take my car.
Finally found a filter for the CJ at Wally’s. I picked up some 5W-40 Rotella synthetic. Didn’t even know they made that. The CJ has the 258 that is notorious for low oil pressure. I put a HV pump in. Cold starts are up to 70 PSI on 10W-30, but still drops to 10 PSI at idle. I figured this stuff will be better on cold starts and at hot idle. Didn’t even know Wally’s carried that grade. And it’s only about 7 bucks more for the 6qt oil change.
Tim, I ran the 5W-40 Rotella in my truck for a full year/6,700 miles. I mostly used it for short trips on the weekends. The oil (whose UOA is posted in the UOA forum) did a stellar job and still had plenty of life in it. I was surprised it did so well, given that it is a Group III, not IV or V. IMHO, the high-quality modern dino oils have significantly closed the gap to "true" synthetics like PAOs and esters.
I’d like to try Rotella in my Dodge truck, but the Hemi specs 5W-30. I didn’t see that at Wally’s. It has been over 3 months on that oil change and it has less than 800 miles on it. But when it comes out, that engine is fully warmed up. I’m generally hauling something. I might put 5W-30 Mobil-1 in it.
I have a new Ram with the v6 though,but I have been running the new mobilclean 5/30 7500 blend and it is working really good.In the winter months these dodge engines get that milky stuff in the oil fill neck,but sense I started using this oil that stuff is not present.
I was told that foam in the oil fill neck and cap was normal. My old Dakota with the 4.7 engine foamed the cap bad. So far, the Hemi hasn’t done that. Glad you found a solution.
Well this was a surprise. The Rotella synthetic performed better than I imagined. Cold starts are now about 65 PSI, but more amazing is hot idle is 19 PSI. At 2000 RPMs, oil pressure is 38 PSI. It was 22. I had tried Pennzoil 10W-40, but never got that much pressure out of it hot. And I thought I had an exhaust leak. I could hear a faint ticking. That’s gone. It must have been something in the valve train. Now I need to figure out what to do with all that Pennzoil I bought last year on sale.
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