Long time interval oil question - PHEV

Jun 1, 2023
Good morning all. This has been somewhat talked about but I didn't really find a solid answer. I want to buy a Honda Clarity PHEV. My current lifestyle means I would most likely only be using the engine a few times a year. I had some questions regarding the oil and change interval.

1. Using Pennzoil Ultra Platinum and factory filters, would it be safe to go over 1 year if the motor is rarely used?
2. Along those lines, to possibly add a security blanket, is there a way to test at home for oxidation, acidity, or water build up in oil, maybe test strips?

That's about it. The car would be driven in PA. I do not own the car but plan to purchase in the next month. Car would not be garage kept. Car would get a few highway jaunts a week, but less than 40 miles so would most likely be all battery. Car would be occasionally used for long driving trips, think about 1,600 + miles. I would change oil depending on recency of last change before long trips most likely to ensure lubricity is maximized with fresh uncontaminayed oil.

Thanks all, appreciate any input. Just want to do my research before I accidentally do any long term damage.
I see your situation as not much different than a car that sits for long periods of time. The long trip would get it to full operating temperature for an extended period of time, so that's good.

What's occasionally? Monthly? Biannually? Quarterly?

Not sure there are many here with a PHEV to share their experiences with this situation. If it were me, I don't think the one year is a stretch by any means, that's the general maximum "recommendation."

I like the idea of a test strip, but a quick search didn't find any that accomplish what you're looking for.

I would probably run it a year and sample, not change it, and see how everything looks.
With quality engines that achieve operational temperatures when in use, there are no valid reasons to change oil based on a calendar schedule. I regularly go many years on infrequently used engines. While that's no scientific test, the reality is that UOA results of infrequently used engines, with long calendar changes of quality oil, clearly show the oil has plenty of life left in it.
I wouldn't worry about it, I have 2 Civic's that I went almost 6 yrs since the last change. The 99 had 6447 miles which was about time but the 97 only had 5k. I changed them back in Oct. and 5 yrs was enough for me as I had changed them both Jan. 2018.
I think you will be fine. The OCI for my 2017 Ford C-Max Energi PHEV is two years or 20K miles. What is the recommendation for this vehicle?

Personally I am now over 17 months into the PHEV experience and love it. We take this car on extended road trips (>500 miles) every few months so the engine gets worked and lubed. One thing you haven't considered is the impact of winter temperatures on EV range and the availability of heat. Speaking from personal experience I don't even bother running in EV mode when the temperature dips below freezing UNLESS it is a short trip to the market where the oil wouldn't have a chance to fully warm up.