Low mileage How frequently should I change oil

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Oct 1, 2003
New York
Since starting to work out a home office last Oct I have put less than 2K miles on my 2000 BMW 328I (18K miles) I have a second car that is used daily now. Only Mobile One Synthetic has been used in the car. Most of the recent use of this car has been trips of 30miles or more (no short hops). I had been changing the oil and filter ever 6 mos. but haven't done so recently due to the low milage I've put on the car. I plan on keeping the vehicle for 4-5 more years. Any thoughts on how frequently I should be changing the oil would be welcome
I have a similar situation with a car and last year I put only 2100 miles on it, this year maybe 3000. I change oil and filter once a year. Analysis has been fine with the one year OCI. Amsoil 10W30 but Mobil 1 will be fine also. Large factor is that when you do start it up you drive at least 10-15 miles to heat that oil up.
Originally posted by nelsons: Any thoughts on how frequently I should be changing the oil would be welcome
Does the owner's manual offer any guidance? I think that once a year or once every 5,000 miles (whichever comes first) should be ok with synthetic oil under these circumstances. I bought my teen-ager a new 2003 Chevy Cavalier last year. He drives about 500 to 600 miles per month, but unlike you, at least half is under 10 mile trips. The owner's manual says to change the oil every quarter in these circumstances, which is what I have been doing. With only 1,600 miles on the oil when it is changed, I couldn't see any benefit to using synthetic. I would go with the manual unless you have any reason to deviate from BMW recommendations.
My practical answer, and the one I recommend you follow, is once a year IF you use a high TBN oil like Amsoil or the newer formulation of M1 (personal bias: I would NOT use Redline for that kind of interval). If it were ME, I'd do the every 6 mos (oil and filter) even at the low mileage. I admit there is very little "science," mostly "emotion" behind the six months regimen, given what you have described to us, but it would make me FEEL better to use that interval, if...it...were...me.
Once a year. But then again its a BMW even I would probably do once every 6 months-But thats overkill on a practical basis. [Welcome!]
Well had moms oil changed today. 1999 Park Avenue just passed 6900 miles. She changes it every 6 months or 865 miles. [Big Grin]
Thanks all for the responses. I checked with the BWM Service Manager where I bought the car (This is my 4th BMW since 1986) This Service Mgr. has been with the dealership since 1990, I've come to know him and trust him. I can count on one hand the number of non-guarantee covered problems I've had since 1986 which is why I've stuck with BMW's. He said BMW states that under these conditions I could go up to two years between changes. We both agreed that would be penny wise and pound foolish. His personal recommendation, qualified by - as long as most use is trips of 30+ miles (combined with the fact that the car is kept in a heated garage) - one year for oil and filter and stick with M1. Thanks again
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