Low mileage project/weekend car winter storage...change oil?

Joined
Oct 22, 2022
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Hi everyone. I have been researching on this topic, and have spent quite a bit of time on this site in the past, so decided to register and get some advice on this. I have two Miatas that I use 5w30 full synthetic oil in, and every fall I typically will perform an oil change before storing for the winter. My Miatas typically only get driven about 1500 miles or less in a year since I only drive them for leisure and the miles are split between the two. One of my Miatas is turbocharged, the other is not.

The last time I changed their oil was last November so it will almost have been a full year since the last change. From what I have always heard, it should be changed based on mileage or time (1 year for synthetics). However, my search on here has revealed that synthetics may be good for longer than a year with low mileage on them. With such low mileage on full synthetic oil, should I still go ahead and change the oil before storing them for the winter, or do you all think I should be okay leaving the oil for another year, and change it next year? I just want to make sure they stay in as good of shape as possible, but also don't want to be draining oil too early if it is still good to use.
 
Joined
Apr 28, 2012
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I’m one of those people that thinks of things this way…

oil is cheap. I enjoy changing oil. Therefore I change oil


I have a 91 Jaguar XJS. It has 12,000 miles and I drove it off the lot with 12 miles on it. I change the oil twice a year and All fluids (coolant etc) once a year. Am I doing overkill? Absolutely. Is it like brand new? yup.

the way I look at is is that I can buy a few cups of coffee from Starbucks for the same price as an oil change.
 

Overdrivex

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Oct 22, 2022
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Thanks guys! I'll continue what I'm doing. I definitely cherish my Miatas and plan to keep them forever, so as you guys mentioned, its a small price to pay for years of motoring fun. I will say, when I pulled the valve cover on one of them, I was very amazed at how clean it was under there, so that was a nice treat.
 

Overdrivex

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Oct 22, 2022
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Maybe drain the oil and give it to someone who has a car that burns oil.
I feel kind of dumb for not thinking of this myself, since my daily driver Accord burns oil. This is actually a great idea, how did I not think about that years ago!?
 
Joined
Jan 22, 2011
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7,909
No, I would not reuse any drained oil in an oil burner. There is all kinds of bad stuff in a "clean" drain pan that you cannot see and you are going to dump it in another engine?

With less than 1500 miles and if the oil is clean, I would run it another year.
 
Joined
Jun 15, 2003
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You're looking for validation to keep doing what you're doing.

I'm going to disagree and say run your oil for two years. (And get it analyzed to prove it's got way more to go.)

Surely if you get in the car it's going to get driven for 10+ miles, warming the oil up. So it's not every-daily driven, so you don't have to follow the severe schedule.

Sure, you probably drive at 10/10 and think it's "severe", but that's nearly every miata driver, LOL.
 

Overdrivex

Thread starter
Joined
Oct 22, 2022
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I mean if I can run the oil for 2 years with no ill effects, I would certainly be totally fine with that, saving me time + money. I dont usually use them for short trips and they typically are at operating temp every time I park them.

If that is good enough for 2 years with no ill effects on the vehicles engines, then I am open to it.
 
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