Never change, Just add oil only?

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5,342
Location
Southeast Texas
I am curious to see how many have owned a vehicle where the oil was never changed, but just continually topped off, due to leaks or consumption, or whatever.

Would one fresh quart going in every 1000 miles be sufficient, assuming the filter was changed on a regular basis?
 
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3,014
I've been blessed to never have experienced an engine like this. Worse I've ever had was a (I hope I get this correct) 1989 Chevy Blazer S10 4.3. I bought it used and back then 3k OCI was the norm. This engine didn't get that kinda love! It did with me but that was 100k after some neglect. It burned about a quart and a half over 3k. Had some junk in the oil when drained around 120k to 150k. Remaining vehicles I've owned have never burned much.
 
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433
Under the right circumstances, you could probably even get away with not changing the filter. 1 quart per thousand miles is a lot of clean, fresh oil. Not recommending it, but with that consumption rate, the oil is practically changing itself.
 
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Messages
986
Location
Saint Nazianz, WI
Call me crazy but I am kinda in the middle of doing this right now. I have a 2018 Subaru Outback 2.5L that I will probably be trading in (or at least attempting to) before the end of the calendar year. It currently has a Fram Ultra oil filter with just over 12,000 miles of usage. My last oil change used Mobil 1 0w20 EP that consumed a quart of oil after 5000 miles and before 6000 miles so I added a quart of Valvoline 0w20 I had on hand.

Now in typical BITOG fashion I don't want that quart of Valvoline, that I paid $3.25 for, to go to waste. I think I should be able to get to at least 10,000 miles on this OCI before considering a change. But that being said I would still have about 5000 miles of usage left on the Fram Ultra (don't waste that mileage ya'll!) and the likelihood of another quart of oil being consumed by that point is very high. So I COULD just throw in another quart of oil and ride it out...
 
Messages
4,468
Location
Central Arkansastan
Under the right circumstances, you could probably even get away with not changing the filter. 1 quart per thousand miles is a lot of clean, fresh oil. Not recommending it, but with that consumption rate, the oil is practically changing itself.
I had an old Grand Prix that ate about a quart every 800 or so miles. I quit changing the oil on it, as my intervals were 4K at the time, and the pan held 4 quarts (265cid smog V8). I changed the filter about once every 6 months.
 
Messages
9,045
Location
Illinois
How about 1 fresh quart of oil, every other day? What it didn't burn... leaked out.

I was buying Western Auto brand 40w oil for 69 cents a quart, 2 cases at a time, just to keep it on the road. .

This would have been in the early 90's. I replaced that car with a fully loaded 1986 Mercury Cougar with a factory 5.0 V8.
 
Messages
150
Location
NJ
My brother in law did this. His engine oil light came on. We checked the oil level and it didn't even register then all of a sudden the oil pressure gauge shot right to the middle after not registering. I asked him when he changed the oil last and he said he doesn't change the oil. Usually just adds and them smiled and said he is saving the environment by not having used oil. I ordered him an Amsoil filter and some 5W-20 and changed it for him twice! If I remember, it was a Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer with the V8. The truck ran for years after. I don't know if he ever changed it again but that truck is sitting in my dad's driveway rusting out now for the last few years.
 
Messages
487
Location
KY, USA
Back in the early '90's the car that I used to take myself to and from work on construction sites used/leaked lots of oil. As I remember it was a qt. somewhere between 300-500 miles. Before I sold it I stopped changing oil in it and was topping it off with oil I'd drained out of my better cars at oil change that already had approximately 3K miles on it. When I sold it it had been over 31K miles since it's last oil change and the consumption seemed to be very close to what it was when I quit changing it. I'm not condoning this type behavior on most cars but, when one gets in pretty rough shape, loses lots of oil, and has practically no resale value I don't see anything wrong with it. I sold mine to friend. I told him about it's history. He had just got married and needed cheap transportation so I sold it to him for $250 and let him make payments until he got it paid off. I know he drove it for quite awhile after I sold it. I'm guessing 1-2 years. The reason he quit driving it is they passed emissions testing in that area and it wouldn't pass because it didn't have a catalytic converter. Last time I saw it I was on my way to work one morning, I met a load of crushed cars and it was on that load.

I never quit changing oil in this one but, an '88 Ford Escort I used as a daily driver had also got where it used a quart about 800-1K miles so I started topping it off with oil drained from my better cars. When I quit driving the Escort it had 518K miles I suspect I'd been adding used oil between changes for approximately the last 150K miles.

Neither of these cars smoked other than a puff when they were first started. I don't know what the compression was on the Chrysler but, when I quit driving the Escort the compression was 145-155 across all four cylinders.
 
Messages
12
I've thought long and hard about doing this on purpose. Put some plumbing on the engine that will allow you to open a valve and pump out 1-2 quarts of oil. Top off with fresh oil and repeat every 1000 miles or so. Change the filter at 10-15k. I'd get a some oil analysis done to fine tune how often it needs to be changed. I usually use the same oil and I frequently only change my filter at every other oil change anyway. (I use an oversized filter)

They used to sell systems kind of like this for diesel trucks. They would burn a small amount of crankcase oil mixed with the fuel on purpose. It had a makeup tank that you would keep full, and you only changed the filter not very often. EPA doesn't like this though, so they don't make 'em anymore.

I had an '83 Ford F250 diesel that required a quart of oil every 50-100 miles. I couldn't figure out if it was burning it or leaking it, it didn't leave puddles on the ground but the engine was very dirty. I figured if it was using it for fuel, just putting in cheap motor oil doesn't cost a whole lot more than diesel. I just changed the filter every once in a while, no reason to change the oil. After several thousand miles of this I sold it to a farmer who knew the oil usage and planned to use it on the farm as is.
 
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