One year time frame on oil change?

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Dec 13, 2002
North Carolina
I was just wondering what exactly is the reason for changing out the oil in a year time frame? I'm just curious. My mother-in-law only puts on her car about 4k a year. She is running the 5w-30 Amsoil. I know that the oil is still way good. I understand that her driving, which is mostly around town top and go and occational highway runs isn't very stressing on the oil and the fact of condensation is the biggest factor. Is the one year just a good calender interval to go by? Any reason the interval couldn't be extended since the mileage is so low? I'm just curious.


oh if it makes a difference she has the 4.6l DOHC V8 in her 95 Mark VIII Total miles on the car is right around 29k.
I've run amsoil for two years between changes under these types of conditions. However, I strongly recommend testing the oil after 1 years time and changing the oil filter after getting the test results back.


Two vehicles in my family are operated similar to yer M-I-L's.

I do semiannual oil changes with conventional oil and addition of a good fuel treatment annually. One of these cars rarely gets more than an eight minute drive, but is driven every day...mash the gas pedal in this Lincoln and not much of anything happened. I'm running 6 oz. of Schaeffer Neutra in the oil and 18 oz. in the gas tank, and it's running much better already.

I think one of the reasons for the one year time frame is if you've been driving through a very cold time period. If you live in a moderate climate that doesn't get too cold, you could more easily get away with a 2 year interval.
I have a '92 Mazda Protege. Changed to Amsoil 5w30 ASL in Sept, four miles to work and back. If I run the oil for one year is it better to set up the change interval after winter or summer?
Change the oil the cost of analysis oil filter And top off oil would be close to an oil change. there is probably lots of blow by stuff in the oil .It doesn't make sense to me to wait untill analysis says to change the oil because how long is the engine running on marginal oil, kinda defeats the reason to use expensive oil in the first place.
Similarly, I am thinking of doing the same for my Acura. Presently have RP 5w30 in it, since last July, or about 3500 km. The car is just about to come out of winter storage. Plan to do a filter change and drain a touch of oil from the pan, in order to remove as much water as possible. I plan do the next full oil change just before it goes back in storage.
I currently maintain 5 vehicles, 3 of these vehicles rarely go overe 5K miles per year. I always use synthetic oil and very good quality filters. WhenI drive these vehicles it's usually for greater than 10 miles and I have been changing the oil once a year with no problems for years. On my old pickup truck, I've been known to go two years between changes.

Originally posted by pepper32:
I have a '92 Mazda Protege. Changed to Amsoil 5w30 ASL in Sept, four miles to work and back. If I run the oil for one year is it better to set up the change interval after winter or summer?

Since your winters are very cold, I'd highly recommend you do it twice a year. Once just before winter and then once in the spring. But if you are absolutely stuck on doing just one a year, I'd recommend doing it in spring. I say this because if you do it before winter, the winter will put a lot more wear metals into the oil, so then you'll have an accumulative effect in the summer where those extra wear metals from winter are causing more wear than necessary in summer.

But one of the reasons I still believe a two oil change per year setup is better, is because fresh oil has better cold weather properties. So you'll have fresh oil for the winter, allowing the best flow, then in spring you drain it and flush out the higher amount of wear metals from winter driving.

[ March 22, 2003, 05:19 AM: Message edited by: Patman ]
I'm a believer in a minimum of twice a year. Exceptions would be a car that is stored with fresh oil in the fall, where the oil would be still good in the spring when you started driving it.
I've seen through analisis that low mileage can cause a lot of bearing corrosion. One on my 4Runner at 7 months and 4000 km is posted on my site.
If the engine always heats completely, the corrosion is reduced.
Of course if you are only driving 5,000 miles a year, even with higher bearing wear it will take you 30 years to see any problems, so most of us don't have to worry.
If you care about your car:
In severe service environment (such as urban driving),

Every 3000 miles or 90 days whichever comes first.


[ March 22, 2003, 09:35 PM: Message edited by: palmerwmd ]
Yep, twice a year is my schedule, in the spring (April) and in the fall (October). Keyed to winter viscosity oils in the cold season, and summer viscosity oils in the hot season. Regardless of mileage. I've 4 cars and mine do not get lots of mileage. That said, I just picked up my daughter in her 87 Camry, checked her car's logbook, and it's had 5k miles since the winter changeover. Synthetic in the 2 new ones, dino in the older.
My mother drives her car less than 9,000 miles per year, & last summer I decided to just start changing oil by time instead of miles on that car. Twice a year, last changed ~last wk Nov/1st wk Dec.
Well, my daughter drives hers between 7500-9500 per year and I change once a year, filter at 6 months and have been doing so for last 4 years. Analysis appears fine.

Recently changed one car with 2100 miles in the year, no filter change either. Other then slightly elevated lead the analysis was fine.

Depends on driving habits, cold starts and engine not heating up when started.
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