Optimal oil change strategy for low usage engines??

Messages
418
Location
OR
I'd like some opinions on optimal oil change intervals on various engines that don't even come close to hitting the manufacturers recommended mileage/hour change intervals within a one year period. (ex: diesel tractor, car, and outdoor power equipment) Here are some scenarios: My Supra is driven about 2500 miles per year and I use Redline 10W30. Can I safely let it go to 5000 miles (ie 2yrs)? The miles it does get driven are not short trips. It gets a full workout when driven :-). I have an older BB Trans Am that only get's driven a couple hundred miles a year. If I change an expensive synthetic oil annually it seems like a total waiste. (like pouring brand new oil down the drain). I also have a 7 yr old John Deere diesel tractor that has yet to hit JD's official oil change hour threshold. (but I do change it every 2 yrs anyway) I use premium synthetic in everything and except for the Supra, I usually never go more than 2 yrs. (Supra never goes more than 1 yr). Is 2 yrs too long for infrequently used engines? Would it be better to use "el cheapo" dino oil and do a change annually or use a premium synthetic and keep the change to about 2+ yrs? Based on a previous post I think I'll use Amsoil 15W40 AME (Diesel and Marine oil) in both the Trans Am and the diesel tractor. I don't think it would be appropriate for the Supra though. TIA, this is a very informative group.
 
Messages
229
Location
Louisville, KY
My '94 Camaro sees low mileage usage. But it does see about 8-10+ autocrosses a year. I'm planning on just changing it 2-3 times a year with Mobil 1 10w30. The engine is clean as hell on the inside but it seems to darken oil quickly which makes me leary. I need to have it analyzed a couple more times. [ April 04, 2003, 11:32 PM: Message edited by: RobZ71LM7 ]
 
Messages
3,693
Location
Chattanooga, TN
Well, I have one of these low milers also. In fact, the person I purchased it form had M1 in the crankcase for 18 months and had about 3400 miles on it. Analysis came back fine . I now change once a year or 5000 which ever comes first. Except for lead wear ( not huge either) the wear metals are low, oil is fine. The lead may be due to short trips and or lugging in the gears in lieu of a lower gear and higher revs. But, in my lifetime the enigne will not wear out with the higher lead. So, yo are probably fine with what you are doing especially if you heat it up and drive it when you do decide to do so. With so few miles per year the operating costs are also low so perhaps tyhe synthetic is overkill but still inexpensive overkill. I don't hink anyone has any real world experience on what the proper course of action would be for your cars, all opnion which of course mine is also.
 
Messages
688
Location
Morgantown, WV
I have one vehicle that gets extremely low miles. I put Castrol GTX in it twice a year, unless the oil is still amber, then only once a year. [Smile] I figure it's probably fine this way, but even if it's not, it'll take me 200 years to put enough miles on it to notice. [Big Grin] Cheers, 3MP
 
Messages
718
Location
Central Texas
dave I too have several low mileage engines. It will be interesting to see what others do with their low mileage applications. The change procedure on my two tractors that get less than 200 hrs per year is to change them annually at the end of the season. The theory being to not let the old oil sit in the crankcase over the winter. Others think the oil should be changed in spring since condensation builds up in the crankcase during fall and winter. My use of oil has been influenced greatly by this board and the posting of oil analysis results here at Bob's. Since I use around 6 gallons of oil a year I've opted to use Schaeffer's series 7000 15w-40 in everything. A: It gives me the performance of a premium synthetic. B: It has API, ACEA, Global, JASO, and OEM ratings for everything on the farm. C: It cost 25 to 50% less than full synthetic. D: It give me economy of scale because all my lubrication needs are served from one source. E: I get free delivery with a $250.00 order.
 
Messages
662
Location
Ottawa, Ont CANADA
quote:
Originally posted by Neil Womack: dave I The change procedure on my two tractors that get less than 200 hrs per year is to change them annually at the end of the season. The theory being to not let the old oil sit in the crankcase over the winter. Others think the oil should be changed in spring since condensation builds up in the crankcase during fall and winter. .
This is also my delemna...I put on approx 8000 km a year. My stratagie at the momment is new oil just before I store the car. I am using RP and according to the conversations I had with them , water seperates, so with a filter change and drain a small amout in the spring, I should be able to go a year. Jean
 
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