Over 25 Vehicles and Never Had to Top Off

4WD

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16,815
Location
Texas
The last vehicle I had consume oil was a Dodge PowerWagon, but I owned it for 17 years and it started past midway … I like to think it has something to do with how carefully I break them in, do early changes to better lubes/filters … but safe to say fleet vehicles are not treated that way. I don’t even recall any others being low on the dipstick …

Not a heavy foot driver either unless getting on a freeway when it’s needed etc …
 

mdtaylor86

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122
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MD
What you and I consider low are 2 different things. To me, “towards the bottom” is low.

1/4 of a tank a gas is towards the bottom. Many would consider that “low” and fill up before a considerable amount of driving.
Right, that was my point. The difference being what I consider low for oil is what the manufacturer considers below the safe operating level (i.e. below the bottom line on the dipstick). Maybe this is because in my experience, oil use has never been linear. I've had vehicles that use 1/2qt in 3K miles and then the level never moves again for the next 4.5K miles. So I don't see any reason to top off while the oil is still in the safe range. With your gas tank, that's expected to get lower and lower the more you use the vehicle. It's inevitable that you will need to fill up. Not exactly the same kind of thing as your dipstick.
 
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1,904
First, I'm replying to what you said. You brought up semantics for some reason I'm not sure about. Second, "can", "have", and "need" are all different words used in English to mean different things. Replacing "have to" with "can" completely changes the meaning of a sentence. It's not semantics. These words are not interchangeable.

This is a thread for anecdotes about topping off oil. Why are you arguing purpose here? Do you have any comments at all that are on topic?
You obviously don’t understand what the words “topping off” mean. I’ve answered you original question 3 times now and you keep dismissing it. It appears you’ve started this thread just to start arguments with other members and nothing else.
 
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mdtaylor86

Thread starter
Messages
122
Location
MD
You obviously don’t understand what the words “topping off” mean. I’ve answered you original question 3 times now and you keep dismissing it. It appears you’ve started this thread just to start arguments with other members and nothing else.
Did you answer my question? I asked about people's personal experiences about topping off All you've done is start an argument about what "have to" and "top off" mean and argue with me about how I choose to top off my vehicles. I don't see any answers to my questions. Would you mind pointing them out to me?

Apparently what requires a top off is a sensitive subject around here. I'll try to remember that from now on. Great attitude right off the bat.
 
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17,976
Location
NH
I've had about 8 cars, wife has had about 4. I'd say we're 50-50 on needing oil between OCI's? Some used oil, some didn't, none were ever that bad, worst I think were beaters that might need a quart every 1k when were teens. Out of cars we bought new (or nearly so) they tend not to be burners--my Saturn chugged oil early on, but... Saturn. Wife's Camry did not like PP and it did use a quart over a 10k OCI, and seemingly not since.

I tend to think driving moderate-aggressive, break the engine hard with accelerating, lots of gentle highway, little city, religious OCI's between 5 and 10k with synthetic... can't say it's magic but it seems to work for me.
 

mdtaylor86

Thread starter
Messages
122
Location
MD
I've had about 8 cars, wife has had about 4. I'd say we're 50-50 on needing oil between OCI's? Some used oil, some didn't, none were ever that bad, worst I think were beaters that might need a quart every 1k when were teens. Out of cars we bought new (or nearly so) they tend not to be burners--my Saturn chugged oil early on, but... Saturn. Wife's Camry did not like PP and it did use a quart over a 10k OCI, and seemingly not since.

I tend to think driving moderate-aggressive, break the engine hard with accelerating, lots of gentle highway, little city, religious OCI's between 5 and 10k with synthetic... can't say it's magic but it seems to work for me.
Whatever works for you! My wife used to have a Saturn...it was not the most reliable car I've ever seen. Don't think it had issues with oil but she would get it changed every 3K miles by Mr. Tire so who knows?

The worst one I have is a 2007 Chevy Express with the 4.3L. it gets about 3/4 of a quart low (combo of leaks and burning) over a 7K - 9K OCI.
 
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420
Location
Southeastern, PA
I have personally noticed that on vehicles where I used conventional or blend, there was a greater likelihood of needing to top off between oil changes than when using full synthetic. When using a full synthetic, the oil level barely changes (if it all) during a 5,000-7,000 mile interval.
 

mdtaylor86

Thread starter
Messages
122
Location
MD
I have personally noticed that on vehicles where I used conventional or blend, there was a greater likelihood of needing to top off between oil changes than when using full synthetic. When using a full synthetic, the oil level barely changes (if it all) during a 5,000-7,000 mile interval.
That's interesting because that seems to run counter to the accepted wisdom of synthetic "causing" leaks.
 
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1,670
Location
California
A lot of people here on BITOG top off their oil when the level is still in the safe area. Doing this will not make a bit of difference, except maybe in a few scenarios such as extreme stress, or if you're headed out on a long road trip during which the service interval will pass, or obviously if you have an oil burner. Maybe another scenario I can't think of right now. In these situations, topping off with fresh oil is a good idea, even if the level is above the add mark. Otherwise, topping off the oil when the level is still OK is completely unnecessary. But many of us still do it... it is an OCD thing that makes the owner/driver feel warm & fuzzy, so there is some reward I guess. Besides, I'm not sure this website would exist without such OCD. I've run my current Tacoma for a full 7,000-mile interval with the oil level barely above the add mark. Guess what? Zero issues. But I was only comfortable doing this because it does not consume any oil, it's not in severe service, plus it's a 4-cylinder with a 5.5-quart sump... it could probably go well below the add mark with no issues.
 

mdtaylor86

Thread starter
Messages
122
Location
MD
A lot of people here on BITOG top off their oil when the level is still in the safe area. Doing this will not make a bit of difference, except maybe in a few scenarios such as extreme stress, or if you're headed out on a long road trip during which the service interval will pass, or obviously if you have an oil burner. Maybe another scenario I can't think of right now. In these situations, topping off with fresh oil is a good idea, even if the level is above the add mark. Otherwise, topping off the oil when the level is still OK is completely unnecessary. But many of us still do it... it is an OCD thing that makes the owner/driver feel warm & fuzzy, so there is some reward I guess. Besides, I'm not sure this website would exist without such OCD. I've run my current Tacoma for a full 7,000-mile interval with the oil level barely above the add mark. Guess what? Zero issues. But I was only comfortable doing this because it does not consume any oil, it's not in severe service, plus it's a 4-cylinder with a 5.5-quart sump... it could probably go well below the add mark with no issues.
I can completely understand wanting to keep the oil at the full mark. I thinks it's completely wasteful except in the scenarios you described, but I get it. I have my areas I'm a tad obsessive with (tire pressure and tread depth, to name a big one). I imagine some people might have an aneurysm if they were forced to go 7K miles with the oil just barely hovering above the add mark.😅
 
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...
Same here. I've never owned a car that's used a single drop of oil. Mine have all been Japanese (Nissan and Mitsubishi) with the exception of my one 3800 powered Oldsmobile.


Similar experiences here. The last vehicle that I owned that used oil was a 85 Ford Ranger with the 2.8 V6. After that I have owned Japanese brands exclusively and haven’t had to add any oil and they haven’t used any either.

How a person drives and maintains their cars has a lot to do with it too. Romping on the engine when it’s stone cold for example will usually lead to issues later on.
 
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