Should I drain my oil after towing a trailer

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1,613
Location
WA
I am moving from Washington to Colorado. I have a 03 SAAB 9-3. I will be towing a 1500 lb trailer. I will have a total of 8,000 miles on the car after the 1,000 mile trip. I changed my oil at 6,000 with Mobil 1 0W-30R. So, should I change the oil when I arrive in Colorado, or leave the Mobil 1R in for another 3,000 miles Thanks for the help
 
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3,031
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Florida
You can run the oil to 6000 miles easily. I wouldn't start worrying about changing the M1 until 6 months or 7500 miles and even then you can probably go further. Just take some oil with you and keep it at the full mark on the dipstick. Daily Drives: -2003 Toyota Tacoma PreRunner XtraCab, 2.7 Liter , Mobil1 Synthetic SS 5W-30. ODO 8100 Miles. -1995 Toyota 4-Runner 3.0 V6, Mobil1 Synthetic SS 10W-30. ODO 84500 Miles. http://community.webshots.com/user/amkeer
 

Finklejag

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WA
Yep, it can tow up to 3500lbs. SAAB even sells their own trailer hitches. Towing trailers is real common in Europe with cars.
 
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2,569
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College Dorm...
quote:
Originally posted by Finklejag: Yep, it can tow up to 3500lbs. SAAB even sells their own trailer hitches. Towing trailers is real common in Europe with cars.
Yeah, here in my neck of the woods, you'd think you'd need a 2500 or 3500 to tow your 16ft. jonboat to the lake... [Big Grin] Cars are much more capable (when driven "smartly" and maintained very well) than most make them out to be... [ April 14, 2004, 12:45 AM: Message edited by: Jelly ]
 
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7,778
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Oklahoma
I'd think you'd be OK, but I do worry about the low HT/HS for this oil though. However, it has a butt load of additives on it.
 

TC

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1,644
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California
Your Saab's ability to safety stop while pulling a rated-weight trailer, trailering on grades, and the need for trailer brakes (if any) were all taken into account when they included any instructions/warnings in your owner's manual. I'd go ahead and take their advice literally, whatever it is. As for the oil, this shouldn't be any more stressing than one or two weekends time trialing at a race track (something I've done with sports sedans for 20 yrs), and not a big issue for your oil, especially a synthetic combined with an effective cooling system (radiator, etc). Maybe change it out 1,000 miles sooner than normal if you have concerns, but mainly for the "warm & fuzzy" factor. [ April 14, 2004, 03:33 PM: Message edited by: TC ]
 

Finklejag

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WA
Thanks guys. I don't remember where I read that you should always drain the oil after you towed something [I dont know] The owners manual says you can tow up to 3500lbs with trailer brakes and 1500 without. My 9³ has good size brakes front and rear, 302mm upfront and 278mm rear, both vented. I have a 6 speed, so I will be engine braking on the declines.
 
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1,855
Location
Australia
quote:
I read that you should always drain the oil after you towed something
Crikey, if that was the case, we'd be constantly changing the oil in the wifes Nissan. It's always towing a horse float. Or take the case of my poor old overworked Land Rover. It has a tiny 2.5 litre turbo diesel, yet with the gear I carry for work, gross's in the region of 3 000kg/6 600lbs, and sometimes tows 2 000kg/4 400lbs for an all up GCM of 5 000kg/11 000lbs, it uses 6.8 litres of D1 in the sump, and is up to 16 000km since the last oil change. Tow and just change the oil at the normal interval. Rick. [ April 14, 2004, 05:37 PM: Message edited by: tdi-rick ]
 
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930
Location
Southeast
quote:
Originally posted by Finklejag: Yep, it can tow up to 3500lbs. SAAB even sells their own trailer hitches. Towing trailers is real common in Europe with cars.
Yeah you can probably pull it, but can you stop it? The brakes matter too. The car's brakes are probably designed to stop the car and maybe a 1000lb trailer. Id worry about 3500 lbs. A brake controller is only about $100 installed at Uhaul.
 
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173
Location
Iowa
quote:
Originally posted by TC: Your Saab's ability to safety stop while pulling a rated-weight trailer, trailering on grades, and the need for trailer brakes (if any) were all taken into account when they included any instructions/warnings in your owner's manual. I'd go ahead and take their advice literally, whatever it is.
I wouldn't be so sure about that. In relation to braking perhaps the manual provides accurate information, but not necessarily in relation to maximum towable load. It all depends on the type of trailer. If your talking a flatbed loaded with 3,500lbs that doesn't exceed the roofline of the car you'd probably be fine. When you start talking an enclosed trailer like those used for moving or a camping trailer, the extra wind resistance from the portion of the trailer taller than the car comes into play, particularly in any kind of head wind. I recall my parents having an 88 or 89 Blazer with the 4.3L V6. It had the tow package and was rated at about 5500lbs. What a joke. That thing struggled with an 18ft single axel camper that weighed 1800lbs when loaded with all the camping gear. The Blazer had two under 200lbs adults in it and I at the time wieghed around 100lbs. The trailer extended approximately 2 1/2 feet above the roofline of the Blazer. It could do 55mph just barely if there were no headwind without putting too much strain on the engine. It couldn't break 45mph without burying the pedal in as little as a 15mph headwind or crosswind. Good thing it had the tow package with the extra tranny cooler and oil cooler. My parents kept the vehicle for all of about 3 months before trading it in on an Econoline van with the 302cid V8 to pull the camper. My philosophy for a vehicle that will see regular use as a tow vehicle is buy something that is substantially more than you need to pull the load. The vehicle will last much longer when its only pulling half of the max load vs. a less capable vehilce towing at near max load. It's like my idiot friend when he had his 2000 Tacoma TRD with the 2.4L 4-banger. It had a max tow rating of around 4400lbs. He kept telling me it would be capable of towing my parents 23ft camping trailer that weighs 3200lbs fully loaded. I told him that I was certain that the truck could probably tow the load. The question is at what speed and for how long. [ April 15, 2004, 02:01 AM: Message edited by: Forkman ]
 
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951
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Loveland, Colorado
Forkman makes an excellent point. Would it help to add some type of roof-rack fairing to bump the airflow up to the higher trailer roof-line? Finklejag has bikes on top of the car, so he'd have to make other arrangements there. Finklejag, have a safe trip! When are you leaving & where are you moving to in CO?
 

TC

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1,644
Location
California
Very good points, but keep in mind that, rather than routinely towing a camping trailer each summer or similar, this is a one-time "1,000 mile" relocation. It appears that Saab has researched the capabilities/ramifications: "The owners manual says you can tow up to 3500lbs with trailer brakes and 1500 without." I'd suggest to simply follow these guidelines and drive conservatively. Finklejag: You may actually be right about oil changes and towing if it's covered in your owner's manual as a "Severe Service" activity. Then again, your trip will only consitute about one-sixth of your planned drain interval (it's not like you're towing the trailer for 6,000 miles), so it would appear a non-issue. This confirms the obvious, that trailer towing is/can be considered severe service: http://www.quakerstate.com/pages/carcare/whattoknow.asp
 
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