Ultra severe usage pattern OCI?

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My friend has a GPS device in her car from the insurance company to track her driving patterns to lower her premiums because she drives so little. One of the benefits of this is that she can log into their website and see every trip made including how much time was spent idling, max speed & overall driving time. She makes frequent short trips daily, averaging 7.3 trips per day over a span of 1.7hrs driving time per day, this month. While 1.7hrs of driving a day seems like a lot, she only covers 53KM (33miles) on average per day. It's probably close to an hour of idling daily, mostly from picking up/dropping off kids, getting groceries, shopping etc. I believe that this is the most extreme usage pattern I've seen for engine oil. Frequent short trips + traffic jams when the engine does warm up. The car is a Lexus ES330 with the 3MZ-FE V6 that seems to run fine. I was thinking that with this usage pattern, OCI should be based on hours of engine run time instead of mileage. Any ideas on what a good estimate would be? BTW the car does NOT have an oil life indicator, it was only available in American models, Canadians didn't get it. It is running 5w20 PP right now and will be hitting ~4K miles with ~220hrs of engine run time by the end of the year. I'm thinking that'll be a good time to change because I've read about heavy duty diesel applications that recommend changing oil after 200hrs. Thanks in advance.
 

JC1

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Try running a cab in NYC. That's servere usage. Years ago they did a test with NYC cabs to see if they needed to change the oil in them at 3000 miles. They found out that they could run them for much longer. NYC Cab oil test article She could easily keep the oil until 5,000 miles (not KM). Regards, JC.
 
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That is severe service with the extended idle, A more severe usage would be 2miles to work, 2 miles home for lunch, 2 miles to work, 2 miles home in the evening during the winter at 20F. I'd probably do 6 month changes with the kind of usage you listed.
 

HKPolice

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Originally Posted By: JC1
Try running a cab in NYC. That's servere usage. Years ago they did a test with NYC cabs to see if they needed to change the oil in them at 3000 miles. They found out that they could run them for much longer. NYC Cab oil test article She could easily keep the oil until 5,000 miles (not KM). Regards, JC.
Thanks for the article but I'm not sure if it's completely applicable to this scenario because the Taxis are always running with hot oil whereas my friend's car rarely heats the oil up to operating temp. There is another stat from the GPS device that reads coolant temp and the average over the last 5 trips was only 66.8C = 152F which is way below the operating temp of ~90C or around ~200F. The oil temp also lags behind coolant temp as well so I doubt it reaches ~90C more than a few times a month. Again, with such short tripping + heavy traffic I'm wondering if there are any guidelines for basing OCI on engine run time instead of mileage. Idling/stuck in traffic for 1hr a day must be equal to driving at least 20-30miles?
 
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Though it seems bad it's really not. Our diesel forklift runs 500 hour oil change intervals but we use a synthetic. As long as the oil gets up to operating temp daily fuel dilution won't be an issue. Perhaps a used oil analysis would be beneficial to establish a proper interval based on her driving conditions. Due to the cost of oil in Canada short intervals will get costly. A used oil analysis will present actual oil condition thus an interval can be decided based on oils actual condition and not guessing. 5000 miles should be attainable though with an off the shelf Walmart sold synthetic.
 
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Our Shop Truck here: 2002 Ford Ranger 4.0 Sohc V6 Dozens of short trips per day, year round, I drive it home, 145,000 miles Trouble free. maintance kept up well, Spotless inside motor. Service Pro fleet oil HDEO 15W-40 year round. 4k change periods, Motorcraft 820S filters
 
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So if the average is 152F and the thermostat temp is 190 you might spend 3/4 of the time at thermostat temp. Not that severe duty, IMO. And the thing is, we have more data now than ever, so we can obsess over perceived problems.
 
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Originally Posted By: eljefino
And the thing is, we have more data now than ever, so we can obsess over perceived problems.
Isn't that the truth.
 
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short-trip does not equate to ultra severe OCI pattern, IMO. Granted: it's an OBD-II fuel injected type of vehicle, the biggest concern should still be (fundamentally speaking, applicable to not just EFI/MFI, but also carb'ed cars in the days of yore), it's the condensation (moisture) and unburned fuel in oil that is of concern. Granted: the automobile can be taken out on a weekend highway drive (30mins to 1hr or more), then the moisture and fuel inside the oil can be rid of somewhat, and that helps immensely. Q. p.s. for utilitarian types of mass-produced automobiles, I still stand firm in the believe of using conventional oil for the best performance/cost ratio in this case, citing the rather frequent need of OCI to rid of moisture and unburned fuel (mixed into the oil). boutique oil doesn't serve any purpose other than burning a bigger hole in your wallet in this case (IMO, I bet lots of fans will come along and claim otherwise)
 
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That is not very severe service. For reference my old police car would idle for 6-7 hours a day, around town driving for about 4 hours a day, and screaming at 6000rpm for 15-30 minutes a day. Never an issue and we changed at 5000 miles with motorcraft semi-syn.
 
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You don't cover the fact that many cars are requiring Syn. Other than that I would agree.
Originally Posted By: Quest
short-trip does not equate to ultra severe OCI pattern, IMO. Granted: it's an OBD-II fuel injected type of vehicle, the biggest concern should still be (fundamentally speaking, applicable to not just EFI/MFI, but also carb'ed cars in the days of yore), it's the condensation (moisture) and unburned fuel in oil that is of concern. Granted: the automobile can be taken out on a weekend highway drive (30mins to 1hr or more), then the moisture and fuel inside the oil can be rid of somewhat, and that helps immensely. Q. p.s. for utilitarian types of mass-produced automobiles, I still stand firm in the believe of using conventional oil for the best performance/cost ratio in this case, citing the rather frequent need of OCI to rid of moisture and unburned fuel (mixed into the oil). boutique oil doesn't serve any purpose other than burning a bigger hole in your wallet in this case (IMO, I bet lots of fans will come along and claim otherwise)
 
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You might consider investing in a UOA at least one time to try and gauge the real life severity of these short runs. Be sure to get a TBN to see how additives are holding up. It might be difficult to judge sludge build up but insolubles might also act as an indicator. The taxi test mentioned above is not useful in this situation. Here is a taxi test with some details. This was a test of a product that helps to prevent and remove sludge which might be a better match for this situation. Taxi test details.
 
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Originally Posted By: JC1
Try running a cab in NYC. That's servere usage. Years ago they did a test with NYC cabs to see if they needed to change the oil in them at 3000 miles. They found out that they could run them for much longer. NYC Cab oil test article She could easily keep the oil until 5,000 miles (not KM). Regards, JC.
Those cabs were running 24/7, sometimes three shifts, , no cool down start up problems with rich mixtures thinning the oil.
 
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Vehicles that are fueled with LPG or natural gas including fork lifts do not meet the severe service description as it applies to liquid fueled engines. Another means of calculating how much work the engine oil has achieved during it's OCI is fuel consumed per liter of engine oil. Apply that calculation to a fuel efficient compact car with a 4 cylinder engine and a 5 liter engine oil capacity. The fuel consumed over 10,000 miles, or 2,000 miles per liter of engine oil, will be far less fuel consumed per liter of engine oil than a V8 in a pick-up truck working hard all day. When we go back in time to when 3,000 mile oil changes were the norm, it applied to V8s, carburetors and 4.5 quart engine oil capacities in station wagons.
 
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Originally Posted By: Rand
That is severe service with the extended idle, A more severe usage would be 2miles to work, 2 miles home for lunch, 2 miles to work, 2 miles home in the evening during the winter at 20F. I'd probably do 6 month changes with the kind of usage you listed.
That actually describes me pretty well. When I ordered up an analysis, it said I was fine with an 8300 mile oil change. My IOLM really dislikes disuse more than anything. Parking the car for a few days at a time with sporadic use in between makes it unhappy. I don't know how it would react to something like towing heavy loads uphill. Of course there are things like dust storms that I suppose count as "severe service" but I think of that as more an exogenous factor requiring a prompt oil change, rather than "severe service"
 
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As long as you're using synthetic, every 5000 miles would work fine. Keep it topped off. Personally, I'd use the 5W-30 that's recommended.
 
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Originally Posted By: Quest
short-trip does not equate to ultra severe OCI pattern, IMO. Granted: it's an OBD-II fuel injected type of vehicle, the biggest concern should still be (fundamentally speaking, applicable to not just EFI/MFI, but also carb'ed cars in the days of yore), it's the condensation (moisture) and unburned fuel in oil that is of concern. Granted: the automobile can be taken out on a weekend highway drive (30mins to 1hr or more), then the moisture and fuel inside the oil can be rid of somewhat, and that helps immensely. Q. p.s. for utilitarian types of mass-produced automobiles, I still stand firm in the believe of using conventional oil for the best performance/cost ratio in this case, citing the rather frequent need of OCI to rid of moisture and unburned fuel (mixed into the oil). boutique oil doesn't serve any purpose other than burning a bigger hole in your wallet in this case (IMO, I bet lots of fans will come along and claim otherwise)
Makes sense. Conventional costs less do shorten the interval thus contaminants are flushed out sooner so less possibility for acid issues. Does make sense. Other than the cold starts with conventional,not that that in itself is a significant deal. Good advice. Takes into consideration the big picture.
 
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Short trips, cold starts and winter, would have me looking at a six month OCI using the lightest 0w20 possible. $5 a litre at your local (you know where) dealer....
 
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you want severe? My commute is Severe. I live 4.5 mi from work. the first 1.5-2 mi from my house are 2 lane country 55mph roads. the remainder is a 45mph 5 lane rd(2 each way with a common turn lane), with 4 stop lights. Usually Running late, so as soon as i back out of the driveway, it's usually Hammer down Driving, trying to beat the Clock(65-70 on the country road, 55-60 on the other) at lunch, drive the .5 mi or so down to the local "hamburger row" and idle through the drive through at one of the restaurants, then back to work, eat in the car, with the radio on, usually engine off, unless the temp swings too far in ether direction and i NEED a/c or Heat(us fat guys do NEED a/c some times). after work, same route in reverse, but usually keep near the speed limit. water temp reaches 150F(via ODBII/Scaunguage) about 1/2 way. no oil temp reading. and most days that's it. park the car until tomorrow morning. I bought it in late Jan, and i MIGHT put a total of 10k mi on it by the same time this coming Jan. Including the 2200mi Vacation i took in October. I'm Sticking to 6 mo OCI's, with the "oldest" oil i have at the time(Been sitting on my shelf the Longest). the 2 changes I've done,just happened to be Full Syn.(Meijer[Warren distribution], and PPPP) next up(spring) is PYB, Followed by Motorcraft blend. as for Filters, I have a couple FL-400s's on hand, and a bunch of Wix I bought of a guy on here. again, use the oldest first.
 
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