winter oil change?

Joined
Dec 7, 2005
Messages
2
Location
New York
I am due for an oil change on my one year old Ford Escape on Jan. 1. I'm going away mid December for 3 months (not with that car). The car will sit idle, except for a neighbor warming it up. Should I change the oil now or when I get home? Thanks.
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2004
Messages
9,427
Location
Pensacola & Vero Beach FL
[Welcome!] If it were me, I'd do an oil change, and then drive it around until it's completely warmed up (including the new oil), and then just park it. If the "warm up" you're referring to is just the neighbor cranking it and letting it idle for a while, don't bother, leave it parked for the three months. If the neighbor will drive it around for a while, letting it heat up, fine. But again, unless the oil is already very fresh, I'd do a change before you leave. [Cheers!]
 

Kestas

Staff member
Joined
Jun 4, 2002
Messages
14,047
Location
The Motor City
I agree with elkpolk. Change the oil if it's old before letting it sit. The engine should be okay for three months. Your bigger worries should be the brakes and battery. Three months outside is tough on the brakes - okay if garaged. Have it driven once in a while if it's parked outside. The battery should be ideally disconnected and trickle-charged when you get back. You may get by with only reconnecting the battery once you get back.
 
Joined
Oct 28, 2002
Messages
48,022
Location
Everson WA - Pacific NW USA
Garaged or not. Bag the neighbor warming the car up (unless as stated it means a real drive to fully drive the fuel and moisture out of the oil, moisture out of the exhaust, battery charging and brake clean up). More harm than good if just 5-10 minutes of idling - 3 months in not that long. I would remove the battery and put it somewhere above freezing. It may indeed crank just fine when re-installed. As for the oil, yes change it - then take a good highway romp. Make sure the engine gets good and hot - maybe the last 5 minutes turn the heater off. 3 months - the brakes will be rusty but should be OK.
 
Joined
Oct 22, 2003
Messages
13,132
Location
By Detroit
The battery ideas are fine, although I park my motorhome for 2 to 3 months at a time and never do anything with the battery. Always starts right up, that is until this year (it is now a 4 year old battery), so maybe I need to do the extra battery things this year too. But the newer the battery (assuming a decent one to begine with) the less the extra battery precautions should matter.
 
Joined
May 27, 2002
Messages
5,069
Location
Saratoga, NY
I agree to nix the occasional idling by a neighbor. More harm than good. Change the oil & filter then run it just once before you leave to make sure the oil circulates through the motor. Others' battery ideas are good ones ... but with a one year old vehicle, I think it'd be fine when you got back. --- Bror Jace
 
Joined
Sep 27, 2003
Messages
2,233
Location
Wisconsin
Keep in mind that we obsess over minor details on this site! [Big Grin] Change the oil before you leave, let the neighbor run it a couple of times for 15-20 minutes while you're gone, forget about the brakes & battery, - (the battery is only 1 year old) - just enjoy your 3 month escape to a warmer climate! [Cool]
 
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