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Old 07-16-2011, 04:57 PM   #1
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Oil change miles or months?

I know this subject has been beaten to death, but i can not find the answers i am lookin for. All my life of 51 years i have changed my oil at 3 months. I am now questioning my oil change practices. Mostly because the cost is going up so much on oil and everything. I don't get paid any more but the cost of things are going up so fast that i can't keep up. Heres my question. The last time i changed oil in my Jeep was April 5, I have always used Havoline oil 10w30 for summer and 5w30 for winter. I was thinking its time to change it since its been 3 months, but i only have 1200 miles on this oil change. The color of the oil is getting darker but its not black by any means. Actually its still pretty light in color. Noth like brand new but still light. Would you change it since its been 3 months or would you go by a certain amount of miles before changing it. The manual says 3000 miles and says nothing about months. What would you guys do? i would love your feed back.

I also change my own oil so thats not a big deal. I was just thinking that i am doing over kill and wasting money.
Let me know what you think?

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Old 07-16-2011, 05:03 PM   #2
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I go close to 5,000 miles on my YJ 4.0. I would go by miles over months, if it's still light colored you should be fine to wait.

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Old 07-16-2011, 05:04 PM   #3
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I am a mileage guy----'cept for the 1980 Caddy it gets changed 2 times a year--it never sees more than a 1k a year. It is a true toy.
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Old 07-16-2011, 05:04 PM   #4
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Not necessary to change it so frequently and previous change you said was 1200 miles? I Change my oil every 10,000 miles if that, man... Never once had problems on all of the 16 vehicles I have owned.
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Old 07-16-2011, 08:09 PM   #5
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I am a dedicated 3000 man
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Old 07-16-2011, 08:18 PM   #6
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I do 4000 to 5000 miles. I think going by months doesn't make much sense. Like you said, you only have 1200 miles and the oil looks fine. How does your oil get dirtier sitting in your oil pan? How does it break down just sitting there? I'm sure over a long span it might, but not a few months.
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Old 07-16-2011, 08:19 PM   #7
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at 28,500k I had the typical 4.0L tick. Shifted to durablend or max life valvaline and 3K changes and it seems dramatically reduced.
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Old 07-16-2011, 08:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scotiez View Post
I know this subject has been beaten to death, but i can not find the answers i am lookin for. All my life of 51 years i have changed my oil at 3 months. I am now questioning my oil change practices. Mostly because the cost is going up so much on oil and everything. I don't get paid any more but the cost of things are going up so fast that i can't keep up. Heres my question. The last time i changed oil in my Jeep was April 5, I have always used Havoline oil 10w30 for summer and 5w30 for winter. I was thinking its time to change it since its been 3 months, but i only have 1200 miles on this oil change. The color of the oil is getting darker but its not black by any means. Actually its still pretty light in color. Noth like brand new but still light. Would you change it since its been 3 months or would you go by a certain amount of miles before changing it. The manual says 3000 miles and says nothing about months. What would you guys do? i would love your feed back.

I also change my own oil so thats not a big deal. I was just thinking that i am doing over kill and wasting money.
Let me know what you think?
The more you change your oil, the longer your engine will last. Don't let any cheapskates tell you to torture your poor engine. You rely on that engine to work, and it relies on you to take care of it. To me it's worth buying the extra oil and filters to make sure my baby runs strong and lasts long.
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Old 07-16-2011, 08:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jiffydarren View Post
The more you change your oil, the longer your engine will last. Don't let any cheapskates tell you to torture your poor engine. You rely on that engine to work, and it relies on you to take care of it. To me it's worth buying the extra oil and filters to make sure my baby runs strong and lasts long.
Lol, cheapskates...really? To me it makes no sense to change your oil if its still in good condition. These motors will run 200k plus with an oil change every 3-4000 miles.. no need to over do it...
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Old 07-16-2011, 08:53 PM   #10
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I've been changing my own oil for 20 years and I change it between 3-5k with Castrol conventional oil and have never had a engine problem related to oil issues. Every 3 months seems like a waste of money. I rotate vehicles so any one of mine usually only sees 3-5k each every year, therefore I only change it once a year.
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Old 07-16-2011, 08:59 PM   #11
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I change every 3000 which averages every 2-3 months. So I'm in both categories :P
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Old 07-16-2011, 09:02 PM   #12
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If I didn't drive my vehicle that much, I would do it every year. Otherwise, 3500 to 4000 miles.
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Old 07-16-2011, 10:12 PM   #13
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I've wondered about a question pretty similar to this one also. I change my oil pretty close to every 3,000 miles. Don't have a problem going slightly over, depending on how it's been driven. When you get your oil changed at quick lubes places, the stickers they put in the window do say 3,000 miles or 3 months.

My some what similar question is this though.

I usually don't drive my Jeep (or my 65 Olds Cutlass F-85) in the winter. Have a winter beater car for that.

Say I only have 1,000-2,000 miles on the last oil change before parking vehicle for the winter. Would you do an oil change before driving it the next spring after setting for 3-4 months?
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Old 07-16-2011, 10:17 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by cork1958 View Post
I've wondered about a question pretty similar to this one also. I change my oil pretty close to every 3,000 miles. Don't have a problem going slightly over, depending on how it's been driven. When you get your oil changed at quick lubes places, the stickers they put in the window do say 3,000 miles or 3 months.

My some what similar question is this though.

I usually don't drive my Jeep (or my 65 Olds Cutlass F-85) in the winter. Have a winter beater car for that.

Say I only have 1,000-2,000 miles on the last oil change before parking vehicle for the winter. Would you do an oil change before driving it the next spring after setting for 3-4 months?
Is kinda what I do for the Caddy I mentioned earlier---have been told that "dirty" oil can/will develop acids even though it may not have that many miles on it, if it sits in the vehicle too long. Probably over kill on my part to change oil as I do ---every 6months no matter what for the Caddy but I feel it is cheap insurance.
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Old 07-16-2011, 10:29 PM   #15
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The oil does not have an expiration date. Look on the bottle - none. Else we'd have to worry about how fresh the oil is.

Miles!
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Old 07-16-2011, 10:35 PM   #16
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The oil does not have an expiration date. Look on the bottle - none. Else we'd have to worry about how fresh the oil is.

Miles!
Don't want to muddy the waters but does anyone know if it matters if the motor has been "ran" would any thing be picked up that could become a problem while it sits?
I agree it doesn't have expiration date when in the bottle-but after exposed to the heat of the motor running and gases-could anything be "introduced" into the oil that would/could cause a problem?
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Old 07-16-2011, 11:34 PM   #17
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I had an auto mechanic teacher tell me one time that it doesn't matter how many miles. Just change the oil when it is dirty. Depending on how old the engine is and the how anyone else has taken care of it, the oil can get dirty in 1,000 miles or well over 3,000. I check my oil every time I fill up my gas tank
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Old 07-16-2011, 11:40 PM   #18
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I was a 3,000 mile guy for awhile, but I said screw it. I go 5,000 now, and I haven't had an issue yet. My dads 1994 Camry with 250,000 will sit for months at a time, and always starts up no problem(sometimes the battery needs charged.) That vehicle drove like it had 50,000 miles on it. Changed the oil every 5,000. It's had one owner it's entire life.
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Old 07-17-2011, 03:15 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jp2611 View Post
Is kinda what I do for the Caddy I mentioned earlier---have been told that "dirty" oil can/will develop acids even though it may not have that many miles on it, if it sits in the vehicle too long. Probably over kill on my part to change oil as I do ---every 6months no matter what for the Caddy but I feel it is cheap insurance.
Kind of what I wondered about?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jp2611 View Post
Don't want to muddy the waters but does anyone know if it matters if the motor has been "ran" would any thing be picked up that could become a problem while it sits?
I agree it doesn't have expiration date when in the bottle-but after exposed to the heat of the motor running and gases-could anything be "introduced" into the oil that would/could cause a problem?
Good point.
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Old 07-17-2011, 05:53 AM   #20
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Well i was lookin in the owners manual and my service manual yesterday and it said i fall under schedule B, because when i drive my jeep, (which is just about everyday), My trips are short and under 10 miles, and during the winter everyday the temps are below 32 degrees. So in the chart they say every 3000 miles, there is no mention of months, unless i fall under schedule A maintanence, which i don't. Only there it brings in months, Which there is says 6000 miles or 6 months. I was also reading Motor Oil Myths and Facts And it made alot of good statements.
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Old 07-17-2011, 12:21 PM   #21
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Personally, if my vehicle sat for the entire winter, I'd change the oil. Does it really need it? Probably not, especially if it's been garaged.

Those quick change places put the 3000 miles/3 month stickers on so you'll come back and give them your money sooner whether you're vehicle needs it or not. Jiffy Lube now asks their customers how long the service interval should be. Don't know why. Maybe they were getting complaints from savvy drivers or were threatened with a lawsuit. Probably they just caved to reality. Most drivers go over 3000 miles and most are justified in doing so.
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Old 07-17-2011, 12:23 PM   #22
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Yep,
Lots of good points at that myths & facts site, but absolutely nothing about leaving a vehicle setting for months in between changes!

I do like the fact they say synthetic oils are basically a waste though unless your vehicles manual specifically calls for it, as if I didn't already know that.


I have changed the oil after the vehicle has sat all winter every year, if nothing more than for peace of mind. Besides, I had those 3-4 months to save up for it!!
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Old 07-17-2011, 12:59 PM   #23
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I used to be a 3000 mile guy.... now Im at 4000-5000 on full synthetics on my TJ and 07 Jetta....
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Old 07-17-2011, 01:54 PM   #24
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i run about 1,000 miles a month. I am running full synthetic and im forcing myself to run it to atleast 5,000 miles.

the only reason i would change my oil by months rather then miles is if i rarely get the oil HOT (hot enough to evaporate moisture) or let it sit alot. If i drove it an hour or more atleast 1 time a week, id go by miles, if i drove less then that, id go by months.
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Old 07-17-2011, 02:01 PM   #25
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The only time an engine needs its oil changed at 3000 miles is if its use falls into the harsh use category. Typically, every 5000 miles is fine and is what most automotive manufacturers recommend for all non-harsh uses such as only short trips, dusty/dirty conditions, etc. My oil has typically been changed every 5K miles for nearly 50 years and I've yet to ever have an engine failure and that's with 100% conventional engine oil. The only time it gets changed before that is when my Jeep has been in dusty/dirty wheeling conditions.
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Old 07-17-2011, 02:07 PM   #26
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I push mine hard every week, 500+ miles, so I do mine every 3k.
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Old 07-17-2011, 02:56 PM   #27
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I'll let it got for 4-5000 miles or 2 years on the vehicles that I don't drive much.
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Old 07-17-2011, 03:50 PM   #28
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Well i sure don't know what the correct answer is to my questions. Everyone has great post on this topic. But here is what i am deciding to do. In one part of the owners manual it talks about schedule B, there is no mention to months just miles, (3000 miles), In another part where it discribes the type of oil it also talks about schedule B and says most vehicles fall into that catagory, there it says (3000 miles OR 3 months). Being i do drive my jeep almost everyday, I start it up, drive 3 miles, shut it off and im at work. At lunch i start it up drive 3 miles to home and shut it off, I then start it up drive 3 miles and drive back to work, and then when work is done i start it up drive 3 miles home and shut it back off again. 12 miles per day but only 3 mile trips at a time. I figured i fall into the sever driving catagory even though i don't put on many miles, its just starting it up and driving a short distance and shutting it back off again. I am gona stick with my oil changes every 3 months. I have never had a problem doing it this way, so i am gona just keep doing it. I think most people in this world probably drive alot farther one way to work then i do, there for going a full 3000 to 5000 miles would work out pretty well for them. I think my situation is totaly different.
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Old 07-17-2011, 05:23 PM   #29
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Yes some of us do. I start up drive 50 miles to the office. Eight hours later I start up and drive 50 miles home. Sucks when the gas is as high as it is and you can hardly squeak out 20mpg.
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:21 PM   #30
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Change your oil the same way the US government does in out military fighting ships/vehicles/aircraft... Take a sample of your oil, check it for contamination and metal shavings, if it's still nice and clear, and not gritty or burnt, keep using it. You could change your oil, then go on a 4000 mile road trip from one coast to the other and back, and your oil could still be nice and clean since you only took a week or so on your trip and drove mostly highway miles... or you could spend 5 days in the desert and sand and only go 200 miles and your oil could be completely damaged and burnt and filled with contaminants... We use our Jeeps for a lot of things that the average consumer doesn't even think about doing with their vehicles, so common sence would dictate that the normal rules aren't meant for us... Check out the condition of your oil, and if you cant imagine yourself sliding naked down a slip and slide on it without getting a serious case of road rash, then you should replace it, lol

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