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How long can you run on synthetic oil time wise? The reason I ask is two fold. 1-I don't drive my jeep that much since it is a second vehicle. So in a year I may drive 3000 miles. I know that oil breaks down over time so how often should it be changed not using the mileage method? Every 6 months for synthetic and 3 months conventional?

2-The reason I am asking is because I am generally bad with routine maintenance and my truck basically needs a new engine due to my stretching time between oil changes. I am going to try a product called BG just to try and get a little more time with my truck. It currently has 125K and for a dodge that only cost me 12K I think I have gotten my money's worth.


I just love my jeep more so I want to make sure I am taking care of it properly.
 

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Oil collects dirt at the same rate whether it is synthetic or conventional. All the talk of synthetic lasting longer ignores that fact... especially since no conventional oil filter can filter well enough to filter that type of dirt out. Most experts agree for normal driving that an oil change interval of every 5K miles is fine, 3K only if you are driving in extra harsh conditions. I have been changing my conventional Valvoline 10W-30 oil roughly every 5K miles for 40+ years and never had an engine failure. :)
 

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Thanks Jerry but what about time. Can I go a year in-between oil changes if I only drive 3K a year? Does this differ between synthetic and conventional? I tend to be in the conventional camp unless it would be better time wise to use synthetic.
 

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I just don't know the answer to that question, I've never had a vehicle I didn't drive much. I'd check some of the oil manufacturer's FAQ sections for the answer to that question. I think they say every six months minimum but I just don't know from personal experience.
 

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I asked the guys at my local Goodyear the same question. I only drive mine 2,000 a year. One guy said 1 time a year with synthetic and the other guy said 3,000 miles with a synthetic blend- so wait a year and a half. These were service manager guys, not the actual wrench turners. Take it for what it's worth.
 

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I don't know about the oil life, but from personal experience I would shoot for twice a year. I only put about 5k per year on mine the last few years and if nothing else the filter was a PITA to get off.
 

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Thanks Jerry but what about time. Can I go a year in-between oil changes if I only drive 3K a year? Does this differ between synthetic and conventional? I tend to be in the conventional camp unless it would be better time wise to use synthetic.
you should be fine changing it once a year with regular dino oil if you only go bout 3000 miles a year. i have a couple friends who do this with their low milage toys, and i do something similar with my current 4x4 since my DD is a motorcycle.
the 3000 mile/3 month thing suggested by places like jiffy lube is a money making rip off. read your owners manual, and go by what is suggested in it.
this is what my family has always done, and how ive always done things, and all our vehicles last a very long time.
 

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My .2 cents. I put about 2000 miles on my RV annually and I only change the oil once a year. For me the oil isn't breaking down or getting dirty when the motor is off. I use synthetic oil on all my vehicles, why because supposedly it breaks down slower than conventional. I guess it makes me feel good. I personally think you will be fine changing your oil once a year if your only putting 3000 miles on your jeep annually. Bottom line is take care of it and it will last a long time. (Hopefully)
 

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How long can you run on synthetic oil time wise? The reason I ask is two fold. 1-I don't drive my jeep that much since it is a second vehicle. So in a year I may drive 3000 miles. I know that oil breaks down over time so how often should it be changed not using the mileage method? Every 6 months for synthetic and 3 months conventional?

2-The reason I am asking is because I am generally bad with routine maintenance and my truck basically needs a new engine due to my stretching time between oil changes. I am going to try a product called BG just to try and get a little more time with my truck. It currently has 125K and for a dodge that only cost me 12K I think I have gotten my money's worth.


I just love my jeep more so I want to make sure I am taking care of it properly.
I'll add the same disclaimer I often do: most of my experience comes from motorcycles. I'll try to keep my comments to those facts that remain relevant regardless of application. Since my bike is in a similar situation (and so is my Jeep, but less extreme - likely 6-9K/year).

I use synthetic in the bike. Before I moved south, I had a defined 'riding season'. The air in the crankcase contains contaminants, and will create acids suspended in moisture. While the miles I put on the bike would have dictated oil changes only every couple of years, those contaminants dictated a change with the seasons.

Here's what I ended up doing, which may or may not be directly applicable to your Jeep: change the oil to the least expensive conventional oil at the end of the season, not even bothering to change the filter. In the spring, put in fresh synthetic and a new filter to use for the duration of the frustratingly short riding season.

Hopefully you'll be able to translate some of this into something useful for your TJ.

Geoff
 

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You can safely go a year between oil changes if you are only driving 3000 miles a year using synthetic oil. I'm sorry to often anyone but that is a simple fact. Anything else is BS.
 

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I think the concern with letting oil sit for extended periods is condensation. For the low cost of an oil change, I wouldn't go any longer than six months.
 

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Oil has a shelf life of several years so time has no bearing on when to change your oil in warm dry climates.
The climate that you live in plays a major role in as to when to change your oil. Cold damp climates will cause your engine to sweat when started up and will cause moisture "water" to build up in your oil. So unless you reside in a warm dry climate like southern Arizona, S Texas, or S Nevada, then it is important to change your oil also by time especially in the winter months. Oil analysis is the only accurate way to determine when a oil change is justified.
To be on the safe side just change it a couple of times a year, or at 3000 mile intervals whichever comes first and you should be good to go.
 

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From what I have herd they say running the engine can make acidic and letting it sit will cause damage. Don't remember who said it but they are right only an oil test will answer this one
 

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Why would you do that on a low-usage vehicle? Calendar time is hardly detrimental to a filter.

The new filter will catch all contaminates which is the concern not the oil breaking down.
As a proven fact with syn. oil all that is need is a filter change when the oil does become contaminated. The change of oil can become as high as 15 to 20,000 miles with great results.
 

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Not sure if this will help. We change the oil in government vehicles every 7499 miles. According to GSA, studies have showed that that is how long the oil and filter can last (according to GSA) and there is no significant benefits to changing earlier. With that in mind we trade our vehicles in at 60k. When I say gov vehicles are driven hard, I mean HARD. Like you'd drive a rental for 60k. We have never experienced any issues with oil change at these intervals. If the govt is wiling to save money on oil changes, knowing it wont cause more financial burdens, i think is significant, especially with shrinking budgets. Now I will also say I change my oil at 3k-5k. Piece of mind really. Nothing scientific. Like I said. not sure if this helps.
 

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The new filter will catch all contaminates which is the concern not the oil breaking down.
As a proven fact...
I thought that it was a proven fact that new oil filters don't filter as well as ones that have been in service. In any case, I suspect that it will be impossible to make a fact-based argument for replacing an oil filter every 1,000 miles or so. For that matter, facts of any kind are ususally few and far between in the typical shadetree oil discussion.
 
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