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Oil change or no?
Old 10-18-2018, 10:22 AM   #1
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Oil change or no?

We're getting ready to leave for the winter. Remaining oil life on 2016 truck with 16k miles is 23%... changed the oil in May when we got back from Florida.

I'm debating whether to do an oil change before we leave or not... leaning towards not. Similar issue last year and when I got back the oil life had dropped from whatever it was to 0%. Thoughts?
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Old 10-18-2018, 10:34 AM   #2
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A couple of schools of thought on this subject: 1) oil changes are cheap and if you have a quality mechanic, he/she may spot trouble areas (hose, belt wear, etc) that could crop up during your long drive.
2) those "oil life" meters are typically set for 3000 miles. The conventional wisdom is that your oil does not need to be changed at 3000 miles for normal driving (instead, 5000 or so). In this case, head to Florida and dont worry about the oil.

I vote for the oil change so your mechanic can do a once-over. However, if you go to a quick-lube place, I doubt that they spend much time on inspections.
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Old 10-18-2018, 10:36 AM   #3
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One of the many benefits of driving electric cars is not having to deal with oil changes ever again. I know its one less thing for me to deal with.

I know it gets a little cold up in Vermont so perhaps an EV wouldn't work for you. Something to consider though for the future.
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Old 10-18-2018, 10:43 AM   #4
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Do you use full synthetic, blend or conventional oil?

The % indicator can be fine to gauge on, but I would go by miles.

Conventional: 3-3.5k miles
Blend: 4k-5k miles
Full Synthetic: 6-7.5k miles

Before a big/long trip, I would change the oil, check the other fluids, check tire pressure, etc.
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Old 10-18-2018, 10:44 AM   #5
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....
2) those "oil life" meters are typically set for 3000 miles. ....
That's not the case for any modern oil minders, certainly not one in a 2016 vehicle.

They work on an algorithm that detracts X.XXX% for warm starts, cold starts, hot, cold temperature running, high RPM, etc.

https://www.edmunds.com/car-maintena...g-systems.html

There might be a school of thought that leaving the car sitting for 6 months with oil at 23% life might not be great. That oil could have a higher level of acidity and water and corrosion inhibitors are past their prime. So fresh oil might be better?

My guess (just a guess) is that it isn't bad enough to worry about. Do whatever is convenient.

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Old 10-18-2018, 10:50 AM   #6
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Is the truck sitting all winter, or are you taking it to Florida?
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Old 10-18-2018, 10:55 AM   #7
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Sitting all winter in an unheated garage.
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Old 10-18-2018, 10:59 AM   #8
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I'd skip it, as most (all?) chemical reactions slow down in the cold, plus the oil has 23% of life left and won't be at all stressed sitting in the car without the engine running.
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Old 10-18-2018, 11:04 AM   #9
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I'm nowhere close to be a car expert.

My meaningless story is that I change my Miata's oil in September, and drive it very little over the winter. It has sat for 3 months or more at times. It's 21 years old and has had no problems, so at the very least I haven't done any harm to it. My reason for doing that is the inspection comes due in Sept and I do both at the same time. No science.

I would not want to drive a car at all that the monitor says has 0% left (though I don't know exactly what that means). If you're going to change it yourself before starting it at all, it probably doesn't matter. If you're going to drive it somewhere to get it done, I'd change it before leaving.
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Old 10-18-2018, 11:08 AM   #10
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I would suggest changing the oil now, and shifting your schedule to change oil in fall. That way the truck is stored with clean oil. Based on your oil life monitor results, an annual oil change will meet your needs. This is how I schedule the oil change for my summer car.
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Old 10-18-2018, 11:16 AM   #11
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I would suggest changing the oil now, and shifting your schedule to change oil in fall. That way the truck is stored with clean oil.
^What he said.

If it were me I would do the oil change now.

I have a truck (diesel) that we rarely drive other than when we are pulling the RV. I put 9-10,000 miles per year on it, mostly in the spring and fall. I change the oil once per year after we get done with our fall RV trips so that it has fresh oil while sitting over the short winter season. The oil life indicator is usually in the 25% range when it is changed.
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Old 10-18-2018, 11:17 AM   #12
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I would suggest changing the oil now, and shifting your schedule to change oil in fall. That way the truck is stored with clean oil. Based on your oil life monitor results, an annual oil change will meet your needs. This is how I schedule the oil change for my summer car.
I agree with the above advice. As for needing to change it, I wouldn’t worry about it because you changed the oil in May. It’s not a year old, so you’ll be fine, but personally, I’d prefer to store it with newer oil. As stated above, change your now and get on a fall schedule.
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Old 10-18-2018, 03:15 PM   #13
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Agree with the others I'd change it now so it'd have fresh oil and the acid and corrosion inhibitors are fresh.
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Old 10-18-2018, 03:26 PM   #14
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Would love to hear from anyone who has had an "OIL" problem no matter how many miles, or how long.
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Old 10-18-2018, 03:40 PM   #15
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I'd skip it, as most (all?) chemical reactions slow down in the cold, plus the oil has 23% of life left and won't be at all stressed sitting in the car without the engine running.
My first reaction was to skip the change. But if it will sit all winter, I would change it now and go to once a year in October. Does it really matter? Probably not.

FWIW we have 2 cars, and put about 6k to 8k a year on them. Change the oil 3 times/year. What's an oil change cost? $15, $20, $25? About the cheapest insurance you can buy for your car.
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Old 10-18-2018, 03:48 PM   #16
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Would love to hear from anyone who has had an "OIL" problem no matter how many miles, or how long.
Some of the new Honda turbo engines are experiencing gasoline contamination of the oil:

https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/vie...?f=11&t=244271

I only change oil once/year (full synthetic) in my newer vehicles, which are driven under 10,000 miles annually.
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Old 10-18-2018, 03:59 PM   #17
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FWIW we have 2 cars, and put about 6k to 8k a year on them. Change the oil 3 times/year. What's an oil change cost? $15, $20, $25? About the cheapest insurance you can buy for your car.
Changing the oil every 2-2500 miles? It may be cheap, but it also seems very unnecessary. It's a time/convenience factor for me anyway. I do wonder some if I should be changing my Miata oil twice a year instead of once no matter the mileage, but like I said it's be trouble free going once a year for a long, long time.
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Old 10-18-2018, 04:04 PM   #18
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One of the many benefits of driving electric cars is not having to deal with oil changes ever again. I know its one less thing for me to deal with.

I know it gets a little cold up in Vermont so perhaps an EV wouldn't work for you. Something to consider though for the future.
It takes me less time to change the oil in my truck than it did waiting for 45 minutes in my neighbor's Tesla S when we were 1/2 way to San Antonio and it needed to be charged to go any further. Plus, it was 105F outside.
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Old 10-18-2018, 04:38 PM   #19
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When in doubt, change it out. Personally, I never let my change oil indicator get that low. YMMV.
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Old 10-18-2018, 04:46 PM   #20
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It takes me less time to change the oil in my truck than it did waiting for 45 minutes in my neighbor's Tesla S when we were 1/2 way to San Antonio and it needed to be charged to go any further. Plus, it was 105F outside.
Needed to be charged 1/2 way to San Antonio? Then you probably "started" off in Schulenburg.
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