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Time to Change my Car Oil???
Old 07-05-2018, 08:19 PM   #1
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Time to Change my Car Oil???

I have a 2007 Toyota Solara Convertable. 60K miles.

Changed the oil when I got it last year. One year later is has about 4K miles on it since the oil change (summer car only).

Not burning any oil. Check the stick after every second fill. Not burning any oil and it it very clean.

The car has an oil change indicator light. It has not lit up.

I am somewhat particular in changing fluids and doing mtce as per the specs.

The specs say change the oil after 5K, when the oil change light comes on, or every 8 months. The car is in my garage all winter.

So...do I really need to change the oil on this baby (it is so clean) or should I just wait until the oil light comes on, or do it next summer?
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Old 07-05-2018, 08:23 PM   #2
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We put 4.3K miles per year on our 2007 Audi A3.
I have the oil changed every 18 months.
Of course, it requires special VW oil.
My local German car shop has not yelled at me.
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Old 07-05-2018, 08:24 PM   #3
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Engine oil does deteriorate with age regardless of how much the car is driven. The process of combustion produces acids and there are chemicals in the oil to neutralize those acids but eventually they are consumed. In my GMC pickup the minimum oil change time is one year or when the oil light comes on, so I have the oil changed at the same time the annual inspection is done.

So I'd follow the advice in the manual for your car.
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Old 07-05-2018, 08:27 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Walt34 View Post
Engine oil does deteriorate with age regardless of how much the car is driven. The process of combustion produces acids and there are chemicals in the oil to neutralize those acids but eventually they are consumed. In my GMC pickup the minimum oil change time is one year or when the oil light comes on, so I have the oil changed at the same time the annual inspection is done.

So I'd follow the advice in the manual for your car.
+1

You could also send for an oils analysis to see if you can stretch oil changes to every 12 months or longer in future.
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Old 07-05-2018, 08:30 PM   #5
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Gm says on my 2016 malibu to change the oil every 12 months or when the change oil light comes on.
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Old 07-05-2018, 08:35 PM   #6
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Geez. How much is an oil change these days?
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Old 07-05-2018, 08:37 PM   #7
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OP your car is 11 years old so, ymmv (literally.... haha I'll be here all week)

Oil indicators from that age of cars are likely to be a little more simplistic: Miles driven y/n, so, that yours has not come on is just because it hasn't hit the rule. Even today, my 2016 goes by date then miles (it comes on at 1 year regardless, if I've done less than enough to meet the mileage threshold). My oil change is annoyingly pricey since it requires synthetic, but I wouldn't push it past the guidelines for the sake of stretching out the cost of the oil.

It sounds like you are inclined to go past the year given your low usage, and you probably can, but maybe this is one of those "just because you can doesn't mean you should" scenarios. I don't think a mechanic would think it's a great idea.
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Old 07-05-2018, 08:38 PM   #8
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DW's new Mazda has a change oil indication that comes on. I read the manual and it says the interval is programmable. We bought the car last September, but I believe the oil light is programmed for an estimated 12K miles. Right now she has about 3K miles on the car. I am going to tell the dealer to reprogram the oil indicate lt for 12 months.
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Old 07-05-2018, 08:44 PM   #9
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I used to change oil at 5000 mile increments like clockwork. That way I knew from the odometer now many miles are on the oil.
My newer cars tell me when it is time to change the oil.

But if you are at 4k miles, go ahead and change the oil when you have extra time in the near future. Next week, next month. Whatever!
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Old 07-05-2018, 09:00 PM   #10
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Geez. How much is an oil change these days?
It depends on if the car has a turbo, then you are talking about $70 or so for the synthetic oil required by the turbo (so the oil does not breakdown in the hot turbo (recall the turbo is driven by exhaust gases)
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Old 07-05-2018, 09:37 PM   #11
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The specs say change the oil after 5K, when the oil change light comes on, or every 8 months.
At over 4K miles, you are very close to the mileage limit and you are 4 months over the time limit. How much more do you want to push it? Personally, I wouldn’t want to go over the mileage limit of 5K miles. It would also matter whether or not you’re using a full synthetic. If not, I’d definitely stick with the specs and get it changed now.
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Old 07-05-2018, 09:57 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by brett View Post

Changed the oil when I got it last year. One year later is has about 4K miles on it ...


I am somewhat particular in changing fluids and doing mtce as per the specs.

The specs say change the oil after 5K, when the oil change light comes on, or every 8 months. ...
I really don't understand why you are asking the question - isn't the answer right there in what you posted from the manual?


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Old 07-05-2018, 10:20 PM   #13
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Oil and filters are cheap when compared to an engine overhaul. Engine oil does deteriorate over time and "IMO" should be changed at least once a year, or no longer than 5k miles, whichever comes first. I changed the oil and filters in my older cars (collectables) once a year and sometimes with less than 1000 miles between changes. YMMV

I learned a long time ago, there are 3 things never to scrimp on with cars. (1) Oil and filters (buy the best and change both often), and for basic safety (2) tires, buy the best, keep them properly inflated and change them well before the wear bars show, (3) brakes, buy the best and check them for wear often. If you don't know how, have someone you trust check them that knows how.
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Old 07-05-2018, 10:23 PM   #14
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Oil and filters are cheap when compared to an engine overhaul. Engine oil does deteriorate over time and "IMO" should be changed at least once a year, or no longer than 5k miles, whichever comes first. I changed the oil and filters in my older cars (collectables) once a year and sometimes with less than 1000 miles between changes. YMMV

I learned a long time ago, there are 3 things never to scrimp on with cars. (1) Oil and filters (buy the best and change both often), (2) tires, buy the best and change them well before the wear bars show, (3) brakes, buy the best and check them for wear often. If you don't know how, have someone you trust check them that knows how.
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Old 07-05-2018, 11:28 PM   #15
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I don't think a mechanic would think it's a great idea.
Because mechanics have boat payments too!

Click & Clack reference. They were so funny. They would measure repair costs by the number of boat payments. RIP Tom Magliozzi
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Old 07-06-2018, 12:31 AM   #16
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Because mechanics have boat payments too!

Click & Clack reference. They were so funny. They would measure repair costs by the number of boat payments. RIP Tom Magliozzi
I still catch Click & Clack replays on XM on occasion, they never get stale.
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Old 07-06-2018, 06:50 AM   #17
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For my vehicle fleet:

Yearly for the newer vehicles using synthetic (none are daily drivers)

3x/year for the older vehicles (daily drivers) with regular (not synthetic) oil.
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Old 07-06-2018, 08:37 AM   #18
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I do based on mileage. 5K for newer daily driver type and 2-3K for my old cars and trucks. The old vehicles may be 4-5 years between changes depending on how much driven. But they stay inside garage and temp controlled so they do not get condensation cycles, and when driven they are long enough to get to full operating temps and ensure any condensation is removed. With 6 old vehicles, 4 newer ones, and 1 motorhome, I would be constantly changing oil if I stuck to the 1 year rule.

So to answer OP's question, I would wait until your normal oil change interval of 5K miles, not strictly follow the 1 year rule.
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Old 07-06-2018, 08:48 AM   #19
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I change my oil about every 6 months...and that happens to be the time when I get either free or seriously discounted coupons from the stealership. I don't think I have paid more than $20 for an oil change (full synthetic) since I have owned the car.

My Dad was religious about changing it. His pile of receipts showed that he had it done every 3 months, and the mileage intervals were never more than about 500 miles. Yes, FIVE HUNDRED, not THOUSAND. I harassed his about it, but I think he did it to give him something to do, and was able to harass other clients and techs at the dealership.

As far as cars failing because of oil, I don't think that would happen on newer cars except in the most egregious of cases. A buddy of mine dated a gal who had a late 80s Accord that had a little over 100K miles on it and the oil had NEVER been changed. Not saying that it's a smart move, but going over the oil change intervals by a little (or even a lot) is most likely not going to cause catastrophic failure.
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Old 07-06-2018, 08:58 AM   #20
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Geez. How much is an oil change these days?
Upwards of $90 on my 8quarts synthetic they put into the AFM V8.

Of course, I never pay retail and MY cost is more around $30-40 an oil change, occasionally I can find $20 per change coupons for standard oil up to 5qts.

DIY Filter is what $5, 5qts of oil at $2 is about $15. Maybe save 20% if you DIY.
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