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Old 11-08-2018, 08:14 AM   #21
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So, starting the engine and bringing it up to operating temperature is what breaks down the oil. Assuming the car is operated daily in this fashion, that would mean 365 instances before needing an oil change (according to legend). It would take maybe ten years before that happens with our vehicle.
Feel free to just read/consider what parts of my comments as you like.
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Old 11-08-2018, 08:17 AM   #22
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Just yesterday I had my 1st oil change on my new-to-me car at about 7,500 miles and 10-1/2 months. This is my comfort limit. The car has an oil monitor and I could ask the car for the "Vehicle Health Report". It would report x% oil life left. Alas, Ford, in it's infinite wisdom, decided to eliminate that VHR feature! I think it still will report when it is time for a oil change. I'll have to check that. I would be surprised if the algorithm doesn't have some sort of "elapsed time" parameter.
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Old 11-08-2018, 08:23 AM   #23
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Starting the engine and bringing it up to temperature drives the moisture out of the oil which is a good thing. However, any moisture in the oil left over a long period (months) can combine with the carbon and other combustion byproducts to form acids. It is non-reversible by warming up the engine. This can be detrimental to bearings etc. At least that is what I have been lead to believe. In my classic vehicles, changing the oil before winter storage was my normal practice regardless of miles driven.
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Old 11-08-2018, 08:29 AM   #24
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Starting the engine and bringing it up to temperature drives the moisture out of the oil which is a good thing. However, any moisture in the oil left over a long period (months) can combine with the carbon and other combustion byproducts to form acids. It is non-reversible by warming up the engine. This can be detrimental to bearings etc. At least that is what I have been lead to believe. In my classic vehicles, changing the oil before winter storage was my normal practice regardless of miles driven.
I think you got it pretty well!
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Old 11-08-2018, 08:53 AM   #25
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Feel free to just read/consider what parts of my comments as you like.
What part(s) did I miss?

Just to make things clear: I am not trying to be an advocate for greater than one-year oil changes. I am merely wanting it explained to me why it is damaging to the oil to sit idle for long periods of time.

In any event, the engine in our car is going to outlast the vehicle no matter what I do. It is a 1999 Chrysler Town & Country that had a sticker price of $36,000 (I got it at a "drug bust" police option for much less than that at 1,500 miles). It has every bell & whistle you can imagine -- even some that are only just showing up on current model vehicles. In other words a lot of things that can go wrong. For instance, I am having a problem with the alarm system. It will spontaneously go off (not while driving) for no reason. Unfortunately it cannot be disabled and it shuts the engine off and prevents it from restarting so even disconnecting the horn is ineffective. I did find a "reset" procedure but it is irritating. Also the intermittent wiper system is giving me fits also. So, after 20 years, it may be time to move on.
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Old 11-08-2018, 09:04 AM   #26
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For those who know about car maintenance, is there a maximum interval you think we should go before service - is once a year or 5K miles, whichever happens first? Or is sticking to the 5K miles ok?
none of my vehicles (four) get driven more than 5k miles a year

i do an oil change once a year whether or not they need it
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Old 11-08-2018, 09:07 AM   #27
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I do an oil change once a year whether or not they need it
The same as my haircuts.
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Car service recommendation
Old 11-08-2018, 11:02 AM   #28
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Car service recommendation

I use synthetic oil and the recommended interval for a change is 10,000 miles or one year. Being somewhat cautious I do 8000 miles and ten months whichever comes first.

Id really like to see an operational time gauge for oil changes rather than miles.
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Old 11-08-2018, 11:14 AM   #29
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Id really like to see an operational time gauge for oil changes rather than miles.
Most vehicles these days tell you when to change the oil. I bought a 3-year old car in March that was at 100% oil life. It took 11,000 kms for the computer to suggest changing the oil.
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Old 11-08-2018, 11:15 AM   #30
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....

Id really like to see an operational time gauge for oil changes rather than miles.
The maintenance minder oil systems are far better than hours (which is better than miles). They use hours and conditions (cold starts, hot starts, hot/cold extremes, rpm, etc) to predict when the oil should be changed.

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Old 11-08-2018, 11:26 AM   #31
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Time is not nearly as important as mileage or hours of engine operation. In fact many manufacturers advise you NOT change the oil of a new vehicle until X miles, regardless of how much time that takes, so as to let special new-engine oil additives do their job.
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Old 11-08-2018, 12:43 PM   #32
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What part(s) did I miss?
See my original post (below). The bold text is what you didn't seem to consider.

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"Over time", chemical changes and wear from heating up the oil and cooling it back down repeatedly (e.g. starting and stopping a engine) along with condensation (water) buildups and engine deposits from the combustion process (burning gas), etc, all contribute to the break down oil. Mileage is very important and the typical measure but time "can" become a real factor.

Higher operating temps, higher compression, dusty air, etc, all help accelerate that breakdown.

Your response (below) to my original comments (above) seems to just consider that "starting the engine and bringing it up to operating temperature is what breaks down the oil"

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonBoyd View Post
So, starting the engine and bringing it up to operating temperature is what breaks down the oil. Assuming the car is operated daily in this fashion, that would mean 365 instances before needing an oil change (according to legend). It would take maybe ten years before that happens with our vehicle

EOJ
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Old 11-08-2018, 12:51 PM   #33
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Cat-Guy, I see where RonBoyd is confused. There are a few ways to read your post:

you bolded like this,

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Originally Posted by Car-Guy View Post
"Over time", chemical changes and wear from heating up the oil and cooling it back down repeatedly (e.g. starting and stopping a engine)

But I read that as:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Car-Guy View Post
"Over time", chemical changes and wear from heating up the oil and cooling it back down repeatedly (e.g. starting and stopping a engine)
IOW, the engine has to cool back down and then be started to heat/cool the oil. That takes time - it could only occur a few times a day at max, and will happen far less often for a low mileage vehicle.

RonBoyd, I think, is asking about the time factor itself "Over time," regardless the number of starts.

And I think I understand that with few starts, if the oil has taken up condensation or developed acids/contamination, that that oil just sitting in the engine can cause some problems. That's the "over time" part. Most manuals I've seen recc a one year interval if mileage or 'minder' has not triggered.


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Old 11-08-2018, 12:58 PM   #34
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No problem, I can see it. I guess I thought I was speaking to another car-guy "type".


With my collectables (when I had a bunch of them) I'd seldom drive any of them more than a few thousand miles a year, (some of them far less) My rule with them, from years of experience, was to change the oil once a year. BTW, filters too.
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Old 11-08-2018, 01:41 PM   #35
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I do once a year on my Miata which I put 1,-3,000 miles on. I time it with my state inspection so I don't have to make an extra trip. Most sources I've read say not to go longer than a year.
That's what I do with the pickup truck, which can sit for a week in the garage between outings.

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And these sources are?
The owner's manual and the service manual. I figure the folks who designed, tested, and built the thing might know a tad more than people who learned about oil change intervals 50 years ago.
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Old 11-08-2018, 01:48 PM   #36
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I figure the folks who designed, tested, and built the thing might know a tad more than people who learned about oil change intervals 50 years ago.

Wow, that was close. Glad I learned what I know about oil changes in the last 40 years.
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Old 11-08-2018, 02:17 PM   #37
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As others have mentioned, if you take a lot of short trips and don't fully heat the oil enough to drive out condensation, the oil will start looking milky. Most manufacturers have two maintenance schedules - normal and severe service. Short trips drives you into the severe service category.
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Old 11-08-2018, 02:17 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Car-Guy View Post
See my original post (below). The bold text is what you didn't seem to consider.

Originally Posted by Car-Guy
"Over time", chemical changes and wear from heating up the oil and cooling it back down repeatedly (e.g. starting and stopping a engine) along with condensation (water) buildups and engine deposits from the combustion process (burning gas), etc, all contribute to the break down oil. Mileage is very important and the typical measure but time "can" become a real factor.

Higher operating temps, higher compression, dusty air, etc, all help accelerate that breakdown.


Your response (below) to my original comments (above) seems to just consider that "starting the engine and bringing it up to operating temperature is what breaks down the oil"
Yes, you are correct. I did overlook (ignored, actually) the final sentence. I couldn't see how it applied to an engine sitting idle. And I still might be missing it.
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Old 11-08-2018, 02:25 PM   #39
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As others have mentioned, if you take a lot of short trips and don't fully heat the oil enough to drive out condensation, the oil will start looking milky. Most manufacturers have two maintenance schedules - normal and severe service. Short trips drives you into the severe service category.
That's the beauty of these oil 'minders', they take all that into account, no guessing. -ERD50
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Old 11-08-2018, 02:43 PM   #40
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That's the beauty of these oil 'minders', they take all that into account, no guessing. -ERD50
Yes. DW's Honda has one, my Toyota uses the old school method.
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