Oil change really needed with little use?

Discussion in 'Prime Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by stevepea, Jun 20, 2021.

  1. eliteconcept

    eliteconcept 700 mile club, top tank mpg 69.5

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    Another thought here is send in an oil sample for testing after about 13 or 14 months and see what they say
     
  2. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Wouldn't that cost more than changing oil and filter DIY?:ROFLMAO:
     
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  3. DukeofPrime

    DukeofPrime Junior Member

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    Everyone always talks about the wear caused by short trips. However, with the computer turning a hybrid's engine on and off even on longer drives, does this reasoning still apply? My thinking is the engine must be designed to deal with these short cycles so maybe this convention wisdom no longer applies?

    It reminds me of the people worried about the additional wear caused by stop/start systems. A properly engineered solution should account for this use case(more robust starter, methods to keep oil pressure up, etc). Granted, not every auto is properly engineered, but over time I would expect the kinks to be worked out.

    I still don't think I'd go over a year, but it still makes me wonder...
     
  4. Colorado Boo

    Colorado Boo Member

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    I used to change our 17 Prius yearly, didn't even get 5,000 miles a year. But then a master Toyota technician told us that if we intend to keep the Toyota for 10+ years (and we do), every 6-months was better, no matter how many miles is on her. (I change the oil myself so very cheap but our dealership often has oil change discounts...something like 3 for $99, so that's not bad at all.) Doing the change myself usually runs less then $30 so only $60 a year...well worth it knowing the oil is always clean in there.
     
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  5. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    A MASTER Technician......OOOOO I'm impressed.
    NOT.
    I think the "Master" engineers that designed the car probably are better qualified.
    Just maybe.
     
  6. privilege

    privilege Member

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    once it's up to temperature, it's happy to turn in and off.

    it's turning it on (cold) and running it hard without fully earning the
     
  7. PT Guy

    PT Guy Senior Member

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    I’ve looked at dozens of oil analysis reports, and the time in service makes almost no difference to the oil’s suitability for continued service. (Going far afield here, the 30 wt crankcase oil in a very large Diesel engine where the crankcase is sealed away from the combustion spaces may have a service life of 20+ years.). I have full confidence in the recommended oil change intervals of 10k miles for the Prime and also the 7,500 interval for my Mazda. I do wish Toyota had given us more to go on…engine-only miles, or engine hours, or cumulative gasoline consumption, any of which would be a good indicator.
     
  8. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    They could borrow from Honda: their maintenance minder is definitely smarter. Honda doesn’t disclose exactly how it works, but it seems to be monitoring several factors, and accordingly varies maintenance intervals. Gives you percent count down, and when due displays a code that you can look up in the manual; see precisely what’s involved in the service.
     
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  9. BiomedO1

    BiomedO1 Junior Member

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    Certain models of Honda, GM, and Dodge/Chrysler uses some sort of matrix based on ECU inputs to determine oil change intervals.I don't know if there was a time component to those maintenance counters; since I usually trip them quarterly, in those old service vehicles I used to have. If I was doing service calls, mostly in the mountain regions, it would trip around 3k to 4.5K miles. If I spent most of my time on the "flats" or in the valley, I'd get close to 7500 mile before tripping the maintenance lamp. We are talking about the old 3K to 5K mile OEM service intervals on old dino oil, none of those fancy synthetic stuff...

    IMHO; I consider oil changes as cheap insurance against major engine repairs.
     
  10. Colorado Boo

    Colorado Boo Member

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    Yes, one suggestion I've given Toyota is about their settings on the maintenance system which is only for a preset mileage (5,000).
    My daughter's Mazda CX-5 has settings where you can have either mileage or time and it also let's you choose the mileage, 5,000 or 10,000. Very smart.
     
  11. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    My 2 cents: any of the dumb counters are a waste of tech and dash space; just keep an eye on the calendar and odometer. And keep a log.
     
  12. don_chuwish

    don_chuwish Well Seasoned Member

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    I once did an oil change on my Odyssey that was 18 month old Mobil 1, probably 6000 miles. Sent a sample to Blackstone with the question about age vs miles. They told me my sample was fine, still plenty of useable life in it, and that 2 years would be fine if the mileage doesn't pile up.
    I think more important is that the ICE gets fired up and used fairly often and that you don't let the gas go bad.
     
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  13. Colorado Boo

    Colorado Boo Member

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    Yep, I've had an Excel spreadsheet for years that helps keep track of EVERYTHING. No more wondering how old my batteries are or when I last had a brake job. I also keep notes in there for future jobs (example: Make sure I have my extra long Allen hex bit sockets and 12mm swivel socket whenever taking out an air intake manifold.) Saves a ton of time.
     
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  14. BiomedO1

    BiomedO1 Junior Member

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    I use a half sheet spiral notebook and shove a pen in the spiral wire. It lives in the glove box of the car. I also note part numbers, torque specs., and any useful/important info.; on the inside front and back covers of the notebook. ie. control sequence to put my GMC transfer case into neutral for towing.
    This has worked well over the years and enhances the cars' resale value - purchaser knows when and what was done to the car and what needs to be done.
    I've toyed with the idea of putting all this information on a spreadsheet, dropping it into the cloud and accessing it on my cell phone - but I don't have the time or inclination to do it. Besides, if it ain't broke, why fix it.:rolleyes:
     
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  15. bat4255

    bat4255 2017 Prius v #2 and 2008 Gen II #2

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    Plus, no battery to charge or go dead. :)
     
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  16. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    A simple text format file will do, “.txt” extension, in windows system, for a maintenance log. Entries like this:

    ====
    2021_09_14
    92500 km
    Oil and filter change
    ====
     
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