Author Topic: Oil Change Every 6 Months?  (Read 56979 times)

TrMama

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Oil Change Every 6 Months?
« on: February 12, 2014, 11:55:50 AM »
I've always heard that you need to change the oil in your car either every 5000-8000 km or after 6 months, whichever comes first.

Is the 6 month rule actually necessary? Or is is just made up by the industry to boost sales?

I've decreased my driving down to about 5000 km per year and my last oil change was about 6 months ago . . .

lackofstache

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Re: Oil Change Every 6 Months?
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2014, 11:58:05 AM »
I drive my vehicle 2500-3500 miles per year. I don't get oil changes less than 5,000 miles, regardless of timeframe. I don't have to pay for the oil changes (work does that), but I still don't do it often.

Eric

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Re: Oil Change Every 6 Months?
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2014, 12:02:33 PM »
What's your owner's manual say?

Jamesqf

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Re: Oil Change Every 6 Months?
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2014, 12:03:28 PM »
Another case of everyone knowing what just ain't so.  Read your owner's manual.  It will give the recommended oil change interval, which is (for anything under 20-25 years old) likely to be in the 7500-10K mile range.  A lot of newer cars even have a handy light on the instrument panel that will tell you when it's time.

gecko10x

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Re: Oil Change Every 6 Months?
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2014, 12:04:58 PM »
Probably safest to go with the manual. Mine says 7500mi or 6 months.

dragoncar

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Re: Oil Change Every 6 Months?
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2014, 12:14:55 PM »
I've personally always followed the miles not the time... Which might mean over a year between oil changes.   I'm not necessarily advocating this but so far so good.

Operating your car more (miles) certainly degrades the oil and each cycle theoretically puts particulates into suspension.

Oil sitting in an unused car will also degrade over time, but  not so sure it'll go "bad" after just 6 months sitting there.

exranger06

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Re: Oil Change Every 6 Months?
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2014, 12:28:51 PM »
Short trips that never let the engine fully warm up (about 10 miles or less) are hard on an engine, much harder than long trips. Condensation builds up in the oil and the engine never gets hot enough to burn it off. If you don't rack up 5000 miles within 6 months (presumably only making short trips, thus the low mileage) then yes, you should change it after 6 months. If you're not racking up the miles simply because you don't drive the car often (but whenever you DO drive it, it's a long trip that gets the engine warmed up), then just go by the mileage.

Posthumane

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Re: Oil Change Every 6 Months?
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2014, 12:32:30 PM »
It depends on the type of oil you use, but generally I would say it's fine to go more than six months. Oil technology has improved over the last few decades so new oils are much more stable than they used to be, yet the six month thing has stuck. Synthetic oils tend to be more stable than conventional oils and deal better with humidity and temperature changes, as well as exposure to the air if your car is sitting outside for long periods.

MPAVictoria

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Re: Oil Change Every 6 Months?
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2014, 01:23:39 PM »
How much is an oil change? 30 to 70 bucks? A car is an expensive thing to neglect. Get the oil changed as per the manual.

horsepoor

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Re: Oil Change Every 6 Months?
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2014, 01:32:07 PM »
I drive my truck about 2,000 miles per year, so I just get the oil changed once per year and everyone I've asked seems to agree that this is a good compromise for a low-use vehicle.  Not a big deal when it's $35 once a year and they get under it and check all the other fluids and other items for me at the same time.

ketchup

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Re: Oil Change Every 6 Months?
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2014, 02:41:15 PM »
Do what the owner's manual says.  My '96 Volvo wants every 6 months or 5000 miles.  My friend's '09 Kia still says every 3 months or 3000 miles.  A 2011 VW TDI says a year or 10,000 miles.  It can vary a lot.

Milspecstache

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Re: Oil Change Every 6 Months?
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2014, 08:36:05 PM »
www.bobistheoilguy.com is a good resource but what I have read is that if you do 3k mile oil changes all oils are roughly the same.  As our family car (Toyota Sienna) is prone to sludging I change the oil at 3k miles using the cheap Wal-mart brand and have never had a problem and am at 215k currently.

My opinion?  Run cheap oil and change it myself (very convenient) at 3k miles.  Cheap insurance to keep the car running smoothly.

If you are asking about a new or near-new car (<40k miles) then I would suggest shifting to synthetic at 5k mile interval oil changes as the synthetic should lead to reduced wear and a longer lifespan for your motor.  On older cars, in my experience, changing to synthetic will result in the seals leaking.  Have done that twice now.

Bateaux

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Re: Oil Change Every 6 Months?
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2014, 06:01:12 PM »
I do 5000 miles or 6 months which ever is first.   simple and easy to track and I just hse quality regular oil like Castrol or Quaker State etc.  Changing at less than 5k for me isn't necessary for protecting an engine driven daily.

George_PA

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Re: Oil Change Every 6 Months?
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2014, 07:02:10 PM »
If you take it to an official oil change place they always put a sticker on your windshield saying to change the oil every 3,000 miles or every 6 months.  This for the most part is total BS.  They just want you coming as much as possible. 

I suppose if you had an old model car with a carburetor this is could be true but for most new modern cars that have a fuel injection systems, 6 months is really too early to change it (you are just wasting your money and perfectly good oil).  Of course, the most accurate information comes from your owners manual.

I know that for my Honda, the owner manual says every 6 months under if you drive under severe conditions (i.e. towing a trailer, a large roof rack, driving up high elevations mountains in Alaska or the arctic circle).  For most people, just go by the normal schedule in the owner's manual which for my car anyway is every 5k miles or every 1 year whichever occurs sooner.  I have done this and my car has been working fine for about 13 years now with no problems.

Nords

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Re: Oil Change Every 6 Months?
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2014, 10:45:13 PM »
I'm currently doing 7500 miles or nine months on our Priuses.  We don't drive very much, so at nine months she's only at a couple thousand miles and I'm usually under 5000.  The moisture can degrade the oil when the car's just sitting in the garage. 

Even so, oil quality has improved faster than the auto makers are updating the specs.

Anti-ComplainyPants

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Re: Oil Change Every 6 Months?
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2014, 01:43:24 PM »
For what it's worth -

My super awesome and trustworthy mechanic friend (coworker's husband) told me that oil changes should happen every 3,000-4,000, and to avoid going over 4,000 miles to be safe.

What interested me is that he said the period of time that takes should make NO difference at all, only the number of miles.