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Minimum oil change per year?


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15 replies to this topic

#1 Rooster2

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 12:02 PM

My 99 OBW travels no more then 2,000 miles per year. It is a back up car, when my one of my other two cars is not available. With that few miles per year, is it prudent to change the oil just once per year?

#2 WRX2FFU

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 12:12 PM

3 Months or 3k miles......:lol:

I have had several "backup" cars setting. I only did them once a year... I put on between 1-3k on any of them a year.

As long as the oil is full and has no water in it you should be ok.

#3 Rooster2

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 02:10 PM

3 Months or 3k miles......:lol:

I have had several "backup" cars setting. I only did them once a year... I put on between 1-3k on any of them a year.

As long as the oil is full and has no water in it you should be ok.



Thanks, I was thinking the same thought, but wanted verification.

#4 Ricearu

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 04:43 PM

the crankcase can accumulate some moisture while sitting. you should change it if it sits for 2 or 3 months. if you drive it weekly, it should be ok

#5 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 05:20 PM

Run it to operating temp once a week and install an hour-meter. Change the oil every 50 hours of operation.

GD

#6 OB99W

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 05:35 PM

My 99 OBW travels no more then 2,000 miles per year. It is a back up car, when my one of my other two cars is not available. [...]

When you do use it, how long is a typical trip?

#7 nipper

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 06:01 PM

7 months or 7500 miles is the spec. I would use synthetic oil and change it every 5 months. Change the PCV valve once a year as it can get bummed up with such short little mileage. On a subaru 1 month is equal to 1000 miles for ALL parts and fluids, including timing belts.

Check tires for dryrot too.

#8 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 07:54 PM

The ratio of time in storage to mileage for service and maintenance depends entirely on *how* the vehicle is stored. We had cold-storage procedures in the military that allowed equipment to be stored for long periods of time while suspending the maintenance program on it.

An hour-meter would be most helpful to determine when fluids should be changed. As long as all trips the car is used for allow it to reach operating temp and stay there for a good 15 minutes or longer you should be fine. Short trips that don't allow full operating temp to be reached cause serious problems and a more rigorous maintenence schedule has to be adopted.

GD

#9 nipper

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 10:12 PM

One thing we havent suggested yet. I would look into getting an oil analysis once every 3-4 months for a year. This would really help with the decision making process. I have heard from other sources on collector cars or cars that don't see winter that twice a year is best.

#10 Rooster2

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 06:01 AM

When you do use it, how long is a typical trip?


It gets driven around town about twice per week on roughly 20-30 minute trips. I have had some trouble with the battery running down, because not driven enough to keep the battery charged.

#11 OB99W

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 06:21 AM

It gets driven around town about twice per week on roughly 20-30 minute trips.

That sort of driving (short, non-highway) can lead to fuel dilution of the oil and moisture buildup, especially in cold weather. Even with the low total annual miles, one oil change per year may not be enough. I'd suggest considering a six-month change interval, with the filter replaced every other time. (The amount of "used" oil left in the filter isn't very significant, given their small size.)


I have had some trouble with the battery running down, because not driven enough to keep the battery charged.

Unless those trips are typically with the headlights and heavy-current-draw accessories running, the charging system should be capable of keeping up with the demand. You might want to check the connections, and make sure the alternator drive belt is properly tensioned -- perhaps verify the alternator output is sufficient. If the battery isn't in good condition itself, it might not be able to hold a charge well.


EDIT: Nipper's suggestion of having an oil analysis done (at least once) has merit. It could confirm the need for changes more frequent than annually, or ease your concern over once per year being enough.

Edited by OB99W, 28 October 2010 - 06:27 AM.


#12 grossgary

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 08:59 AM

my experience with quite a few cars sitting at any given time seems to suggest that cheaper batteries don't age as well as better ones. might just need a new battery, but a better one might hold up to the sitting better.

if it's getting driven every week i would think that should be sufficient for anything though.

i have nothing to offer with oil changes except i don't think it's that big of a deal, but i'd err on the side of caution and aim for every six months. obviously everyone knows that short trips aren't good for oil and EJ25 blocks are no strangers to loosing bearings. many of us have bought and seen quite a few.

#13 nipper

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 09:16 AM

It gets driven around town about twice per week on roughly 20-30 minute trips. I have had some trouble with the battery running down, because not driven enough to keep the battery charged.



Get a small tirckle charger. it does not have to be very big, almost the kind they use for a motorcycle. IT will keep up with the draw from the computers.

#14 johnceggleston

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 09:22 AM

Get a small tirckle charger. it does not have to be very big, almost the kind they use for a motorcycle. IT will keep up with the draw from the computers.


do the the solar chargers work? are they worth it?

#15 Rooster2

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 09:24 AM

Get a small tirckle charger. it does not have to be very big, almost the kind they use for a motorcycle. IT will keep up with the draw from the computers.


Good idea on the trickle charger. I have also thought of buying one of those quick disconnect clamps that attaches to the positive post on the battery. The kind that screw the knob down, and it connects power to the cable. Unscrew the knob, and all power to the vehicle is disconnected. However, doing that erases all presents on the radio, and the clock looses its memory. I use a battery disconnect on my RV when not in use.

#16 nipper

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 10:46 AM

Newwer cars have many computers with a very low draw;You may not have all these but here is an example:

A body computer (controls everything)
The ECU - (s)ubaru
The TCU - S
The HVAC for auto climate control - S
Radio Memory - S
Seat memory
Auto dimming mirror with either a compass (s)
Digital dash - S
Digital clock

Thats all I can thnk of right now.
It is not unusual for the battery to run down parked. Some cars with uber thingies can kill a battery in 4-6 months Some 4-5 months, no matter how good the battery is. It is not unusal for Airport parking garages to have a portable Jumpstart (at a cost) in long term parking.

Also You have to watch the battery charge in heavy stop and go, or even stoped when running everything. The Alt doesnt barely keeps up below 1800 RPM. I have seen many expensive cars on the side of the road in stopped traffic jams as they have run down the battery, It is always good to rev the engine to 2000 rpm in stopped traffic (like a road closure).
You have running in summer or winter in a subaru

TCU
ECU
Radio (maybe an amp)
Fuel Injectors
Spark Plugs
Gauges
A/c compressor
Blower motor
Maybe wipers
Maybe deforster
Maybe heated mirrors
Mabe heated seats
Dimming mirror
fuel pump
Whatever is plugged into the car.

That is quite a load for just 650 RPM.




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