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1996 Ford F-150 - Oil change time

I have two trucks and I’m retired. I don’t drive a lot so each truck is driven roughly 1,500 miles per year. I’ve heard you need to change your oil every 3 months or 3,000 miles but I feel it’s a waste of money if the oil is clean. It’s been 3 months and I’ve driven one of my trucks 200 miles. I don’t drive much anyway but with the coronavirus and orders to stay at home I drive even less. I use regular oil and check it every month. If it remains clean, how long can I use it before it needs to be changed. I have a hard time believing it needs to be changed every 3,000 miles if the vehicle isn’t being driven that much. In this day and time I need to save as much money as possible. Could you please provide some guidance. Thank you!!!

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The vehicle is now a quarter-century old. The chances are that the engine won’t be the system that ends the life of this old truck. I’d change it yearly when I got my annual state inspection sticker. Nobody with any sense changes oil every three months.


In your case, I would just change each truck’s oil and filter annually.

Also just visually looking at the oil isn’t necessarily going to tell you it’s condition. For example on a diesel engine the oil might turn black a week or two after an oil change, however it’s safe and reasonable to keep the oil in the crankcase until it’s next scheduled oil change.

If you check your owners manual or service schedule, I think you will find that the recommended oil change interval is at least 5000 miles and 6 months. The time requirement is based on a vehicle that is driven daily as the start/shutdown of the engine is the hardest on the oil.

If the reason that you only put 1500 miles a year on each truck is because you don’t drive them daily, you can go a year or more between the oil changes because you have fewer engine start/shutdown cycles than the engineers based their recommendation on.

Thanks for the advice. I really appreciate it!!!

Why do you do your maintenance based on what you “heard” instead of what the manufacturer tells you to do?


We’re having THE EXACT SAME DISCUSSION in another thread :laughing: