Changing Oil Question in Classic cars rarely often?

My question is how frequently should the oil be changed in a classic car that is only driven 300-500 miles a year? Is it okay to wait out the typical 3-5k mileage which could take 5 or more years or do it sooner due to any other type of oil breakdown?? Thanks for any advice…

Are you serious ? If you have a classic vehicle why would not change at least once a year.


Once a year as a minimum.


Test the oil when you change it next. Do it one year after the last change. Blackstone Labs will send you a sample kit for free, and test it for $28. The report will provide a list of chemicals found and their levels, including contaminants like water and antifreeze. They also offer comments about the condition of your oil. At least one other person here has used them; I haven’t. Do a web search for their web site.

Once a year makes the most sense. Check other items as well.

Thanks for the reply…but seriously, i put only 200 or 300 miles on it per year. I check the oil often and the color still looks new.
My question came to me after reading an article on how oil breaks down from usage…which is understandable. But the article also describe molecular breakdown a little deeper.
Annually on 300 miles seems a bit much.

I had a non classic car that sat in the garage most of the time but I would change oil and filter once a year. One year I had a total of 7 miles on the oil change, and you want to go 5 years? Suit yourself though.

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What could you possibly gain by not changing it every year?

Unless your garage is hermetically sealed the crankcase (and the oil) is exposed to the moisture and elements that are around whenever the garage is open.

It’s not just about oil breakdown. My classics aren’t the cleanest burning cars and have blowby. Acids build up in the oil. I don’t drive during winter months which is 5 to 6 months here so I change oil in them in fall. Don’t want them basking in acids etc during hibernation. In the end, it boils down to what makes each person feel comfortable.

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Thanks everyone for the feedback. I will be changing my oil more frequently.