Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Drive Less

my wife only drive about 8,000 miles a year all city miles. I change oil every 3,000 what do you think about Mobil 1 Annual And just change once a year.

Oil questions have no answers. Just do what makes you feel good or you could refer to the vehicle manual.

Your owner’s manual probably tells you when to change the oil by mileage, time, and whether it sees severe service or not. The manual may also describe severe service. If you really want to know when to change the oil, take a sample at your next oil change and send it to a lab for testing. The report will tell you how much life is left. If the oil is half way through its life, double the miles between oil changes and retest the oil after the next change.

Describe that 8,000 miles. Is the car used fairly regularly?

Does it reach full engine operating temperature when it’s driven?

What’s your climate like? Very cold winters?

The reason I’m asking is that low mileage that is accumulated with frequent short trips (engine not always up to operating temperature) can instill moisture (water) into the engine crankcase.

I also believe this problem can be made worse by making short trips in very cold weather, where you see water literally dripping or running from tailpipes.

I’d advise to stick with a more frequent change interval, rather than trying to go a year, etcetera.

My wife’s drive cycle used to match this pretty closely. I changed oil yearly with regular Mobil 1 (and still do) and never had a problem in cars driven 80,000 to over 100,000 miles. Through 3 cars over 35 years. Yes, she doesn’t change cars very often.

If the car is under warranty you have to read your owners manual to see if you will void the warranty. M y car call for a 1 year or 12000 mile oil change with an SN grade 0W20 full synthetic, And I only drive about 7000 miles a year, so I make sure I don’t exceed 1 yeay between oil changes. I have been using Mobil 1 or Pennzoil. Mobile 1 has had a couple of different formulas shat meet the specs for my car and now they have come out with a new label at almost twice the price and a big marketing campaign that I suspect is mostly hype and strictly profit driven.

If your vehicle is under warranty, then you have to follow that schedule at least until the warranty is up. After that, do what is comfortable for you.

However, driving pattern is a very important part of the decision making process. If you do 10 or more drive cycles a week and most drive cycles are at least 7 miles, then what you are doing is fine. In fact you could probably just do 2 oil changes per year, up to 5k with regular oil and be just fine. If you do frequent shorter drive cycles, then stick to your plan that you are using.

BTW, the basic drive cycle is cold start to full operating temp and back to cold after. Short shutdowns such as stopping to fill the tank don’t count because the engine hasn’t had time to cool down. A typical work week would have 10 drive cycles, one to work and one going back home each work day.

If you fit the pattern above and you drive at least 7 miles and 20 minutes for each drive cycle, you can do the annual oil change with the Mobil 1 annual. A few shorter drive cycles in addition to the above will not harm the engine. But if she is doing a lot of short trips, say less than 5 miles and 10 minutes to work with a lot of short business trips during the work day, such as a real estate agent might do, then I would say no to the annual.

BTW, do not forget the rest of the preventative maintenance requirements such as air filter, ATF (automatic transmission fluid), cooling system changes etc or your oil change schedule will not matter.

Mobil 1 every 5000 maybe like I do. Using synthetic should not be an excuse to lengthen oil changes regardless of the marketing. Others will disagree but don’t ever buy a used car that had 10-12,000 mile oil changes.

1 Like

As far as I can tell, this is all marketing hype.

So you are actually asking if you can get by with changing your oil annually using Mobil 1 synthetic. And, as mentioned above by others, that depends on type of miles and other factors.

Me, I also average about 8k miles per year, most of that in 60 miles stretches. But I change oil at 6 month intervals and consider it cheap insurance. I would not consider annual unless I were broke and the car is on it’s last legs.

1 Like

My wife’s drive cycle used to match this pretty closely. I changed oil yearly with regular Mobil 1 (and still do) and never had a problem in cars driven 80,000 to over 100,000 miles. Through 3 cars over 35 years. Yes, she doesn’t change cars very often.

100K for a foreign made car is just being broken in.

Your wife is quite a catch.

1 Like

Either way, both approaches are reasonable. I’d guess the best technique in term’s of engine longevity would be the one that changed the oil & filter most frequently, independent of what type of oil used.

Yes she is!

I’m also driving less than 8,000 miles per year with 3 or 4 short trips but 3 highway trips per week. I am on a 6 month oil (dino) and filter change schedule performed at the dealership.

Depends on exactly which foreign car you’re referring to

100K on a Fiat or Range Rover might be a bottomless money pit

In other words, not broken in, but BROKEN, as well as your bank account


I am referring to Nissan, Toyota, Honda, and Masda.

I heard that Fiat means “Fix it Again Tony.”

I definitely agree!

Actually a Merkur - a German Ford with a US turbo engine - 83K, a Taurus SHO, an American car with a Japanese engine, 85K miles, and then a Saab with a Swedish body, a German chassis and a Swedish turbo engine with 109K.

No Toyota, Honda, Nissan ect here. No reason not to, she just likes odd cars…

I agree with you on Toyota and Honda

Nissan . . . not so much

btw . . . when you say foreign-made cars, you should have been more specific, in my opinion

Yeah I think “foreign owned or designed” might be the term now instead of “foreign made”. My Acura was assembled in Ohio but the engine assembled in Japan. I’m not sure anymore who made the transmission but that dang navigation and information system is definitely Japanese design gone nuts.