How frequent oil change?

I have a 1997 Lexus ES 300, and I used to get the oil changed every 7500 miles, which used to be roughly every 6 months. Now my commute has plummeted, and I expect to drive only 500 miles a year. Should I wait 15 years before my next oil change? Is it just hype that oil must be changed every 6 months no matter how many miles you drive?

Your owner’s manual probably says something like “7,500 miles or 9 months.” You should do whichever comes first.

Yup! Open up that Owner’s Manual and it will supply the answer to your question in the section on maintenance.

You are a special case. Depending where you live, you could get by with one oil change per year if you use a 5W30 synthetic. This oil is good for
-30F starting and has enough film strength to drive though Arizona in the summer. At the time, have all fluids checked as well.

The manufacturer will have a time scale as well. However, some cars sit on the dealer lots for a full year before they are sold. Ask the dealer if the bring them in twice a year for an oil change!

My mother in law drives less than 3000 miles per year; she gets a spring (10W30) and fall(5W39) oil change.

Thanks, everyone, for answering.

I would say it depends. Do you drive that car every day and only put on 500/year? In that case, changing it twice a year would probably be better than once. Cold, humid weather will make things worse since the problem is that the car is not warmed up properly and moisture and other stuff will accumulate in the crankcase.

If your 500 miles is not a daily commute, but weekend driving in more substantial chunks, you don’t need to change it as much.