How long between oil changes for only 1k per year?

I drive only to grocery store these days. Maybe 1k miles per year.
How long should an oil change last?

No more than a year between oil changes. If it were my car, I would do every 6 months. Purely short hop driving like you describe is murder on a car.


I agree with ASE’s answer.
I’d also recommend an occasional 20 minute drive, perhaps once weekly, to help keep the battery charged.


Agree with both of you! With today’s oils once a year ought to be enough, but check the level frequently. And a brisk 15 mile drive several times a month will prevent condensation and carbon buildup as well.

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I agree with all of the preceding comments, but I have to add another thought:
Because the Mazda Maintenance Schedule undoubtedly mentions an elapsed time factor for oil changes, in addition to the odometer mileage factor, this suggests to me that the OP hasn’t looked at the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule, and that is… not a good thing.

Anyone who expects to get maximum life and maximum value from his/her vehicle really needs to follow the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule–and that includes elapsed time factors for certain maintenance procedures–as well as the number of odometer miles, with an either/or “whichever comes first” proviso.

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On my seldom used car, I changed oil and filter once a year. One year I had a total of 7 miles on the car.

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I Agree. However, at 1000 miles a year bringing a Mazda in very 4 months (as per the manual) is ludicrous.

Our local Mazda dealer service person used to pester me about that. However, having rented cars in Europe, GM specifies very 20,000 MILES!!! in England or very year.

So our two cars which don’t travel a lot anymore get serviced between 9 months and one year. The oil in our Toyota is still clear after one year or 4000 miles of driving!

My late mother in law serviced her Cavalier spring and fall, mostly to get sure the cooling system was up to par. She drove about 3000 miles a years and thus got 1500 miles between oil changes.

In the days before computer-controlled fuel injection, tight tolerances, and computer-controlled ignition, short trips were “murder” on an engine.

These days, I’d change the oil on a car like this once a year, and I’d use synthetic oil whether the owner’s manual calls for it or not, and even that I’d consider slight overkill.

Water and acid are also clear…

Huh? Where can I get one of these with computer controlled girl injection?

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I’d post the link here for you, but it it probably get me banned from this forum. :smile:


That’s what I get for posting from my phone.

I’m going to correct it because it just might cross the family-friendly line.

Both Irlandes and I have run oil analyses with different mileage interval. At 3000 miles my oil showed minimal contamination, and only 30 ppm of metal wear. EXXON “condemns” oil at 200 ppm of metal wear.

Irlandes reports about 8000 miles before his oil needed changing based on oil analysis.

However, here is an example of short interval need: my late father in law had a big Mercury Grand Marquis which he parked outside without a block heater. Each day he would start the car early in the morning and drive 3/4 mile to the 7-11 and buy his newspaper since he had had an argument with the paper boy about not correctly delivering the paper.

He never left town, population 75,000 drove mostly to the Legion to meet his fellow veterans and as a result the car accumulated acid, water, and other crud in the crankcase.

I recommended 3 months intervals for his oil change schedule, which he did not follow.

I concur w/once a year. Good idea to get the engine to full operating temperature for at least 15 minutes once a week if possible, to clear out any water vapor condensing in the crankcase and exhaust system.

How far is the grocery store?

In my experience water in the oil will produce white froth on the dipstick/filler cap.