How often should I change oil if not driven much?

My 16-year-old daughter only drives her '03 Tribute about 400 miles a month–the vast majority of it within 10 miles of home in our rural community. Obviously I don’t want to wait for her mileage to dictate an oil change, but how often should I change it? Last time I waited 5-and-a-half months; is that too long?

Check the manual, there’ usually a time and mileage interval, often 6 months. I would use 6 months.

Read the “severe service” maintenance schedule in the owner’s manual. The short trip nature of this vehicle’s use probably qualifies as severe service. Follow the recommendations in the maintenance schedule.

For that kind of driving, twice a year would be about right. My mother-in-law has a similar driving pattern and changes oil and filter spring and fall. She also gets the car checked over at that time.

I’m with Texases and McP on this one. Check the manual and use the “severe service” schedule.