Maintenance on seldom driven car

I have a 2006 Nissan 350Z Touring with approximately 20000 miles on it. I seldom drive this car-it has been driven >500 miles in the last year. Just wonder what to do about regular maintenance, oil changes, etc.since I am driving it so few miles? Also are there other things I should do to assure it lasts a long time? I 'd like to one day give it to my grandson.

You do the maintenance by time, not miles. Oil changes every 6 months if you use dino oil, once a year for synthetic. The maintenance schedule should show a miles or time intervals. Many of these time intervals can be extended if you keep it in a climate-controlled garage. Otherwise, stick to the time intervals if it is a typical garage or carport. I would not keep a car parked like this out in the driveway, even under a car cover.

Is the car driven more in certain times of the year? Such as, in the summer and sits unused for several months over the winter? I think a yearly oil change is fine for such a seldom used car. Other fluids, coolant, transmission, differential, brake, should be changed also; every 5 years makes sense to me.

The battery won’t do well in such seldom use. If you park in a garage, or can get an extension cord to the car, then you should use a “battery tender” charger. Hook the charger up once a quarter (every 3 months) and leave it hooked up for about a week. The battery will last longer if you keep it charged up during long periods of non-use.

@BustedKnuckles I agree that a judicious time-based schedule is in order. Once a year oil and filter changes using synthetic oil would be sufficient.

The other fluids really do not deteriorate, and the manufacturer’s time-based schedule is excessive!

I would change coolant every 10 years, and transmission fluid at that frequency as well. If the car does not have antilock brakes I would forget about the brake fluid, otherwise change every 6 years.

As this is a high performance car, I would change the tires every 10 years regardless of wear.

You have a big heart and a very lucky grandson.

If you’re doing any autocross racing with this, you’ll want to change the oil routinely after the race. These cars are wonderful vehicles, but these engines had a problem with the oil overheating when pushed hard. Later models included an oil cooler.

Thanks so much for the information Busted Knuckles, Uncle Turbo, Docnick, and the same mountain bike. I am so glad to finally know how to take “good care” of my car assuring it a long and healthy future.

As far as when the car is driven it has probably been driven more in warmer months than in colder–it is a convertible after all. Also I do keep it in an enclosed, but not climate controlled garage under a car cover. “Mountainbike” no racing of any kind unless you count getting a “little” above the speed limit occasionally when challenged on the interstate.

Uncle Turbo, I appreciate your suggestion about the battery tender charger. I will definitely purchase one as I had to replace the battery about 6 months ago.

Thanks again!

I have a “seldom” driven car too. An '04 Ford T’bird convertible. It sits most of the winter and the miles are nice weather miles in the spring, summer, and fall. It gets about 4K miles per year usually. I change the oil once a year in the late fall, around Thanksgiving time. That way there is fresh oil in the crankcase as it sits out the coldest winter months in northeast PA.

I either put a battery tender on it every 2 months for a week or so or, weather permitting, take it out for a mid winter run if there isn’t too much salt residue on the roads. I bought it in October of 2005 and this system is working fine so far.

Sorry Uncle Turbo for the past due thank you but…Thank You! Just a question that I have been meaning to ask…what is a battery tender? My husband has something he calls a battery charger. He plugs it into an electrical outlet and charges things like his mower battery or on occasion a car battery. Is that the same thing as a battery tender? If not, what is a battery tender, where do I buy one, and what size, amp etc. would I need for my Nissan 350Z? Thanks!

A battery tender is a small charger designed to apply a little amperage to the battery in pulses to maintain its charge and to prevent sulfation. It is designed to stay hooked up to the battery during long periods of non-use.

Wow, most grandmas (at least both of mine) give away Buick Centuries, not Nissan Z’s. Go Granny, Go!
PS. Give it to him when he turns 25 and can afford the insurance. (not when he turns 16 and can’t appreciate it!)