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Maintenence question

I have a 2001 Taurus with 99,500 miles that I have used as a second car since Jan. 08. I drive it once a week or so, it’s garaged the rest of time. I estimate I put 50-150 miles per week on the car; it requires a synthetic blend oil.



My question: how do I handle the maintenence on the car? The oil now in it is approximately 8 months old, but only has about 2,000 miles on it. How much does the oil degrade over time? How about tire rotations? Thanks!

First, would you explain what you mean by “it requires a synthetic blend oil”? I have never seen a car require a synthetic blend before. Full synthetic, yes, but never a blend.

Here is my answer. If you use a full synthetic oil, I would change it once a year. If you use a regular oil, I would change it every six months.

I would base tire rotations purely on mileage.

You should probably be changing the oil about twice a year. The oil itself doesn’t really degrade over time, but contaminants build up in it and even if it’s mostly just sitting it’s better to have fresher oil.

You rotate the tires to compensate for uneven wear and since your tires aren’t wearing if the car isn’t going anywhere, rotations are strictly a mileage thing. Though you do want to keep an eye on the tires if they’re more than about 5 years old, since with cars that don’t get driven very much the tires will rot with age before they wear out.

I was told by my mechanic to change the oil every 3 mths. but if I drove more than 3k miles to do it at that interval whichever comes first.

Synthetic blend is the oil Motorcraft sells, therefore recomended in your manual, but you can buy nearly anything you like at a parts store in the correct viscosity. On a low mileage vehicle ( I have a 79 with only 70,000 ) just change by mileage or once a year.

That’s not needed. 5k or 6 months, whichever comes first, would be plenty often.

It looks like you are driving 3,000 miles a year. When to change the oil depends on what kind of miles they are. If your trips are only a few miles in city traffic, you should change oil every three months even if you have gone only a few hundred miles. Trips like that are very hard on the oil. On the other hand, if your trips are 20 miles on the highway and 30 minutes in duration, you can get by with an annual change.

The car is liekly spec’ed for 5w20 which I believe is only available as a blend.

Thanks all. I was on my way to have the oil changed when I started having second thoughts related to wasting money on oil that still had life left in it.

Based on the responses, and since most of my driving with this car is in town (though I use routes that get it up to highway speed when possible, including the interstate), I think I’ll go ahead and have it changed.