Oil change every 6 months

We (my wife and I), purchased a new Honda CR-V back in August of 2010, and along with the purchase, we got the service package, oil change, etc. - which was discussed as “every 5,000 miles”.

After 6 months, we received an e-mail from the dealer saying we were due service. It surprised me a bit since we have only 2,500 miles on the car.

Of course I realize that the dealer does not keep track of our mileage, but I am a little uneasy about waiting for about a year till we have our first service done.

Does the oil go through some changes that we should be aware of, that would cause us to have the oil change every six months, or is waiting till we put the 5,000 miles on the odometer ok?

Was the ‘service package’ from the dealer or from Honda? I’ve seen these from dealers that encourage extra services that aren’t in the manual. What does the factory manual say?

Edit- by ‘service package’ do you mean you paid extra for pre-paid service?

Pull out your owners or maybe maintenance manual. Usually beyond the mileage requirement there is also a time requirement. So whichever comes first is the interval you should use in order to maintain.

Usually every 5000 miles gets coupled to 6 months whichever first.

You need to follow maintenance manual to maintain your powertrain related warranty on engine.

A basic part of any service - that is required - is an oil change. I don’t know the specific maintenance recommendations on this car. But I wouldn’t be surprised if your owner’s manual specified oil changes at XX miles OR 6 months - whichever comes first. Six months is often a standard oil change interval regardless of miles.

In your case if you have really only driven 2500 miles in 6 months you are probably doing a lot of short trip driving. This will kill a car faster than anything else and you should follow the maintenance schedule for “severe” conditions if one is so specified.

Yes, the oil does change. It absorbs the moisture that’s a byproduct of combustion, and turns to sludge, which can eventually destroy your engine. Change the oil at least every 6 months, even if you drove only 2500 miles in that period.

An oil change cost you, what, $35? How much will it cost you to replace a sludged engine? $3000 or more. Two oil changes per year, for a grand total of $70, will save you the expense of a new engine.

Your statement is correct, on its face, but doesn’t take into consideration the driving conditions that the owner operates the vehicle under, at all.

Water evaporates out of the oil when it gets to 212 degrees F.
I tested my Porsche Boxster 2 weeks back on a 26 degree morning drive to work, using a data recorder that ties into the car’s OBDII port.

I recorded the oil temp, coolant temp, engine speed, vehicle speed, and throttle position on my 26 mile drive (mostly highway) to work that day.

What I learned is that my coolant hit thermostat opening temp in 12 minutes, and was stable after 16 minutes. The oil temp hit 212 at the 17 minute mark, about 1/3 the way to work, and stayed above that temp the entire drive in. My car also has an oil to coolant heat exchanger built into it from the factory, which helps with this, so other vehicles might be entirely different.

I also live in Colorado, which, to put it nicely, is a very dry place, so no external influence of humidity, like you would have, if you lived in South Carolina, Tennessee or Florida.

I would make a recommendation based on how the owner drives the car, and where they lived, rather than just saying to change it every x months, or xxxx miles driven. A Pizza delivery guy in Buffalo should probably change his oil more often during the winter than a retired guy driving from NYC to California during the summer.


Read the owner’s manual and the maintenance schedule that came with it. These documents will tell you how often the oil should be changed (miles and months).

Personally, I change oil every 5,000 or once a year, whichever comes first, but my cars are no longer under warranty.

As long as your CRV is under warranty, comply with the FACTORY maintenance schedule. This may differ from the dealer’s maintenance schedule. The factory schedule is written by engineers. The dealer’s schedule is written by book keepers.

Agreed, but the Honda CRV manual recommends 6 month oil change intervals for “severe conditions.” And one of the “severe conditions” listed is driving mostly short trips, which tend not to drive the moisture out of the oil. Your useful data shows that your oil doesn’t begin to drive moisture out until 17 minutes into a trip.

Since the OP drives only 2500 miles in 6 months, I’m deducing that he drives it mostly on short trips. Hence the “severe conditions” interval of 6 months is appropriate.

I have to wonder why this question stays when my question " If the oil looks good does in need to be changed" was deleted. What boneheads are in charge of that?!

You need to follow the maintenance work recommended in your owner’s manual. You can do more, although you likely do not need more.

Now I will make one exception.  I strongly suggest, if you have an automatic transmission, that you have that changed and filter cleaned every 30-40,000 miles.  For some reason the manufacturers seem to have eliminated that from their recommended list, but it appears that it still is a very good idea and worth the cost. 

Note: dealers generally do good work on maintenance (much better than those fast oil change places) but they tend to charge a lot more than a good independent shop would change and they generally don't do any better (or worse).

Again, you are assuming that they are using the car every day.
What if this is their weekend car, that they drive only on Saturdays and Sundays, to get from Indianapolis to Chicago and back?

We just don’t know how they use their car.

If they are driving 2 miles to the train station every day, then yes, they should change it every 6 months, if not sooner (I would certainly change it sooner).

Severe service might not apply in this case.


“we got the service package”

Skip that extra stuff (not in the manual) the dealer piles on.

I drive about 4000 miles a year and change the oil every 6 months.
That by itself doesn’t cost much, especially DIY.

Nope. The manual says follow the maintenance minder now used on Honda vehicles.