Oil Change Frequency on seldom driven cars

I have a question about frequency of oil changes on rarely drive cars. I have a couple of ?collector?s cars? that range from the 1960s to the 2000s. On average I only put about 1000 miles a year on them, mostly to shows and cruise-ins. Currently, I change the oil and filter on them every 6 months. One car had less than 50 miles between an oil change. Car buddies have suggested I change the oil just once a year, but I?m worried about the oil breaking down and moisture getting into it. I live in Georgia, which doesn?t have weather extremes but it can get pretty humid. The cars are garaged and don?t get driven in inclement weather, and if not driven, I try to run them a little every few weeks, long enough to warm them up and dry out any moisture in the exhaust. I change the oil myself and don?t mind the time it takes, but I don?t want to be wasting money and oil if it?s not necessary. Anybody out there have any recommendations for an oil change schedule?

I think once a year would be fine in your situation. Consider a driver who makes one or two short trips every day and drives less than 3000 miles in 3 months, then changes oil. That oil gets some moisture and raw gas contamination during the warm up phase maybe 150 times.

In your case the engine gets warmed up maybe 10 times a year?

I have two cars and each gets driven about twice a week and 3000 miles a year. I change their oil and filter every 6 months, which happens to be what the manual for the newer car ('06 Toyota Matrix) recommends.

The last time I changed oil on my 79 chev. pickup, short stepside, 2 years had passed yet only 1000 miles. No worries mate :slight_smile:

Once a year is MORE than enough…If the oil LOOKS CLEAN, it IS CLEAN!

I know that I am exaggerating, but it really makes a big difference it the 50 miles are put on in one trip or they are 50, 1 mile trips. Honestly, if the car is warmed up well when you do start it, I would not worry about starting it more than every three or four months as long as you keep the battery charged by some other means. Once a year might be excessive under those conditions.

once a year is fine.if you are worried about moisture when you go to the car take out the dip stick and take a looksie.you can see what the oil looks like…you will se the moisture.it will make it milky.plus put some on your fingers.see what it feels like.you can tell alot that way…

On my seldom used car, I change twice a year but only because I need to switch from winter to summer oil again to have it available in all four seasons. In your case, I don’t see why once a year isn’t fine.

This is California.

My Volt manual says “The engine oil and filter must be changed at least once
every two years” and the car has “Oil Life” indicator.

Can I also apply this to Mazda5, 2013 since:

  • I drive once a month just to maintain it, so I drove 300-600 miles only in the last 12 months
  • I used Mobil 1 Extended Performance oil. I did not check engine oil color but will do so - I bet it looks brand new oil.

Assuming engine oil color is not an issue, can I extend it to 2 yrs or 3-5k mileage whichever comes first?

This car is typically driven on freeway - with pandemic, its at home resting! It should be back on duty in Sept 2021. If there is no reason to change good looking oil, I rather not!

Why did you revive a 13 year old oil thread ? :thinking:

Also you have probably asked more oil questions than anyone . Just do like most people and do what makes you feel comfortable.

The Volt specs were written by the GM engineers that designed it. GM did not design your car. Mazda engineers did and they wrote your owners manual. Service your car as Mazda says, not what GM says, for best results.

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Yeah old but it was interesting that back in 2008 I was changing oil in the Olds from winter to summer oil. Don’t even remember what that would be anymore and don’t even do it on small engines. Times have changed.

He posted a question related to the topic… but you did not.

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OK, so I just change the oil and not the filter, assuming 1yr service interval is required?

Like I have said prolly 20 times before. Why would you change oil and not the filter? On the seldom used car I changed oil once a year oil and filter. 7 quarts and a filter, maybe $25. One year I had 7 miles on it for the year. In the old days they used to say change the filter every other oil change but that was when oil was changed every 2000 miles. Never understood the rational for that anyway.

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Does Mazda TELL you not to change the filter? I’ll bet it does not.

Or is the service instruction saying oil AND filter change? I’ll bet it does.

Always change the filter when you change the oil, without exception.

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Why can’t people just decide on how often or what kind of oil to use. Surely it does not take multiple threads to make your own decision . The manual has that in it and one can use the severe service side and be done with it.

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If it were my car and I only drove 3-5K miles every two years of mostly on highway, then I wouldn’t hesitate at all waiting two years to change it.

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Vehicles I owned in the 70’s said to change filter every OTHER oil change. I disobeyed them and changed filter every time.

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Honda does that every other change thing too, I don’t get it.