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Oil Change Frequency

I have a 10 year old VW Cabrio with only 40,000 miles on it. It’s driven on vacations and occasionally on weekends for long trips. Car is never used on short trips for commuting or shopping. Annual mileage now about 2,500 per year. It’s parked in the garage in Arizona where it is hot and very dry. I use synthetic oil and change it once a year. I’m a “greenie” and hate to waist oil when oil has only 2,500 miles on it. What would other Tom and Ray discussion participants recommend?

I would opt for once per year but not synthetic. To me, synthetic at those few miles is a waste, cost-wise.

I would change it at 5000 miles regardless of time…Motor oil is very stable and lasts a LONG time… Your climate and driving pattern do not require more frequent oil changes.

I’m a little more conservative than Jay. I have two cars that get 2-3000 miles per year. They’re driven 2-3 times per week. Lots of short trips, <10mi., that tend to contaminate the oil with fuel residue and moisture. Longer trips ~ once a month. I change the (regular) oil every 6 months and the filters once a year. The '88 Accord has 219K mi. and burns no oil.

Assuming you recycle the used oil you’re not “wasting” it. The used oil will be cleaned and used again. I suggest you continue to do exactly what you’re doing.

Have you ever replaced the timing belt on this car? If not you should do it ASAP. If the belt breaks the engine will be damaged.

If you are changing the oil yourself you should be able to find a recycle station for it. I recycle mine at an local auto parts store.

Most commercially changed oil gets recycled.

For the sake of your car, oil needs to be replace per they owner’s manual. It is always stated as X miles or X months whichever comes first. You are likely in the months part and likely it is 12 months.

Over time it collects moisture and other bi-products and those can combine to become acid or other troublesome products. So keep up what you are doing, just make sure it gets recycled.

Once every six months.

If you are changing the oil yourself you should be able to find a recycle station for it.

Almost all the towns near where I live in NH have a oil tank for used oil. They use it to heat the DPW buildings. They LOVE our used oil.

Also, I’d suggest adding stabilizer in the gas tank.

Good call on belt. Change out the timing belt, other belts and hoses every 5 years. The desert is really tough on rubber even in the garage.