CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

OIL change frequency

I own a sweet 2008 Corvette with 31,000 miles. I have only use Mobil 1 synthetic oil. Every spring, after the winter hibernation, I change the oil despite having only 5,000 to 6,000 miles between oil changes. My question is, should I continue to change the oil once a year or can I wait to change it at the 10,000 mile interval.

Thank you.

If you wait for 10K miles you will be close to 2 years between oil changes, I wouldn’t be comfortable with that. Stick to the annual oil change.

I’ve got an '04 T’bird that gets about 3K miles per year and I do an annual oil change in the fall before the car goes into hibernation for the winter. I’d rather put it in storage with clean oil, no contaminants, and especially no water in the oil while it sits waiting for spring.

That’s a sweet car.

If you want to baby your car, when baby cries, give it a drink.

I won’t let my 95 Nissan pickup go over 5,000 on regular oil.

Tester

Keep changing it annually. I would change it in the fall so it’s sitting with a clean load of oil over the winter.

Your Corvette should have GM’s oil life monitor as does our 08 GM car. If so, you can use it to determine when your oil must be changed but your owner’s manual will also specify that your oil must be changed at least once per year in any case.

I think changing the oil once a year with that few miles accumulated is a mistake. This is exactly how oil sludge complaints begin and 6 months would be a better regimen. Many a 30k miles engine has been damaged or wiped clean out due extending the intervals.

The next time an oil change is due and after the oil has drained, run a small stiff wire loop up through the drain plug hole and scrape the bottom of the pan. Inspect the loop for sludge.

Let’s see, $70,000 car. 5 quarts of Mobil 1 $26 at Walmart. Should I spend $26 a year on maintenance or $13? I change oil at 5000 or 50% on the oil life monitor and I’ve never regretted it.

From the owner’s manual:

“It is possible that, if you are driving under the best conditions, the engine oil life system may not indicate that vehicle service is necessary for over a year. However, your engine oil and filter must be changed at least once a year and at this time the system must be reset.”

That’s pretty clear. And I would alter your change practice to do it before you put it away for the winter. That way any oil contaminants will be removed before it sits for a few months. Enjoy your car! I’m jealous (sniff)…

Dust in the air also plays a big part in oil change regimens although granted, the regimen had nothing to do with this one which happened just a few miles from me…
Point being that the air filter does not stop all dirt and not all dirt is expelled out the exhaust.

http://wreckedexotics.com/newphotos/exotics2012oct22/corvette-z06-6066.shtml

Normally, I would do exactly what the manual says…but this is a Vette and they deserve special attention as they cost so much to replace. They can be a generational investment. I would change every Fall and mid summer if the mileage were extremely low like yours…twice a year !

I might go two years on my 97 Nissan Pickup as I don’t drive it very often, but a 2008 Vette, $40/year for oil would be a worthwhile investment. In fact, if you drive it a lot during the “summer” months, like daily, and then store it for the “winter”, I would do an oil change just before going into storage instead of storing it with the old oil.

@Bing I agree that to preserve a $60,000+ investment, two oil changes per year is peanuts to ensure like new performance. The insurance is likely the biggest cost OP incurs annually.