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Oil Change Interval - Low Mileage

I’ve put only 3,100 miles on my 2016 Camry in the last 10 months. My driving is mainly stop and go, short trip city driving. I’m wondering about the oil change interval I should follow. Toyota says 10,000 miles or 12 months on the 0w-20 oil. I’m hesitant to push it that far as I plan to keep the vehicle for a long time. Should I change the oil now or wait until the one year mark? I’m thinking of following an interval of every 8-10 months to be safe, but I don’t want to waste money for no reason. Any thoughts?

Changing the oil & filter is the single best thing you can do for your car. IMO 10K is too long to go between changes. Somewhere between 3 K and 5 K is what I’d do.

Good idea to check the dipstick after any oil change, and the next morning.

Look in your manual at the severe service schedule. Why not just change every 6 months ? If you are worried about just take that worry out of your life.

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I guess I agree. If you are concerned about it, every 6 to 8 months is not going to hurt at all with all those short trips. Plus unless you do it yourself, it’ll be a chance for someone to check it over twice a year.

It looks like you will be way under 5000 miles for the year. Do it every 12 months unless Toyota tells you something different.

BTW, this car should have an oil life monitor (OLM) on it. What does the OLM say? If you aren’t familiar with it, there will be a description of how to use it in your owner’s manual.

Toyota is right!!! The 10,000 miles would be over 3 years of driving for you if you went by mileage. So, the 12 month interval makes sense and is safe.

Not sure why you even post the question. Trying to save money on extending oil changes is a very foolish way to save money!.

My late mother in law had the same situation and went every fall for a once over and her annual oil change.

You should also make sure the oil is the spec stated by Toyota.

Happy motoring!

Actually the question posted was changing more frequently.

Agreed, plus, I would think with only short trips condensation would buildup internally.

Actually, a good safety net would be to drive the car on a highway for at least 30 minutes, once or twice a month. This would do a lot to keep the oil and some other things healthy. If you do this,
I would be happy with a one year oil change interval. If not, maybe 6 months.

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I think you missed something. The manual says 10k miles or 12 months which ever comes first, and since 12 months is the which ever comes first in your case, do it at 12 months regardless of miles and you will be OK.

That recommendation reads like it is for ideal conditions, such as highway driving. I suspect that there is a severe driving recommendation and the limits are lower.

Short trips are harder than highway miles, but in 12 months the OP will only have about 3700 miles on that oil. He doesn’t need further severe driving recommendation unless he actually qualifies for that severe driving recommendation like extended idling (delivery service), towing, high dust environment etc.

The CarTalk community suggested that I read my Owner’s Manual, and I ran across oil change intervals upon doing so. And may I add that reading and searching for info from the Owner’s Manual is tiresome and discouraging, as a lot of things we look for arent listed in the OM ( Owners Manual.)

Conversely, I drive a 2012 Toyota Camry SE ( 4 cylinder ) and it’s OM says I am to change oil at every 5000k mileage, or every 6 months ( whichever comes first) – using synthetic oil. This may relate to your case. Since you drive so little, you may need to change your oil at the 6 month interval rather than the 5000K miles.

I believe Toyota sent out a TSB or other notice changing the owners manuals for MY2012 to read 10k or one year.