Oil changes

I drive about 10,000 per year. In the past it has been my habit to change my oil every 5,000 miles. I believe the most owner’s manuals recommend every 7,500 or six months whichever comes first. So I figured every 5,000 was OK even though the oil change guys want me back every 150 miles. I have recently divorced and now own two cars a 2010 Toyota RAV 4 that I drive in the winter and a 2008 Velocity Yellow Corvette Coup that I drive in the summer. as it turns out I drive each of them about 5,000 miles per year. Am I risking injury to my engines by changing the oil in each only once per year?

No, you’re not risking any damage.

That’s exactly what I would do. Once every 5,000 miles or once a year, whichever comes first.

Unless the owner’s manual specifies more frequent oil changes.

Personally I would double it–change both every 6 months. You should probably be following the “severe” maintenance schedules in the owner’s manuals. Oil is a lot cheaper than engines.

Make sure that you are checking the oil LEVEL every time you fill the gas tank.

Then again, both vehicles are essentially new. Unless you plan to keep them forever you are doing fine once a year. Do what you feel comfortable with.

You must have a great lawyer.

Yes, I remember the movie “Divorce, American Style” starring Dick Van Dyke, who ends up in a one room apartment and has traded his Olds Toronado for a VW Beetle. He was crying in hisbeer with Jason Robards who had gone through the same thing and was driving a beat up Morris Minor.

“Am I risking injury to my engines by changing the oil in each only once per year?”

In addition to wondering if you are risking injury to your engines, you should consider how you may be risking your warranty coverage.

I can virtually guarantee you that your 2010 Rav-4 has an elapsed time value in addition to the odometer mileage value for oil changes, with a proviso of “whichever comes first”. Without referencing any Toyota maintenance materials, my recollection is that Toyota requires you to change the oil more often than once a year. More than likely, the Toyota maintenance schedule states, “every 5k miles or every 6 months, whichever comes first”.

Please open your Owner’s Manual and take a look at both the odometer mileage values for maintenance and the elapsed time values for maintenance. If I am incorrect about oil changes being required at least every 6 months, please correct me.

I have always done a minimum of a spring and fall oil change even if mileage does not warrant an oil change. Fresh oil for winter and fresh oil for summer makes me feel like I am taking care of the car and at worst it is inexpensive insurance.

I can only recommend whatever the owner’s manual says. I used to change oil whenever I felt like it. The only engine I lost was the one with no oil in it. The oil pressure sensor was disconnected, probably due to the previous owner unplugging it to try to keep it from leaking. Guess I should have cared enough to check stuff. A used engine and $350 poorer and it was running again. Those were the days.

If the 'Vette were 'Momentum Green' instead of 'Velocity Yellow' I would be concerned about this oil change interval.