Should I get an oil change now?

Should I get an oil change now on my 2006 Toyota Corolla now or wait? My usual maintenance schedule is to get the oil changed every 5,000 miles or six months (That’s the recommended schedule listed in the owners manual). Usually I rack up thousands of miles on my car a month, but due to the pandemic stay at home, work from home and lockdown orders I’ve only put about 200-300 miles on my car since I got my last oil change in May of this year. I’m wondering if I should get my oil changed this month since it’s been six months, or rack up a couple more thousand miles first and then get it changed?

I think you can wait but I wouldn’t go beyond a year. I changed mine a little early just to get it done but on the car that just sat I would change once a year. The last change had 7 miles in the year.

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My car warranty requires once a year. Yes when I was putting miles on spring and fall was the norm for 8000 miles a year. Had mine done in Sept, and like you I will be lucky to put 2500 miles on by next Sept. So I am going to let it go till next Sept. I am not saying do as I do, any oil change is better than no oil change.

You takes your chances and you pay your dues. We cannot predict if it will be a problem or not, there are no guarantees, so really you have to decide your risk reward tolerance. Mine is every 5k miles or once a year to maintain 7 year warranty, so I feel comfortable with that.

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Thanks. I have an oil change scheduled for later this month. I’ll probably keep it rather than rescheduling. They have so many no-contact rules now at the shop.

You live on an island ( Hawaii ? ) ? And is this the 2006 Corolla that you wanted to put Bed Liner material on the roof ? How do you drive thousands of miles a month on an island ?


Well, it’s probably about 1,000 miles a month I guess i was putting on my car for a couple years when I worked in town and lived in the country (40 miles each way for a total of 80) a day five days a week during rush hour. Plus errands on the weekend. The island might be only a hundred or so miles around but there are about 800,000 to a million people living here squeezed in.

I’m not going with bedliner on the roof. Maybe a vinyl wrap someday when I can afford to have someone put it on so it looks OK.

I used to drive 108 miles round trip on my 5 day commute, plus errands. That was good for about 25,000 miles per year.

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Once the warranty ran out on my 2006 Matrix (essentially the same car as yours) I went up to a year between changes, using conventional oil.
It typically took me 9 months to go 5000 miles.
No engine problems in 12 years.

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I do not believe that a manufacturer warranty requires oil to be changed per the OCI. But if not done, and the issue is an engine failure proximately caused by lack of oil changes, then you are out luck

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If the reason that you put so few miles on it now is that you only drive it once or twice a week, or less, then you can put off the oil change. If you drive it daily but only for very short trips, then you need to do it.

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I drive it 2-3 times a week for short trips.

Yeah, it’s way out of warranty, so I’m just trying to preserve the life of the engine.

Short trips are the worst thing that you can do to your engine, your battery, and your exhaust system. Even though my local supermarket is only ~3.5 miles away, I make it my business to take a round-about route of about 8 miles to the supermarket, just to get the oil more fully warmed-up, to give the battery a better charge, and to dry out condensation in the exhaust. Even with taking intentionally longer drives to the supermarket and to Costco, I only wind-up having to put gas in the tank every 3-4 weeks.


I’ve been driving it between 10 to 30 miles total per trip

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I think you are good to go for up to a year or 5k miles since your last oil change.


Thanks for letting me know.

I figured out that since May of this year, I’ve put 2,031 miles on my car, which if you divide it out by 7 months averages 290 miles a month. That’s what I’ve put on it since my last oil change in May. So not sure if I’m going to keep my oil change appointment or cancel it for November 18.

So now you are saying you put 2000 miles on the car since the last oil change and not 300? Then I will change what I said and suggest getting the oil changed. 2000 miles in 6 months means short trips so change it.

Yeah, 2000 is correct. I miscalculated when I said 300. It just felt like 300