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Synthetic Oil - how long does it last? Hybrid car

I know synthetic oil lasts 10,000 miles according to the dealership. I’ve only driven 6k miles and am going on 14 months. I use the car 2-3 times a week and don’t drive more than 50 miles a week during normal usage in Southern CA so there are no large temperature changes - and the car is garaged. Would rather not go to the dealership unless it’s absolutely necessary. This is a hybrid car if that makes a difference. Thanks, Car Talk folks!

Use the recommanded manufacturer intervall for your oil change.It should be written in your owners manual.


I believe that Toyota/Lexus specifies that the oil must be changed at least once every 12 months, regardless of how few miles may have been driven.

But, rather trust to my recollection, you need to open your glove box, take out the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule, and see for yourself. If they do indeed specify an oil change every 12 months, then you could have already voided your warranty, and that would not be good.

For the sake of the car’s engine and its warranty, I strongly suggest that you check this info right away, and if my recollection is correct, then you need to have the oil changed right away. And, any competent shop can perform that oil change. There is no need to go to the dealership, as long as you retain documentary proof of that oil change.


I would consider that as 'Severe Usage" and be changing the oil TWICE a year.


I would do the same, but if the OP wants to have any hope of preserving the car’s warranty, he needs to do it AT LEAST once per year, as I believe that is what Toyota/Lexus specifies.


Dos it have an Oil Life Monitor (OLM)? If so, how much life is left?

Against the grain but I change my non-hybrid with synthetic every 5000 miles. I would especially consider the short trips as being very hard on oil. Oil changes cost me maybe $35 but suit yourself.

Driving a car only 2x to 3x per week for a weekly total of under 50 miles is “severe”? I appreciate the response but I don’t understand how one could categorize this as “severe?”

Short trips are severe because they don’t get the oil heated up, allowing water and blow by fuel to collect.


The easiest on a car is to start it up and drive it 50 miles without stopping. Everything warms up, oil flows to all of the bearing surfaces, coolant circulates, and everything operates as designed. Kinda like getting out of bed and takes a while to get the joints operating again and waking up. Lack of exercise is as hard on a car as it is on a body. Cars are meant to be driven.

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My mom’s Prius goes in for an oil change at her favorite independent shop every 6,000-7,000mi or roughly every 9mo, she’s been following this shop’s lead for almost 28yrs…

That was considered to be “severe” 30 years ago. Lexus recommends to change the oil every 5000 miles/6 months if you have frequent trips of less than 5 miles in temperatures below 32 F.

I have seen a lot of vehicles go for 15,000 miles or 18 months between oil changes an their warranty was not voided.

I’d recommend changing the oil, synthetic or not, at least once a year, regardless of the mileage.

Think of it this way: the $50 or whatever it costs for the oil change is FAR less than the thousands of dollars you’d spend on a new engine.

Like the old mechanic said, you’re going to pay him either way, either now or later.


The 2017 Toyota Prius maintenance manual states to change the oil every 12 months, 10,000 miles, unless the vehicle has repeated trips of less than five miles in temperatures below 32°F / 0°C.

In that case, it says to change it every 6 months and 5.000 miles.

Based on the OP’s screen name, I am going to assume that he lives somewhere in Southern California, so if I am correct, he can ignore the cold weather oil change proviso. Of course, that leaves the question of why he doesn’t want to follow the vehicle manufacturer’s unambiguous statement that the oil needs to be changed every 12 months.

@SCMSoCal In one of your other posts you said you changed the oil every 3000 to 5000 miles and now you don’t want to change it at least once a year . OK Fine.


@SCMSoCal In one of your other posts you said you changed the oil every 3000 to 5000 miles and now you don’t want to change it at least once a year . OK Fine.

SMCSoCal made that statement over 11 years ago, and it was in reference to his 1999 Inifiniti.

Folks - I don’t know why there is the urge to discredit, sneer at, or insult on here. But think of this - what if someone was disabled, or caring from another person who infirmed, or for the myriad of other possible reasons a person might have that would make his process burdensome to them? Would you still get off on trying to humiliate that person with snark? I’m not going to post my own reason for asking this question because it’s no one’s business but for goodness sake, always try abiding by this rule - always default to kindness. What I enjoyed about is how kind and helpful everyone is - this is disheartening.

There is a reason that your manual states oil change at miles and months . Now if you are out of warranty just do what ever you want . If in the warranty period then you should follow that .


I find it note worthy that folks with good intentions but without mechanical / engine experience think that short runs are not hard on an engine and think long drives are tough on engines. When it is exactly the opposite. Most equipment runs best at steady state once it is warmed up. A car that is run a hundred miles a day on the highway will last significantly longer than a car that is run 5/10 miles a day. A cold engine has moisture (normal by product of combustion) and corrosive junk right after start up. Once warmed up that junk gets pushed out the exhaust. Also a warm exhaust will drive out any moisture so it will not sit and rust. A once a week 20 minute run for a car will do wonders on keeping it in shape.