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Yet Another Oil Question

I was reading the maintenance section of the manual of the 2001 RAV4 that a friend just bought. I noticed that it said to change the oil every 5000 miles. But it also says ‘every 4 months’.

Am I to assume that even if someone drives less than 1000 miles every four months, that the oil should still be changed?

I know that has been written here a couple billion times that everyone needs to read the manual and follow the maintenance schedule.

So, let me ask the question two ways…

If the 1000 miles every 4 months was 95 percent highway driving, would everyone here still change the oil every 4 months?

If the 1000 miles every 4 months was mostly city driving, would you consider that to be ‘severe conditions’ and change the oil every 4 months?

bonus question - In the above scenario would every 6 months be reasonable?

The manual says every 5000 miles or every four months, whichever comes first. That means yes, your friend should change the oil every four months even if he only drives 1000 miles in that time frame.

every 6 months would, IMHO, be reasonable. But it would not meet the requirements of the manual as written.

There is no need to change the oil every 4 months as long as the mileage is less than 3000 miles and the operating conditions are not severe…Much of the stuff written in Owners Manuals was put there to enrich the service departments of the dealers who sell that brand of vehicle…You need to use a little Common Sense…

Of course an oil change a minimum of 3 times a year is considered cheap insurance, and keeps you compliant with the manufacturer’s requirements. Not sticking to this requirement during the warranty period could be used against you if a warranty repair is required. I change my oil typically more frequently than the manual suggests, only because it is such cheap insurance.

And, there is NOTHING to prevent you from using anyone else besides the dealer. Just keep your records of service.

I’m fairly certain oil doesn’t spoil or break down over a few months time just sitting in your engine . I think the 5,000 or 4 mths. which ever comes first is excessive if as you say 4 mths. go by , and you’ve only put 1,000 miles on the vehicle. The 5,000 mile guideline sounds right though . Like one poster said , it’s likely to help keep the service dept. busy , and could make it easier for them to claim operators violated the warranty agreement , if / when one had major engine trouble , and didn’t / couldn’t affirm they stuck with " the program " , which may allow for them to no longer " honor " the warranty .

Perhaps you could inquire at the dealership ?

My wife drives a '05 RAV4 about 5-7000 miles per year…once a year we have the car state inspected, rotate tires and change the oil/filter…doing this for four years now…