Oil Change on Covid Schedule.

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Eli Sidwell

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I used to drive my ST to work everyday, and had the oil changed every 3-5K with synthetic oil. After the covid thing started and we all started working from home, eventually my wife put the truck insurance into a storage mode where its covered, as long as I don't drive it. Now every month I back the truck onto the drive an let it run for 10-15 minutes to let it warm up and stir-up all the fluids.

Question: I had my oil changed a month before Covid hit, so I know that it is no way near 3k miles, but the same oil has been in there for over a year.
Yes: its synthetic, but do I need to have it changed ? Or just have it changed at my next 3k interval ?

Thanks
Any help is appreciated.
 

swshawaii

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That's a tough one. I have the same dilemma driving less than 4000 miles per year. No surprise most oil companies recommend a 6 month interval while many other sources say up to one year. Running your engine to operating temperature every month can only help. I believe the biggest problem with short trips is the oil doesn't get hot enough to burn off condensation. I guess the only way to find out is send a used oil sample to someone like Blackstone Labs to have a used oil analysis done. Problem is it will cost you $30 to get the test. Since I have the 4.0L SOHC I try to play it safe and change oil and filter every year with full synthetic oil and a Motorcraft or Wix filter. YMMV
 

DILLARD000

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Don't advise anyone changing longterm good habits because of this damned virus.
I continue to do my usual vehicle maintenance on a 6mth spring\fall routine,
& try to give both vehicles at least a 1hour drive to town & back every 2 weeks.

PS: Prefer to do own Engine Oil+Filter changes, as its an opportunity
to inspect underside for wear, leaks, rust, damage, debris,...
that the typical grunt in the pit at GreaseMonkey or StealerShip
will never look for due to pressure to get done ASAP, much less mention an item needing attention.
Oil change shop managers typically will only push other high profit services\items.
Also during my 6mth routine,
HandPump+Refresh a quart of ATF from TrannyDipTube,
HandPump+Refresh both Steering + Brake fluid reservoirs,
Clean+Inspect Suspension + Bushings + RubberBoots.
 
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kmartin

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Don't advise anyone changing longterm good habits because of this damned virus.
I continue to do my usual vehicle maintenance on a 6mth spring\fall routine,
& try to give both vehicles at least a 1hour drive to town & back every 2 weeks.

PS: Prefer to do own Engine Oil+Filter changes, as its an opportunity
to inspect underside for wear, leaks, rust, damage, debris,...
that the typical grunt in the pit at GreaseMonkey or StealerShip
will never look for due to pressure to get done ASAP, much less mention an item needing attention.
Oil change shop managers typically will only push other high profit services\items.
Also during my 6mth routine,
HandPump+Refresh a quart of ATF from TrannyDipTube,
HandPump+Refresh both Steering + Brake fluid reservoirs,
Clean+Inspect Suspension + Bushings + RubberBoots.
This Sport Trac kept being driven during the pandemic. Putting on its roughly 5k a year. What do you do about rust?
 

DILLARD000

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This Sport Trac kept being driven during the pandemic. Putting on its roughly 5k a year. What do you do about rust?
Compared to crazy amounts of winter road salt used in PA, not the case here fortunately;
highway dept does sparingly use MagChloride solution. So vehicle rust is less of a problem.
I inspect underside every ~6mths, wire brush any rust found, then coat with RustoleumHiTempBlack.
And lube the hell out of everything in sight, including body panels, with silicone spray.
 

Ed Fenwick

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You folks are much better than me with the clean and lube, but I still change the oil and filter 2-3 K miles or 6 months whichever comes first. I like Dillard's idea of sucking out some transmission fluid with oil change and adding new.
Some years ago I had a fellow clean off the underside, spray with Rustoleum, and then black paint. I don't like the color but so far no rust.
 

Todd Z

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Whenever you have drastic temp changes, seasons if you will, i would change it every 6 month for regular oil, or 1 year max with Full synthetic, Maintenance is key in saving these motors....
 
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I suggest oil change/lubes every 6K miles, and I'd say the frequency (1 month or 13 months) of that be damned. BUT, I live in a temperate climate, where it's cold and hot, and I drive about 10-12K miles (KM's can also be damned) per year. So, oil change twice a year, and I have the fillable fluids filled, twice per year. But I get annoyed by people saying to do it by time; but I guess people use vehicles differently.
 
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I suggest oil change/lubes every 6K miles, and I'd say the frequency (1 month or 13 months) of that be damned. BUT, I live in a temperate climate, where it's cold and hot, and I drive about 10-12K miles (KM's can also be damned) per year. So, oil change twice a year, and I have the fillable fluids filled, twice per year. But I get annoyed by people saying to do it by time; but I guess people use vehicles differently.
BUT!!! If we're doing it, I'd say the mileage is more important than the length-of-time. That's just my POV on the subject. If the vehicle sits in my garage for 2 months, with no mileage used, the oil doesn't go bad or get used. BUT, the oil DOES like to get kicked around a bit, so I highly suggest a start-up at least once or twice a month.
 

Todd Z

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Well, My mom uses her car 3K miles a year...… We have 4 temperature climates.... Engine oil due to additives and what not absorbs moisture. Hers gets changed every 6 months weather it needs it or not. We have to go by time on her car.
 

DILLARD000

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Both wife & I are retired now so not putting the miles on the vehicles like we did commuting. With only 5-6k per yr, could go to 12mth interval, but 70-80f temp swing winter-summer, & 40f swing daily, persuades me to stay with 6mth oil changes.
 

MVanover

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One of the byproducts of the combustion process is water. That water does find it's way to the crankcase. The engine needs to get to operating temperature for the water to be evaporated where most is cycled through the crank case breathing system. In low utilization engines the water separates from the oil during times of inactivity and can form on steel parts causing rust that will eventually damage the engine parts. So, it's a good idea to drive your vehicles about once a week to keep the water contamination down. There are some additives that will protect the engine internal parts from corrosion. In aviation the approved additives are AvBlend and CamGuard. Z-Max is AvBlend with a dye to make it look pretty. Z-Max is more expensive than AvBlend. Both products claim the ability to protect against wear. I have some data that shows that AvBlend does improve the the metal content in oil samples I have submitted for analysis.
 
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