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#2402625 - 10/11/11 08:13 AM How long between changes for low mileage car?
Brady_SS Offline


Registered: 10/10/11
Posts: 5
Loc: TX
New to the forum, been lurking for quite a while and have found a tremendous amount of good information here.

I have a 2010 Camaro SS with the LS3 engine. I've had the car for about 2 years and it now has a little over 4,000 miles on it. The car is covered and garage kept. I changed the oil the first time at 6 months (1,500 miles). So now, the car has about 2,500 miles on 8 quarts of Mobil 1 EP with a K&N filter. The oil looks brand new and has been in the car for about a year and a half. I drive the car about once every 2 weeks and put between 25 and 50 miles on it, some highway some city. If I don't drive the car, I do try to start it and let the oil temp gauge come up to full temp.

I know its cheap protection to change the oil at least once a year and I am planning on doing so very soon unless the opinions here say I can wait. With such low miles on the car, what are the biggest concerns with going longer than a year?

Should I be using a different oil given the current driving pattern?

Thanks in advance!

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#2402631 - 10/11/11 08:19 AM Re: How long between changes for low mileage car? [Re: Brady_SS]
opus1 Offline


Registered: 12/13/04
Posts: 1975
Loc: Chicago Area
I have a similar situation with my Cobalt SS. I change the oil once a year more due to the OLM and OnStar tattling on me than anything else. *If* there are any issues that crop up and GM tries to blame a lack of oil changes, at least I can say that I followed their recommendation to follow the OLM but not go longer than a year between changes.

I'm sure someone will say let it go longer and just reset the OLM, but in case you're the one who has a problem, you'd then need to prove that you did the maintenance. Cheap insurance to just do the change, IMHO.
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#2402635 - 10/11/11 08:27 AM Re: How long between changes for low mileage car? [Re: Brady_SS]
cchase Offline


Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 3990
Loc: New England
I'm not sure you need M1 EP given your driving habits. I'd be inclined to change annually just because the operating costs are low anyway but going by the OLM can't hurt.

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#2402654 - 10/11/11 08:58 AM Re: How long between changes for low mileage car? [Re: Brady_SS]
javacontour Offline


Registered: 06/26/03
Posts: 7589
Loc: Illinois
What would I do? If I were using a conventional oil, a change in the spring and a change in fall.

If I were using a synthetic, I'd do one change a year, either spring or fall.

Once the bottle is open and the oil is subjected not only to engine duty, but exposure to the atmosphere, it's life starts ticking away. Most car makers recommend both mileage and time components to the OCI for that reason.

I'd probably go conventional and change the oil filter every other oil change with such low usage.
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#2402674 - 10/11/11 09:22 AM Re: How long between changes for low mileage car? [Re: Brady_SS]
cp3 Offline


Registered: 07/26/06
Posts: 2604
Loc: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Gentlemen! I have the solution for both of you. I will put more miles on your cars for you both and even look after the oil changes! grin2 Nice cars guys.

I would have to go with opus and once a year per manual, at least until the warranty is up. At 4000 miles I would think it would still be breaking in when the warranty expires so the once a year is probably a good thing till then. After that if you want to extend it maybe pull a sample and have it analyzed at 6-month intervals to get a feel for how it's doing. We have seen UOA of oil in service well past a year that was still good.

If it were my decision to make, I would drop down to regular M1 at once a year or probably even a good conventional.
_________________________
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#2402700 - 10/11/11 09:48 AM Re: How long between changes for low mileage car? [Re: Brady_SS]
redwolf4k Offline


Registered: 10/06/08
Posts: 59
Loc: NY
As was mentioned, you could be wasting your money with Mobil 1 Extended Performance, as Mobil 1 is more then capable of the amount of duty the oil is seeing. Of course if you want the very best, who am I to suggest otherwise.

You would figure that draining the oil annually despite its miles would be a good practice. Is the vehicle stored indoors?

I am sure the oil is actually fine after sitting for a year with only a few thousand miles on it.

Maybe someone has done an analysis on Mobil 1 that has sat on a shelf, or that has sat in an engine for a year with low miles on it? Try finding some info on that.


On the flip side, I am almost certain there would be a market for your USED M1 EP if you drained it at 2,000 miles and put it back in its bottles. I would imagine some less extreme folks would not hesitate to put that used oil into there cars for a cheap price! lol



Edited by redwolf4k (10/11/11 09:51 AM)

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#2402713 - 10/11/11 09:54 AM Re: How long between changes for low mileage car? [Re: Brady_SS]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 33683
Loc: New Jersey
My only gripe with your current approach is the idling your car to get the oil to temperature. I think this is a bad idea, because it takes too long and loads a lot of junk into the oil.

I'd pull a UOA to make sure you dont have fuel or moisture issues, but I have no problems with a 2 year OCI, however the car needs to really get up to full temp (the 25-50 mile thing is good) when you use it.

Id get a good battery maintainer, and if you dont drive the car for any two week period, just use that rather than idling it.

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#2402796 - 10/11/11 10:49 AM Re: How long between changes for low mileage car? [Re: Brady_SS]
Brady_SS Offline


Registered: 10/10/11
Posts: 5
Loc: TX
Thanks so much for the replies. I like the idea of sending in a sample for analysis. Since I am planing to change the oil this weekend or soon thereafter, I'll have a sample to send.

Since the car came factory filled with Mobil 1, I'll probably go back to using that on a once a year basis for now. I am interested in seeing what the UOA says.

I never thought about how problematic idling the car might be, so I'll refrain from doing so and look into a battery tender.

I had thought about draining and maybe filtering the oil to use in a daily driver, not sure I want to go through that much trouble, but might be something to consider.

I've pretty much gone away from using the OLM on this car, since I reset it at the first change and it still says the car has ~89% life left. The manual does specify a minimum of a change a year. So for now its probably best to stick with that.

Thanks again, I really do appreciate the input!


Edited by Brady_SS (10/11/11 10:49 AM)

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#2402997 - 10/11/11 01:40 PM Re: How long between changes for low mileage car? [Re: Brady_SS]
4x4chevydude Offline


Registered: 05/06/09
Posts: 701
Loc: Northern IL
I would not hesistate to drain the oil into a clean pan and then fill up the 5qt jugs with it and reuse it in your daily driver. at least that way your camaro gets fresh oil to sit with and the daily driver will use the older oil faster since it gets more miles.
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#2403074 - 10/11/11 02:36 PM Re: How long between changes for low mileage car? [Re: Brady_SS]
Boss302fan Offline


Registered: 11/07/09
Posts: 1924
Loc: Oconomowoc Wi
Every two years is fine as long as you bring it up to temps and drive it which takes around 10-15 miles... Idling is not good for any car.

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#2403133 - 10/11/11 03:45 PM Re: How long between changes for low mileage car? [Re: Brady_SS]
ArtDart Offline


Registered: 07/25/09
Posts: 335
Loc: Missouri
You have a 2010 Camaro SS
Change the oil at least once a year
Yes, you could go longer
Yes, you could use other oils
But change it at least once a year
2cents
jringo
_________________________
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#2403179 - 10/11/11 04:33 PM Re: How long between changes for low mileage car? [Re: Brady_SS]
Jeff_in_VABch Offline


Registered: 05/31/11
Posts: 395
Loc: Virginia
Originally Posted By: Brady_SS
New to the forum, been lurking for quite a while and have found a tremendous amount of good information here.

I have a 2010 Camaro SS with the LS3 engine. I've had the car for about 2 years and it now has a little over 4,000 miles on it. The car is covered and garage kept. I changed the oil the first time at 6 months (1,500 miles). So now, the car has about 2,500 miles on 8 quarts of Mobil 1 EP with a K&N filter. The oil looks brand new and has been in the car for about a year and a half. I drive the car about once every 2 weeks and put between 25 and 50 miles on it, some highway some city. If I don't drive the car, I do try to start it and let the oil temp gauge come up to full temp.

I know its cheap protection to change the oil at least once a year and I am planning on doing so very soon unless the opinions here say I can wait. With such low miles on the car, what are the biggest concerns with going longer than a year?

Should I be using a different oil given the current driving pattern?

Thanks in advance!


I have cars with the same driving pattern as you with one car sitting in the garage for 13 years. I would stick with the Mobil 1 EP and change the oil annually.

I have never seen a problem and the oil is always pristine. I may have actually let it sit for 2 years ocassionally before a change as it only had 500 miles on the oil and I just didn't see a need.

Try to not idle it and put some Lucas or Stabil in the fuel if you have a metal tank (unlikely) to reduce the chance of rust.

If you are like me, when you do run it, it tends to be hard, so keep that in mind too.
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#2403206 - 10/11/11 04:58 PM Re: How long between changes for low mileage car? [Re: Brady_SS]
rob6773 Offline


Registered: 08/31/09
Posts: 115
Loc: NY
Battery tender is a good idea. I had an '03 Mach 1 that I let sit too much and I lost the battery in 2 years. Did not get the battery changed under warranty because I did not want them to see my mods. Anyway I used M1 with K&N filters and still blew-up the motor before 4K miles. One of the 4 timing chains failed and valves met pistons. I then quickly unmodded the car, got the engine done under warranty, and traded-in for a chevy truck.

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#2403220 - 10/11/11 05:13 PM Re: How long between changes for low mileage car? [Re: Brady_SS]
Bamaro Offline


Registered: 08/03/03
Posts: 1081
Loc: Balto.
First, if you dont drive it, dont just start it up and let it idle. Just let it sit.
Second, I assume it has an OLM so I would follow that. Sounds like you could go two years without any problems.
Next oil change send off for an analysis and you will see you are OK.
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#2406713 - 10/15/11 01:36 PM Re: How long between changes for low mileage car? [Re: Brady_SS]
Brady_SS Offline


Registered: 10/10/11
Posts: 5
Loc: TX
Thanks again for the input. I ended up changing the oil today. Put in regular M1 and decided not to change out the filter (K&N) since it only had 2500 miles on it. I figure it will be good until the next oil change in about a year.

I did collect a sample for analysis since I'm curious how the oil stood up for a year and half.

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