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#4811272 - 07/11/18 12:32 PM How often to change engine oil on low-use vehicle?
slickoil Offline


Registered: 07/10/18
Posts: 8
Loc: USA
I have a 2001 Jeep Cherokee Sport 4x4 that I only drive about 1K miles per year. I have a mechanic perform oil changes for me, and have them use conventional oil.

I've had some people tell me to change the engine oil and filter every 6 months (which is 500 miles), because that's what Jeep recommends.

I've had others tell me to change the engine oil and filter every 12 months (1000 miles), because that's "more reasonable" for a low-use vehicle.

I've had others tell me to change the engine oil and filter every 2 years (2000 miles), because cheap oil filters start to break down if used longer than that, but the oil and additives should last at least that long.

I've had others tell me to wait until I hit 5000 miles (about 5 years) before changing the engine oil because oil and oil additives don't degrade without use.

So I turn here, the internet's foremost oil forum to ask: How often should I change the engine oil and filter on a 2001 Jeep Cherokee that is only driven 1000 miles/year?


Edited by slickoil (07/11/18 12:44 PM)

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#4811281 - 07/11/18 12:36 PM Re: How often to change engine oil on low-use vehicle? [Re: slickoil]
hatt Online   content


Registered: 01/03/12
Posts: 4395
Loc: Florida
Every two years is what I'd do.
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#4811297 - 07/11/18 12:47 PM Re: How often to change engine oil on low-use vehicle? [Re: slickoil]
rooflessVW Offline


Registered: 12/24/11
Posts: 4299
Loc: North Carolina
My 911 mostly sits now unfortunately. I end up getting bored and changing it once or twice a year... Normally right before storing it.

If I didn't have a stash of cheap oil and filters to swap out willy-nilly I'd probably change it once a year.
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#4811312 - 07/11/18 12:59 PM Re: How often to change engine oil on low-use vehicle? [Re: slickoil]
PimTac Offline


Registered: 03/04/17
Posts: 4581
Loc: Soviet State of Washington
This 1000 miles per year, is it short trips?

One answer would be to drive that Jeep more often and on longer drives but you may have good reasons why its not driven so much.

I think every two years is acceptable.
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#4811348 - 07/11/18 01:30 PM Re: How often to change engine oil on low-use vehicle? [Re: slickoil]
Triple_Se7en Offline


Registered: 12/04/04
Posts: 8913
Loc: 1/2 hr. north of Detroit
Once a year, unless you live in Alaska. Even if you did, I doubt the cold would create an oil concern in 1K use.

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#4811352 - 07/11/18 01:32 PM Re: How often to change engine oil on low-use vehicle? [Re: PimTac]
slickoil Offline


Registered: 07/10/18
Posts: 8
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: PimTac
This 1000 miles per year, is it short trips?


It varies, but each trip is typically about 15-20 miles round trip (drive 7-10 miles to destination, Jeep sits for 1-3 hours, then drive 7-10 miles back).

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#4811355 - 07/11/18 01:34 PM Re: How often to change engine oil on low-use vehicle? [Re: slickoil]
demarpaint Offline


Registered: 07/03/05
Posts: 29974
Loc: NY
I stretch it to two years in my E-150, that's usually about 3,000-4,000 miles of short trips.
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#4811356 - 07/11/18 01:35 PM Re: How often to change engine oil on low-use vehicle? [Re: slickoil]
Lubener Offline


Registered: 01/22/11
Posts: 2604
Loc: N.Ohio
I have been in a similiar situation for many years and I change the oil and filter every 2-3 years. I have had several analysis reports done and I was told I could even go longer but do not.
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#4811360 - 07/11/18 01:39 PM Re: How often to change engine oil on low-use vehicle? [Re: slickoil]
Johnny2Bad Offline


Registered: 05/20/13
Posts: 1879
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
There is no need to change oil any more often than yearly if the vehicle doesn't operate long enough to meet a mileage OCI.

You might get away with an even longer OCI but automakers and oil companies recommend against it as contaminants potentially can erode internal engine components. It must be said that many engines have sat for years and started up and lasted without any evident problems, so you can follow your personal nervousness and do what is recommended or try to save some money and effort.
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#4811371 - 07/11/18 01:49 PM Re: How often to change engine oil on low-use vehicle? [Re: demarpaint]
Zee09 Offline


Registered: 05/05/18
Posts: 466
Loc: Tri State Conservative
Originally Posted By: demarpaint
I stretch it to two years in my E-150, that's usually about 3,000-4,000 miles of short trips.


I do the same in my tow truck but always use synthetic oil filters just in case.
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#4811377 - 07/11/18 01:54 PM Re: How often to change engine oil on low-use vehicle? [Re: slickoil]
Rand Offline


Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 12721
Loc: NE,Ohio
I would think once every 2 years would be fine in that.

but I probably couldnt go that long and would just change it once yearly.

of course if you live in minnesota vs florida could have some effect.

10miles in a Minnesota winter wouldn't get rid of the moisture in the oil etc.

Maybe put a state on your location? USA is pretty vague.
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#4811385 - 07/11/18 01:59 PM Re: How often to change engine oil on low-use vehicle? [Re: slickoil]
PandaBear Offline


Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 14252
Loc: Silicon Valley
Depends on if you have time. If it is a really nice garage queen I would change it once a year then throw the like new oil into my daily driver, instead of wasting it.
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#4811414 - 07/11/18 02:26 PM Re: How often to change engine oil on low-use vehicle? [Re: slickoil]
JLTD Offline


Registered: 12/15/17
Posts: 829
Loc: US
My first thought was 2 years. But--

6 months definitely too early.

One year might be early in your place I'd spring for a UOA.

Is it a stick or auto?
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#4811415 - 07/11/18 02:26 PM Re: How often to change engine oil on low-use vehicle? [Re: slickoil]
Gebo Offline


Registered: 09/18/02
Posts: 2153
Loc: VA
Once a year with a high priced synthetic.
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#4811426 - 07/11/18 02:36 PM Re: How often to change engine oil on low-use vehicle? [Re: Gebo]
PimTac Offline


Registered: 03/04/17
Posts: 4581
Loc: Soviet State of Washington
Originally Posted By: Gebo
Once a year with a high priced synthetic.




Explain this.
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