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#1582094 - 08/29/09 08:43 AM Driving a car short distances?
akk944 Offline

Registered: 08/28/09
Posts: 23
Loc: PA
Hi all,
I am new to the forums and really happy I found these forums as it has helped me very much so far. However I still have an unanswered question that I can't figure out. It is about driving short distances. We have a 06 Acura TSX with ~25k miles and have been doing oil changes whenever the cars computer tells us to. It was driven pretty normal until September of last year when it was only driven on the weekdays less then 10 miles a day. Now the car needs to go to school and back (about 2 miles away) and i was wondering what is the best way to keep the car in shape since the distance is so short. I do not really want to start the car early since it's been in the garage always and I would like to keep it like that. Some side information is... the car has kendall synthetic blend (from an oil change place.. the $20 change place) right now, never had any engine issues, never raced the car (its 4 cylinder:D), and no mods to it. Any help would be appreciated.

#1582117 - 08/29/09 09:09 AM Re: Driving a car short distances? [Re: akk944]
jorton Online   content

Registered: 07/04/03
Posts: 3055
Loc: San Antonio, TX
I think you should change oil and filter 3 times a year regardless of how few miles were driven.
"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough."
- Mario Andretti

#1582121 - 08/29/09 09:13 AM Re: Driving a car short distances? [Re: jorton]
ADFD1 Offline

Registered: 04/05/09
Posts: 1714
Loc: CA.
You'd be fine using an oil like PP and changing it in June and December, just before the summer heat and the winter cold. A good dino could probably do as well, but I like the extra benefits of synthetic oil, and with deals like Walmart had on PP it's a home-run IMO.

US Navy. Helping keep our Country Safe!

#1582126 - 08/29/09 09:17 AM Re: Driving a car short distances? [Re: ADFD1]
Patman Offline

Registered: 05/27/02
Posts: 19588
Loc: Oakville, Ontario
The best thing you can do for a car that sees short trips like that on a daily basis is to make sure you go on a highway trip once a week that is at least 25 miles.
2005 Corvette (M1 5w30 & Fram Ultra)
2006 Civic EX Coupe (M1 0w20 & M1 filter)
2010 BMW 328i X-Drive (M1 0w40 & Mann filter)

#1582137 - 08/29/09 09:36 AM Re: Driving a car short distances? [Re: Patman]
2KBMW Offline

Registered: 10/29/03
Posts: 532
Loc: Ontario Canada
Akk944. Welcome to the forum. I had to drive my
BMW last winter for the first time. My place of work
is 10 km away (6 miles). I changed the oil in Oct. then
again in April of this year with only 5000 km or 3000 miles
in six months. What I did though is what Patman suggested.
I would drive mine on the highway for a good run once a week.

#1582151 - 08/29/09 09:50 AM Re: Driving a car short distances? [Re: 2KBMW]
sicko Offline

Registered: 09/22/08
Posts: 1708
Loc: Virginia
Follow the oil life monitor, they've been shown to be accurate. Most are set to conventional oil, so using a synth blend will help keep you safe as far as OCI goes. If you want to err on the side of caution and change the oil a little more often, that's fine too.

It would be best if, as mentioned, you periodically take it out on the highway to get the oil up to full temp for a period of time. This will allow moisture and stuff to burn out of the oil

#1582173 - 08/29/09 10:28 AM Re: Driving a car short distances? [Re: Patman]

Registered: 04/13/09
Posts: 3735
Loc: Miami-Dade County
Originally Posted By: Patman
The best thing you can do for a car that sees short trips like that on a daily basis is to make sure you go on a highway trip once a week that is at least 25 miles.

A 50 mile or more round trip would be perfect.
05 Ford Crown Vic
5W20 Motorcraft Full Synthetic
Bosh D3410 Filter

07 Merc Grand Marquis
5W20 Motorcraft Full Synthetic
Motorcraft Filter.

#1582219 - 08/29/09 11:24 AM Re: Driving a car short distances? [Re: CROWNVIC4LIFE]
BearZDefect Offline

Registered: 08/15/05
Posts: 2177
Loc: Lexington, KY
But a weekly 50 mile trip, if done for nothing other than oil life, can add up in fuel costs.

Is it worth it? Since you can use inexpensive oils in that Honda engine, why not skip the unnecessary driving and change more often? Along the lines of what jorton wrote.

I generally change it twice a year, but allow the summer OCI more miles and time. My target is to change in November and April. Sometimes that April target becomes May.

#1582229 - 08/29/09 11:30 AM Re: Driving a car short distances? [Re: jorton]
BlazerLT Offline

Registered: 08/15/04
Posts: 2366
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: jorton
I think you should change oil and filter 3 times a year regardless of how few miles were driven.

I am sure the API appreciates your waste of oil.

#1582340 - 08/29/09 01:10 PM Re: Driving a car short distances? [Re: BlazerLT]
mechtech2 Offline

Registered: 09/05/06
Posts: 19479
Loc: Chicago Area
It's the cold months that will be a concern.
Why? Because of water, acids, unburnt fuel, etc. that will get in the oil at a much faster rate than in Summer [or with a fully heated engine].
I'd use a dino oil changed twice a year.
Spring and Fall would be good.

#1582618 - 08/29/09 07:11 PM Re: Driving a car short distances? [Re: mechtech2]
akk944 Offline

Registered: 08/28/09
Posts: 23
Loc: PA
Thanks for your responses everyone! It really helped me out. As I was reading through the replies I see someone mention how i should follow the MM system in the car. Is that accurate? I've been following it since new and the last oil change in this car was in february. Others have said change it twice a year no matter what, which seems reasonable but will regular dino oil do? I will be doing the oil changes myself and don't really want to jump on the mobil 1 addiction/craze everyone has:D. I was thinking what ever i can get my hands on at a fairly reasonable price. Also would it help if we loaded up half the tank up instead of the whole thing so less fuel would be sitting in there? Finally, i would just like to mention that the winters here aren't too harsh, and is usually above freezing (philly) just to give you guys another thing to think about. Thanks again for all your great, quick responses.

#1582894 - 08/29/09 11:08 PM Re: Driving a car short distances? [Re: akk944]
deven Offline

Registered: 06/28/05
Posts: 3069
Loc: Massachusetts
I happen to have just bought a 2009 TL in May and right now the car sits at 900 miles and only the 3rd tank of gas(17.5 gallon capacity) I drive less than 3 miles round trip usually 4 days out of the week. Like Mechtech2 said it's the winter months that you have to worry about since the car will most likely never be warmed up before you'll shut it off anyways. This is what I have planned to do with my TL until when and if my driving pattern changes and that is to change the oil around the first week of November with a synthetic, in my case Pennz Platinum 5w30(Honda recommends 5w20 but I like PP 5w30's add pack and higher HTHS) and change it once a year since I doubt my Maintenance Minder will go off before that. Honda engines are very easy on oil so even with the severe duty yours(and mine) will see. Use a quality filter like Wix, PureONE, M1 or K&N too. Good luck in school!
Proud user of ROYAL PURPLE products!

#1582953 - 08/30/09 01:11 AM Re: Driving a car short distances? [Re: BearZDefect]
FZ1 Offline

Registered: 02/07/08
Posts: 4318
Loc: Texas
Ain't worth it. .30 per mile x 100 "maintainence miles" per month = $360 per year. Just change the oil more frequently.

#1582997 - 08/30/09 04:45 AM Re: Driving a car short distances? [Re: akk944]
kaboom10 Offline

Registered: 09/17/08
Posts: 766
Loc: royal oak, mich
If you are concerned about abnormal driving use AutoRx. It will keep the parts clean as new.
Amsoil 5W20 Amsoil filter 02 5.4L F-150
All fluids are Amsoil products.

2016 Explorer Sport Amsoil 5W30/filter wife's SUV
I was made in the USA

#1583031 - 08/30/09 07:29 AM Re: Driving a car short distances? [Re: kaboom10]
Pop_Rivit Offline

Registered: 02/09/08
Posts: 6131
Loc: Midwest
A two mile trip is a great chance to walk or bike.

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