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Thread: How often to change oil on a lightly used pickup?

  1. #1
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    How often to change oil on a lightly used pickup?

    I have a 2017 Nissan Frontier with about 9,000 miles on it, clearly I donít use it very much.
    How often would you suggest I change the oil?
    Thanks
    Dennis

  2. #2
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    Hi Dennis, that may be considered hard usage, check your owners manual for recommendations.

    In your case it may be more of a calendar limit than a mileage limitÖ.Regards, Rod

  3. #3
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    I have a 2003 Tacoma with 47000 miles. I have the oil (not synthetic) changed annually which is around 2500 miles.

  4. #4
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    The manufacturer's maintenance schedule will likely have a "time or mileage" interval for oil changes. Given the vehicle is "out of warranty" and given using good quality synthetic oil, I'd personally probably push the change interval to once a year...many vehicle manufacturers specify the time interval as 6 months.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  5. #5
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    I don't believe in changing oil based on time.
    Oil never/ever loses its lubricating qualities, it gets dirty from engine miles including start and stop cycles.
    This is how oil change policy was described to me by a Navy Chief at the Great Lakes Engineman A School.

    Auto dealers want your money, the time and mileage requirements assure that you feed them whether you drive a lot or not.

  6. #6
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    I have my oil changed at an oil change facility. They change oil filters as well.

    https://www.bing.com/search?q=oil+ch...3561ad30f952b8

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Outten View Post
    I don't believe in changing oil based on time.
    Oil never/ever loses its lubricating qualities, it gets dirty from engine miles including start and stop cycles.
    This is how oil change policy was described to me by a Navy Chief at the Great Lakes Engineman A School.

    Auto dealers want your money, the time and mileage requirements assure that you feed them whether you drive a lot or not.
    I think that's true. The oil chemistry biz has learned a bit about how to manipulate molecules to make them more effective. What I think may break down over time is the additives.

  8. #8
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    I think part of the point of an oil change is to drain any condensed water out. Just sitting in a garage an engine may heat and cool to draw in moist air that may condense and sink to the bottom of the sump.
    Many quick change places do not drain the oil. they pump it up the dipstick tube and leave a little behind in the sump with the water and heavy crud.
    An underground conduit will gradually condense water out of the air and it is considered a damp location, maybe even submerged , by the NEC rules.
    Bill D

  9. #9
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    I agree with Bill...there's more to an oil change than just new oil. I'm not enamored with "frequent" oil changes...like the proverbial "every 3K miles" that continues to be some folks' preference...but I do feel that getting settled moisture out and so forth isn't a bad thing. That's why I'm comfortable with say a one year interval for a ride that's largely sitting around.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  10. #10
    Big Three powertrain engineer here, you have 2 things to worry about in between oil changes: Oil leaving the engine and water/fuel entering your oil system and diluting the oil to the point where engine wear increased.

    Oil consumption occurs when oil on the cylinder walls gets past the piston rings and burns off during combustion. Modern vehicles will vary, but the goal is generally to design the engine to burn only a quart per 10,000 miles. Performance cars which run at higher rpm will have looser piston rings to lower friction and increase horsepower, and as a result will consume oil at a higher rate. The difference between the high and low tick on your dipstick is about a quart, so this milage requirement is so you don't consume so much oil that you fail the engine due to low oil levels.

    Water and fuel enter your oil in the same, but reverse, method, of combustion gas getting past the piston rings. These vapors will ideally be pushed out of the oil system via the PCV tubes. However, cold oil will allow these vapors to condense, mix in with the oil and will cause dilution. Repeated cold starts, or anything when the oil is below ~150F, will further dilute your oil. Even worse, short trips which aren't long enough to allow the engine to fully warm up will also never allow this liquid to leave the oil system, and the oil will absorb this water and turn into a milkshake consistency and fail the engine. That's not the case for 99.9% of drivers, but it stands to show that a winter of daily cold starts does over time dilute your oil, to the point that maybe you should consider changing your oil at least once a year, depending on how often you are actually starting and warming up your engine.

    Andrew

  11. #11
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    My 26 year old Ram has 71k
    I change the oil (synthetic oil) once a year, whether it needs it or not.
    Please help support the Creek.


    During the middle ages they celebrated the end of the plague with wine and orgies. Does anyone know if there is anything planned when this one ends?

    ---

  12. #12
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    I change oil every 5k on the 5k OR once a year to remove moisture
    If all short hops never letting motor warm up then twice a year
    Use Mobil One and Wix Filters

    Ron

  13. #13
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    Since the mid '80's, or at least somewhere around then, I've been running full synthetic, and change it every 10,000 miles. When I sold the last truck, a gas burner 3/4 ton, it had 175,000 miles, and compression within a couple of pounds of new. The current truck is a fuel burner, bought new in Nov. '00. It has 357,000 miles on it. I don't have the stuff to test compression on a diesel, but it still runs as good, and strong as it ever has.

    Pam has been through several cars since then, on the same oil change schedule, and all have gone two, or three hundred thousand miles. They were all still running fine, but she had just gotten tired of them, or was ready for some different configuration, from raising children, to dogs.

    I never had to do anything on the engines of any of these vehicles, beyond changing the stuff that bolts on the front of them, or a water pump, or two. I did change the timing belt on a WRX, but that was because the original had 165,000 on it, and I was worried about it. The one that came out looked just like the new one that went back in.

    I might be able to get by with a longer change interval, but with the good luck we've had, I don't have any reason to change. I have an efficient setup where I can change any of them in a few minutes, without making a mess. I do have a mechanic shop on the Ponderosa.

  14. #14
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    Both my 2002 Ford V-10 RV and my 1984 CJ7 with a 5.3 Chevy engine never see 5000 miles in a year. I change oil yearly in both. Our 2020 V6 Cherokee, like most newer vehicles, has an oil reminder function that we follow.
    NOW you tell me...

  15. #15
    andrew has good stuff to say there.


    On my 92 buick wagon oil changes were 3,000 miles with mobil filter and quaker state oil. After a car show once I put Mobile 1 in as one sales guy said it was fine. Almost right away I got a puff when I started it not there before, I was burning 1/5 of a litre in those 3000 miles, before the mobile 1 it burned no oil. Told the additive package in the mobil 1 shrunk the oil seals. Consumption never changed after that to almost 400k on it. Also told they had an oil for older motors but I went back to quaker state.

    2003 saturn gets changed at higher mileage with mobil 1 and mobil filter, never seen the oil level go down on that one. Ti ght motor great gas mileage.

    Truck gets changed when I remember, use quaker state and mobil filter on that, at 49 years old it uses some oil.

    I didnt ask my surgeon level mechanic friend his views but one mechanic I know changes at 3,000 miles as he said there is blow by and that puts pollutants into the oil. Ive seen photos before of crankshaft bearings that looked like worms crawled through them and sure it said sulphates or some sort of pollutant was the cause.
    Last edited by Warren Lake; 06-18-2021 at 11:59 AM.

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