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Old 12-04-2014, 01:10 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
234 posts, read 235,798 times
Reputation: 185

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I have 09 Toyota Corolla, in the manual it says to change oil every 5k miles or 6 months. I barely drive, so I might only do 2k miles every 6 months. Do I have to change the oil that often, or is it not as necessary? And if I change the oil once a year, would it be bad?
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Old 12-04-2014, 01:18 PM
 
10,871 posts, read 41,174,133 times
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much depends upon the climate where the car is kept and the type of driving you do with it, as well as your longer term expectations of use/ownership of this car.

if it's a humid climate, then condensation is more of a problem than a dry climate area. changing oil every 6 months may help by having lower moisture content in the crankcase.

short trips where the engine oil doesn't reach operating temp for long enough to drive out moisture is hard on an engine. Keep in mind it's engine oil temp, not coolant water temp that is the critical issue. Perhaps you drive your car infrequently but on longer trips?

If you intend to keep the car for many years, than the incremental lowered wear rate with the 6 mos oil change may be significant. If not, then it's really not an issue for you. Change once a year with high quality oil and you'll be OK.
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Old 12-04-2014, 01:26 PM
 
5,464 posts, read 6,132,676 times
Reputation: 13969
Do you have to?

No. Some folks never change the oil until the check engine/low oil light goes . Then they throw in a couple of quarts of the cheapest crap they can find and off they go.

Of course, the car/engine isn't worth a damn after 50,000 miles.

Should you?

Yes. Even if you drive just a few miles, the minimal cost associated with an oil change will accomplish the items mentioned in the post above: mainly help to remove contaminants which will erode the metal (bearings) in the engine.

It is cheap insurance against engine failure.

Can you let it go up to one year? Sure, if you run the car down the road at highway speeds for an hour or two every month which helps to eliminate/burn off some of the water/contaminants which accumulate as a result of combustion.
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Old 12-04-2014, 01:31 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX USA
5,092 posts, read 9,052,223 times
Reputation: 7765
Yep, I woud do it. What does an oil change cost for your car $30/$35. Such a small amount of money for piece of mind.
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Old 12-04-2014, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Chicago
38,691 posts, read 86,838,061 times
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It's not strictly necessary, no. On the other hand, the people who engineered your car didn't put that in the owner's manual just to amuse themselves or give quick-lube shops something to do. Even if you're not driving, the crankcase starts taking on moisture after a while. That's why there's a recommended time interval in addition to a mileage interval for changing it. Changing it twice a year instead of once every 15 months or so will add roughly $4 to your monthly ownership cost.
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Old 12-04-2014, 01:34 PM
 
Location: Mayacama Mtns in CA
14,523 posts, read 7,366,225 times
Reputation: 11302
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
much depends upon the climate where the car is kept and the type of driving you do with it, as well as your longer term expectations of use/ownership of this car.

if it's a humid climate, then condensation is more of a problem than a dry climate area. changing oil every 6 months may help by having lower moisture content in the crankcase.

short trips where the engine oil doesn't reach operating temp for long enough to drive out moisture is hard on an engine. Keep in mind it's engine oil temp, not coolant water temp that is the critical issue. Perhaps you drive your car infrequently but on longer trips?

If you intend to keep the car for many years, than the incremental lowered wear rate with the 6 mos oil change may be significant. If not, then it's really not an issue for you. Change once a year with high quality oil and you'll be OK.
Thank you for the concise explanation! .
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Old 12-04-2014, 01:34 PM
 
5,445 posts, read 4,402,948 times
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I personally would follow the recommended maintenance schedule. Why risk possible damage only to save yourself 25 bucks.
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Old 12-04-2014, 01:37 PM
 
Location: 4222'55.2"N 7124'46.8"W
4,837 posts, read 9,240,590 times
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I'm surprised it says to change it every 6 months regardless of mileage. Most cars require it changed every 12 months regardless of mileage. But if the manual says it, then that's what I would do.
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Old 12-04-2014, 01:39 PM
 
Location: Kirkland, WA (Metro Seattle)
3,434 posts, read 2,821,502 times
Reputation: 5893
There are only two things you "have to" do in life:

1. Pay taxes

2. Pass away (hopefully later vs. sooner).

Oh, new no. 3:

3. Do whatever the police say w/o complaint.

The rest is bunk by people with an agenda, some ____ out to make a profit on your dime. Look into the facts, which are not too terribly elusive when it comes to the "oil change" argument. Let's just say, "Trust, but Verify" (Ronald Reagan, 1980s).

PS:

No. 4: the last motorcycle I bought new, in 2010, indicated per the warranty I "must" do certain things at certain intervals, by an "authorized Ducati service facility." What they said, in terms of intervals for (various maintenance items), passed the "trust but verify", aka "sniff test." Furthermore, they were very clear, on-purchase, that to maintain the warranty I had to do what they said, and when. So, I did.
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Old 12-04-2014, 01:43 PM
 
Location: UpstateNY
8,613 posts, read 7,818,259 times
Reputation: 7508
'It is cheap insurance against engine failure.'

Do it. So you give up a meal out once a year. Is it worth the life of your car? Do you have the cash on hand to replace the engine if it pukes? Even if you do, do it anyway.
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