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Old 09-23-2019, 12:54 PM   #1
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When to change oil

This question probably has been asked before, but I did a quick search and did not get a hit within this forum. I have a 2013 V6 coupe that rarely gets more than 4K or so miles on it during the year. In fact, as of this past weekend I have only put a little over 3800 miles on it this year. Also, I usually store it in whatever enclosed facility has the best cost offering at the beginning of November through the following April, with occasional running and driving it based on weather/road conditions. My question is what actually dictates when an oil change is required - miles driven or time since last oil change? I have always used Mobil 1 Full Synthetic and change the oil once a year whether I have reached 5K miles or not, and not based on the recommended date. Two other related questions - 1) based on my scenario if one oil change a year is sufficient should I do it before or after I store it for 5 to 6 months? 2) If my past oil change process is just plain wrong/stupid and might cause engine issues, should I get a thorough engine flush/cleaning performed to remove any excess sludge before the next new oil change. As always, thanks for the feedback and knowledge I gain from more experienced Mustang owners.
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Old 09-23-2019, 02:10 PM   #2
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I am in the same predicament. Low miles each year dictates fewer oil changes. However recently manufacturers have been stating to change the oil every 3 or 4 months. Like you I've been getting the oil changed once a year and at the beginning of the driving season. I'm interested in knowing what the correct thinking on this truly is as well. Any oil experts out there?
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Old 09-23-2019, 04:36 PM   #3
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I’m retired and only drive about 5k per year, so I change my oil every 6 months, regardless of miles driven. I asked my mechanic about this issue and a good rule of thumb was that liquids are time bombed. Oil, brake fluid, coolant, etc., are best off changed at regular intervals not necessarily miles, but time. Brakes, tires, etc., which aren’t liquid, can be replaced on a mileage basis. Been doing this for years on all my vehicles with no problems. See what works for you.
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Old 09-24-2019, 12:10 AM   #4
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i change oil at most every 10k miles or every year or when the ecu says oil at 5%
brake fluid every 2 years
ATF transmision every 50.000 miles
oil gear axle every 50.000 miles
coolant every year
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Old 09-24-2019, 01:08 AM   #5
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oil change

If you are using a synthetic I would change it once a year if your only driving it 5000 miles. There is a lot of ideas out there about oil changes when and whether to use synthetic but what everyone agrees on don't change it because your oil light tells you to and you don't have to change at 3000 miles like all the commercials say. Change it about every 5000 miles and you'll be fine. Remember the manufacturer wants to sell you a new model every few years or sooner, so if you don't change your oil regularly you engine may take a crap. I've been building engines for over forty years haven't had one come apart yet.
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Old 09-24-2019, 04:02 AM   #6
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If you use a 5w20 with spec WSS M2C945 A/B (This SAE is only sinthetic oil) and you drive normally, you can wait until 10.000 miles , if your drive fast and hard (your rev, always over 4.500 o more, you must change it betwen 5.000 - 8.000 miles but sync show you the oil status...
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Old 09-24-2019, 05:11 AM   #7
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I change my oil once per year, around 1,800 miles . I love my Mustang and plan to keep it 'maybe' for the rest of my life. I'm old and would never go past 5,000 miles on an oil change. 3,000 miles is my limit. If you plan on keeping your Mustang for just a few years then change your oil every 10,000 miles. It just cost me $30 something dollars to change it myself. I've also changed to 5W30 full synthetic motor oil several years ago
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Old 09-24-2019, 07:38 AM   #8
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Oil Change

Unfortunately, it boils down to this, your going to do what you want to do and that's fine everybody has an opinion about oil changes all I'm saying is, I don't go by what Ford says, they are out to sell cars and the quicker you wear them out the better it is for them. I never go over 5000 with synthetic but thats all I use and have ever used except before they made it. So in the long run just do what makes you happy
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Old 09-24-2019, 12:15 PM   #9
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I go by time, mileage, and oil color. I'm old school. My oil life meter always seems way too optimistic to me. When I check the oil and it's starting to get dark I change the oil and filter. I use synthetic oil too.
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Old 09-24-2019, 12:44 PM   #10
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I change my oil when the indicator shows 20%-25% oil life left. I don't drive much either, less than 5K/year due to short commute distance and use synthetic oil. Basically, this leads me to change oil once every year.
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Old 09-24-2019, 02:20 PM   #11
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I'm in same boat as to mileage, use of full synthetic, always changing oil once a year, early spring after storage over winter. I've always wondered if my timing of change in spring is better than a change in fall when car goes into storage. It seems to me deposits left in oil may suggest fall oil change, therefore, fresh oil in car prior to storage.
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Old 09-24-2019, 03:17 PM   #12
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I wondered the same and decided to use Blackstone Labs every time I change my oil. They analyze the oil and give you a report that tells you what is in the oil and how much life is left. Things like excessive metals might indicate premature wear or coolant in the oil well, that’s bad, mkay. I put 6-7k miles a year on my supercharged GT and store it for winter. Every report says the oil is good enough to go to 8k miles. I use full synthetic 5w20. I don’t like the thought of contaminants sitting in the oil/engine all winter so I put fresh oil in before storing.
As stated, you gather info and do what you feel is best. One thing we can all agree on is the only thing too frequent oil changes will hurt is your wallet...and that’s not bad anyway.
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Old 09-24-2019, 03:43 PM   #13
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I feel more in line with some of the responses about changing once a year no matter the number of miles and due it in the fall before storing my ride. One more question - any need or benefit for doing an occasional thorough flush of the engine as I did way back when I was in HS/College?
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Old 09-24-2019, 04:54 PM   #14
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I feel more in line with some of the responses about changing once a year no matter the number of miles and due it in the fall before storing my ride. One more question - any need or benefit for doing an occasional thorough flush of the engine as I did way back when I was in HS/College?
I wouldn’t think so on the flush unless you suspect something is wrong and there’s excess metal in the oil? From the 5 reports I have on my car, nothing seems to be accumulating. I’m still under 50k though. Maybe higher mileage cars with more wear would benefit from a flush?
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Old 09-25-2019, 12:38 AM   #15
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in all my cars, I flushed the engine every two oil change.... and made an engine descarbonization, every 50.000km (around 35k milles). I use a water for this, and my other cars are 6H cylinders (2 Subarus) 6 line cylinders (BMW) and 6V cylinders (mazda) and the results are incredible.
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Old 09-25-2019, 07:43 PM   #16
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My family and I always change our oil at 10,000 miles with Mobil 1 Synthetic and have never had a problem. We’ve done this on 4 BMW’s (one was a M5), 1 Mercedes, 1 Audi (Sold with 191,000 miles and driven hard for 15 years), several Chevy’s and Ford’s (even our 66 Stang). We just sold an Expedition with 190,000 miles on it. We do all of our oil changes ourselves.

That’s just my experience.
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Old 09-26-2019, 12:10 AM   #17
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My family and I always change our oil at 10,000 miles with Mobil 1 Synthetic and have never had a problem. We’ve done this on 4 BMW’s (one was a M5), 1 Mercedes, 1 Audi (Sold with 191,000 miles and driven hard for 15 years), several Chevy’s and Ford’s (even our 66 Stang). We just sold an Expedition with 190,000 miles on it. We do all of our oil changes ourselves.

That’s just my experience.
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Old 09-27-2019, 08:34 AM   #18
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Everyone is going to have a different opinion on this. Manufacturers might tell you longer increments to sell more cars and get you to buy another car. Oil manufactures will tell you shorter increments to get you to buy more oil.



Conspiracy theories aside... This is my thoughts on this.

1) If you are driving 3000 miles a year or less, and store it for the winter, IMHO the best time to change your oil is just after you pull it out of storage. Moisture will build up in your engine, and it gets mixed into the oil when you first start it in the spring.

2) Changing oil just before you put it away seems like a waste as the engine will not be running and getting hot enough to burn off the moisture, so you will be replacing the oil anyway in the spring... There are different thoughts about this.
3) I have had collector cars since 1989, I do not drive them in the winter, and I am up to 5 cars which are stored during the winter. I change the oil every spring, having my own lift now saves me a lot of money, but it takes time. Right now I have about 1900 miles on my 2016 Mustang RS3 and have changed the oil 2 times (both done by dealer for warranty) Every spring, one of the first things I do is have them change the oil. If I get the tick, I can blame it on them. I have a oil catch can, and I get moisture in it in the spring, on the way to get my oil change... so I do know that moisture does build up and it can be a problem...

4) One of the biggest problems I have seen with cars sitting is the seals tend to dry out, especially on older cars where they used cork.
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Old 09-28-2019, 04:29 AM   #19
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1) If you are driving 3000 miles a year or less, and store it for the winter, IMHO the best time to change your oil is just after you pull it out of storage. Moisture will build up in your engine, and it gets mixed into the oil when you first start it in the spring.

2) Changing oil just before you put it away seems like a waste as the engine will not be running and getting hot enough to burn off the moisture
You are 100% wrong. Always always change oil before you store it, not after.
I change the oil in my fun cars once a year BEFORE I store it for the Winter.
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Old 10-04-2019, 02:59 PM   #20
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You are 100% wrong. Always always change oil before you store it, not after.
I change the oil in my fun cars once a year BEFORE I store it for the Winter.

You are correct, I was wrong. I have literally been doing it wrong all these years... Not being sarcastic.



Now I get to change my oil in 5 cars before winter
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Old 10-08-2019, 07:21 AM   #21
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Here (in Europe) it has always been said that leaving the oil for more than 3 months in the car becomes "acidic" and attacking the seals and rubber gaskets .
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Old 10-08-2019, 09:13 AM   #22
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---------- Post added at 09:13 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:12 AM ----------

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Here (in Europe) it has always been said that leaving the oil for more than 3 months in the car becomes "acidic" and attacking the seals and rubber gaskets .

I am not sure why sitting oil would change acidity. After doing some research, yes, I could see how running the engine creates acids from blowby of the cylinders, and therefore letting used oil sit in the engine could be a bad thing. Fresh Oil sitting there should not change it acidity rating, however it might collect some moisture from not getting hot... Maybe someone could enlighten me a little on this
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Old 10-08-2019, 02:34 PM   #23
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Here (in Europe) it has always been said that leaving the oil for more than 3 months in the car becomes "acidic" and attacking the seals and rubber gaskets .
That's bullshiit.
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Old 10-08-2019, 06:52 PM   #24
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I believe that Pelayo is referring to leaving used, dirty oil in the engine for long periods of time.
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Old 10-09-2019, 10:06 AM   #25
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In perusing the internet, it seems the consensus is that changing oil prior to storage is best. On the other hand, some claim with the newer synthetic oils and relatively low mileage one may put on oil over the driving season, leaving old oil in over winter is ok. Those that have done this back it up with used oil analysis that shows little contamination of oil.



Some state you should change oil in both fall and spring, in fall due to contaminants, in spring due to moisture build up. Others state any moisture will burn itself off in first drive of spring, so only fall change needed.



And so there are three options, change only in fall, only in spring, or both spring and fall. I believe with extremely low mileage put on during driving season, assuming one is using a quality synthetic, only a spring change is needed. I base this on the positive UOA (used oil analysis) results some have seen. I would probably change out higher mileage synthetic in the fall. And if I was really anal change out both fall and spring.
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:25 PM   #26
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sns109,
I could see that. For the most part over the past 30 years, I always just changed my oil in the spring, and never had a problem that I am aware of. BUT 99% of the time I was driving the car less than 1000 miles, usually closer to 500 miles in a given season.



With that said, and after consulting some people I trust and a little internet research, I am going to change over to fall oil changes. Like stated, the moisture from a cold engine should burn off if you drive it 30 min or so at one time. IF you only drive a few miles, this can be a problem and I have a friend who's brother drove 1 mile to work, and back home 1 mile away. Since it was the middle of winter, in Michigan's UP, he went to have his oil changed and the moisture from not getting hot actually made his oil "over full." The mechanic told him he should take a 30 min drive every week, just to get the moisture out of it...



One thing I have learned is a barely driven car has its own set of issues, I see 20 or 30 year old 500 miles or 100 mile cars and I just shudder to think what issues they could be having...



One thing I did notice is after storage my oil catch can had milky oil in it after I drove it in the spring... Checked the oil after my drive and it was not milky...
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Old 10-09-2019, 11:41 PM   #27
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Here, in my country, people maintain up to 15.000 miles without changing oil, leave the car stopped months without changing the oil. Without going into debates, seen from the outside, obviously, changing the oil so often and so low mileage, it can only be good for the car and, if you don't do it, bad for your economy in the short term, but also good in the long term (here few people do the same maintenance on their cars).
The most conservative rule used here (Spain) is either the miles or the year, whichever comes first.
Regardless of this, if you read the owner's manual of the USA market and the EU market, (for a global car) the maintenance intervals change substantially .... what is the reason?
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Old 10-10-2019, 05:19 AM   #28
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Because we waste things here in America . Just around $40 to change the oil and filter, we (I) do it to make us (me) feel closer to our Mustangs . I do it because I'm old . I remember seeing my uncles buying used cars with just 20 something thousands miles, taking the valve covers off and using a putty knife to scrape the slug out of them. This was in the mid to late 1960's and I know oil has gotten a lot better now than back then. This is why I change my oil .
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Old 10-10-2019, 01:47 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by okfoz View Post
Everyone is going to have a different opinion on this. Manufacturers might tell you longer increments to sell more cars and get you to buy another car. Oil manufactures will tell you shorter increments to get you to buy more oil.



Conspiracy theories aside... This is my thoughts on this.

1) If you are driving 3000 miles a year or less, and store it for the winter, IMHO the best time to change your oil is just after you pull it out of storage. Moisture will build up in your engine, and it gets mixed into the oil when you first start it in the spring.

2) Changing oil just before you put it away seems like a waste as the engine will not be running and getting hot enough to burn off the moisture, so you will be replacing the oil anyway in the spring... There are different thoughts about this.
3) I have had collector cars since 1989, I do not drive them in the winter, and I am up to 5 cars which are stored during the winter. I change the oil every spring, having my own lift now saves me a lot of money, but it takes time. Right now I have about 1900 miles on my 2016 Mustang RS3 and have changed the oil 2 times (both done by dealer for warranty) Every spring, one of the first things I do is have them change the oil. If I get the tick, I can blame it on them. I have a oil catch can, and I get moisture in it in the spring, on the way to get my oil change... so I do know that moisture does build up and it can be a problem...

4) One of the biggest problems I have seen with cars sitting is the seals tend to dry out, especially on older cars where they used cork.
If I didn't feel like I was throwing away my money, I'd prefer changing fairly soon before hibernation and again once I'm ready to take it out in the spring. What I do now is change the oil within a few weeks of putting her away for winter hibernation. I feel like there are contaminants that I just don't want sitting inside the engine and not being circulated throughout. Seems like that would be bad for bearings and seals. I don't have any proof of that, though. It does make me feel better though. I changed my oil a week or so ago because I'm going to be having surgery in November, so she'll sit sooner than usual. I really should change my power steering and brake fluids. I need to get on that!
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Old 10-10-2019, 01:59 PM   #30
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If I didn't feel like I was throwing away my money, I'd prefer changing fairly soon before hibernation and again once I'm ready to take it out in the spring. What I do now is change the oil within a few weeks of putting her away for winter hibernation. I feel like there are contaminants that I just don't want sitting inside the engine and not being circulated throughout. Seems like that would be bad for bearings and seals. I don't have any proof of that, though. It does make me feel better though. I changed my oil a week or so ago because I'm going to be having surgery in November, so she'll sit sooner than usual. I really should change my power steering and brake fluids. I need to get on that!

I have changed my position on this, If you read further in the thread, I would change the oil in the fall, as any moisture from the winter should burn off the first highway 30 min drive...
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Old 10-10-2019, 02:10 PM   #31
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The way I always did it was to change the oil before you store a vehicle but you need to get it real warm before you pull it in to park it. The good old take it out on the freeway and drive somewhere a couple times a month was to get seals wet and water and acids out of the fluids.
I was also told to never start up a stored car unless you are going to get it up to operating temp, IE driving it.
Also remember to put your fuel Stabilizer in at the gas station and drive home with it in there to make sure it reaches the injectors.
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Old 10-10-2019, 07:13 PM   #32
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I have changed my position on this, If you read further in the thread, I would change the oil in the fall, as any moisture from the winter should burn off the first highway 30 min drive...

I think that’s probably true. I just worry about any burnt fuel etc and what that might do to bearings and seals. I’m not an engineer or a metallurgist, so maybe it doesn’t..?
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Old 10-10-2019, 07:20 PM   #33
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The way I always did it was to change the oil before you store a vehicle but you need to get it real warm before you pull it in to park it. The good old take it out on the freeway and drive somewhere a couple times a month was to get seals wet and water and acids out of the fluids.
I was also told to never start up a stored car unless you are going to get it up to operating temp, IE driving it.
Also remember to put your fuel Stabilizer in at the gas station and drive home with it in there to make sure it reaches the injectors.

That’s kinda what I thought would happen. I’ve heard that about running your car, not just up to full temperature, but at least a 30 runtime. Yes, I believe the stabilizer is also helpful with moisture and corrosion inside the tank as well.
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Old 10-16-2019, 01:22 AM   #34
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I drive 8k-10 a year. I change every 5K or close to and use Pennzoil Ultra Platinum. If I was in your situation, I would change the oil before letting the car sit. Once a week or so I would start the car and let it warm up etc. And to save money, you probably don't need to use too fancy of an oil and filter like RedLine or Royal Purple..... valvoline synthetic, or penzoil synthetic and a motorcraft filter should be cheaper and just fine.

If I sat there and idled a lot like police cars for example, I would go by time, if I drove it (normal or a lot), I'd go with millage. Blowby and heat is what detereates oil I think, based on my basic mechanical experience. Once oil gets used up, it can turns acidic according to Scotty Kilmer and that can start messing up seals and cause leaks etc. I think that also applies to other fluids.... gear/trans oil etc.
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