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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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---------- Post added at 09:13 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:12 AM ----------

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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