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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings,

I'm on the lighter side of mileage in normal conditions (about 7k a year). So I got my first two oil changes after 6 and 12 months, respectively. However, since my last oil change in March, I've driven less than 700 miles. Is it really mechanically necessary to swap out such lightly used oil? Are there any ramifications for the warranty if I don't?

thanks.
 

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Hi,
From Consumer Reports:
It’s not just about miles: If you don’t drive your car a lot, your oil still needs to be kept fresh. Even if you drive fewer miles each year than your automaker suggests changing the oil (say, 6,000 miles, with suggested oil-change intervals at 7,500 miles), you should still be getting that oil changed twice a year.
Why? Oil becomes less effective as it ages, and by not getting the engine warm enough, excess moisture that forms in the engine will not be removed, which can lead to shorter engine life.
 

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this... "
Oil- 0w-20 synthetic oil
Oil and filter change
: every 6 months or 6,000 miles. With severe or hard/hot/cold/dusty conditions, replace more often "

If you do it yourself it's fairly cheap. Cheaper than gas tank fill up. Costco has 0w20 for cheap when it's on sale, usually less than $13 er 5 quart. Filters can be got cheap at the dealership. Typically less than $20 bucks for a DIY oil change.
 

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Yea I think Subaru is a bit overkill on the 6 month oil change. Seems like a waste of good oil. My ascent is my wifes DD and only sees about 5k miles a year, and basically 0 during this covid. My Durangos manual says 10,000 miles or 12 months, whichever is first, so not sure why Subaru is so different.
 

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2021 Ascent Touring Brilliant Bronze
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With the fully synthetic oil in these vehicles, at the low miles above, I would think you would be fine for a year. To each their own. I might be more inclined to swap the oil out in the fall to have fresh oil and additives to combat the extra moisture that fall/winter/spring brings.
 

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I bet the cars that sit on the dealer lots for 6+ months aren't adhering to the intervals, but the same dealer would like you to ;)

I use practical reasoning. If there is any good amount of miles on the car I'll tend to follow the duration suggestion before mileage hits. If there is negligible mileage then it can wait.
 

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I bet the cars that sit on the dealer lots for 6+ months aren't adhering to the intervals, but the same dealer would like you to ;)

I use practical reasoning. If there is any good amount of miles on the car I'll tend to follow the duration suggestion before mileage hits. If there is negligible mileage then it can wait.
Lol statistics show Subaru sell less than 30 days on the lot. Pacific northwest sells them fast, Florida even faster. Don't think they sit on the lot very long.

Where are you seeing Subaru sit on lots over 6 months? 😂
 

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There is no perfect answer to intervals/distances between oil changes. It all depends on the state of your engine, the oil you use, your climate and driving characteristics. The only way to know if your engine is doing well or if your oil is in good shape is to analyze the oil.

For my own peace of mind, I send in an oil sample to Blackstone Laboratories every few oil changes. They confirm that my oil change interval is sufficient, engine wear is normal, and the oil is functioning as intended at the end of it's cycle. When sending in a sample, you can mention your concerns and they will address them based on the oil analysis. They suggest extending my intervals (distance based) for every sample I've submitted. My last interval was 9 months and 4k miles. They said everything looked good and I should try for 6k miles before the next oil change If you're in doubt, send in your oil. Without the TBN analysis add-on (+$10), a single sample test currently runs $30, but they will send you the test kit (return label included) for free. The test results come back a week after they receive the sample. They compare the elements found in your oil to universal averages for the same engine to determine if anything is out of whack. I find this to be the most valuable part of their analysis.

To facilitate the sampling itself, I use the Fumoto F108S Drain Valve with the Fumoto SL-10 Accessory Right-Angle plug attached to a short hose hose I got from Home Depot (I do not recall the exact ID/OD). I first let some oil out into my collection bin, stop the flow with the drain valve and attach the plug/hose and let out oil into the Blackstone collection container. Stop the flow again and let out the rest of the oil into my bin to complete the oil drain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
There is no perfect answer to intervals/distances between oil changes. It all depends on the state of your engine, the oil you use, your climate and driving characteristics. The only way to know if your engine is doing well or if your oil is in good shape is to analyze the oil.
Wow. Now that is an informed opinion. Thanks for the note. (and to everyone else as well)
 

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Wow. Now that is an informed opinion. Thanks for the note. (and to everyone else as well)
Thanks for the compliment. Glad to share some wisdom with the community. I've learned a lot from you guys as well.
 

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I follow the 6/6 guideline....

Especially on my wife's '16 Impreza that still has under 16k miles on it.

It is 98% city driven with what used to be a <20 mile round trip for work.

I have always maintained her cars for time not mileage.

Her annual trip to Santa Barbara in it gets ridiculous gas mileage.

C.
 

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With Covid, I haven't even put 1k mi on the Ascent in the last several months. I had the oil changed about 6 months ago. No way am I going to flush money down the drain when the vehicle has just been sitting there and it's using synthetic oil, which is more stable over time.
 

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Took the wife's in yesterday.... Was being tempted by the new 2.5L Crosstreks... For some reason they wouldn't do an even trade on the low mileage Impreza..... lol
 
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Greetings,

I'm on the lighter side of mileage in normal conditions (about 7k a year). So I got my first two oil changes after 6 and 12 months, respectively. However, since my last oil change in March, I've driven less than 700 miles. Is it really mechanically necessary to swap out such lightly used oil? Are there any ramifications for the warranty if I don't?

thanks.
In the grand scheme of things, oil changes are cheap. All oil when exposed to moisture and combustion turns to sulfuric acid which is a function of time more than mileage, especially if the oil does not frequently have the chance to heat up to burn off the moisture. Even with synthetic oil, I still have the oil and filter changed at least 3 times per year and I usually only drive about 10K mile per year.
 

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The local dealer was very insistent that 6 months was the way to go despite less than 1000 miles at 7 months mark. They didn't try to snow me with invalidating the warranty, just insisted that it was 6000 miles or 6 months whichever comes first. If it wasn't for the facts that it was free and I wanted to document the over the full mark oil level,I would have waited. BTW, after the oil change, it's over the full mark again.
 

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Professor Dr. SWMBO's MY20 Forester Limited, purchased last March, still only has 4800 miles on it as of yesterday. I really have a mental hard time with the idea of wasting perfectly good lubricant because of the time interval...and I'm someone that pretty much normally sticks to the manufacturer's schedule. I did my 24K oil change on the Ascent yesterday...and yes, it was more than six months since the last one at 18K.
 
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