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Open Roads Forum  >  Class C Motorhomes  >  Class C

 > Quick question about oil changes

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pushtoy 2

texas

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Posted: 11/28/19 01:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Matt_Colie wrote:

OK, Here comes a clear answer for those still reading the thread.

Most engine oil is composed of three different elements:
The actual lubricating oil and added components -like viscosity managers.
Anti-wear additives - ZDDP used to be prime, but now others.
Anti-corrosives - to combat the effects of combustion by products.

Now, Oil does not wear out. If it is largely viscosity managers (What makes XWXX work) those may show some shear-down in use. That is less of an issue with modern oils and engines (why they can live with 0WXX).
The anti-wear additives are prone to oxidation. They are fine in the can, but once exposed to air and combustion by products, they start to get damaged.
The anti-corrosives are there just to deal with the combustion by products that leak past the rings. This stuff is nasty. Left alone, it could rot out a stainless pot. That is the first part of an engine's lubricating oil to be damaged. When that component gets killed, then things go bad in a big hurry.

The last two above are why Mobil with the famous Mobil1 line still pitches annual lube oil changes as a minimum.

What do capital engines (like ships and such) with huge lube oil tanks do? We regularly send samples for analysis and get back information as to what to add to the lubricating oil to keep it in spec. Many actually have chemical treatment systems (sort of like a water softener, but different) to remove chemical contaminates.

Now, that said, if you like your engine and plan (hope) to keep it a long time, change the oil. Learn to do it yourself and buy the lube oil in big jugs and snicker at those that don't know what you now know.

What is this guy???
He was a ship's engineer for a lot of this life, and then came ashore to work and run Detroit engine laboratories until I retired.

Matt
GREAT POST I HAVE SEEN THE INSIDE OF MOTORS THAT HAVE BEEN NOT TAKEN CAR OF..THEY ARE ALL IN A JUNK YARD


DREAMER ">

Grit dog

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Posted: 11/29/19 12:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Some good info for the OP, like Matt collies write up.
I'm no ex spurt, but in the OPs case, I would change it once a year, tops. And I wouldn't get too wound up if it sat for 2 years.
I don't have the scientific analysis to back it up, but those engines, and most engines are pretty bulletproof and see far worse treatment than letting oil with less than 20 hours on it sit in the engine over the winter.
How much are you reducing the lifespan of an engine that can go 250k miles on the internals generally? I say who cares, if you're driving it 500 miles a year, it'll still last you a long time.
More important though is to start and drive it somewhat regularly. And don't let the fuel get old and varnished up. I've parked vehicles for a year or 2 no start, no special treatment, without issue. I've also gummed up carbs in small engines with bad gas in 6 months or less.
Unless your busy schedule literally doesn't permit it, just driving the thing every few months and testing the fuel right will do the most good.


"Yes Sir, Oct 10 1888, Those poor school children froze to death in their tracks. They did not even find them until Spring. Especially hard hit were the ones who had to trek uphill to school both ways, with no shoes." -Bert A.

ron.dittmer

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Posted: 11/29/19 07:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This is how I see it.

Unlike transmissions, engines are designed so that nearly all of the oil drains into the oil pan. In the case of the original poster, how much harm is 500 mile use, 1000 mile use, 1500 mile use, or 2000 mile use motor oil doing sitting in the bottom of the oil pan? While sitting inside the oil pan, how badly is it really depreciating?

It is with that same logic that I change our rig's engine oil just prior to leaving on a long 4000-6000 mile trip. This means the old oil could be in the oil pan for 9 months or longer. In preparing for a long trip like that, I drive the rig to church (a 24 mile round trip) to get the old oil hot and circulate it well about the engine to capture any accumulated moisture. Upon returning home, I immediately drain the old oil hot. I always visually inspect the old oil sitting in the drain pan and while pouring it into a jug for disposal. It never looks unusual or concerning, and there is not one drop of water or indication of moisture seen anywhere. Not in the oil, not in the drain pan, and not a hint of tan goo on the inside of the oil fill cap. If there was a lot of moisture in the engine, a light streak of tan goo could form on the oil fill cap.

This picture shows an extreme amount of tan goo, an indication of a head gasket failure. But a very light streak of tan goo can sometimes be found on the oil fill caps on vehicles that are driven so very little like the original poster. I have never seen a tan goo streak on my own vehicles. Only on vehicles donated where I volunteer. Some vehicles sit outside for a number of years before the owner decides to donate it. I can tell by the aging layers of pine needles accumulated at the base of the wind shield. Sometimes you can count them like tree rings.
[image]

* This post was edited 11/30/19 08:05am by ron.dittmer *


2007 Phoenix Cruiser model 2350, with 2006 Jeep Liberty in-tow


txnese

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Posted: 12/10/19 07:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I change oil at least once a year, regardless of miles. Better safe than sorry, especially for $50. I also drive it a few miles once a month and run generator.

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