Engine Oil: Consider time over mileage

Summer is here – time to pull out your classic after a long winter’s nap and go touring! But wait, before you fire the ol’ girl up and take her for the first spin of the new summer, one question – when’s the last time you changed your engine oil? Did you know the average vintage car or truck typically travels fewer than 1,500 miles per year. You’re probably thinking that you should be OK, given the most common school of thought for engine oil, which is “change it every 3,000 miles.” We think not.

When considering the lifespan for engine oil in older vehicles, we suggest you use time in the crankcase and not mileage to determine when an oil change is necessary. Oil in a vintage engine that sits idle over the winter can break down from the residual gas, dirt and other contaminants generated from running. Regardless of the number of over-the-road miles, engine oil should be changed every 6 and twelve months. Several quarts of oil and a new filter are certainly less expensive than a premature engine failure caused by oil that’s lost its lubricity.

Enjoy the drive!

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