Nissan: oil change frequency in low mileage driving

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  #1  
Old 10-05-16, 05:21 PM
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Nissan: oil change frequency in low mileage driving

I have an 07 versa with 80k miles and only drive about 2-4k miles per year in NYC. Have my changes done at Nissan. For the past 5 years since I've not driven much, I've only changed it about twice a year, at about 1500 miles or so. Is this bad?

I'm thinking I better start doing it at 4 months. Last two times I've gone in, it's been almost a quart low.

Running absolutely fine though.

Does Nissan make it's own brand oil and filter or use another brand?

Thoughts?

Thanks
 

Last edited by axxel; 10-05-16 at 06:03 PM.
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  #2  
Old 10-05-16, 07:39 PM
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Oil change frequency is such a subjective issue. Everyone has their own idea.

Although I'd say with only 2-4k miles driven a year that a twice a year oil change is sufficient it depends a lot on the climate and the actual drive time. If you only drive a mile or two a day or a mile or two each way from work.... the oil doesn't really get hot and your driving may be considered rough service requiring more frequent oil changes.

Not sure about the Nissan branded filters or oil but as long as you follow the viscosity listed in the owners manual you should be ok with almost any brand.
 
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Old 10-05-16, 07:46 PM
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my question is miles might not be the issue but how long does the car run? you might only go 4-5 miles a day but do stop and go traffic for an hour or two. this is where the 3 months come in on the 3k-3months oil change. and unless your leaking oil i would say you are running the car a long time in between changes.
 
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Old 10-05-16, 08:00 PM
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Do a lot more research on this subject, twice a year at 1500 miles is way more then enough!
Stop Changing Your Oil! | Edmunds.com
Not going to do any harm by changing it more often just to be wasting money
 
  #5  
Old 10-06-16, 04:28 AM
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One of the reasons to change oil more frequently when going short distance is the build up of moisture in oil. If you don't drive the car long enough to dry out the moisture in oil it will cause problems. Once a month take a 30 minute drive, This will heat up car and help many parts.
 
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Old 10-06-16, 05:26 AM
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Does Nissan make it's own brand oil and filter or use another brand
Autozone shows a half dozen different brand filters for your car - Oil Filter for Cars, Trucks & SUVs

While it doesn't hurt to change your oil more often I don't believe it's necessary. My 76 F-100 only sees about 2500 miles per year and I only change the oil once a year. I do typically add 1 quart each between changes.
 
  #7  
Old 10-06-16, 05:45 AM
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What's making this an issue of concern here in 2016 when the car is now 9 years old ?
 
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Old 10-06-16, 02:27 PM
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I'd say I meet that requirement, as I do get on the highway at least once a month. Perhaps not 30 minutes, but close enough.
 
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Old 10-06-16, 02:36 PM
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What's making this an issue of concern here in 2016 when the car is now 9 years old ?
Concern is of oil change frequency and don't want to ruin my engine.
 
  #10  
Old 10-06-16, 03:01 PM
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But your routine has been exactly the same for at least the past 5 years; and with no repercussions.

The Nissan Dealer must like Customers like you.
 
  #11  
Old 10-07-16, 04:16 PM
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One of the reasons to change oil more frequently when going short distance is the build up of moisture in oil. If you don't drive the car long enough to dry out the moisture in oil it will cause problems. Once a month take a 30 minute drive, This will heat up car and help many parts.

Exactly what pugs said. Drive the car on the highway ,and when warmed up,run it full throttle for a short stretch for carbon buildup. Cops wont tell the difference with a versa anyways.
As far the oil changes go,I would use the recommended oil,filter , but I would probably change it 3 times a month.Top it off so it wont be low.
Remember cars were meant to be driven. Short drives are pretty bad for a car.
As far as the oil and filter go,companies team up with oil companies,like castrol or shell to use an oil on a car . My VW recommends castrol,specific to their standards. Mann being an OEM filter on my car. They could find possible ways to void warranty if a specific is not used.
Lastly, you are doing the reg maintenance on your versa besides oil changes right?
 
  #12  
Old 10-07-16, 08:40 PM
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Thanks wellshll. Yeah, I'm going to start changing it 3 times a year just to be safe.

I've maintained it fairly well. I replace things as needed, and at 60k I flushed the radiator and at 70k I had a new tranny put in under warranty. I have not yet done any tune-up type items yet such as spark plugs, as it's been running fine. I always keep an eye on my air filter. The one thing I never do which I am not sure about is fuel injection cleaning. They always tell me I should do it at my oil change appointments at Nissan, but I've always felt it's unnecessary, although I have no proof. Is that a necessary maintainance item? I run regular 87 octane in it (I hope that's fine) FWIW.

I suppose the reason I'm suddenly asking these questions is this week I just dropped 2k in it for some front end suspension I needed replaced, and a belt tensioner, belt, alignment, and axle seal. Thus, I'm hoping I get my moneys worth and the car lasts me several more years. Just want to make sure I'm doing satisfactory servicing to it.

Appreciate the comments.
 
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Old 10-08-16, 01:52 AM
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3 times a year? Boy, the dealer or oil change place is just going to love you. They'll see boat payments galore when you walk in.

Of course you should check the oil every month or so, but change it every 4 months for no reason?

I change my oil about 1 time per year. I'm not sure of miles driven, but a tank of gas will often last almost 2-2.5 months, unless I need to go to one of the nearby cities for some reason. Of course condensation and humidity also isn't a problem here.

Also, unless I'm mistaken, as long as you use the correct weight and spec oil, it can be from any manufacturer. Same with filters. If a FRAM xyz-xx replaces a Nissan XXY-zz, then your warranty is safe. I'm not sure about if that's federal or state law but a simple call to your consumer rights department (whatever it may be called) can answer that for you.

Fuel injector cleaning is also a scam to suck another $100 (or more) out of your wallet. Dump a can of Seafoam (available most auto parts places) in the tank before a fill up twice a year. If you really think it's necessary. That will run you about $20 total.

I just have to ask...how much does a dealer charge for an oil and filter change in your area?
 
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Old 10-08-16, 04:06 AM
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20 bucks with coupon like I had this week. Regular is around 40.
 
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Old 10-08-16, 04:16 AM
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Is that $20 total? I get coupons from the jeep dealer all the time offering $20 oil changes but the fine print states only up to 5qts [jeep takes 6] plus shop fees, oil disposal fees and filter disposal fee - not sure what that would total up to .... but I always change it myself for less than $30 and no driving to the dealer or waiting on them.
 
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Old 10-08-16, 04:26 AM
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19.95 and I almost always get those coupons. 21 something with tax.
 
  #17  
Old 10-08-16, 04:57 AM
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thanks ............ ..
 
  #18  
Old 10-08-16, 06:42 AM
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Cheap Oil Changes (and Coupons) along with Free 41 Point Inspections are LOSS LEADERS intended to get your car into the garage so that something more serious (and expensive) can be found to set off the alarm bells in your head.

Midas used to have that Lifetime Guaranteed Muffler performing the same function; to discover more work that you can pay for.

Ever get a call saying "Want us to take care of that while we've got it in here and up on the lift ?"
 
  #19  
Old 10-08-16, 09:01 AM
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Makes sense. I like the free inspections too. About half of what they recommend is actually needed IMO. If you can sort through the BS, it can be a valuable service.
 
  #20  
Old 10-15-16, 01:26 PM
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Front end needed what exactly? The rubber components I understand due to age.
Change your air filter every year or two,but since you drive so seldomly, two sounds ok. Don't forget about fuel filter as well. Did you ever change the transmission fluid? I'm curious as to what your owners manual says about those services.
As far as the plugs goes,change those more often especially if they are copper as copper corrodes easily. Also when plugs aren't changed for sometime, they become difficult to take off and I have read and witnessed myself(used to work at a dealer)many dealers messing things up by twisting the plug and dropping the other half into the head assembly then charging the customer 1500 dollars to get it back.All because they didnt do it correctly . Do change your plugs soon,unless they are iridium. Even then , a dealer might mess that up. As far as the carbon cleaning you can (there is a machine) or add an additive along with 91 or 93 octane fuel .This is actually best from the beginning of the vehicle as carbon can build up with light driving and lower grade fuels. What you can do is when you get your plugs changed,have them look at the pistons with the plugs off to see if can see any carbon buildup. Let them show you not just recommend. I'm sure that service is at least 150 bucks . Overall be careful with dealers(unless you know someone personally) because frankly....profit profit .

In short overall,if it has a fluid or air, it needs to be filtered and or replaced as these things dont last forever. My vw never even mentioned a fuel filter in the service interval, yet it is there and needs to be changed.(30 bucks amazon) Hope this helps.

One last note,
try to tackle these things yourself ,especially the air filter which is easily . Save yourself some money. A perfect example is when I changed my fuel filter, I bought the part new for 29 bucks on amazon. I called my dealer just to see how much I saved and how much I could charge doing for someone, they quoted me 108 dollars. Keep that in mind. Hope this helps.
 
  #21  
Old 10-18-16, 10:52 AM
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Every six months is sufficient. I have an '07 F-150 in the same boat - only has 23,000 on it but when it is driven its almost always at least five miles each way, usually more, so I think it gets fully warmed up. I change it every year around this time and always use Motorcraft oil and filter. I also use Sta-Bil 360 in the gas which is probably more important than the oil changes. I use this in all our vehicles/equipment and have for 20 years (various versions of Sta-Bil as they changed over the years) and have never needed 'fuel system service' or had a cat converter go bad. Never had a stuck injector - only quick starting and smooth running. I started this with a 1996 jeep Cherokee with 4.0L HO I-6, F.I. and have continued through a number of vehicles; we always have three vehicles in the driveway. As far as the engines were concerned I could have kept any of them longer but we like new cars every so often - especially now when the tech is so much better after only five years. On the cars we actually use I typically will change oil every 5000 miles or six months OR wait for the Oil Life Monitor to get down to 20%-15%, depending on how it looks to me.
One statement in the OP concerned me and that was a quart of oil being consumed in 1500 miles. That needs to be checked. It could be a simple leak, or something more involved. One thing that occurred to me was the possibility of stuck rings from carbon after all those years of in-town driving. If it were mine, I would dope the oil and gas with cleaners and get out on the road with it. Generous application of a heavy foot should help blow it out. Assuming that works, I would change the oil and start using Valvoline Max-Life in it in the correct weight for your vehicle. Continue using the Sta-Bil 360 in the gas as it is a long-term cleaner as well as a stabilizer. It also prevents damage from alcohol-enhanced fuels and keeps the cat converter 'sweet' like a brand new one.
I'm also wondering how many times you have had your coolant changed? It should be done every 5 years and only distilled water or pre-mix should be used in it. Acids also form in the cooling system and can attack anything in the car it comes in contact with - engine, cooling system, heater core, etc.
I believe it takes more effort to maintain a lightly-used vehicle than it does an every day driver. Age, UV, Ozone all take their tolls.
 
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