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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I hate to start another oil advice thread as there are as many threads as there are oil choices but I wanted to ask for advice given my vehicle use. My truck is not used as a daily driver and may go up to a week and maybe 10 days between use. There are days where it may get driven a few miles every day for a couple weeks. It's not a work truck and doesn't get driven hard. I generally commute by motorcycle and unless the weather is poor or I need to take the kids with my vehicle somewhere it doesn't get a ton of use. When summer roles around it tows a 3500 lb boat around. I take 8-10 trips with the boat 200 miles round trip. I've ran synthetic Amsoil when I used to drive it for work put many more miles on it. My question is what would be a good oil use for this situation. I'm lucky if I put 2500 miles on per year. Should I go back to a dino oil and just change yearly or continue running the synthetics and how often to change with the low mileage. I run a dual remote bypass filter system as well.
 

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The best advise that I can give you is to get the oil analyzed and see what it is doing with such low usage.

I'm about in the same boat and only put around 6000-8000 miles on my truck a year but I change my 15w40 dino oil twice a year and Blackstone Labs says that I can go to a 7000 mile oil change. With synthetic I think that I would change it once a year weather it needed it or not.
 

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The crankcase vapors break down the oil after 6 months thats why they recommend a twice a year change on a low use vehicle.
 

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The crankcase vapors break down the oil after 6 months thats why they recommend a twice a year change on a low use vehicle.
This is where a oil analysis comes in handy. Without it you are just guessing.
 

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I drive between 1000 and 2000 miles a year, also use a motorcycle for main transportation. Changing oil with regular 15W40 every 3000 miles works fine for me. Rotella, Delvac, Delo, whatever, they all work fine.
 

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I drive between 1000 and 2000 miles a year, also use a motorcycle for main transportation. Changing oil with regular 15W40 every 3000 miles works fine for me. Rotella, Delvac, Delo, whatever, they all work fine.
I am curious how you know it works fine?

Not trying to be argumentative but you can't really tell by just looking at it.

The OP says there are times he might only drive a few miles every day for a couple weeks. This is really hard on oil and on an engine because the engine never has a chance to get up to operating temp so there is likely fuel in his oil. (As Bugman mentioned, only an oil analysis will provide % fuel in oil). An engine that sits for weeks at a time also has a greater likelihood of water in the oil as a result of condensation (and this requires reaching full operating temp for a period of time to burn off). Also, cold starts is when most engine wear occurs so a Full-Synthetic oil would be even more important for the OP (or adding an expensive additive such as Archoil).

Just my 2¢ but if the OP doesn't want to spend $30 on an oil analysis each year (understandable) then continue to use a full-Synthetic 5W-40 like Rotella T-6 with annual OCI. It is a proven oil for our 7.3 and flows well for cold starts and its reasonably priced at $20/gallon (Wal-Mart).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks all for the discussion. I'm leaning on maintaining the use of my dual remote bypass system and going with the lower priced full synthetic T-6 and change annually. Not sure if I would need to change the bypass filter annually or if that could be drained during oil changes and change that one every other year. I've got to guess that even with low mileage oil having it sit in the engine for 2 years has probably degraded its performance and an annual oil change regardless of miles would be the wise move.
 

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for a truck that sits a long time idle, you're going to want an oil that has a really high sheer value- shear being defined by it's ability to cling to hard parts, both during use and while sitting idle...

for this, and if it were my rig, I would use an oil (a) that meets the engines requirements, and (b) is intended for Marine applications...

I'd choose the Marine rated oil as they are high in sheer strength due to the fact they sit without running for extended periods, and because they do so in an environment that condensation is a real concern.

if I couldn't find an oil properly rated for the engine that is intended for marine, my second choice would be one intended for classic or antique cars.... their oil is formulated knowing the engines sit mucho more than they run...
 

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I used Blackstone and got the analysis for some time back when I drove 12,000 miles a year and when I went to 1000 miles a year I did a couple. All analysis came back fine for the most part. The worst were the ones where I drove like 6000 miles in a big trip which would always come up like excessive bearing wear. Never any problem from low use. For fun and just for heck of it I had Blackstone analysis on a motorcycle with a couple hundred miles use in 20 years on the oil and it checked out just like new couple hundred mile oil. I feel fine changing oil with regular 15W40 every 3000 miles, and if 3000 miles takes 3yrs that is OK with me.
 

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Can't seem to edit my last post, doesn't matter, but I meant 2000 mile trips came back not great on analysis. I take trips on a motorcycle of any real distance.
 

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For fun and just for heck of it I had Blackstone analysis on a motorcycle with a couple hundred miles use in 20 years on the oil and it checked out just like new couple hundred mile oil. I feel fine changing oil with regular 15W40 every 3000 miles, and if 3000 miles takes 3yrs that is OK with me.
A couple 100 miles in 20 years? The Blackstone website says they need between 500-1000 miles on the oil for the test to be useful and they prefer 1000 so your 200 miles is probably inconclusive...well, atleast according to Bkackstone.

3 Years? Most would agree that such a practice makes your engine a prime candidate for sludge and internal corrosion.

Cheers
 
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