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2000 Mercury Mountaineer 4.0 V6 Oil Change Interval Driving Only 100 Miles a Month

Discussion in 'Under the Hood' started by LogicalSpock, July 26, 2018.

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    1. LogicalSpock

      LogicalSpock New Member

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      Hello. I need advice on my oil change interval because I think I'm wasting oil.

      My 2000 Mountaineer has 186,000 miles. I have 5 vehicles so it doesn't see much action. I try to drive it once a week (15 mile round trip) to work to keep it in action. So it has the center console information center which, without fail, warns me to "change engine oil soon" every 6 months no matter how many miles are driven. I use full synthetic oil on all my vehicles, and standard FL1-A Motorcraft filter on the Mountaineer. The motor hasn't failed me yet and runs very smooth. I live in Virginia which does have rare extremes in temperature (25 to 95 average, but can fall below 0 a couple of days in winter and 100 in summer.

      So today, I follow my console info center warning and change the oil and filter. The Mountaineer has been only 550 miles since the oil change six months ago. The oil always looks pretty clear on the dipstick, but darker as it drains. Should I ignore the info center, reset it, and go with a one year change interval? I've always thought to better be safe than sorry and change it at 6 months, but in the back of my mind I feel like I'm wasting oil.
       
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    3. Eric Tang

      Eric Tang New Member

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      That a tough one. You have to do what feels right to you. If it were me, I’ld likely change it every 2 years. If I used it every day, 5K miles.
       
    4. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      The oil should be changed every year no matter how few miles are driven. I'd choose a time in Spring or Fall to change it, and then reset the oil reminder as needed to shut it up.

      I plan to do all my vehicles in the Fall when I get all of the engines finished(and not eating oil), and use the best synthetic oil.
       
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    5. 410Fortune

      410Fortune ELITE BRONCO2ERER Staff Member Moderator

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      I agree on low mileage vehicles around here (there are alot of them!, last count I have 32 engines on the property I/we maintain) I change the oil once every season, usually in spring when they come in for yearly service.
      Mileage matters but so does AGE
      I do all ATV, Sleds, UTV, mowers, trimmers, saws, generators, vehicles, tractors all get the crankcase oil changed at least once a year
       
    6. LogicalSpock

      LogicalSpock New Member

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      Thanks folks. My posting was last July and I went ahead and did the 6 month (550 mile) synthetic oil change at that time. Soooo....

      here we are in January, 6 months later. It's only a matter of days before the "change engine oil soon" message takes the info center hostage. The Mountaineer has seen 950 miles since the July oil change (snow storm in December made it my daily driver for a couple of weeks). The oil on the dipstick is clear.

      When you say "age" I presume the main factor is internal water condensation over time when vehicles are not driven much?

      Anybody think it's a bad idea to push the oil change to this July (1 year)? My biggest concern is the age of my original timing chains (4.0 V6). They're not rattling, but they are 19 years old and pushing 190,000 miles.
       
    7. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      Leave the oil until it's a nice day out and still under the 12 month mark. The SOHC valvetrain is a much bigger concern. Keeping an eye on the oil and be sure it's full and the best quality, that should be the priority until you feel the need to have the engine worked on.
       
    8. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer

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      I’d change it once a year. It won’t hurt anything. If you start it, just let it warm up. Don’t keep starting it just to move it and make bunches of cold starts where it never comes up to temp, and you’ll be fine.
       
    9. Puckrobber

      Puckrobber New Member

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      Once a year would be an excellent strategy. Today's oils are tougher than in the past. They have no issues if you have to leave them in for a year at a time, sometimes even longer. Like Mbrooks420 said, if you start it, let it get to operating temperature before shutting it off. I have a 1990 Nissan 300ZX that I'll only drive in decent weather. During the Winter, I start it every week or two, let it get to operating temp, then, shut it down.
       

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