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Is the Calendar or Mileage Most Important to Performing Oil Changes?
 
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Question:
Is the Calendar or Mileage Most Important to Performing Oil Changes?
I have a 2006 Honda Element that I have had for 10 months. I put Mobil 1 5W-20 synthetic as suggested when I had 2,400 miles back in November 2006. I am now coming to 6,000 miles 6 months later. My manual says to change my oil every 10,000 miles. I obviously won't hit 10,000 miles on this new oil for another year. What is the maximum amount of time oil can be in an engine with little mileage? These miles are not from short trips. The trips are mostly over 15 miles one way, 30 miles total. I am just alternating cars every other day.
-- James Niezgoda, Dearborn Heights, MI
Answer:
Does your owners manual say 10,000 miles or “x” months whichever comes first? If so you may have to follow the time interval rather than the miles. If this is not part of the recommendation, based on the fact that you do drive longer trips when you do use the vehicle, we think it is safe to change your oil at 10,000 miles or 1 year whichever comes first. 
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