Working from home changes oil change frequency

Many oil life monitors (OLM) display the useful life of the engine oil in percent. CONTRIBUTED
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Many oil life monitors (OLM) display the useful life of the engine oil in percent. CONTRIBUTED

Wheels:

Bruce B. asks by email:

Due to the pandemic, I have not driven nearly as much as I normally do. My question is when should I change the oil in my two vehicles? I am now working from home and instead of driving 12,000-15,000 miles per year, I am now filling my gas tank only once a month or so instead of every week. The oil life monitor in my vehicle simply lets me know to change the oil every 10,000 miles and it has been over a year since I changed the oil. What do you recommend? Thanks.

Halderman:

Thanks for writing and for being concerned about your vehicles. Many vehicles keep track of time and engine use and notify the driver when an oil change is recommended based on the cold starts, idle times and temperatures. With this type of oil life monitor (OLM), your vehicle should have already displayed a message to change the oil based on time if nothing else.

Almost all vehicle manufacturers recommend that the engine oil be replaced every year based only on time, if nothing else. What do I suggest? I recommended always follow the vehicle manufacturers recommendations and change the oil when the oil life monitor indicates that the oil life is less than 10-15% or at least every year.

Have an automotive question? Get a straight answer by writing to Jim at jim@jameshalderman.com