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Old 03-20-2014, 02:34 PM   #1
ps56k
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Maint, oil, etc - mileage vs calendar

Wife has a 2013 Ford Focus hatch SE - bought about a year ago (March 2013).
She only drives short hop to work, and around town...
only 5k miles in the past year.

SO - should we wait for the "oil monitor" to get the oil changed ?
What about any other maint, usually dictated by mileage ?
How should you handle maint for a low milege car vs calendar ?


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Old 03-20-2014, 03:55 PM   #2
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As long as it's being driven consistently, I see no reason to go by the calendar. Temperature cycling and moisture pickup would be the biggest concerns with the oil so I would maybe change it once every 6 months. The only reason I say that is because all the trips are short city jaunts and Chicago does experience some big temp. swings.

Most everything else can probably go by mileage vs. calendar, the exceptions being the tires and the serpentine belts. I'd put a 4-5 year lifespan on the tires, same with the belts.
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Old 03-20-2014, 06:57 PM   #3
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Ford MX says 10,000KM or 1 year, whatever it comes first, this is for warranty purposes (we got a bumper to bumper warranty for 60,000KM or 3 years)
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Old 03-20-2014, 08:14 PM   #4
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I just did my first service at 7600 miles. Bought the car back in May 2013.
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Old 03-20-2014, 08:36 PM   #5
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I have decided to stick with a 7k-8k mile oil change interval. Currently using mobile 1 extended performance and a motorcraft oil filter.
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Old 03-20-2014, 09:04 PM   #6
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The manual says to change at 12 mos. regardless of mileage...that is what I would do.
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Old 03-21-2014, 10:08 AM   #7
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Short trips, all urban, cold winters, direct injection engine all suggest to me that fuel/water dilution of oil is likely, especially on the winter months. If she likes the car, wants to keep it a long time and doesn't mind spending a few extra dollars, I'd change the oil and filter every 6 months (October/April, maybe). Many will tell you is isn't necessary and they may be right. On the other hand, an extra $ 30/year for maintenance is pretty cheap insurance.

One would expect the intelligent oil life monitor to take account of driving conditions and let you know if an early change was needed. But I don't recall any reports here of it suggesting an early change under any driving circumstances. And as Ford didn't think it was any of our business to be able to see what the "% oil life remaining" is, you kinda have to wonder if the monitor is actually monitoring anything intelligently.
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Old 03-21-2014, 10:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dan50 View Post
And as Ford didn't think it was any of our business to be able to see what the "% oil life remaining" is, you kinda have to wonder if the monitor is actually monitoring anything intelligently.
As far as that goes, you could drain all the oil out and fill the crankcase with water and the OLM would be none the wiser. It's just an algorithm.

"Electronic sensors throughout the drivetrain send information about engine revolutions, temperature and driving time to the car's computer. The data is run through a mathematical algorithm that predicts when the oil will begin to degrade."

http://www.edmunds.com/car-care/oil-...g-systems.html
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Old 03-21-2014, 11:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wavsine View Post
As far as that goes, you could drain all the oil out and fill the crankcase with water and the OLM would be none the wiser. It's just an algorithm.

"Electronic sensors throughout the drivetrain send information about engine revolutions, temperature and driving time to the car's computer. The data is run through a mathematical algorithm that predicts when the oil will begin to degrade."

http://www.edmunds.com/car-care/oil-...g-systems.html
Sure, but other than a couple of high-end German marques that actually evaluate what's in the crankcase, that's how all intelligent oil life monitors work whether they're from Ford, GM, Honda, etc. They usually do a pretty good job, but the Focus is unusual in that you can't ask the car how much oil life is left. In this respect, it's just like the 1999 Oldsmobile we used to own.
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Old 03-21-2014, 11:53 AM   #10
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I would change at 1yr if it was low mileage but nothing except repeated short trips. As mentioned, if not driven at temp good and hot (and just because coolant reaches normal temp doesn't necessarily mean the engine is operating at full soaked temp at the same time....that comes several miles later), you may not be cooking out the moisture and other aspects that happen after oil is at full temp for a good while. Now if the car simply spends a lot of time sitting, and when it is operated it is being driven good distances, then I'd be inclined to change it at the appropriate mileage vs time as long as it's semi reasonable. Like I wouldn't keep the same oil for 5 years if you did like a few good runs per year and took that long to hit your mileage, but like 1.5yrs or maybe even a couple I'd do in that situation. Moisture and all is negligible sitting there unsused vs what happens to it when the engine runs mostly cold.
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