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Old 02-20-2014, 07:25 AM   #1
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Oil / Oil Changes for Michigan 986

I know this has been done to death, but I'm having a tough time coming up with concise answers.

I bought my 2000 986S last April and it came from Northern California in the Bay area, where it was driven year round. Now it is in Michigan and I only drive it about 3000 miles per year and store it for 6 months during the winter.

It it's a fully synthetic oil and only gets 3k miles per year, do I still need to change it every year?

All of the oil company websites seem to indicate 0W40. They don't ask where I'm located, so I assume there isn't a different recommendation between CA and MI?

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Old 02-20-2014, 07:28 AM   #2
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0W40 will be fine, change it once a year. It is easiest to just drive it every few weeks, when you get a nice day.

https://sites.google.com/site/mikefocke2/theboxsterinwinter
http://www.jmgporsche.co.uk/index.php/menu-articles/articles-maintenance/item/217-winter-storage-of-your-porsche

Excerpt from Mike's site, also reiterated in the other link:
"I change the oil in the spring because I don't accumulate enough miles on the car to call for a more frequent change. If I were storing it for longer or weren’t taking it out every few weeks, I’d change the oil just before I put it away for the winter under the theory that the old oil contains water and absorbed gases that can rot bearings. I'd also park it just after a long hot run that allowed the most burn off of those contaminants."
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:02 AM   #3
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Change the oil before you put it away in the fall. It's a bad idea to leave 'dirty' oil, with its contaminants in the engine.

Don't start a viscosity war haha! I use 0W40.

Once it is put away, I don't start it until spring. I try to limit the number of times the engine is started "dry".
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:21 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin View Post

All of the oil company websites seem to indicate 0W40. They don't ask where I'm located, so I assume there isn't a different recommendation between CA and MI?
I use a 15w50 out here in CA for year-round driving in temps that rarely dip below 50 deg (on days I would take it out). Clearly not the right choice for MI - 0w40 does seem like a great choice for a colder climate, but if you aren't driving it then, does it matter?

What temps are you generally driving in? if Just 70 deg+ days, then maybe I'd adjust my oil spec...
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:28 AM   #5
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Get an oil analyis from Blackstone labs. They'll tell you what you've got too much of in there.
As others have stated, don't put car back into storage without fresh oil. It's an expensive engine, not a pickle.
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:51 AM   #6
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When I purchased my 04 S in November, I learned that the previous owner only drove the car for 2,000 miles over the previous 3 years. He had never changed the oil.

That was the first thing I did and my Indy saved a sample of oil & the filter. I did not analyze the oil, but rubbing it between my fingers, it felt like sludge.

Never going to let that happen to my Boxster again.
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Old 02-20-2014, 11:02 AM   #7
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Thanks for the advice everyone. At night in the early spring and late fall it gets down to freezing, and so the engine has sat cold all night in those temps and then I drive to work. During the winter it gets below 0 at times, but I'm not driving. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't using something that was made for a warmer climate (where the coldest it gets is like 60).

You all make a good point on changing the oil in the fall and not waiting until the spring. Not that it makes a huge difference here, but the oil that's in there only has 3000 miles on it.

I also am of the school that says don't start it up once it's in storage. Most of the damage happens in the first few seconds when the oil hasn't circulated throughout the engine, and starting it up once per month just makes the engine go through the "dry" process 6 times instead of 1.
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Old 02-20-2014, 06:34 PM   #8
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I really don't want to hijack this thread and take it in other directions - but does any one have opinions about what oil weight to use in this situation.

I will be moving from New Hamphshire to South Carolina relatively soon. The 2003 Base has always run 5-40, but the local (SC) auto parts stores, and Walmart, do not carry it. Thinking about switching to 15-50, which the owners manual recommends (Mobil 1 in all cases) or 0-40. Thoughts anyone?
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Old 02-20-2014, 06:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
It it's a fully synthetic oil and only gets 3k miles per year, do I still need to change it every year?
You need to change it at least twice a year. Corrosive wear from not being used is just as bad as abuse!

No matter the mileage.
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Old 02-20-2014, 07:13 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Nomad View Post
I really don't want to hijack this thread and take it in other directions - but does any one have opinions about what oil weight to use in this situation.

I will be moving from New Hamphshire to South Carolina relatively soon. The 2003 Base has always run 5-40, but the local (SC) auto parts stores, and Walmart, do not carry it. Thinking about switching to 15-50, which the owners manual recommends (Mobil 1 in all cases) or 0-40. Thoughts anyone?
My cars been in the carolinas since she was shipped cross the sea.. she has had 0-40 always according to service history... people have mentioned having a higher weight in the car often but all ive ever seen (mobile 1 at least) is 0w-40. Where in south carolina do you plan to move to?
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Old 02-21-2014, 06:20 AM   #11
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Bluffton, down by Hilton Head.
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Old 02-21-2014, 01:01 PM   #12
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Bluffton, down by Hilton Head.
Many many boxsters in Hilton head we vacation there often. You will definitely enjoy it. Charleston will make for excellent day trips.

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