LA Porsche and BMW Repair

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Long Term Storage in Relation to Engine Oil

How often should I change my engine oil if I don’t drive my car?

Almost weekly we are confronted with this question; it’s a tough one to answer because most of the time nobody wants to hear the real facts. 

How the car is stored, for what period of time and which engine lubricant is utilized are additional necessary questions.

Lubrizol performed an oil analysis study for military vehicles, they found that if an engine is not started, meaning no combustion whatsoever, the engine oil can last up to 6 years without servicing, but it’s not as simple as it appears. If your car is truly in long term climate controlled storage, then it is fine to let it sit for quite a few years without touching the engine oil, if you follow one simple rule, you must turn the crankshaft with a wrench to make sure the rotating parts see variable resting points, the piston rings get moved and primarily so that the crankshaft main and connecting rod bearings not get mated to their components. You can utilize the starter, but only if you can guarantee no combustion will take place, that’s a difficult request.

If you truly follow these guidelines then you can safely leave the oil inside the engine for a number of years. Otherwise it should be changed every 6 months if you’re running a conventional lubricant, and every year, if you have a synthetic oil. You must always change the engine oil and filter before the car gets put into long term storage.

Additionally, never start the engine for a short period of time. If you need to start the engine, you must take off immediately, but keep the engine revs below 3,000 RPM with low load. Drive the car until the engine reaches operating temperature and then for an additional 20 minutes. Short distance driving is very harmful to the internal engine components.


Another common question is, which engine oil should I utilize? If your car is under the factory warranty and you care about maintaining the warranty, you must research which lubricant you need to use, whether it’s a Porsche Mobil-1 A30, C30, A40, C40 rated oil etc.

We at Callas Rennsport choose the boutique lubricant brands Motul, Driven and Brad Penn.

Thank you,