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I have a 2015 Rav4 AWD with only 1,200 miles. I'm going to be heading south for 6 months. My first maintenance is not due until 5,000 miles or 6 months. The Rav won't have 5,000 miles on it, and I won't be able to take it to the dealer since I won't be home at the sixth month time. The First maintenance does not include an oil change with filter for normal driving conditions which I do.

My question: Would you change the oil and filter yourself before leaving the Rav4 in storage with only 1.200 miles on it, or just wait till you return and drive the vehicle to the 10,000 mile mark, then take it to the dealership for its first oil change. Thanks for your comments. :thumbs_up:
 

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There is no reason to change the oil at 1200 miles.

Just leave the car in storage and change the oil and filter immediately after your return. The oil will pick-up some moisture during 6 months in storage, so do the oil change as soon as possible after you come back.

After that, just stick to the prescribed maintenance schedule.
 

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We don't drive that much and change oil at 5K intervals. Am not concerned if it takes several months over a year before hitting 5K, typically don't look to see how long it was since the last change. The cars are in a heated garage where one car sits out the snow season with whatever mileage is on the oil when parked. Most of the oil change recommendation hype is for those who are likely or do forget to have the oil changed. Main thing is it gets changed once in a while. A friend used to go 2 years between changes because she forget to get it changed. Didn't seem to bother the cars as they would go well over 100K miles without problems.
 

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Even though it is not spec'd and pretty much everybody says it is not necessary, I'm from the old school where you have your first oil change at 500-600 miles. I paid $35 at the dealership to change my oil at 1,500 miles the other week. Yeah, maybe wasted money, but I feel better for having done so.
 

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I would store the RAV without changing the oil and filter, and upon returning I would drive it again without changing the oil and filter until the next scheduled maintenance in the Toyota Care program, either months or miles, whichever comes first. And scheduled oil and filter changes under Toyota Care are free.
 

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Six months? Assuming your storage location has 110v power, very seriously consider getting a Battery Tender. I think a Battery Tender Junior would be enough. Those can be purchased for about $25 from multiple sources.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I do have a Battery Tender Plus that I plan to use. As far as the the oil change goes. I've read some say it's good to change the oil before the 5,000 mile mark because the engine is new and there could be small metal shavings in the oil because of the newness of the engine. My concern is leaving the vehicle sit for 6 months with used oil in it. Changing it before storage would be no big deal, I can do that myself. Just wondering what everyone else would do with their Rav4 given this situation.
 

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OK: there are several good points here. Changing the oil before 1,000 miles on a new car has its merits as there can be a lot of junk in the oil from the break-in period. But that is what a modern filter is for. It should trap all that. In The Old Days (and still for aircraft engines) there was a break-in period where non-detergent oil was run for through the first oil change. Not so for modern engines, apparently, as Toyota does not recommend that. Changing the oil now before letting it sit for 6 months will do several things: 1) have newer oil sitting in the bearings etc without a lot of corrosive materials sitting on those parts for that long. 2) drain that break-in oil that has been cleaning out all the break-in wear of your new engine, needed or not. 3) [maybe most importantly] ease your mind as you are away for 6 months and don't have to worry that you should have changed it. ToyotaCare is free; not sure if this would be included in the "free" but you are talking $35 for piece of mind. If you do decide not to change it, the water that accumulates would be burned off quickly during the first drive that gets the engine to operating temperature. Changing the filter would not be needed. Battery Tender is a pretty good idea. Do not put mice poison in the car; they eat it and die in your car (I could tell you stories).....IMHO.....
 

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Change the oil and oil filter before putting your vehicle into storage. 2 reasons.

1) Won't hurt to get the initial engine break-in shavings etc.out of the engine and;
2) Having old (contaminated) oil sitting for more than a few months can hurt the internal bits due to their corrosive properties. Informed motorcyclists know this and always change their oil before putting their rides into winter storage.

Cheap insurance and piece of mind for the price of an oil change.
 

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Change the oil and oil filter before putting your vehicle into storage. ...
2) Having old (contaminated) oil sitting for more than a few months can hurt the internal bits due to their corrosive properties. Informed motorcyclists know this and always change their oil before putting their rides into winter storage.
This is true for old oil, as "burnt" oil turns acidic and accelerates corrosion. But synthetic oil with 1200 miles still has 99% of its rust-protection properties and won't harm the engine. With modern engines (little or no blow-by) and synthetic oil, the oil does not start degrading / loosing its corrosion protection properties until well past the 10000 miles mark - this is what allows extended oil change intervals.

On the other hand, the oil WILL pick-up moisture while in storage, especially in cold weather. That's why it makes much more sense to change the oil immediately AFTER storage.

If the car had more than 5000 miles from last oil change, it would make sense to change it BEFORE storage, but with only 1200 miles the oil is basically new.
 

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Modern engine design and assembly techniques don't ordinarily leave metal particles in the engine, and if there are any it is the job of the oil filter to remove any that might damage the engine. Unless the engine in a stored vehicle has been run while the vehicle is in storage it is not necessary to change the engine oil upon taking the vehicle out of storage. The oil crankcase systems in modern engines are basically closed systems which don't allow outside air to enter and oil is the opposite of being hygroscopic. Before placing a vehicle into storage it should be run on the highway for long enough at normal operating temperature to dissipate any H2O and then be switched off while still at operating temperature when storing it.


On the farm we routinely stored equipment sometimes for nine or ten months without changing the oil and/or the filter unless it was due, and that was with combines costing sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars and with one's living depending upon that equipment being in top-notch condition. The same applied to other engine - powered equipment.
 

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What would I do if it was my RAV4? Nothing!
 
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