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2014 Cherokee Limite
357 Posts
I did a search, of course did not find similar question. Happens to be a 97 TJ 4 cyl.

This vehicle is a toy and lives in a garage, only driven occasionally on pretty weekends, never in the dirt, 500-1000 miles/yr.

Well it’s time for the yearly oil change but it’s still clear and I wonder if it’s really necessary. It has 160k miles on it, but does not smoke. (Only leaks a little bit, not enough to need oil added After 1000 miles)

I know the oil does not wear out, only the additives.

Would you change it?
If you are using synthetic oil, once a year would be fine with that little mileage you put on. But that is the absolute minimum in my opinion.
You could apply that to conventional oil also with some reservations. But I would actually change it 6-7 months at a minimum.
Condensation is your worst enemy as water and oil never mix well in protecting your engine. Your best deterrence to that is get the vehicle out for 30 minutes on the road, particularly the highway, once a month minimum.

Synthetic oil has several properties that will help that engine. It tends to cling to the engine parts and not drain away like conventional oil. Cold start up produces most of your engine wear.
Synthetic oil tends to be much better for the engine seals in maintaining them and in some cases rejuvenating them. Seals get harder as the age and do not flex if not kept "moist", so to speak.
Thus they will leak oil if not conditioned as they age. Synthetic oil does a good job at that little function.
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