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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I really need to ride more and this year I will. Last year I didn't do a oil change as the year before I didn't ride much. So when I went to change my oil and filter today I checked the paper in my owners manuel to write down the miles and saw my last oil change was April 27th 2019- 1284 miles on the machine. Today May 1st's oil change 1497 miles on the machine. 213 miles in two years. Sad right.
This past winter I would start the ranger and feed the deer out back two or three times a week. It would take me all of 10 minutes to start the ranger and drive out back, dump some corn and drive back and park it in its shed.
Which gets me to the oil change today. When I removed the fill cover it had milky stuff on it remanicencent of my 1980 jeep CJ. The oil filler cap would have milky crap on it. I looked at my antifreeze overfill bottle thinking it might be getting antifreeze into the oil. But that looked fine. The oil didn't look all that great. Its mobile1 with a wix filter back in 2019. I'll post a photo of the drained oil in the sun.
But I'm hoping the lack of use is the issue and others will think the same. 20210501_152618 polaris oil.jpg
 

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2015 Polaris ranger 570 XP
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Polaris recommends that oil be changed earlier than the normally prescribed 100 hours if you don't drive much or use the machine for mostly short runs. The problem is that when gasoline burns it produces water vapor as well as running richer when the engine is cold. Some water vapor and unburned fuel make it past the piston rings and contaminate the oil causing the condition you see now. This can also build sludge in the engine which normal oil changed will not remove. Longer running times to full operating temperatures allow the oil to become hot enough to vaporize and burn off the contaminates mentioned above via the crankcase ventilation system thus allowing longer oil change intervals.

In addition condensation can accumulate in the engine (especially if stored outdoors) if it isn't run often between oil change intervals because some air exchange between outside air and the crankcase takes place even when the engine isn't run. If stored outside with varying humidity and temperature conditions moist air can enter the crankcase during a warm period and condense inside the crankcase when a cold period comes, such as temperature variances between night and day or even from day to day. This form of moisture contamination occurs very gradually over a period of months but water will accumulate in the crankcase due to this condensation. Of course if one lives in an arid climate with little variation in temperature this may not occur or may take a great deal of time to occur. Sometimes the first indication of contamination with moisture or fuel is seeing an oil level increase during routine oil level checks.

Much of my ranger operation consists of shorter drive times so I do two things to try to circumvent problems. One, I have an engine heater which I always plug in when the vehicle is not in use. This gives the engine a head start in warming up. My engine temperature is around 80 to 100 degrees even during the cold winter with the heater and warmer still during spring and summer. The warmer engine shortens the cold engine cycle which provides extra fuel during warm up and causes the engine tor each full normal operating temperature sooner. This alone is still not enough to circumvent the need for shortened oil change intervals because with short runs the engine doesn't get hot enough for long enough to vaporize any fuel or moisture that accumulates due to normal combustion. Therefore I still change my oil sooner than 100 hours, usually around 75 or 80 or any time I notice the odor of gasoline during oil level checks.
 
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Agreed ...... short runs load the crankcase with condensation and gas . The engine needs to get 'hot' and go for a distance to burn it off. IMO, oil & filter should be changed at least once a year even if there is only a minimal amount of usage.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My hired man is a chevy guy. He has a 2004 2500 that has about 40,000 on it but the last few years he puts on about 200 miles a year. He uses Mobil1 and always brags that he only changes the filter year to year. Not the oil. So I kinda followed his advise and didn't change my ranger oil last year thinking using Mobil1 id be fine. But live and learn.
 

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Modern motor oils contain additives to combat the acid build up in the oil. As the oil becomes contaminated and turns acidic, the additives get used up. Preventing acid buildup is a very big reason for changing motor oil regularly.

Tell the hired guy ......."YOUR FIRED".
 

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There is of course one other possibility besides condensation that could cause you to have milky oil. If the water pump is leaking where it is driven by the engine. The leak would be internal and it's possible that it would not be visible externally.
 

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Condensation is whats happening from short use.
From Mobil 1
Water can get into the oil two ways. You generally don't have to worry about one of the ways if you drive your car enough to burn off the water during normal driving. This drives off the moisture that simply comes from your engine breathing when it is not being used (cold air enters a hot engine and water condenses) and from combustion byproducts. The second more destructive route is through a coolant leak due to a bad gasket, an engine crack, etc. This amount of moisture is generally going to cause serious engine issues including loss of power, oil sludging, etc. Consult your mechanic when in doubt.
 
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