Many novice drivers who buy trucks will ask “how often should the truck oil be changed?” Oil change is not only an important part of truck maintenance, but also a key factor affecting the life and performance of trucks. This article will answer your questions about truck oil change intervals and how to change truck oil.
Why Change Your Truck’s Oil?
Prevents Oil Contamination: As trucks drive more miles, pollutants such as tiny metal fragments, combustion residues and oxides develop in the oil. These contaminants will cause irreversible damage to the engine if the oil is not changed regularly.
Guaranteed engine oil performance: With the use of engine oil, the additives in it will gradually lose, and the performance of the engine oil will gradually decline. Regular oil changes ensure that it will always perform at its best.
Improve engine efficiency: Decreased engine oil performance will lead to reduced engine efficiency, increased fuel consumption and increased exhaust emissions. Therefore, changing the oil of the truck can effectively improve the working efficiency of the engine.
How to Tell If You Need an Oil Change?
The most accurate test method is the filter paper test.
How to use filter paper:
- After the truck stops for ten minutes, pull out the oil dipstick and put a drop of oil on the center of the filter paper.
- Place the test paper flat on the hollow object in the middle (such as a cup or bowl).
- After waiting for 5 to 8 hours, observe the oil spots left by the engine oil on the test paper.
Among them, the oil spot is divided into three layers from the outside to the inside: the oil ring, the diffusion ring, and the deposition ring. The wider the oil ring, the smaller the oil oxidation; the wider the diffusion ring, the longer the remaining life of the oil; the lighter the deposition ring, the less impurities in the oil.
According to the quality of engine oil, it is divided into the following 4 grades:
- Grade 1: The oil spot is uniform in color and appears light and bright, with no clear boundary between the sedimentary ring and the diffusion ring. The oil is of good quality.
- Grade 2: The sedimentary ring is dark in color, and the diffusion ring is wider. There is a clear dividing line between the two rings, and the oil is yellow in varying degrees, indicating contamination. The oil filter needs to be strengthened, but the oil can still be used.
- Grade 3: The sedimentary ring is dark black and dense, while the diffusion ring is narrow. The oil ring color becomes darker frequently, and the quality of the oil has deteriorated.
- Grade 4: Only the central sedimentary ring and oil ring are present, with no diffusion ring. The sedimentary ring is black and needs an immediate oil change.
In addition to using filter paper detection, it is also possible to judge whether it is time to change the truck oil based on the mileage and oil change interval:
How Many Miles Between Oil Changes?
The answer to How many miles between oil changes is not unique. Changes should be made according to the type of oil and the manufacturer’s recommendations. And check the engine oil regularly to ensure the normal operation of the engine.
Here are the recommended oil change intervals for different types of engine oil:
- Conventional mineral oil: change every 2175-2485 miles.
- Semi-synthetic oil: change every 3410-3730 miles.
- Full synthetic oil: change approximately every 6200 miles.
At the same time, it is also necessary to pay attention to the impact of the truck’s use environment, working conditions and frequency on the replacement cycle. For example, long-haul trucks are more heavily used than urban delivery trucks and have higher oil requirements, so more frequent oil changes may be required.
In addition, the oil change cycle can be adjusted appropriately according to the weather. According to our experience, the cycle can be extended appropriately in winter. In summer, the weather is hot, so the cycle must be shortened appropriately. However, the cycle of changing the oil is not certain, and it depends on the actual situation.
Truck Oil Change Intervals
Truck oil change times are usually every 3 months. Different brands of trucks have different oil change intervals. You should follow the truck manufacturer’s recommendations and choose the engine oil that meets the manufacturer’s recommendations.
How to Change Oil in a Truck?
- Start the truck engine to heat up the oil.
- Make sure to activate the parking brake.
- Use a jack to jack up the truck to ensure stability.
- Prepare necessary tools and materials.
- Locate the oil pan and loosen the bolt at the end of the oil pan to drain the old oil.
- Clean the bolt and screw it back in, a quarter of the way.
- Unscrew the old oil filter, dispose of the old filter, and install a new oil filter.
- Pour in new engine oil, screw on the oil cap and engine cover.
- Clean up and dispose of old engine oil.
- Start the truck, check the oil level, and top up if necessary.
Which Oil Change Is Better?
A high-quality engine oil should have excellent cleaning, lubricating, cooling, sealing, anti-rust, and anti-corrosion properties. Here are a few things you should consider when choosing an oil for your truck:
- Choose a well-known brand of engine oil: K&N engine oil or Shell engine oil is recommended. They have stable performance and meet the indicators required for heavy-duty trucks.
- Choose an oil with the right viscosity: Too high or too low a viscosity is not good for truck engines. Choosing an engine oil with a suitable viscosity can ensure the lubricity of the engine oil and reduce engine wear.
- Choose engine oil according to the season: In winter, you need to choose engine oil with strong low temperature resistance; in summer, you need to choose engine oil with low high temperature index and strong oil fluidity to reduce parts wear.
Diesel Truck Oil Change Cost
An oil change for a diesel truck can range from $200 to $425. It depends on the brand of oil and the region where the oil was changed. A good quality oil change usually costs around $300. You can also choose and buy engine oil yourself according to the method mentioned above, and replace it yourself according to the steps of changing the engine oil, which will save a lot of cost.
Factors Affecting Truck Oil Change Costs:
- Oil brand and model: Oil prices vary by brand and model.
- Truck Engine Model and Year: Different engine models and years require different oils, which cost differently.
- Labor Costs for Truck Repairers: Labor costs for repairers vary by region and quality of service.
- Frequency of Oil Changes: More frequent oil changes increase costs.
- Oil Filter Replacement: Replacing your oil filter can also add cost.
- Local Taxes: Tax rates vary from region to region and will affect repair costs.
Truck Oil Changes
In short, regular engine oil replacement can not only prevent pollution, ensure oil performance, and improve engine efficiency, but also extend the service life of the engine. In addition to using filter paper tests, mileage, and change intervals can also be used to tell when to change your truck oil. Finally, choosing high-quality engine oil can protect your engine and reduce breakdowns. Truck drivers should follow the truck manufacturer’s recommendations and regulations for regular oil changes and use compliant engine oil.