It’s no secret that diesel trucks are expensive to buy and maintain. The average maintenance cost on a diesel truck is $1,700 a year, meaning there is a lot of room to save.
However, you can save a fortune on maintenance with the proper care. It all starts with changing your engine oil on time, every time.
So, when does diesel engine oil need to be changed, and why?
Why Do Engines Need Oil Changes?
It’s helpful to understand why engines need oil changes to help remind you to stay diligent. If you aren’t diligent on oil changes, your truck simply won’t last as long. With most diesel trucks costing between $125,000 and $150,000, it pays to keep your existing ones in good shape to avoid having to buy new ones.
Well, diesel and gas engines work almost the same. A diesel engine takes air, compresses it, injects fuel into the compressed air, and heat ignites the fuel spontaneously.
Your engine pistons stay locked in a track, and a series of explosions happen from this compressed (and filtered) air, arriving back on top to be fired back again by the next explosion. This happens with remarkable timing and precision.
However, your metal pistons have to move within a metal track for this to work. Without proper lubrication, this can’t happen.
If water or debris gets into your engine, it will cause the oil to clump, metal to rust, and more. If you keep new oil in, your engine will run smoothly for as long as possible.
How Often to Change Diesel Engine Oil?
As a general rule of thumb, diesel engine oil should be changed every 7,500 miles. Change the oil anyway if you don’t reach that limit within six months or 400 work hours.
When oil sits stagnant for too long in the engine, it will likely build condensation, which can destroy your engine. If left to idle for extended periods (in a lot, at red lights, in traffic, etc.), you’re adding miles onto it without going anywhere, so keep track of working hours for your trucks.
However, it’s always best to look at the manufacturer manual for your truck, as not all diesel trucks are the same. Some may require oil changes every 5,000. If it says 10,000 miles, we’d still recommend 7,500, as it’s always better to be safe than sorry!
What About the Air Filter?
When we talk about your diesel truck maintenance routine, we can’t forget about air filters. Your engine needs more oxygen than it needs diesel fuel to run properly, and it sucks in a lot over the course of 7,500 miles.
When changing your diesel engine oil, we recommend changing your air filter alongside every time, or at least every other time, assuming it remains clean enough. You can use an air filter cleaner in the meantime to help get the best fuel economy and engine protection. It will help keep your engine running longer!
Make a Change
Now that you know the importance of changing your diesel engine oil on time don’t wait. The sooner you do routine maintenance, the longer your truck will last.
Change your oil today and stay up to date with our latest automotive tips!