How Often Should You Change the Oil on Your Diesel Truck?

If you’re the driver of a diesel truck, you might already know some of the differences from a standard car. You’re paying more at the pump, but you’re frequenting fueling stations less often.

When it comes to changing your oil, you might notice a similar pattern. You may have held strictly to a 3,000-mile schedule with changing the oil on your vehicles, but with a diesel truck, the guidelines aren’t as standard. Here’s what you need to know:

Light Duty Trucks: This is the diesel truck purchased for occasional towing, but typically it is operating as a regular family car. It is there when you need it, but you’re not tasking the truck with daily hauls or towing requirements. This type of truck can usually go about 5,000 miles between oil changes.

Commercial Fleet: A diesel truck that’s operating as part of a commercial fleet may come with a recommendation of changing the oil every 25,000 miles, but you may want to schedule an oil change at closer to 16,000.

Mitigating Factors: You could also use 200 hours of operation as a guideline for fleets. This is taking into consideration that some fleets, like ambulances or work trucks, may be operating but idling for a significant period of time. Using 200 hours helps ensure that you aren’t underestimating how much your engine has been working, even when it seems to be at rest.

One of the reasons that the recommendations for a commercial fleet vary between 25,000 and 16,000 miles as the recommended interval for an oil change is that there are so many different circumstances for a diesel truck. From driving style to the age and efficiency of the engine, many variables can affect how often the oil should be changed.

Diesels generate acidic combustion, also known as blow-by, as well as soot. If the engine has a turbocharger, the motor oil is being heated to a high temperature and may collect more engine deposits.

In addition, the driving environment has an impact on the life of a diesel truck’s motor oil. Driving at consistent speeds, such as on a long haul on major highways, versus short trips over back roads, can extend the life of motor oil.

If you are the owner of a diesel truck, make an appointment with Gray Diesel & Equipment Services. We can walk you through optimal regular preventative maintenance specific to your truck and help you get the best performance and the most possible years out of your purchase.