Beginner’s Guide to Diesel Oil Change — When and How

Beginner's guide to diesel oil change

Diesel-powered vehicles offer superb efficiency with higher loads. That’s why most off-road vehicles and load-bearing vehicles use diesel as fuel. 

However, the usage conditions and higher load requirements mean you need to change the oil in a diesel engine more frequently. 

What’s the right interval? Which oil is better?

Read on to learn more about the deciding factors and how to change engine oil in a diesel engine. 

Here’s what we’ll cover:

Diesel vs. Gasoline

Before we dive deeper into diesel oil change, let’s start at the basics and see how diesel differs from gasoline:

  • Viscosity: Diesel has a higher viscosity than gasoline. It helps diesel bear higher loads than gasoline. 
  • Additives: Both gasoline and diesel share similar additives. Still, diesel-based fuels have higher concentrations of additives, helping them endure higher pressures. 
  • Oil replacement intervals: While the exact oil replacement interval depends on the engine and the car, the higher additive concentration in diesel fuel means you can change oil less frequently.  

When To Change Engine Oil in Diesel Engines?

You’re not alone if you’re wondering when you should change engine oil in diesel engines. 

However, as automotive engines and driving conditions vary, the answer depends on several factors:

  1. Vehicle Usage: If you use your vehicle to haul heavy loads, you might want to change the oil more often. In other words, if you perform heavy-duty tasks with your vehicle, the oil changes will be more frequent than with simple driving. 
  1. Climate: Temperature affects the oil change intervals. The oil changes are less frequent if you drive the vehicle in a hotter climate. In contrast, when you drive a vehicle at lower temperatures, the oil collects dirt and debris much faster. Thus, you have to change the oil more often in colder temperatures. 
  1. Terrain: Smooth terrains equate to higher efficiency. But if you always drive your vehicle on dry, rocky terrains, you’ll need to change the engine oil more frequently.

Given all these factors, here’s a rough recommendation chart for a diesel oil change:

Diesel Oil Change Recommendations.

How To Change Engine Oil in Diesel Engine?

Diesel oil changes are essential to keep your engine operating smoothly. Follow the steps below to do an oil change in a diesel-based vehicle:

  1. Warm up the engine: Ensure the diesel oil is at the operating temperature. Ignite the engine for about 15 minutes, and then turn the engine off.
  2. Place an oil pan below the drain: Draining oil without an oil pan makes the whole process messy. So place an oil pan below the oil drain before you unplug it.
  3. Remove the drain plug: Removing the plug is an easy task. You can do it with the help of the ratchet along with the socket.
  4. Let the oil drain: Let the old and dirty oil drain.
  5. Remove the oil filter: You can remove the oil filter using a socket.
  6. Dispose of the used filter: Dispose of the used filter and remove the O ring. 
  7. Install a new filter: After oiling the O ring, install it into the vehicle. Install an unused filter in place of the old one.
  8. Install the drain plug: Tighten it using nuts and bolts. 
  9. Pour the approved oil: Check the vehicle’s manual for the suggested oil by the manufacturer. Pour that oil by opening the oil cap and closing it afterward.
  10. Check for leaks: Checking for leaks is important. To check for leaks, start the engine and let it run for a few minutes. Now, look under the vehicle for any oil stains.
  11. Check the oil level: Check the oil level with the help of the dipstick. Add more oil if necessary.

How Much Does Diesel Oil Change Costs? 

It would cost you between $60 and $80 for a diesel oil change compared to $30 to $50 for a gasoline oil change.

This higher cost is due to the higher cost of diesel engine oil and the difficulty of diesel engine maintenance.

Final Thoughts — How To Perform Diesel Oil Change: Beginner’s Guide

Not changing engine oil in your diesel truck on time may cause irreversible engine damage. Fortunately, a diesel oil change is a simple do-it-yourself (DIY) process. 

Follow the steps in the guide above and change the engine oil in your diesel engine. 

Let us know about your experiences in the comments below. 

Check out our blog for more information on engine oils.

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