CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Oil change intervals

Have a 2002 F250 powerstroke with 88,000 miles and for the last 30,000 I have been changing oil every 10000 miles using 5w40 rotella synthic.

Q I am going to far between changes this needs to be the last vechilce I buy and I do do some towing with it at times

find out what the manufacturer recommends

The diesels we use commercially do get synthetic and longer intervals because they are run for extended periods without stopping, which they like. For mileage like yours, I’d opt for standard diesel oils and more frequent changes…5k perhaps…Unless you’re using synthetic as much for winter use…perhaps 7500, and no more.

Why would you want to change it at any interval other than that recommended in the owner’s manual?

Because it’s 14 quarts of oil and expensive and many commercial users will use synthetics and routinely go beyond the 5ooo miles recommended severe oil change intervals. 10000 miles is often used and recommended for synthetics. Sounds like he already knows the recommended intervals but wants clarification on his use and why I’d recommend he split the difference if he’s unsure. http://www.powerstroke.org/forum/general-6-0l-discussion/2829-oil-change-interval.html

14 quarts of oil and expensive

Yea, but engines are more expensive. Just my take on the situation.

Jos…I just think OP’s question is quite reasonable and deserves more than the usual “read the owner’s Manual” response…and changing it sooner than recommended is worth while. Diesel owners, unlike some car owners usually take more prior initiative.
That’s my take…

I drive a diesel and frankly don’t see any need to try and do more than the manufacturer calls for.

How often do we see cars that have had damage or excessive wear due to using the prescribed oil change intervals assuming they did follow the book, using an oil meeting the standards for their car. It is just not a problem. We don’t see those piles of dead engines in the junk yard.

It is difficult to get grandpa’s advice about oil changes out of your head, but today’s cars are not at all like grandpa’s I remember doing 3,000 mile oil changes, and that was the recommended time. To day I stick with the recommendations.

Again, If you want to change it more often I certainly don’t object and it is not likely to cause any damage. There is something to be said for the good feeling of doing something a little extra.

As a diesel owner I assume you have different recommendations in your manual for severe and normal maintenance…To keep repeating myself,I see OP seems to be asking for an evaluation as to which category he’s in. You did read some of the posts on the “powerstroke forum” ? These people are using commercial grade vehicles privately and have potentially different considerations than you. some tow, some don’t. Do you idle yours for hours on end while not driving it for example ? OP does not either. You see things in black and white…I don’t. And, I assume, which you don’t seem to that OP can read and has read a manual or already done some research. This to me is not a “my friend puts it in park at a light” question.

But then, you may be absolutely right and this is the first time he’s even bothered to check anywhere. So between the two of us, we’ve got both ends covered.

Most of the owner/operator professional drivers I know use synthetic oil in the transmission and differential, but use regular diesel oil in the engine. They also change their oil as often as the manufacturer recommends.

If, like a professional driver, most of your miles are highway miles, I would feel comfortable going a little over the manufacturer’s mileage-based recommendation, but if your truck is used in mixed highway and stop-and-go traffic, I think it is important to follow Ford’s recommended oil change interval.

Dagosa, just to add another factor to the equation, many of today’s newer commercial trucks have generators so they don’t have to idle for extended periods.