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How Often Should You Have Your Diesel Oil Changed?

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Power, price, fuel, efficiency, noise… there are many differences between diesel and standard vehicles. Oil changes are just one of them. Read on as we explain how standard oil changes are different from diesel oil changes, how often diesel oil should be changed, and why it is probably best not to do your oil change at home.

Close-up of a man pouring engine oil to the tank under the hood, with the caption “How often should you have your diesel oil changed?”

How Often Does Diesel Oil Need to Be Changed?

For many standard gas-powered vehicles, the typical oil change recommendation is around every 3,000 miles or three months. For diesel pickups, this is usually not the case.

A diesel-powered pickup can usually go longer between oil changes, depending on:

  • The climate and terrain in which you drive
  • The activities you perform with your pickup, such as towing a trailer or hauling heavy loads
  • The type of oil you use (conventional, full synthetic oil or synthetic blend)

Driving habits also impact the frequency in which you will need the oil changed. If you are someone who takes shorter trips through town in your diesel pickup and rarely drives at highway speeds, you will need to change the oil more often than someone who regularly travels at highway speeds.

Why is that? When you drive at lower speeds and temps, gunk accumulates in the oil and becomes more easily contaminated when compared to a diesel pickup that is driven at high speeds and in hotter temperatures. 

The average recommendation for diesel pickup oil changes is between every 5,000-7,000 miles or every six months on vehicles that perform moderate towing. If you do not tow, or don’t tow very often, you may be able to go even longer. If you are frequently towing heavy loads, you may need to change the oil sooner. For the most accurate information, you should refer to your owner’s manual.

Oil Change Process for Diesel Pickups

The process of changing the oil in a diesel pickup isn’t all that different than a standard gas-powered vehicle oil change. The only differences are the kind of oil that is used and the frequency in which the service is needed. The good news is regardless of which type of vehicle you drive when it is time for your next oil change, you are in good hands with Gem State Diesel & Turbo Repair and our sister company Meridian Automotive.

The cost of a diesel oil change is sometimes slightly higher than that of a standard oil change only because diesel fuel and oil are more expensive than petroleum products.

Why You Should Reconsider Changing Diesel Oil at Home

You may be perfectly capable of changing your diesel pickup’s oil at home in your driveway or garage, however, we don’t recommend it. Here’s why we think it is best to leave diesel oil changes to the pros:

  • Convenience. Changing your diesel oil at home might save you a few bucks, but it will take up much of your precious time. To change the oil at home, you will have to know how to do it first, which means researching the materials and steps to take.You will need to make time to purchase the proper materials and buy the correct oil, then actually perform the oil change. Next, you will have to clean up after yourself and find a location to dispose of the discarded oil and oil filter properly. You will then have to repeat this process every time you need an oil change. All a hassle that can be easily avoided by scheduling a simple, professional oil change service.
  • Risk. When a professional changes your oil you avoid the chance of something going wrong at home in your garage, or worse, in your pickup. Our technicians are trained to do oil changes correctly and are unlikely to make a rookie mistake (like using the wrong oil or missing signs of a leak). A professional oil change can help you feel assured that things were done properly, and no potential issues were overlooked.

Is it time for your diesel pickup’s next oil change? We can help! Schedule your appointment with Gem State Diesel & Turbo Repair today. Call us at 208-288-5555 or schedule an appointment online.