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How to Change Oil on a Diesel Truck: Step by Step

That time has rolled around again. Your diesel truck needs its service if it’s going to stay in one piece on the roads. The last thing you want is your pride and joy breaking down on you.

But what if you’re a long way from home and you’re not familiar with your surroundings? What if you can’t find anyone locally who knows how to change oil on a diesel truck?

Fortunately, this task doesn’t require you to earn your engineering degree. Provided that you take the correct steps and have the right tools at your disposal, you’ll be up and running in minutes. Here are the steps you need to take to change your oil.

What Do You Need to Perform a Diesel Truck Oil Change?

Thankfully, you don’t need to go out and spend hundreds of dollars on tools and equipment to change your oil. Most of the tools you’ll need are available at any hardware store or in your own toolbox. The items you’ll need to change your oil are:

  • A wrench that’s suitable to remove the drain plug
  • An oil filter wrench
  • A replacement oil filter
  • A container that’s large enough to catch the old oil
  • Replacement diesel oil

With the exception of the replacement diesel oil, you can use all of these tools to replace the oil on other vehicles too. So if you have any other cars in your garage, you can service them also with these items.

How to Change Oil on a Diesel Truck

You can complete an oil change in five simple steps. It’s also a task you can complete in any location, so you don’t need to be in a garage or professional setting. 

Step One

Start your engine and allow it to get warmed up. Wait for it to reach the normal temperatures. 

Make sure that you’ve got the parking brake on, and the tires are blocked, so it doesn’t roll anywhere. Next, pop the hood and loosen the oil filler cap.

Step Two

Place your container underneath the oil drain. Once it’s lined up, remove the plug using your wrench. Wait for all of the liquid to empty out.

Once it’s finished, wipe down the drain plug area. Reinstall the plug and use the wrench to ensure it’s on tight.

Step Three

Take off the air filter cover next. If you have any trouble with the band clamps, use a screwdriver to loosen them. Remove the cover completely and cover the inlets with a clean cloth.

Step Four

Unscrew the oil filter with the specific wrench. Then slowly lower it ensuring that you keep it upright, so you don’t end spilling oil everywhere.

Lubricate the seal on the new filter and install it. Remove the cloth and put back the air filter cover.

Step Five

Pour the new diesel oil into the engine. When the dipstick shows that it’s three-quarters full. Start up the truck and wait for the oil pressure to rise. Then shut it down and allow any oil to drain into the container.

Check the dipstick again and fill the engine with oil until it’s at the correct level. Make sure that you don’t forget to replace the oil filler cap.

How Often Should You Change Oil in a Diesel Truck?

Depending on how often you use your diesel truck will determine how frequently you’ll need to change the oil in your vehicle. Other factors that can contribute to how regularly you’ll need to perform this task include the climate and terrain you’re driving on, if you’re towing heavy loads, and the type of oil you use.

If you do a large number of short trips at low speeds, it’s likely you’ll need to change the oil at least every 5000 miles to avoid any contaminants damaging the engine. If you’re driving on long trips across the country, this number increases to 7500 miles.

The owner’s manual is your best source for recommendations of when to service your vehicle. It will also include information about the types of oil you should use when performing a service.

What Are the Risks of Doing Your Own Oil Change Service?

There are a few risks of performing your own diesel oil change that you’ll need to weigh up before you grab your wrench. For starters, there’s always a possibility that you’ll miss something more sinister because you’re not trained to look out for certain faults.

Professional auto technicians not only know how to change oil correctly every time, they also know how to spot leaks and damaged parts. If problems get caught early, it can save you a lot of money in the long run and the hassle of replacing your engine.

The cost of getting a trained mechanic to service your diesel truck isn’t any more expensive than any other vehicle. It also saves you from cleaning up and a potential oil spill happening in the middle of nowhere.

Where Can You Go for Help?

While the steps are simple, changing oil is an important task that needs to be completed properly to ensure no damage comes to your engine. If you don’t feel confident about it or you don’t know anyone who knows how to change oil on a diesel truck, then you should call a professional.

We’re experienced diesel mechanics who work on vehicles big and small. We don’t only do oil changes. We also service brakes, engines, and anything else under your truck.

Book an appointment today to visit our workshop. We’ll have you back on the road in no time.