Basics of a Diesel Oil Change

January 27, 2012

A diesel oil change is a regular part of the maintenance required of your diesel vehicle. Just like a car or truck that runs on gas, diesel engines require the proper lubrication to keep them in good working order. A synthetic diesel oil change, under the right conditions, can last a very long time without needing to be drained. Amsoil and Mobil 1 are two synthetic diesel options to look into, but you should never forgo changing your diesel oil just because you think you can. Consulting with your mechanic is a good idea if you have questions about how long your synthetic oil will last. There are some basics to a diesel oil change that every diesel owner should know. Things like cost, drain intervals and brand options are important to have in mind when you go to get your oil changed. Knowing how to do it yourself helps too.


An oil change for a gas powered car or truck will usually run between $20 and $30 depending on where you go. Chain lube stations may offer sales or specials, but individual mechanics often do a more thorough job for just a little more money. Diesel oil change cost, on the other hand, is somewhere between $50 and $70. If you use synthetics, it will be more expensive. This is because diesel fuel, including oil, is typically more expensive than petroleum. Again, it depends on where you go for the oil change.

Drain Interval

For gas-powered cars and trucks, conventional wisdom says to get an oil change every 3000 miles or 3 months. Of course, this does not mean that if you wait until 3500 miles your car will explode. It is simply a manufacturer and oil company recommendation. For diesel rigs, this recommended number goes up to 7500 miles.

Do It Yourself

If you want to change your diesel oil on your own, the process is exactly like that of a gas powered vehicle. You will need a wrench to remove the drain plug, an oil filter wrench, a new oil filter, an oil pan big enough for the old oil and enough diesel oil to replace it. Warm up the rig for a few minutes to loosen the oil, shut it off, and remove the drain plug. After the oil has completely drained, remove the oil filter and its gasket, replace it with the new one, put the drain plug back in place, and fill the engine with the right amount of diesel oil. If the engine is not brand new, you can use synthetic oil for an even longer interval.

Basically, a diesel oil change is identical to a regular oil change. Except for the recommended interval between changes, the components are the same. If you go somewhere for it, it may cost you a bit more, but since you can drive longer between each draining, the cost evens out.

Related Questions and Answers

Is a Transmission Check and Oil Change Price Higher with Diesel Cars?

The exact transmission oil change price will vary from one service center to another. You can choose to do this yourself, as it will cost you nothing, but you might have to get professional help for most modern cars. Usually getting a professional will cost you about $50-$100 for an oil change depending on the car model and the condition of the car. It won't cost you extra, but ensure that you check with the service center before you do the oil change. Most oil centers will show you the oil kit and change the oil in front of you.In an Oil Filter Comparison, What Lasts Longer: Diesel or Gasoline?

An oil filter comparison between gasoline cars and diesel cars is not very different. Usually every time you replace the oil, you can replace the filter or at least clean it out. This is because most new oil filters are about pint sized as compared to the original quart-sized in older models. Diesel engines also require a more frequent change of oil filters in gasoline cars, generally due to the different engine and combustion principle. But the quality of oil that is now used in both diesel cars as well as gasoline cars is far superior to what it was a few years back. You should change your diesel oil filter more frequently as compared to a gasoline filter but not as much as previously.

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