How Often Does a Diesel Truck Need an Oil Change?

Oil Changing for Diesel Truck

Diesel trucks, such as semi trucks and tractor trailers, have different needs than typical consumer vehicles like 4 door sedans and pickup trucks. One of these needs is in the oil change. Diesel trucks do not need oil changes at the same frequency as most consumer vehicles.

So what determines oil change frequency, and how often do diesel trucks need their oil changed? Let’s find out.

Typical Oil Change Intervals

Lighter duty vehicles need their oil changed more frequently. Most consumer vehicles need their oil changed every 3,000 miles or so. Light duty commercial vehicles typically need their oil changed around every 5,000 miles.

Heavy duty vehicles such as semi trucks will typically need an oil change every 25,000 miles. If properly cared for, this could go up to 50,000 miles.

Most fleets will want to change their oil more frequently to ensure consistent performance, so at around the 16,000 mile mark is when a heavy duty fleet operator should consider changing the oil in their vehicles.

What Determines Semi Truck Oil Change Frequency

Driving habits. If you’re driving more efficiently, you won’t need as many oil changes. Keeping a constant speed on highways and driving primarily on well-maintained roads (even if it seems like a shorter route on the back road) will help.

Driving conditions. Road quality, climate (especially if you’re driving through multiple climate zones at a time), and environmental pollution can be impactful.

Oil quality. Let’s be honest: using better oil will not only keep your engine running more smoothly for longer, it will also allow you to keep the vehicle going without an oil change for longer.

In Summary

  • Light duty commercial vehicles should have their oil changed every 5,000 miles or so. Heavy duty diesel trucks should have their oil changed every 25,000 miles at least.
  • Changing your fleet’s oil every 16,000 miles can make sure that there are no performance dips over time.
  • Driving more efficiently will prevent you from having to get an oil change as often. That is, keeping a constant speed, driving primarily on highways, and keeping your truck on well maintained roads if possible.
  • Driving through multiple climate zones can severely impact the oil quality.
  • Regular oil change for semi-trucks is important to maintain the life of the engine.
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