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  1. #1
    Heavy Load Member kwforage's Avatar
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    Oil Change Intervals

    I am looking for some opinions here. My truck gets very few miles on it in a year for how much it is driven. Mostly it is putting around a dusty field at low rpms with a few short road trips between loads. The truck sees about 10,000 miles a year and about 300-400 hrs. Is once a year too far to stretch my change intervals? Usually the rule of thumb for our tractors is about 250 hrs but I do not know if that would be similar for the truck engines.


  2. #2
    Road Train Member Heavyd's Avatar
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    Once a year is still too long, given the environment you are working in. The oil additives that protect your engine against acid, soot and moisture will eventually break down and be less affective over time along, not just usage. Lets say your oil is only 60% effective at properly lubricating and protecting your engine. Why would you have oil that is not doing what it is supposed to do? Oil changes aren't that expensive, not really. I think you can squeeze one or two more in there over the course of the year. I would start to question the oil after 4-6 months. Plus, how often are you greasing the chassis? Please don't say that is only once a year too?

  3. #3
    Heavy Load Member kwforage's Avatar
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    Chassis is greased about every 40-50 hrs. I figured once a year was a stretch for the oil but once a year to me means May when it comes out of storage then it goes back in the shed in Oct. so really the oil is only 6 months old. Still old but not really a year old.

  4. #4
    Road Train Member Cowpie1's Avatar
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    The best way to tell is to do an oil sample analysis on your oil every few months to see if it is holding up. I only change the oil annually in my ag tractor and it gets worse abuse than you are doing to your truck. If the oil samples show your oil is not holding up, then change it. But if it is holding up, why go thru the cost of a complete oil change if you don't have to. We all have our opinions on what an oil change interval should be, but get the advice of a good oil sample lab. Doesn't cost that much to do a sample.

  5. #5
    Heavy Load Member kwforage's Avatar
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    I've been thinking of doing an oil analysis. How would I go about having on done? How much is it?

  6. #6
    Road Train Member Heavyd's Avatar
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    Come on you guys, you make it sound like changing the oil is this major undertaking that costs thousands of dollars and takes weeks to do! Isn't an $80,000 tractor or $30,000 farm truck worth an extra few hundred dollars a year for some oil and filters? Engines are too expensive to replace or overhaul for the sakes of stretching the oil life. Why would you want oil in your engine that isn't doing 100% of what it's suppose to do?

  7. #7
    Heavy Load Member kwforage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heavyd View Post
    Come on you guys, you make it sound like changing the oil is this major undertaking that costs thousands of dollars and takes weeks to do! Isn't an $80,000 tractor or $30,000 farm truck worth an extra few hundred dollars a year for some oil and filters? Engines are too expensive to replace or overhaul for the sakes of stretching the oil life. Why would you want oil in your engine that isn't doing 100% of what it's suppose to do?
    Agreed, it's only $140 for oil and a filter. I was just looking for some opinions since most oil changes are based on milage. I would like to do an analasys to see how the engine is holding up.

  8. #8
    Road Train Member Cowpie1's Avatar
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    There are a number of options. Have a sample taken at your favorite truck stop shop. Or you could use a mail in lab like WearCheck or Blackstone Labs. Just do a search on oil sample services. Cost would be around $20, give or take. The mail in labs will send you the kits and you take the sample and mail it in. They will give you a detailed writeup by mail or email. True, you could just spend the money and change the oil, but how will you know what is going on inside the engine, like, if you have a internal coolant leak, excessive bearing wear, a leaking fuel injector, etc. A oil sample will give you that info along with how well the oil is holding up. Like has been stated, you have thousands of dollars invested in equipment, why not spend a little to keep it up. An occasional oil sample, in your case maybe twice a year, is darn good insurance for little cost. I run far more miles than you are talking about, but I run an oil sample each time I do an oil change. I get my oil samples done free as a service of the company I get my oil from.

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    I had an oil analysis done on a truck I am about to buy (CAT C-15 MXS). It came back as high iron level (seventy-eight, other levels were normal. CAT suggested cutting open filters to inspect for debris, change oil and install new filters, which I will do. But I am wondering what could be causing the high iron level, hoping it's not something that could be a serious problem. Anyone have any ideas?
    Last edited by Dubwise; 11.11.2010 at 11.51 AM.

  10. #10
    Road Train Member Krooser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dubwise View Post
    I had an oil analysis done on a truck I am about to buy (CAT C-15 MXS). It came back as high iron level (78, other levels were normal. CAT suggested cutting open filters to inspect for debris, change oil and install new filters, which I will do. But I am wondering what could be causing the high iron level, hoping it's not something that could be a serious problem. Anyone have any ideas?
    Liners, camshafts, camshaft, cam followers, etc.

    I'd pass on buying that truck...


    http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/whatisoilanalysis.htm

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