The Basics of Diesel Oil Changes

As with any type of vehicle, a diesel oil change is important in the overall maintenance of your diesel car or truck. Having the oil changed at regular intervals will keep the engine lubricated and cut back on sludge or other issues that can occur. There are a few differences between a standard oil change and a diesel oil change. It's suggested for diesel engines that a synthetic oil is used. This will prolong the life of the oil in between changes. Synthetic oil can also withstand harsher conditions and higher temperatures than a non synthetic oil. Because of the nature of most diesel engines, this is a good idea.


Standard gas vehicles should have oil changes every 3000 miles or so. A diesel engine can go a little longer between oil changes. It's recommended that a diesel engine should have the oil changed every 7500 miles. This makes sense. A diesel vehicle is usually used to run longer distances, and haul heavier loads. The oil used in a diesel engine is made to go a little longer because of this. For those who use their diesel vehicles as work vehicles, it would be a huge inconvenience to have to change the oil every 3000 miles.

Estimated Costs

Having the oil changed in a diesel vehicle will cost more than a gas vehicle. Depending on the type of vehicle, the shop you choose, and the type of oil, you can expect the cost to be between $60 and $100. Using synthetic oil in a large vehicle will be closer to the $100 mark. If you choose not to use synthetic oil, and just have a small pick-up powered by diesel, the oil change will be cheaper.

Self Service

Many people choose to change the oil in their vehicles on their own to save costs. A diesel engine oil change isn't going to differ much from a gas engine. The main differences are going to be the jack you use and the type of oil. Since diesel engines are typically found in larger vehicles, the jack you use for your family car may not be enough. Check to ensure the jack can handle the weight of the vehicle. The amount of oil you use will be different as well. While your family van may only need 4-5 quarts of oil, a diesel engine can use anywhere from 10-50 quarts. Remember that you will need a larger pan to drain the oil in to because of this.

The oil filters are usually in the same place. A few models of diesel trucks will have a top mounted filter instead. If you don't already have a manual for your vehicle, it's wise to get one before you try to change the oil. This will eliminate any surprises.