Mastering Commercial Truck Oil Change: Essential Tips

Key Highlights

  • Choosing the right oil and oil change intervals are crucial for optimal engine performance
  • Neglecting engine manufacturer’s recommendations can lead to costly repairs and breakdowns
  • Using inappropriate oil grades can cause engine damage and decreased fuel efficiency
  • Overlooking the importance of oil filter replacement can result in engine damage and decreased oil flow
  • Regular oil changes improve engine health, extend engine life, and enhance overall performance


Performing regular oil changes is essential for maintaining the health and performance of commercial trucks. Commercial trucks are subjected to heavy use, long distances, and challenging conditions, making proper oil maintenance crucial. However, many truck owners and operators make common mistakes that can lead to engine damage, decreased fuel efficiency, and costly repairs. In this blog, we will discuss the key highlights and common mistakes to avoid when performing oil changes on commercial trucks.

Understanding the Basics of Commercial Truck Oil Changes

Before diving into the common mistakes, it’s important to understand the basics of commercial truck oil changes. Commercial trucks operate under demanding conditions, requiring a robust maintenance routine to ensure optimal performance and longevity. One of the critical aspects of this maintenance is choosing the right oil and adhering to recommended change intervals. The engine manufacturer’s guidelines serve as a roadmap to prevent costly repairs and b truck oil changes. Engine oil, also known as motor oil, is the lifeblood of a commercial truck’s engine. It lubricates the moving parts, reduces friction, and dissipates heat. Regular oil changes help remove contaminants and ensure optimal engine performance. Now, let’s explore the significance of choosing the right oil for your commercial truck.

The Significance of Choosing the Right Oil

Choosing the right oil for your commercial truck is crucial to its overall performance and longevity. There are different types of oils available, such as synthetic blend and full synthetic. It’s important to consult the manufacturer’s recommendations and specifications to determine the best oil for your specific truck. Brands like Shell Rotella and Chevron Delo are well-known for their high-quality oils. Using the wrong oil can lead to engine damage, decreased fuel efficiency, and increased wear and tear. It’s essential to select the right oil that meets the requirements of your commercial truck to ensure optimal performance and protection.

Mechanic pouring oil into car engine

Recognizing the Correct Oil Change Intervals

Determining the correct oil change intervals is essential for maintaining the health of your commercial truck. While the general recommendation is an oil change every 25,000 miles, it’s important to consider factors such as the type of oil filter used, routine maintenance, and preventative maintenance. Regularly inspecting the oil filter can help assess its condition and determine if it needs replacement before the scheduled oil change. Engaging in routine maintenance and preventative measures, such as regularly checking oil levels and monitoring engine performance, can also help identify when an oil change is needed. It’s crucial to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and engage in proactive maintenance to ensure optimal engine health and performance.

Common Pitfalls in the Oil Change Process

Performing an oil change on a commercial truck may seem straightforward, but there are common pitfalls that truck owners and operators should be aware of. Even with years of experience, overlooking certain aspects of the oil change process can lead to significant issues down the line. Let’s explore some of these common pitfalls and how you can avoid them to ensure a successful oil change.

Neglecting Engine Manufacturer’s Recommendations

One common mistake truck owners make when performing oil changes is neglecting the engine manufacturer’s recommendations. Each engine manufacturer has specific guidelines and requirements for oil changes, and failing to adhere to these recommendations can result in engine damage and voided warranties. For example, Freightliner ExpressPoint provides comprehensive guidelines for oil change intervals and procedures for their engines. Additionally, neglecting the manufacturer’s recommendations can lead to unexpected breakdowns, costly repairs, and even violations during Department of Transportation inspections. It’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the engine manufacturer’s recommendations and adhere to them to ensure the longevity and performance of your commercial truck.

Using Inappropriate Oil Grades

Using inappropriate oil grades is another common mistake when performing oil changes on commercial trucks. Different engines require specific oil grades to function optimally. Using the wrong oil grade can lead to engine damage, decreased fuel efficiency, and increased wear and tear. It’s important to consult the engine manufacturer’s recommendations and specifications to determine the appropriate oil grade for your truck. Brands like Delo provide a range of high-quality engine oils suitable for commercial trucks. By using the correct oil grade, you can ensure optimal engine performance, fuel efficiency, and overall longevity of your truck.

Overlooking the Importance of Oil Filter Replacement

One crucial aspect of the oil change process that is often overlooked is the replacement of the oil filter. The oil filter plays a vital role in removing contaminants and particles from the oil, ensuring clean oil circulates throughout the engine. Over time, the oil filter becomes clogged with debris, reducing its effectiveness. Neglecting to replace the oil filter can lead to decreased oil flow, increased engine wear, and potential engine damage. It’s important to prioritize oil filter replacement during oil changes to maintain optimal engine health. Here are a few key points to remember about oil filter replacement:

  • Regularly inspect the oil filter for signs of clogging or damage
  • Use high-quality oil filters from trusted brands
  • Consider replacing other filters, such as air filters and fuel filters, during oil changes for comprehensive maintenance
  • Hydraulic filters should also be inspected and replaced as needed to ensure proper functioning of hydraulic systems

    a man opening the door of a blue truck

Advanced Tips for Effective Oil Changes

In addition to avoiding common pitfalls, there are advanced tips that can enhance the effectiveness of oil changes for commercial trucks. These tips go beyond the basic oil change process and focus on maximizing engine health and performance. Let’s explore some of these advanced tips to ensure your oil changes are top-notch.

Techniques for Assessing Oil Quality

Assessing the quality of oil is essential for maintaining engine health and performance. Regular oil analysis can provide valuable insights into the condition of the oil and identify potential issues before they become major problems. Oil analysis involves testing the oil for contaminants, monitoring levels of lubricants and additives, and assessing overall oil quality. By analyzing the oil, you can identify issues such as excessive contaminants or inadequate lubrication, allowing you to take appropriate action to rectify the situation. Incorporating oil analysis into your maintenance routine can help optimize engine performance and extend the life of your commercial truck.

The Role of Full Oil Analysis in Preventative Maintenance

Full oil analysis plays a crucial role in preventative maintenance for your commercial truck. By conducting comprehensive oil analysis, you can identify potential engine issues early on and take proactive steps to address them. Full synthetic oils are particularly beneficial for oil analysis, as they offer superior performance and provide a more accurate assessment of engine health. Regular oil analysis helps monitor the condition of the oil, detect any abnormalities, and prevent costly breakdowns and repairs. By incorporating full oil analysis into your preventative maintenance routine, you can ensure optimal engine performance, extend the lifespan of your commercial truck, and minimize downtime and expenses.

Step-by-Step Guide to Performing an Oil Change

Now that we’ve discussed the common mistakes and advanced tips, let’s dive into a step-by-step guide for performing an oil change on a commercial truck. Following these steps will ensure a thorough and effective oil change process. From preparing your truck for the oil change to adding new oil and performing final checks, each step is crucial for maintaining optimal engine health and performance.

Preparing Your Commercial Truck for an Oil Change

Before starting the oil change process, it’s important to prepare your commercial truck. This involves conducting a thorough inspection and addressing any maintenance tasks that may be required. Here are some key steps to prepare your truck for an oil change:

  • Perform a brake inspection to ensure proper functionality
  • Check and replace the cabin air filter if necessary
  • Check the coolant level and top up if needed
  • By taking these preparatory steps, you can ensure a smooth oil change process and minimize the risk of any additional issues arising during the procedure.

The Process of Draining Old Oil

Once your commercial truck is prepared, it’s time to drain the old oil. This process involves removing the drain plug or opening the drain valve to allow the old oil to drain out completely. It’s important to ensure that the truck is on a level surface and that you have a suitable container to collect the old oil. Once the oil has drained, it’s crucial to inspect the drain plug or valve for any signs of damage or wear. Lubricating the drain plug or valve before reinstalling it can help ensure a proper seal and prevent leaks. By following the correct process for draining old oil, you can remove all the contaminants and debris, preparing the truck for fresh oil.

Steps for Replacing the Oil Filter

Replacing the oil filter is an essential step in the oil change process. Here are the key steps for replacing the oil filter:

  • Locate the oil filter on your commercial truck
  • Use an oil filter wrench or other suitable tool to remove the old oil filter
  • Clean the mounting surface and apply a thin layer of fresh oil to the new oil filter gasket
  • Install the new oil filter, making sure it is properly aligned and tightened to the manufacturer’s specifications
  • Double-check the tightness of the oil filter to ensure a proper seal and prevent leaks
  • Using high-quality oil filters from trusted brands like Fleetguard and Baldwin is crucial for optimal engine
    protection and performance. By following these steps, you can ensure that the oil filter is replaced correctly and ready to filter the fresh oil.

    Different car accessories composition

Adding New Oil and Final Checks

After draining the old oil and replacing the oil filter, it’s time to add fresh oil to your commercial truck. Here are the steps for adding new oil and performing final checks:

  • Determine the correct oil capacity for your truck and gather the appropriate amount of oil
  • Pour the fresh oil into the engine using a funnel, taking care not to spill or overfill
  • Monitor the oil level using the dipstick and add more oil if necessary
  • Start the engine and let it run for a few minutes to ensure proper oil circulation
  • Check for any leaks or abnormal noises
  • Perform a final inspection of the oil level and ensure it is within the recommended range
  • By following these steps and conducting final checks, you can ensure that your commercial truck is properly lubricated and ready for optimal performance on the road.

Troubleshooting Common Issues During Oil Changes

While performing an oil change on your commercial truck, you may encounter common issues that require troubleshooting. These issues can range from minor inconveniences to more serious problems. It’s important to be prepared and know how to address these issues to avoid delays or further complications. Let’s explore some common issues that can arise during oil changes and how to troubleshoot them effectively.

Dealing with Stripped Drain Plugs

One common issue that can occur during an oil change is a stripped drain plug. A stripped drain plug can make it difficult to remove or reinstall the plug, leading to leaks and potential engine damage. If you encounter a stripped drain plug, here are some steps to address the issue:

  • Use a specialized tool like a drain plug repair kit to repair the stripped threads
  • If the threads are severely damaged, consider replacing the entire oil pan
  • Seek professional assistance from a trusted mechanic if necessary
  • By taking these steps, you can effectively deal with a stripped drain plug and ensure a proper seal during the oil change process. Remember to exercise caution and seek professional help if needed.

Resolving Leaks After an Oil Change

Another common issue that can occur after an oil change is leaks. Leaks can occur due to various reasons, such as a loose drain plug, a faulty oil filter seal, or damaged gaskets. Resolving leaks promptly is crucial to prevent further damage and maintain optimal engine performance. Here are some steps to resolve leaks after an oil change:

  • Inspect the drain plug, oil filter, and surrounding areas for any signs of leaks or damage
  • Tighten the drain plug and ensure the oil filter is properly installed and sealed
  • Replace any damaged gaskets or seals
  • Use high-quality products like Lucas Oil to enhance the seal and prevent leaks
  • By following these steps and using reliable products, you can effectively resolve leaks and ensure a leak-free oil change. Customer testimonials and pricing information are available at LubeZone Truck Lube Centers, where experienced technicians provide quality service to address any post-oil change issues.

The Impact of Regular Oil Changes on Engine Health

Regular oil changes have a significant impact on the health and performance of commercial truck engines. By maintaining clean and properly lubricated engines, regular oil changes offer several benefits:

  • Improved engine health and longevity
  • Enhanced fuel efficiency
  • Increased horsepower and engine performance
  • Reduced risk of breakdowns and costly repairs
  • By prioritizing regular oil changes, commercial truck owners can maximize the lifespan of their engines and enjoy optimal performance on the road.

    black truck on road during daytime

Extending Engine Life Through Proper Lubrication

Proper lubrication is key to extending the life of a commercial truck’s engine. Regular oil changes ensure that the engine is properly lubricated, reducing friction and wear on the moving parts. Synthetic blend and full synthetic oils are particularly effective in providing superior lubrication and protection. By using these high-quality oils and following the recommended oil change intervals, truck owners can significantly extend the life of their engines. Proper lubrication not only improves engine performance and fuel efficiency but also reduces the risk of costly repairs and breakdowns. It’s essential to prioritize proper lubrication through regular oil changes to preserve the health and longevity of your commercial truck’s engine.

Performance Benefits of Regular Oil Changes

Regular oil changes offer numerous performance benefits for commercial trucks. These benefits translate into improved fuel efficiency, increased horsepower, and enhanced overall engine performance. By maintaining clean oil and ensuring proper lubrication, the engine operates more efficiently, reducing fuel consumption and maximizing power output. Regular oil changes also help remove sludge, dirt, and contaminants from the engine, allowing it to function optimally. With improved engine performance, commercial truck owners can experience smoother acceleration, better towing capabilities, and overall enhanced driving experience. By prioritizing regular oil changes, truck owners can unlock the full potential of their engines and enjoy the performance benefits that come with it.


Regular oil changes are crucial for maintaining the health of commercial trucks. Choosing the right oil and truck repair services, recommendations, and replacing filters are key steps. Neglecting these can lead to serious issues like engine damage and leaks. By understanding the process and using advanced techniques like oil analysis, you can prevent common pitfalls. Proper oil changes not only extend engine life but also improve performance. Stay informed, follow best practices, and ensure your commercial truck is well taken care of to avoid costly repairs down the road.