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Thread: How often to change oil on a lightly used pickup?

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
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    6,090
    On both our vehicles I removed the oil drain plugs and installed spring loaded drain valves. Shove on a 90 degree bent rubber hose and they drain straight down. Easy to do once you remember where the valve is and my arms are long enough I just reach under and do it. Well worth $15 or so per valve. I change filters every other oil change.
    Bill D

  2. #17
    I think my oil plugs are magnetic. Maybe on my truck I had a lee valley magnet sitting down low area on the oil pan, not sure if its still there, you are reminding me I should change the oil. Its pretty forgiving vehicle, sort of as complicated as a lawn mower. some stuff to be said for the old days.

  3. #18
    We have a 40' diesel pusher with an 8.3 Cummins powerplant and Allison 6 speed auto trans, this same setup is used in fire trucks, buses, many big rigs fitted with auto transmissions rather than manuals. The title of this thread refers to a 'lightly used pickup' - Our motorhome dry weighs 27,000 lbs, and I can only imagine what a fully watered-down firetruck must weigh! These diesels on their easiest day are anything but 'lightly used'

    --recommended oil change interval for these engines is 12,000 to 15,000 miles using NON synthetic oil...

    --just for reference
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  4. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    New Jersey
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    1,254
    Change mine 5000 miles or twice a year whichever works out. I do not put much milage on my truck these days now that I am retired.
    John T.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Michiana
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    I used to own a pickup that saw infrequent use. It was my daily driver for 4-5 years, but was parked in favor of a fuel efficient commuter vehicle. I averaged one tank of gas a year for the last two or three years I owned it. I went all that time on the same oil change. At least one a year I made a point to drive it for an hour or so to bring it up to temp and "burn the crabs out of it". I checked the oil prior to every use and it was fine. I eventually sold it when some quick math revealed that I could rent a pickup on those few occasions I needed one for much less than the cost of plates and insurance.
    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

  6. #21
    This topic will be debated as long as there are internal combustion engines. I defer back to my Dad, "Oil is cheap, engines are expensive."
    With that said, I don't hear of many engine failures these days compared to transmissions.

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Michiana
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    2,190
    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Citerone View Post
    .... I defer back to my Dad, "Oil is cheap, engines are expensive.".....
    Dads are smart.
    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Kansas City
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    1,846
    Once a year, before winter. Last new vehicle I had, Honda Ridgeline, the dealer refused to change the oil until the indicator code said so (at 7,500).
    Hobbyist

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Anaheim, California
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    "Oil change interval" is a religious topic for most people: we can't discuss it here.
    Yoga class makes me feel like a total stud, mostly because I'm about as flexible as a 2x4.
    "Design"? Possibly. "Intelligent"? Sure doesn't look like it from this angle.
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  10. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Anaheim, California
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Calow View Post
    Once a year, before winter. Last new vehicle I had, Honda Ridgeline, the dealer refused to change the oil until the indicator code said so (at 7,500).
    Honda owner manual and FSM both say "or once a year". It still boggles my mind that 21st-century engine-management computers can keep track of exactly how cold-starts/heat-cycles and engine revs have occurred since your last oil change, but they have no idea how long ago it was.
    Yoga class makes me feel like a total stud, mostly because I'm about as flexible as a 2x4.
    "Design"? Possibly. "Intelligent"? Sure doesn't look like it from this angle.
    We used to be hunter gatherers. Now we're shopper borrowers.
    The three most important words in the English language: "Front Towards Enemy".
    The world makes a lot more sense when you remember that Butthead was the smart one.
    You can never be too rich, too thin, or have too much ammo.

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Michiana
    Posts
    2,190
    We have a late model VW that tracks both miles and time. Itís a weekend car for the summer only and gets about 3K miles a year. The factory interval is 5K. Every spring it tells us to change the oil.
    Last edited by Rob Luter; 06-20-2021 at 8:13 PM.
    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Fairbanks AK
    Posts
    826
    I installed a "catch can" between the crankcase and intake manifold on my 2004 (LS1) GTO that captured some really nasty looking stuff, but I put up to 10k miles per month on that car flitting around the lower 48 like a 3500# hummingbird, at velocities I am unwilling to share. I will say the only two places east of the Mississippi where I was willing to set the cruise control at 120 were westbound short stretches of interstate highway that terminated to the west with bridges over the Mississippi. 10k miles per month off the clock while working full time is not a lifestyle I miss. I do miss the money.

    Up here I am religous about 4-5k miles (3-4 months) changes on synthetic oil (2015 Tacoma), but my year round average 24/7/365 temp is +32 degrees F. They are all cold starts here.

    With a low mileage vehicle in a moderate climate my limit would be about 5k miles or annually on full synthetic oil. Oil changes are indeed cheaper than new engines. Thank you Andrew Zetts.

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    New Jersey
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    An update

    Thanks for the advice
    So I had the oil changed and rotated the tires, good for another year (or two)
    Dennis

  14. #29
    when i change the oil I rotate tires, grease joints and service the brake calipers and adjust the rear adjusters.

    I drive older stuff, since doing that never had any more caliper issues hanging up.

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