Considering Extended Oil Change Intervals?

Apr 13th, 2012 | By | Category: Features, Tow Tip

Current engine oils are not inexpensive, but perform extraordinarily well. Because of their higher performance, some towers consider increasing the intervals between oil changes, a possible money-saving change in maintenance procedures made even more appealing by the substantial reduction in crankcase acidity due to the widespread use of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel.

Are extended oil change intervals an idea worth considering?

Maybe… maybe not. A prudent tow truck owner should never, ever lose sight of long-term cost of ownership in the pursuit of short-term maintenance cost savings. By and large, most tow trucks experience hard use, climatic extremes, harsh environmental conditions (dust, highway chemicals, salts, etc.), and prolonged idling, so severe service oil change intervals are often the most appropriate. Cavalierly extending oil change intervals could be an expensive gamble. Only after establishing a baseline with used engine oil testing should such a change in recommended procedures be considered.

— A.P. McDonald

See more info about the special oil demands of today’s diesel truck engines in the April issue of Tow Times.