Oil is the lifeblood of every vehicle, a maintenance fact that everyone can agree on. What many can’t agree on is how often motor vehicle oil should be changed. The truth is, there's really no completely right answer. The need to change your oil can vary depending on your vehicle, what you do with it, and the type of oil you use.
So how do you know when to change oil in your off-road truck? Oil testing is a great solution. You’ll know when it’s the right time to change the oil and you could learn some other important things about your truck. A complete oil analysis can tell you if your engine is performing well or if there are hidden problems that need attention.
Changing Oil Every "X" Miles Is Inefficient and Damaging
Most people are taught to change the oil in their vehicles every 3,000 to 5,000 miles to ensure they are always running on fresh, clean oil. While this may hold true for average vehicles, it may not for off-road trucks and other vehicles that work hard and undergo a lot of strain.
Changing the oil too frequently will cost you extra money, especially if you use higher-cost synthetic oils. Changing it too infrequently can lead to engine damage. Overall, leaving oil change frequency to the mileage is at best a guess. Neither option allows you to actually see what is going on inside your motor and how your truck is actually performing. This is perhaps the most important measure of when your oil breaks down and needs to be changed.
Why Oil Testing Is Better
Oil testing is a preferred method for determining when the oil in any performance vehicle should be changed in light of the different variables with the oil and the vehicle. Oil testing analyzes how well the oil in your vehicle is performing and whether it’s maintaining its protective qualities.
When tracked over time, you can use this information to get an idea of how long you can go between oil changes based on the typical usage of your truck.
More importantly, oil testing is a valuable tool to help monitor your truck’s performance. It can diagnose symptoms before they progress to an engine breakdown. Oil testing is one of the best ways to monitor the inner workings of the motor for wear and tear.
With all this information, you can plan maintenance or even preventive repairs to correct growing issues that could result in damage if not detected until it is obvious.
How Oil Testing Helps Vehicle Performance
Oil testing is a complete analysis of the oil at the time of testing. In addition to detecting the substances that make up the oil itself, it also detects other substances like metals, chemicals, and any elements that should not be in the oil and may have come from the engine itself. By identifying foreign materials in the oil as well as the level of oil degradation, you can identify the different engine components that are wearing or failing.
Just like the great performance that comes from having the right fenders, tires, and bumpers installed, you can monitor your truck’s performance against a scale of parameter limits to help you know when problems like a gasket leak or worn bearing could be brewing. Oil testing is also a great place to try and pinpoint a problem when you begin experiencing power issues and other engine concerns.
Oil testing is easy and pretty inexpensive. For just $25, you can get a comprehensive report of how your type and brand of oil is functioning, how often you should change it, and how well the engine of your off-road truck is performing. The money you spend on these analyses can save you money on oil changes and expensive repairs by finding emerging problems before they become obvious!