Due to the diverse environments heavy-duty vehicles face today, little attention is paid to oil drain intervals as they remain around 25,000 miles. And, because of higher quality lubricants, cleaner fuels, improved filter technology and more dependable engines, it is possible to have an oil drain interval as high as 50,000 miles or more.
For instance, two identical heavy-duty vehicles may experience a very different oil life. This totally depends on various factors, such as the driver’s driving pattern, his usage of clutch, and an overall know-how of the entire maintenance process of his vehicle. Therefore, the driver who knows how to properly maintain his vehicle may reach close to 50,000 miles, while the other driver who pays less attention to the maintenance of his heavy-duty vehicle, may need to feed fresh oil after every 15,000 miles.
This variance in engine oil life is the result of many factors, and the three main areas include:
Age, Design and Condition of the Engine:
The most directly correlated factor to the life of the engine oil is the engine’s fuel efficiency. The type and amount of particles that are blown by the piston rings can be determined by combustion efficiency. The engine’s fuel efficiency can be improved by combustion efficiency. The primary source for ingression of contaminants is usually caused by piston ‘blowby’. Dirt, water, soot, nitrogen oxide, partially burnt hydrocarbons and fuel. Other engine design factors such as seal efficiency, temperature control, and emission control methods influence the type and concentration of contaminants in the oil.
By consistently providing sufficient filtration and seals, it becomes manageable to maintain a healthy oil-flow system. The failure mode does not stop with merely a shorter oil life when subpar conditions are experienced, in critical components such as filters. Another engine characteristic that has an effect on oil drain intervals is the oil capacity or sump size. With an increased volume of engine oil circulating within the engine, there will be a decrease in contamination concentration. Larger sump size also means more oil additives and less thermal distress. Thus, engine manufacturers that offer the largest sump size generally allow longest recommended oil drain interval.
Engine oils have the potential become contaminated by several external conditions. Any factor that influences fuel efficiency also affects the life of the oil. Lower fuel implies that your engine is not operating at an optimal state. Due to which, the engine forces itself to work harder. As a result, there is a lot of pressure on the engine oil.
Some other fuel-efficiency factors include steep roads, lugging, high loads, stop-and-go driving, and even the style of driving.
Even the highest quality oil can be challenged by a range of factors that escalate its own degradation. The initial conditions such as cleanliness, age , etc. of the engine oil is critical, and at the same time, it’s also essential to select the right performance grade of engine oil to counteract the stressing conditions and exposures that can shorten an oil’s life. One tiny particle might not seem too destructive, but it has the power to simply generate as many as 20 new particles from the time of ingression to when they’re finally removed, obliterated or settled away.
It’s wise to change the engine oil, the moment damaging effects of deteriorating oil conditions begin to affect the performance of your heavy-duty vehicle. These damaging effects can either be short or long term. Loss in fuel efficiency from the declined condition of the engine oil until the next oil drain, is one of the short-term effects. Long-term effects involve permanent damage of the pistons, and other internal engine components, which lead to costly repairs, rebuilds and downtime. It can be quite challenging to determine that ideal moment to change engine oil, at least to someone who is not very familiar to the mechanism of the various engines. To know more about premium oils, its properties, maintenance of your heavy-duty vehicle, or if you wish to buy or sell your heavy-duty vehicle, get in touch with our Heavy-duty Direct professionals.