Changing the oil in my fourth generation Ram/Cummins trucks (and Toyota 4Runner) is so easy with the NoSpill Systems drain plug kit; I love them. The gallon freezer bag trick also works great to capture the oil filter, which is easily accessed through the wheel well on manual transmission fourth generation Rams.
This Chevron Delo 400 5W-40 oil had been in the engine of this 2014 Ram 2500 for 14,700 miles, many miles but not excessive based on the guidelines for the platform. However, it took 30 months to accumulate those miles because we have a few vehicles, and I work from home and don’t have a daily commute. Should I have changed it sooner? Maybe.
I’m well aware that Cummins and Ram recommend an oil change interval of six months on these trucks if the mileage recommendation is not met before. This has always seemed excessive and I’ve preferred one year as a general guide. Of course, if one is concerned about meeting warranty standards they probably want to follow the manufacturers’ rules.
Anyone want to bet against me, and take the position that the oil was excessively deteriorated, contaminated, and in bad condition because of the time-in-service? Even if someone was willing, my morals wouldn’t let me take their money. While the results are pending, based on past experiences and testing, I’m confident all will be fine. We shall see.
Oil samples submitted for analysis from both my late-model Ram/Cummins (2014 & 2017) and a 2006 Toyota V8, and other rigs I no longer own, have shown that time is not the old bugaboo that many still fear. At least not for my uses and practices.
Data from some recent samples have shown that theoretically excessive time-in-service did not damage the oil in my applications. Of course duty-cycle does matter, and if one rarely gets engines up to full operating temperature, or makes repeated, excessively-short trips, total time might be a concern. Your environment may matter too. You’ll have to be your own judge.
Stay tuned, the results from this most recent analysis, and those from previous tests, will interest many and might dispel myths.
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James Langan, December 2020
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