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Old 01-25-2016, 10:36 PM   #1
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Changing oil on my diesel motor home

What is the consensus on changing the oil on a diesel motor home engine - start the engine and warm it up before draining the oil, or drain the oil cold after it has set for several hours if not days so as much of the oil has drained down out of the engine as possible? Is one procedure any better than the other?
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Old 01-25-2016, 10:43 PM   #2
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Cummins says warm. But I wouldn't start it and let it idle. It needs to be driven 30 miles or so to really get them warmed up.
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Old 01-25-2016, 10:59 PM   #3
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It's a decades old question. Some warm it, some don't. It will definitely drain faster if it's warm, or even hot. But, some don't like dealing with that hot of oil. I've done it both ways and, I've changed a few zillion gallons of oil and, I'd bet there's really no real difference. You certainly don't have to wait for "days" to make sure all the oil is in the pan before draining.

Heck, if you just ran it or, it's warn enough, then a 1/2 hours wait is just fine. You'll get 99.999999999% of the oil that's drainable.
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Old 01-25-2016, 11:13 PM   #4
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Old 01-26-2016, 08:56 AM   #5
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Cummins says warm. But I wouldn't start it and let it idle. It needs to be driven 30 miles or so to really get them warmed up.
Good advice. I found a mom and pop diesel shop to do mine...don't want to have to mess with 40 qts of hot oil.
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Old 01-26-2016, 09:09 AM   #6
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When I changed the oil on the diesels on my boat I would start the engines and let them run for about 15 minutes or so - long enough for the oil to get warm enough drain easily, but not long enough that the engine gets so hot that I couldn't get near it. (Working on a boat is different than an RV, you are IN the engine compartment with the engines - having them a bit cooler was a good thing).
Change the oil and THEN take it out for a drive to get the engine completely warmed up. That way you don't break the 'rule' about not working a diesel engine when you start it, and you don't have to cook yourself to change the oil. I figure the 30 minutes of 'off' time while I change the oil isn't long enough for any condensation to happen inside the engine.
Aside from warm oil draining better, I've also heard that running the engine, and therefore circulating the oil, allows the oil to pick up particulates that may have settled in the engine, and then they drain out with the oil. This may be one of those old wives tales, but it makes enough sense to me that I do it. It may not actually help, but I figure it can't hurt.
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Old 01-26-2016, 09:25 AM   #7
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One of the ideas of warming the engine is to let the oil wash off the drops of condensation that collects inside the engine.

Open your oil fill cap and look under it sometime.

The warm oil carries that all out the drain.
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Old 01-26-2016, 09:29 AM   #8
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I usually change my fuel filters first so by the time I start the engine between changes the engine is warm enough to make the oil drain a little faster.
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Old 01-26-2016, 09:42 AM   #9
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Condensation gets burned off as vapor every time the engine gets thoroughly warm. Every time an engine cools in a higher humidity environment moisture will collect again.
Consistant, regular interval, clean oil changes are the best for any engine.
That said, after 3-5k mile oil changes on a gasser (2-3 times/yr.), a 15k-20k mile interval seems like a really long time for a diesel. That could take me 2 years. (Ya right, yearly). Nice thing though, it's easier on a diesel to change oil.
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Old 01-26-2016, 10:17 AM   #10
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If your sampling the oil, I would run the engine. If not, then either way is fine,
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Old 01-26-2016, 10:29 AM   #11
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Nice thing though, it's easier on a diesel to change oil.


I'm curious. How is that? Please elaborate. How is it easier dealing with gallons of used oil vs quarts of used oil?
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Old 01-26-2016, 10:34 AM   #12
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Changing oil on my diesel motor home

Speedco gets my business for oil/filter, fuel filters, chassis lube and oil test. $230 complete
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Old 01-26-2016, 12:03 PM   #13
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Speedco gets my business for oil/filter, fuel filters, chassis lube and oil test. $230 complete
The only way to fly.
20 quarts oil, oil filter, 2 fuel filters, water filter, chassis lube, in ad out in 45 minutes max, all for around $250
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Old 01-26-2016, 03:49 PM   #14
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The only way to fly.
20 quarts oil, oil filter, 2 fuel filters, water filter, chassis lube, in ad out in 45 minutes max, all for around $250


Thanks for the tip! I never heard of Speedco. Looked it up on the internet and found one in my area.
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