Neil, the oil monitor in the truck doesn't actually do an oil analysis, but it does know how hard you are working the engine, how much idling you allow, and other factors that determine the oil change interval. I'm a fan of the automotive engineers that develop the rules for maintaining your truck, so I'm positive you can rely on the monitor built into your truck to tell you when it's time to change the oil.
But even better is an actual oil analysis. If you use Blackstone, they will tell you whether you wasted oil by changing it too soon, or needed to change it earlier. Every engine is slightly different, and every owner has different driving conditions, so the oil analysis is what you need to determine the oil change interval (OCI) for your
On a new truck, it's difficult to grab an oil sample of a few ounces without going ahead and changing the oil. But that's what I would do in your case. Go ahead and drain the oil into a clean
5-gallon bucket or any clean 5-gallon container at about 7,000 miles. Grab a mid stream sample of about a quarter cup. Install a Fumoto QwikValve to make future oil changes and/or oil samples much easier. Then pour the old oil back into the engine to use until you have the results to the oil analysis.
Go to www.blackstone-labs.com
, and request their free oil sample kit.
Send that sample to Blackstone and ask them to suggest an oil change interval based on that oil sample.
Change the oil based on their suggested OCI (or the truck's monitoring system, whichever is first). Each time you change the oil the first two or three times, get another oil analysis and ask Blackstone to confirm their recommended OCI.
Note that I hate changing oil, so even though I had the Fumoto valve, I usually had the oil in my Ford diesel changed by Wal-Mart. I instructed the Wal-Mart guy to grab a sample of the mid-stream drain flow (using the free Blackstone kit), and they always complied with no problem. That was an older diesel ('99.5 7.3L) used mostly for towing, so my OCI was 5,500 miles, confirmed by numerous Blackstone oil analysis reports over the 197,000 miles I owned that truck.
BTW, I have been a moderator on TheDieselStop (previous URL was Ford-Diesel.com) since 1999. Come see us. You'll be glad you did.