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Old 10-09-2012, 10:25 AM   #1
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Couple of F450 questions

Hi, I have a couple of questions about our 2012 F450 tow vehicle. We're pulling a New Horizons 5ver about 21000 pounds total tow weight and have been full time since June. This is our first RV and truck.

We purchased a new 2012 F450 and it has about 6000 miles total on it so far; about 4500 of these are towing with the first 1500 not towing shortly after delivery and on our drive out to Kansas to pick up the rig. Towing has all been the East/Northeast mostly on highways. The manual suggests an oil change interval between 5000 and 10000 miles depending on driving conditions. While we're towing about 21000 or our 24500 towing limit I would call the use low/moderate so far; we tow about 61-62 on freeways and have towed distances between 120 and 220 miles per day so far. The manual also suggests that the monitoring system will let me know when to change the oil but not to go beyond 10000.
Question is; should I go ahead and get an oil change in the next couple of weeks since I'm passing nearby the purchasing dealer or should I just wait until either the monitoring system tells me or before we leave on our travels in the spring? We have another 1500 miles or so until we arrive in southern FL for the winter around mid November and are staying put until the end of February.

Second question is on fuel additive. I've seen some suggestions about putting in additive to prevent fuel from gelling during storage, particularly in colder regions. Since Fort Myers, FL isn't cold and since I will be driving the truck every 2-3 weeks for 20-30 miles to keep the battery charged anyway should I put in additive or just skip it?

I'm leaning towards skipping the oil change for now and doing it when notified by the monitoring system or else in mid February before we hit the road again and am leaning against the fuel additive since it's warm and we'll be driving the truck periodically anyway but suggestions from longer term RVers than us are always welcome.

Thanks.
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:45 AM   #2
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Neil I would change the oil for many reasons this is a new engine that is still breaking in and is putting micro particals in to the oil. Think of changing the oil now as cheap insurance. good luck
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:05 AM   #3
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I would change the oil at 5k intervals.

For lots of owner experiences, look at the following internet forum for Ford diesels:

www.thedieselstop.com

If you can't find it here, you probably don't need to know about it. Also,

www.powerstrokenation.com

www.fordtruckenthusiasts.com

are good info sites.

Joe
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:11 AM   #4
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Forgot your second question--no, no need for an anti-gelling additive. I have been in -20 to -30 temps and not had a starting problem. I did have the power steering freeze up once til the engine warmed. This would not be a problem anywhere in Florida.
Your truck should be fine for long periods of storage--what do you think the dealers do when one sits around their lot for months? They do nothing special. Probably the only problem you could have is leaving a power-using item on, that is not connected to an auto-shutdown plug and would drain the batteries.
By the way, wish I had your truck...
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:15 AM   #5
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I would consider this heavy use and change the oil early. Oil changes are cheaper than an engine rebuilt.

Ken
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Old 10-10-2012, 12:10 AM   #6
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Have you consulted your owner's manual?
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:03 PM   #7
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I would follow Fords engine break in oil change schedule for heavy service as their going to be your warranty station.
Once the break in schedule period has been met then follow Fords oil change monitoring system when to change oil.
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:14 AM   #8
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Thanks all for the inputs. I'll skip the fuel additive.

I have reviewed the manual and it suggests two somewhat different periodicity for oil changes. In one section it says 5000-10000 miles depending on usage and no less often than once a year. In another section it says to go by the monitoring system which will tell you when to change.

My question was based on looking at several forums; I've seen recommendations elsewhere which suggest things like "I've always changed at 5000 and never had a problem" all the way to suggestions like "I used to work for a company that ran huge generators with 20 barrels of oil. They do an analysis and decide to change based on that. I ran samples of my truck oil through their analysis and easily got 30000 miles between changes and I never did get up to the levels of ash, fuel, and metal that the company used as guidelines for changing the oil.

Clearly if 5000 is a better interval then the additional cost is worth not having to have engine rebuilds. However; since the monitoring system is analyzing the oil somehow to know when to recommend change perhaps 5000 is overkill and I'm not getting any additional security for the expense. Since the initial break in period for the engine should be about over I think I'll go ahead and have the first change done now…then I'll stick to a schedule of six months and/or 6000-8000 miles depending on when it's convenient to get it done unless the monitoring system kicks in. Six months will typically get us about that many miles of towing based on our travel patterns.

I'll check out the suggested forums for additional questions I might have. Thanks all.
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:24 AM   #9
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If you stay with 6 months/8000 miles, the monitor should never kick in unless it malfunctions.
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:57 AM   #10
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Most of the Oil change intervals monitors on vehicles are based on a driving and duty cycle...miles city vs miles highway, engine running time and engine speed. They do not actually do any oil analysis.

To analyize the oil, you have todraw off a sample and send it to a lab.

Ken
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:12 PM   #11
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I have the same truck as you (2012 F-450). While I've been told that there is no need to change oil early, i had mine changed around 1500 miles. I picked mine up about 3 weeks before leaving TX for the summer. So far, I am change the oil whenever the computer tells me to. But I won't go beyond 7500 miles. My computer just told me to change oil a few days ago, so I'm taking it in Monday for a change.

This is my 4th diesel and have never encountered a need for an anti-gel additive. I originated in the Northeast and the fuel was winterized from the pump. Pretty cold mornings and never had an issue. Now that we are full time, we just don't stay where it gets cold.

I've found www.thedieselstop.com the most helpful site that I have used.
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Old 10-13-2012, 09:08 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K-Star View Post
I've found www.thedieselstop.com the most helpful site that I have used.
Thanks John. I bookmarked that site as there is a boatload of useful information on it. I'm going to stick with a 6000-7500 and around 6 months change interval for the time being on the oil. That way I have a little leeway on getting it done as we travel around.
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Old 10-13-2012, 01:07 PM   #13
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powerstroke.org is great too.
Do you know about regen cycles? This dilutes your oil with diesel. I would change every 5-6k miles. You are working that motor hard.
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Old 10-13-2012, 04:17 PM   #14
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I have one change on my 2011 and another coming. I watch the miles but changed following the IOLM in the truck. They take motor conditions into account. Thus my reasoning.

( http://owner.ford.com/servlet/Conten...=1239636411265 )

FAQ http://owner.ford.com/Storage/Common...IOLM%20FAQ.pdf
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