5 Things to Know about an Oil Change for a Diesel Car

If you own a car, then you have to change the oil at regular intervals. This will keep your car in good condition and help it to retain its value when you are ready to sell it. Diesel cars behave in the same way as gas cars, in that they need to have their oil changed. Here are five things to know about an oil change for a diesel car.

A Mechanic is Not Necessary

You don’t have to take your car to a mechanic if you want the oil changed. Diesel cars are like gasoline-powered cars in that respect. If you are unfamiliar with working on cars, you may have difficulty doing it correctly. Newer cars may have more complicated systems that require professional knowledge. But if you decide that you can do the task, you will go through the same process as with a gasoline powered car. It is simple process where you drain the oil, replace the filter, and then fill the car up with the correct kind of oil. If you don’t have the cash for an oil change, this can be a good option that will save you a bit of money on labor.

It is More Expensive to Change Diesel Oil

One of the unfortunate aspects of a diesel car is that the oil change will probably cost more than a gasoline car. This is for two main reasons. The first is that diesel vehicles will generally store more oil than their gas counterparts. This requires more work to change, and more money to buy the extra oil. The second is that many diesel manufacturers suggest using synthetic oil. Synthetic oil costs more than regular oil, but allows a longer interval between changes. These factors add up in the higher price of changing the oil.

Synthetic Oil is Good Option

Synthetic oil has its advantages over petroleum-based oil. You may be able to extend the intervals between oil changes, depending on your use of the car. If you are using it mostly on the road instead of towing and hauling large loads, synthetic oil could increase the intervals. The oil works in all ranges of temperatures, performing equally well in cold and hot environments. You may see better gas mileage, but this depends on your usage of the vehicle. The downside to synthetics is that they can be expensive and are not recommended for brand new cars.

The Interval Between Changes is Important

The oil change interval is important to diesel cars. Each type of vehicle will have their own recommended interval, but a general one for diesel cars is about 3,000 miles. A general recommendation for gas cars is 7,500 miles. If you overextend the interval, it can lead to serious wear on the diesel engine. But if you change it too early you are unnecessarily costing yourself money. This interval depends on how you use your car. More strenuous running conditions such as heat and stop and go driving will shorten it. Synthetic oils can extend this interval, but it remains shorter than gas vehicles. If you are worried that you may be changing the oil too frequently, talk to your mechanic to see if you could extend your intervals.

Diesel Oil Turns Black

If you inspect your oil soon after an oil change, you may notice that it is already jet black. This is normal for diesel vehicles, and does not mean that you didn’t have the oil changed. There is a certain amount of soot that gets into the oil, and this is what causes it to go black. When you have an oil change, not all of the oil gets exchanged in the process because some remains in the engine. When you start your car with the new oil, it gets "tainted" by the old oil still in the car and turns black. Don’t be alarmed to find that your oil immediately displays a black coloration soon after an oil change.

The oil change for a diesel car may be as easy as one for a gas car, but it helps to know why the cost is higher. Diesel cars don’t run like gas cars, and they have different intervals for replacing the oil. It can be alarming to find that you have black oil in your car after an oil change, but that is normal regardless if you use synthetic or petroleum based oil. If you are worried about the higher price, you can always try the procedure yourself.