Modern trucks have become so reliable that people might think it's no longer necessary to stay up on maintenance items. This simply isn't true. One of the more important things you need to remember is to change the oil regularly, because failing to do this can have serious consequences.
You'd die without enough blood, or if it were full of all kinds of garbage. The same thing is true for your truck. Oil acts as a lubricant for the different parts of the engine, guarding against serious damage. If it's not taken care of, your truck’s engine could die.
All automakers give specific recommendations for how often you should change the oil. Consider that a talented team of engineers spent countless hours designing the engine. They know better than anyone how often you should swap out the oil, so trust the intervals listed in the owner's manual.
If you don't have the owner's manual for your truck, go to the automaker's website and look up the maintenance schedule. Whatever you do, don't wait to change the oil.
Even if you don't notice any obvious signs that your truck is suffering, failure to change the oil could still be hurting it. Each time the engine runs, the metal parts might be rubbing against each other, building up friction. That creates more heat, and eventually can cause components to actually fuse together, which is called the engine seizing.
You won't get too far with an engine that's seized. While going a little too long between oil changes might not cause such a dramatic and costly tragedy, it could still result in some serious damage.
The filter performs the essential job of removing dirt from the oil. Over time the filter will clog up, which is why it's changed at the same time as the oil. If the filter becomes too full, the oil simply flows around it via a bypass valve.
That dirty oil, which is full of debris, then goes back into the engine. There it can literally scour the various components with the garbage that's in it. This then releases metal shavings into the oil, making the oil more abrasive, creating a vicious cycle.
Oil that isn't changed regularly can hold more than just dirt and metal shavings. Water and byproducts from the combustion process are also collected. Over time, the oil can become so full of debris that it can't hold any more. As those materials sit on the engine parts instead of in the oil, the metal starts to corrode.
Another factor to consider has to do with thermal breakdown. As the oil is exposed to high temperatures inside the engine, it eventually lubricates less effectively. It no longer does the essential job of keeping the different parts from rubbing against each other.
There's a simple way to skip all of these headaches: change your truck's engine oil regularly. It's an inexpensive way to avoid costly repairs further down the road.