Regular oil changes are essential for running your Dodge Ram smoothly and efficiently. Oil is the lifeblood of any engine, providing crucial lubrication that helps keep all the components in good working order.
For an average Dodge Ram, it is recommended to have the oil changed every 7,000 to 10,000 miles. For trucks that do heavy duty work it is recommended to have the oil changed every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. For best performance, the oil should be changed in the truck at least once per year, regardless of how many miles have been driven.
An oil change can also help protect against wear and tear, reduce emissions, improve fuel economy, and extend the lifespan of your vehicle. Different vehicles require different oil change intervals, and following the manufacturer’s recommended schedule for your Dodge Ram is essential.
Factors That Affect The Oil Change Interval
Although the oil change interval recommendation is 7,000-10,000 miles, there are things that come up that can alter the recommendation and require the oil to be changed more often. The different elements that affect the oil change interval for your Dodge Ram are:
Type Of Engine
The engine type will determine how often you should change your oil. Generally, gasoline engines require more frequent oil changes than diesel engines, so if you have a gasoline-powered engine in your Dodge Ram, you will need to change the oil more frequently, like every 3,000 to 5,000 miles.
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The type of driving and road you drive on will also affect how often you need to change your oil. If you do a lot of off-roading or driving in adverse conditions, such as snow and mud, you will need to change your oil more often than someone who does highway driving primarily.
The reason is because as you do more heavy duty things with your truck there is more wear and tear on the engine components which would benefit from a more frequent oil change.
Automotive engines rely on two distinct varieties of motor oil—traditional and synthetic-based. Traditional oil breaks down faster and needs to be replaced more often, while synthetic oil can last much longer. If you use synthetic-based motor oil, you may be able to go longer between oil changes (but, not longer than the recommended spans).
Your Truck’s Engine Oil Level
Keeping an eye on the truck’s oil levels is a good rule of thumb for any car owners. If the oil levels drop more quickly than usual, it may be time to change your oil sooner. But also at this point you may want to take the truck to the shop and have it checked out. Losing oil can be a sign of other problems in the engine.
Older Dodge trucks will inevitably start losing oil over time, and it’s just a sign of an older engine. This can be repaired by rebuilding the engine, but more commonly, people will just keep an eye on the oil levels and add more oil periodically to keep the level at the recommended operating level.
Even though you would be adding oil to keep it at the recommended level, the normal (or more often, most commonly about every 3,000 miles) oil change interval should still be kept.
Signs That Your Dodge Ram Needs An Oil Change
With regular oil level checks, especially in older trucks, you may notice things that may be a sign that it’s time for an oil change.
Some people lose track of when the oil was changed last, so this is also a good way to tell if it’s time.
Your Dodge Ram needs an oil change if you notice any of the following signs or symptoms:
- Oil is really dark brown, black or dirty
- Oil pressure running higher or lower than normal
- Knocking or tapping sound from the engine (this means the oil hasn’t been changed in a while and may require more than just an oil change, but start with an oil change)
- Foul odor coming from the engine (this also can be signs of more engine problems, but a start with an oil change will help most times)
When examining the oil, it’s essential to search for any particles present in addition to its dark color. If you notice that the color has become pitch black, this indicates that the oil needs to be changed as soon as possible. If a large quantity of black oil accumulates, the filter on your RAM truck could become clogged and blocked. The sediment in the oil will also stick to engine components which will affect the engine performance and fuel efficiency.
The best way to tell if it’s time to change the oil is to keep track of truck’s milage at the time of the last oil change. If this information is not available, look at the oil; if its dark brown or black, it is time to change it now. After you do, write down the truck’s milage somewhere in the truck and calculate the next time you need to change it. Put a reminder on your calendar to check the milage in about 3 months if you drive the average amount of miles per year. Do it sooner if you are a serious driver, logging over 10,000 miles per year.
Importance Of Timely Oil Changes
Regular oil changes keep your engine clean and enhance its overall performance and power. Oil circulates within an engine and naturally carries metal shavings, dirt, and other contaminants to the filter. If left unchecked, this will gradually cause a thick layer of sludge to build up inside the engine over time.
A More Efficient Engine
By regularly maintaining your engine with regular oil changes, you keep it clean and increase its effectiveness. As the oil passes through the components it accumulates dirt and other particles over time, sludge starts forming in the interior components of the engine.
The accumulation of debris in an unserviced motor will gradually reduce efficiency, leading to a sluggish, inefficient truck.
Keeping to regular maintenance schedules and changing your engine oil on time can make all the difference for your engine’s performance.
To attain the best possible fuel efficiency when traveling, keeping your engine clean and free of dirt is crucial. As engines run optimally with fresh oil, their performance improves, leading to unparalleled gas mileage – ultimately resulting in significant cost savings.
Improved Engine Life
Dirty engine oil contains impurities that result in increased friction and earlier wear and tear. On the other hand, a clean engine runs smoother, functions better, and lasts longer. Investing some time to take it in and have the oil changed pays off in the long run with an efficient, dependable truck performance.
Preserving your vehicle’s engine with routine upkeep such as oil changes can help eliminate wear and tear, reduce friction, and avoid sludge build-up. Ultimately, keeping up with regular oil changes will ensure your truck runs smoothly and efficiently for years to come.
Cools Engine Components
As engine parts run at high RPMs, they can generate immense amounts of heat. With fresh oil to promote appropriate lubrication, the result is minimal friction among all the moving components, preventing overheating.
Worry-free Emissions Test
A well-maintained car allows for a smoother ride and ultimately, more savings on gas. You can ensure your engine is running optimally through frequent oil changes to provide maximum performance and fuel efficiency. Not only that, but it also gives you peace of mind knowing your vehicle will easily pass emissions testing.
DIY vs. Professional Oil Changes
Many DIY’ers like to change the oil in their cars themselves, but the majority take their truck to a local oil change shop.
With the price to have the oil changed at a shop being around $80 to $150 and the time taking from an hour to a couple hours, many opt to just change it themselves. When doing it yourself, the cost is only in parts, the oil and the filter. A 5-gallon jug of synthetic oil can cost about $28 and a filter about $10.
Taking on the DIY project like an oil change, it’s important to remember to look up all the specific instructions regarding oil change procedures first – and be sure to use only high-quality oil that the manufacturer recommends. Following the instructions is also important to make sure you don’t void the manufacturer’s warranty.
Changing the oil in your car is a straightforward maintenance task. Once you’ve done it a few times, you will save money each time and time spent waiting at the shop for completion..
Choosing The Right Oil For Your Dodge Ram
The Dodge Ram 1500 requires API Certified SAE 5W-20 Engine Oil for optimal performance. While pricier than conventional oil, synthetic oil is specially formulated to prolong engine life and keep your vehicle’s motor running smoothly.
If you own a 3.0 Liter EcoDiesel model of the Dodge Ram 1500 though, then opt for 5W-40 synthetic oil instead as it works best with this version of the truck engine.
Other Functions The Engine Oil Provides
Your Dodge Ram will benefit from more than just oil changes. Considering other fluids such as transmission, brake, and coolant would be best to ensure your vehicle is fully equipped for optimal performance.
Lubricating oil creates a protective shield between two surfaces that are rubbing together, decreasing contact between them and consequently reducing friction. This film also lessens the wear on the parts as well as cools down any extreme heat generated by their movement.
Transferring heat from the engine to cooler circulating oil removes contaminants such as sludge, soot, and metal particles when oils pass through filters. This helps transport or disperse these hazardous materials away from the source of the problem.
Acting as a dynamic seal in the combustion chamber and other locations, engine oil creates an effective barrier that prevents hot exhaust gasses from tainting the oil while also escalating engine compression. The piston rings are sealed against the cylinder wall by this powerful lubricant.
Oil successfully prevents rust by forming a protective barrier between moisture-laden air and metal parts. Nevertheless, this shield of protection gradually weakens as time passes until the condensation permeates through the layer to touch exposed metal surfaces and initiate corrosion or oxidation. Improved oils can preserve these protective layers for longer periods.
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Engine oil viscosity measures how easily it pours at a given temperature. Oils that have lower viscosity are thinner and pour more quickly, even in colder temperatures, than thicker oils with higher viscosity. Thin oils reduce friction, making engines more efficient and allowing them to start swiftly during winter weather.
Compatibility with engine components
To ensure you select the correct oil for your vehicle, refer to its handbook or consult our engine oil lookup tool. The necessary car engine oil grade/viscosity & specification will be provided there.
Consistent oil changes are essential for the longevity of your vehicle, averting a potential engine seizure and making sure it runs like clockwork. Not only that, but you will experience fewer trips to the repair shop while also increasing fuel efficiency – all thanks to regular oil changes.
Valik loves tinkering in the garage and is currently restoring a 2000 GMC Sierra 1500 truck. He also writes about the progress on this blog. When not in the garage, Valik is also a web developer and a blogger. I know, strange, a hand in two completely different worlds. And that is the way he likes to keep it.