Everyone knows that one-size-fits-all isn’t the best approach to preventive maintenance, but that doesn’t stop people from trying. When it comes to engine oil drains, some fleet managers and owner-operators play it safe and follow the lowest OEM recommendations. Others try to save a few cents by extending intervals just beyond OEM change guidelines.

Both ways have their drawbacks. Decision makers who choose the lowest recommended intervals aren’t maximizing their engine oil dollars. And those who push the limits are putting their trucks’ engines at risk of damage from buildups of dirt, water, acidic compounds and soot.

Of course, OEM recommendations are only guidelines and can be affected the severity or level of vehicle service, weight of load begin hauled, fuel economy, idle time, weather and service environment, among other variables.

So how can you determine the optimal interval for changing engine oil? Luckily, science can help. An oil analysis can provide a detailed breakdown of the metals in your truck’s engine oil, as well as a Total Base Number (TBN), which is a measure of alkalinity. A higher TBN indicates that engine oil has a greater ability to fight acid. TBN also is used to determine how close engine oil is to end of its useful life.

Extending oil change intervals also can be as simple as switching to a new engine oil. The new Volvo VDS-4.5 Premium Engine Oil is a factory-fill oil designed to extend maintenance intervals for Volvo D11, D13 and D16 engines. It also is compatible with previous emissions-level engines.

Other benefits of VDS-4.5 include:

  • It provides the same viscosity (10W-30) as Volvo’s current factory fill while offering enhanced performance for oil oxidation and aeration control.
  • It is designed for three duty cycles – long haul, regional haul and heavy haul.
  • It extends the recommended drain intervals for oils and filters to 55,000 miles for normal duty, 40,000 miles for heavy duty and 30,000 miles for severe duty.
  • It exceeds the new American Petroleum Institute (API) specifications for CK-4 engine oil.

Trucks using VDS-4.5 engine oil can skip between four and 16 oil changes over their lifetimes, potentially saving thousands of dollars per vehicle.

If you aren’t sure whether VDS-4.5 engine oil is right for your truck and application, ask the experts at your local Volvo Truck dealership. You can also buy Volvo Premium Engine Oil any time of day or night through the SELECT Part Store™. Enrollment is free, and you’ll have access to members-only discounts.