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Td4 Oil Change Teaser


Mike the Bike
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Hi

My first post.........

Has anyone considered swapping the oil filter without changing the oil?

We have a 2003 Td4 with BMW lump.

Question is, would the filter pot self drain as you unscrew the cap with a full sump, or does the sump have to be drained out first to allow air into the filter feed pipe for it to drain? Consequences of getting it wrong could cost me an alternator................

I hate getting underneath to change the oil (moving the undertray is such a hassle when you don't have ramps when its freezing) so I filled her up with Mobil 1Turbo diesel oil and have now done 9k miles and am considering my options. Change both oil and filter or just filter and save some time/ hassle.

Let me explain.

I read on a US website (independently sponsored) how a guy had published his regular oil analysis tests during the useful life of some Mobil 1 Fully Synth in a petrol engine and based on upon his analysis results performed every 1 k miles concluded that :-

- engine wear reduced after the oil was 3k miles old, due to stringy molecues being chopped up a bit by engine and providing better protection, (gets between the moving parts more easily)

- oil was fine for 15-20k miles as long as new filters were fitted frequently to keep the oil clean,

- introduction of new oil on top-up basis increased oil life/performance,

- replacement of oil entirely created increase in engine wear until 3 k mile mark passed when it leveled out again as above.

He was comparing Mobil 1 performance with another by Amsol, some other leading US brand with similar claims to Mobil 1 re longevity.

Food for thought and have subsequently decided to stop oil changes every 5 k.

Mike

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Oil changes are a sore subject - you're right its a pain taking the engine under tray off but you might be interested in knowing that there is a quick drain attachment that can be fitted to the sump plug - however to fit the first time you'll still have to remove the tray and then cut a hole in it. If you're interested (or if anyone is) message me and i'll dig out the web site.

Also - on our large heavy commercials (waste disposal so thats skips and other such running engines to drive the PTO pump) we were changing the oil every six weeks as per our set service standard. The engines don't cover miles to make this worth while - instead they clock up hours of running. It was decided that a small fortune could be saved in oil changes if the oil was dropped once every 12 weeks or even better even longer.

To aid this we send oil off to a lab for testing. Starting with a clean oil change we test at 6 weeks then at 12 etc etc so far the oil is showing no deformity or cause for concern (Total Rubia TIR if you're interested...) however the test did show on one engine diesel levels above acceptable which was traced to an injector seal - we wouldn't have known until much later without the analysis - and the money saved on heavy commercial filters more than compensates for the test. We have oil in thats 30 weeks old at the moment and its still performing well.

All that said and you have to realise our trucks don't stop start as you would in a car - they are mostly switched on and left on till the drivers break time so the engine and the oil heats up to correct temperatures and stays there.

The point of all this being - if you're gonna change the filter alone then you may be wasting your time - your oil and filter may be ok - but without a lab test you'll not know. I appreciate your synthetic oil is expensive but it should easily last a full 12 months as will a good quality filter. If that bothers you use a 'cheaper' oil and good quality filter. Either way I think I would still stick to the 12 month oil change period (unless you have a friendly lab who can sample for you!)

Oh and carbon is right - one difference between oil for diesels specifically and oil for petrol is that most diesel based oils contain a detergent ingredient to aid carbon removal - one good reason not to use it in your petrol car (oh yes we had a driver who did...) is it will clean out the engine for you - thank you - and oh my they rattle - his volvo was never the same!

Also brings up interesting points on oil grades acea etc etc but thats going a bit deep and its dinner time!

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Oil changes are a sore subject - you're right its a pain taking the engine under tray off but you might be interested in knowing that there is a quick drain attachment that can be fitted to the sump plug - however to fit the first time you'll still have to remove the tray and then cut a hole in it. If you're interested (or if anyone is) message me and i'll dig out the web site.

Also - on our large heavy commercials (waste disposal so thats skips and other such running engines to drive the PTO pump) we were changing the oil every six weeks as per our set service standard. The engines don't cover miles to make this worth while - instead they clock up hours of running. It was decided that a small fortune could be saved in oil changes if the oil was dropped once every 12 weeks or even better even longer.

To aid this we send oil off to a lab for testing. Starting with a clean oil change we test at 6 weeks then at 12 etc etc so far the oil is showing no deformity or cause for concern (Total Rubia TIR if you're interested...) however the test did show on one engine diesel levels above acceptable which was traced to an injector seal - we wouldn't have known until much later without the analysis - and the money saved on heavy commercial filters more than compensates for the test. We have oil in thats 30 weeks old at the moment and its still performing well.

All that said and you have to realise our trucks don't stop start as you would in a car - they are mostly switched on and left on till the drivers break time so the engine and the oil heats up to correct temperatures and stays there.

The point of all this being - if you're gonna change the filter alone then you may be wasting your time - your oil and filter may be ok - but without a lab test you'll not know. I appreciate your synthetic oil is expensive but it should easily last a full 12 months as will a good quality filter. If that bothers you use a 'cheaper' oil and good quality filter. Either way I think I would still stick to the 12 month oil change period (unless you have a friendly lab who can sample for you!)

Oh and carbon is right - one difference between oil for diesels specifically and oil for petrol is that most diesel based oils contain a detergent ingredient to aid carbon removal - one good reason not to use it in your petrol car (oh yes we had a driver who did...) is it will clean out the engine for you - thank you - and oh my they rattle - his volvo was never the same!

Also brings up interesting points on oil grades acea etc etc but thats going a bit deep and its dinner time!

Thanks for your input, would be interested in learning more about the oil change "aid".

Mike

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...
For those interested in the out come, I did replace the Td4 oil filter while she had a full sump without mishap. Took precautions and packed out the whole area with paper towels but the pot drained normally as if the sump was empty.

What I'm trying to do, based on all info available, is reduce engine wear and keep engine as clean as possible for min of hassle.

Apparently new oil inceases engine wear until 3k miles point is passed, diesels kick out much carbon and I want to keep the oil as clean as possible with an oil filter change mid-term of the 10 - 15k miles I propose leaving the Mobil 1 in for. Cost and wear rates will be half that of 7.5k miles Kwik Fit oil change option.

The other option is for a fund to be started to finance a trial of the idea via regular oil analysis every 1k miles and I'll publish results to those who subscribe.........

Drop me a line if you're interested and I'll start a new thread.

Mike

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