If you do choose to establish extended drain intervals, make sure the lubricants you use are designed to accomplish that goal. An effective oil analysis program is also critical to ensure you don't push drain intervals too far. "It can identify coolant or fuel leaks, as well as monitor soot and wear levels," Tuohy points out. "It's part of an overall maintenance program where the entire vehicle needs to be serviced — from bumper to bumper."
Clean your filters
Your overall maintenance program should also include checking the coolant level — which is often overlooked — and monitoring cleanliness of air filters.
"It's critical to have a good air filter system," says Keith Bechtum, engine liquid product manager at Donaldson. "You only have one chance to stop a particle of dirt. Once it gets past the air filter, it's into your oil."
"Once an air filter gets plugged, it's harder to get air into the engine to make it work properly," adds Grant Adams, senior engine marketing manager at Donaldson. "If you look at all the filters in an engine, air filters have the biggest effect on fuel efficiency."
Donaldson recommends servicing air filters or cleaners by monitoring restriction indicators. "Don't remove them or blow or shake them out until the restriction indicator says it's time to change them," advises Greg Ufken, director of liquid product management.
Changing filters as indicated is a simple step that can reduce your costs down the road. "Maintenance is inexpensive compared to the alternative," notes Ewing. "And you don't have to go into great detail. Some simple, common sense practices go a long way."