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Cargo Van Promaster Oil Change

Solar

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Thanks for the info on the K&N air filters, will definitely avoid now. If this was a muscle car I was driving locally, I’d want it, but not for the Promaster.

Again, I put in 5.3 quarts, the single quart bottle has it at “700” left on the side. I checked it cold this morning, and it’s full on the dipstick. Idk why it’s using less, but it shows full.
 

Pro3500

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It’s an interesting artical on K&N and others for sure. I had a bike shop and installed a lot of K&N filters. Serviced Harley’s with 200,000 miles on them with K&N filter since new. I took care of a few bikes that traveled the United States and Canada year around with a ton of miles and not an issue. All my racing buddies running dirt use them as well. But this artical is something that for me needs to be looked at for sure. Be interesting to see who makes the GM filter and if one of those was tested.
 

Solar

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I’m not meaning to turn this into a oil changing blog, I just want to add when I learn or realize something.

Just made my 16k oil change. Oil looked best since first oil change. There was definitely some life left.

Checking the dipstick, I realized I was struggling getting a read off it because I’m in a habit of placing it and removing it quickly. Idk if that’s from owning Chevrolet previously, idk.

Anyway, I’m getting my best reads like this:
1 - The dipstick has 2 sides, one side has numbers/letters, and the other side is a web diamond pattern. Put it in with the numbers/letters side facing you.
2 - Once it’s fully in, count to 5.
3 - Remove it, flip it over, and look at the web diamond pattern side, you should see the start and stop of your oil line. You may have to get it in the right light, but if you keep looking, you’ll see it.

Maybe it’s only my Promaster that needs this to read the line, because again it’s only taking 5.3 quarts. If it’s not, then maybe this will work for you to.

Also, finally used a STP filter. Looked solid and well made. Only a 5,000 mile filter, but seeing I’m only going 4,000 it’s more than enough for me.
 
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Moot

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The end point is don’t be afraid to change your oil. Climbing under the van and spending a few minutes under the hood is always good. Look around while your there. Just because it’s not broke doesn’t mean it don’t need fixing.
Excellent advice!
 
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Pro3500

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hapearce1 I’ve been doing some research on the K&N air filters. There’s findings supporting there claims and findings that don’t. So I decided the best way to end the debate for me was my own testing. A test that I haven’t seen yet and I think is the one needed. I just did an oil change and have the K&N air filter in. I’ll pull a sample of the oil for testing. I’ll replace the air filter with a paper filter. I was running the napa gold so I’ll go with that one for the second sample. I’ll then replace it with an OEM filter and pull another sample. I’ll send all three in and see which one has the most contaminates. The cleaner oil wins for me. I’ll be using K&N oil filter for each test. This could take awhile because of the holidays coming up as I typically take time off. I’ll post a new thread when I have it done. The sensor thing is not that big of deal as they are cheap (25 bucks +/) and changing them every 100,000 is just wise. I changed every sensor on this thing including 02 for about 250 bucks. Cheaper than a wrecker call.
 
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Mailer

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I like K&N air filter, convenience and can be clean anytime. Heck, if K&N come out with a washable oil filter, Im the first in line. Lol...
 

Solar

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F7CAABFE-5975-4072-AC12-7604B9A7B156.jpeg

STP S11665
It’s only a 5,000 mile filter, but I’m happy for it’s quality.
(picture after 4,000 miles, Pennzoil Platinum Oil)
 

Solar

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2 Things To Add:

1 - When I went to purchase oil, Walmart was out of Pennzoil. I found a Quaker State Full Synthetic that has the MS-6395 approval. It’s less expensive than Pennzoil. I’ll update when I change again on how well it held up.

2 - Since the drain bolt is in the bottom corner, I thought it would have no issues with it draining completely. To experiment, I changed oil on a uphill incline, and the engine was hot, had been running that day. Instead of the thin fluid I’m used to seeing flying out as I removed the drain plug, I saw thin mixed with some thicker sections. I drained far more oil on the incline. I’ve put in over 5.5 quarts, so I haven’t been draining this engine properly. It’s not properly draining on level ground, so I’ll find a incline from now on.
 
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Charity's Van

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I often change my oil on the road, i bought a femco quick drain plug Oil Drain Plug | Oil Drain Valve | Products | Femco® Draintechnology
i use the pennzoil 5w 20 synthetic from walmart and hyper lube additive Car Engine Motor Oil Lubricating Supplement Stabilizer Additive Treatment
I also use the mopar oil filter 68191349AC. the quick drain valve allows me to drain into a 2 gallon gas can for a tool less drain with out any mess. the can dont leak and i can take it to a recycler when im near one. i bought a socket from amazon that fits the oil filter canister and use a short 1/4 drive ratchet that pivots. The mopar filter i use is the latest revision that solves a drain back problem that earlier versions had. this filter is NOT at walmart; they sell 68191349AB. i order 6 at a time from a dealer in texas through amazon. cost is less than $9 each. i put the 5 quart oil and the 1 quart additve. I checked it once and it is a little above the full line. The oil changes happen so often i dont stress over the little extra. i change when the service light comes on. usually about 10k or so. My van is a 2018 3500 extended with only 142k currently. ive had zero issues. i run a paper air filter. im personally am not a fan of the k&n type due to the time and or mess required for that service. i change the air filter about every 40k miles. as for tires i run the firestone transfore ht. i put 2 new ones on the front every 40k and move old to the back. the 80k rears are given to the tire store guy to do what ever he wants. due to the weights i carry 80k for a set is fine with me and gives me confidence that ive got good rubber on the ground. i used to run them till slick or blow out. about 130 to 160k. but not anymore. just my way of doing it. no rotate or balance need in between getting new tire. what that they say FWIW YMMV!
 
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Solar

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Quick update.

Been using the Quaker State Full Synthetic. Had it in the van over Christmas/New Year, so was in longer than normal, and was idled more than normal. Didn’t go over 4K miles, was just a lot more short mileage driving on the holidays.

Wasn’t too impressed with the Quaker State oil this change. Generally, when I do changes, the oil looks like a lot of life left. Not this time. It looked like how I would expect oil to look after 10K miles.

The STP oil filter still looked good.

Point being, I wouldn’t be afraid to use Quaker State Full Synthetic again, if it’s all I could find, but when given a “choice”, I’ll choose Pennzoil. It’s worth the few extra bucks and obviously a far better oil.
 

Solar

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On a related note, I ran into a fellow Promaster owner, who said he’s had 2 engines last only 140,000 miles. I obviously don’t know his maintenance record, but it was unnerving to hear.

I’ve read some of you have had your engines last much longer. I’m hoping correct maintenance and keeping the mph below 70 helps the life of my engine.
 

Turtle

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Couple2 of random notes...

As far as the K&N air filters are concerned, they do indeed allow a lot of dust and dirt to pass through. It's not quite as critical with a gas engine, but you cannot have air too clean for a diesel. Dust and dirt is comprised chiefly of silicates. Silicates are what causes a bare leather strop to polish the edge of a knife, and silicate is the primary constituent of sand (like, sandpaper) You have to seriously consider whether you want such an efficient abrasive entering into your turbocharger.

The factory fill for the Promasters is Pennzoil Platinum 5w20 full synthetic. There's really no good reason to run anything else. If you want to use another brand, as long as it meets MS-6395 spec, you should be fine. Something to keep in mind, though, is that different brands will cause the engine to wear slightly differently, even if the oils have the same specs. Good rule of thumb is to find the right oil (whatever the engine manufacturer recommends), and the stick with that oil forever, only substituting in a pinch. So, pick an oil and stick with it. Regularly changing brands (or worse, viscosities) will cause the engine to wear weird, causing premature wear and play in the engine components.

Black oil means the detergents in the oil are doing their job. It doesn't not necessarily mean the oil has broken down and is no longer providing the proper lubrication. Some vehicles (Sprinter) use the oil sensor to measure a multitude of conditions, including the electroconductivity of the oil itself and will tell you when to change the oil. Instead of measuring a bunch of variables concerning oil quality, the Promaster only measures the engine duty, such as highway driving, driving in various temperatures, start & stop driving, etc. Lots of short trips and idling will cause the oil change indicator to alert you sooner than lots of long distance drives will. The blackness or electroconductivity of the oil in a Promaster is meaningless, because the oil will need to be changed long before those things become an issue. In addition to the engine using the oil to lube the chain and cool the pistons, it also uses the oil in part, to control the valve timing. So it'll tell you to change the oil much sooner than you'd expect out of a synthetic oil. Instead of 15,000 to 20,000 miles, it'll alert you to change the oil at somewhere between 8,000 and 10,000 miles.

You can't really go by an oil analysis in a Promaster. You could pull a sample at 10,000 miles and the analysis could come back saying the oil is good for another 5,000 or 10,000 miles. But if you go past 10,000 miles on an oil in a Promaster, the chain won't be getting the proper lubrication and the valve timing ill start to be off a little. There are couple of passenger cars that require more frequent oil changes for that same reason, but I can't recall which ones they are.

Plus, the oil pump is variable displacement pump, so it's very sensitive to oil weight and viscosity. It goes without saying that you shouldn't use anything other than the recommended 5w20 oil, but if you go past 10,000 miles on a change, the changes in the viscosity of the oil will negatively impact the oil pump.

In summation, I think you're on target with how anal you're being with fluid and filter maintenance. I think you could trust the oil change indicator a little more than you are, and hen you get antsy about the oil, give it to 8,000 miles anyway. The indicator will come on and you will have about 1000 more miles before you really should change it. But you can comfortably go those 1000 miles before doing so.
 

Solar

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I appreciate that.

Owner’s manual says every 4,000 miles, if you’re on dusty, dirty roads, and idling a lot. The more I think about it, I don’t idle the vehicle as much as, say, someone making multiple deliveries a day, leaving the vehicle to run all day, every day. If I’m not moving, the vehicle is off. Also, I don’t take dirt roads.

So, I’ll do that, let it at least make it to 6,000 and start changing at 8,000.
 
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BigStickJr

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hapearce1 I’ve been doing some research on the K&N air filters. There’s findings supporting there claims and findings that don’t. So I decided the best way to end the debate for me was my own testing. A test that I haven’t seen yet and I think is the one needed. I just did an oil change and have the K&N air filter in. I’ll pull a sample of the oil for testing. I’ll replace the air filter with a paper filter. I was running the napa gold so I’ll go with that one for the second sample. I’ll then replace it with an OEM filter and pull another sample. I’ll send all three in and see which one has the most contaminates. The cleaner oil wins for me. I’ll be using K&N oil filter for each test. This could take awhile because of the holidays coming up as I typically take time off. I’ll post a new thread when I have it done. The sensor thing is not that big of deal as they are cheap (25 bucks +/) and changing them every 100,000 is just wise. I changed every sensor on this thing including 02 for about 250 bucks. Cheaper than a wrecker call.

I like the way you think. I’d do three with the Napa Gold Air Filter.
A new filter will let more through than the slightly used one will. As it gets dirtier it will Trap more stuff.
It be interesting to see if you could detect the improvement as the filter gets dirtier.
 
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Solar

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I did my first oil change at 8k miles. The oil was certainly darker, but it still seemed to have some life to it.

Also, I’m beginning to see why people would just put in 6 quarts and go. I’ve been trying to keep it so dead on in the zone, but in the end, I don’t see the extra oil really going over the line , especially when factory is calling for 6 quarts. I had put in my usual 5.5 quarts and it was dead on in range, almost perfect center line. I added more to get it in the upper half, and realized the full 6 wasn’t going to be that much over.

Also, I was freezing, and I just wanted to hurry up. We’ll see how it goes.
 

Solar

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I love Mobile1 oil, but it never had the Chrysler number on it.


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