I’ve finally worked out an oil change schedule and I did the first this morning. Oil changes for the Pajero are a minefield of decisions based on three questions:
- How often?
- Which oil filter?
- Which oil?
After a great deal of reading and some discussion on the POCUK forums I had to come to a decision and stick to it. You can really go on forever with especially the second two questions, but at some point you’ve got to go ahead with what you think is best. So here’s what I’ve decided and why:
How often? This is the easiest of the questions. Most people say every three months. As someone who’s always driven petrols before I thought this was way excessive at first, but reading up about it seems that diesels thrive on regular oil changes. The Haynes manual backs this up by recommending every three months and I’m happy enough to get into this routine.
I did think hard about this as I believe four oil changes a year for my truck (low mileage, excellent condition) might be a bit much. The main problem I have is that I’m going to be doing below average miles in a year. I’d be very surprised if I get up to 10000 miles per year. But, four is what I’m doing!
Which oil filter? Now we get into tricky territory and lots of different opinions. The big issue here really boils down to one thing – cost. Oil filters for my Pajero cost about Â£30 for a genuine Mitsubishi part. For a non-genuine part they can be bought for less than Â£10. I think most people agree that the genuine filter is heavier and better engineered than non-genuine filters.
So it’s really just cost for me. Am I prepared to spend Â£120 per year on oil filters when I could spend less than Â£40 instead? Well yes. I just want the best parts and with my limited experience in these matters I’m happy to spend more here.
There was also another issue that came up about using Mitsubishi Oil Filters. Some people believe that they can be used through two oil changes rather than just one, so I’d only need two in a year. To cut a long story short, I’m not happy about that idea and will stick with throwing away the filter every oil change.
Which oil? Again, a minefield of thoughts and opinions. I think I took the easiest option here – 10w-40 Semi-Synthetic. Some people swear by mineral as that’s what the MKII Pajero originally used when it was built. Others look at Semi-Synthetic as the way to go as it’s a more modern oil than mineral. And some people prefer the Fully-Synthetic route. There are also many many other arguments about which oil to use. To be honest I don’t know enough about it all, hence what I believe to be a safe choice.
Please note: I’m really no expert on all this. I’m just basing my decisions on what I’ve read. There are no definitive answers out there so it’s just about coming up with a plan and seeing how it goes I guess. If you have different opinions on this please feel free to leave a comment on it. Just don’t get mad at my choices if you don’t like them.
The oil change itself.Â Well, after all the choices this was the easy bit. I’d guess it took be about an hour to do this morning, but it should take half that in future. The only slight difficulty I found was in removing the filter. It’s mildly tricky to get at, but once you’ve got the knack, pretty straight forward. Very briefly, here’s what I did:
- Ran the truck for twenty minutes to make sure it was nice and warm – oil drains easier
- Jacked up the front end on both sides and stuck my axle stands underneath
- Placed an old washing up bowl underneath the sump plug and undid the sump plug – watch that black gold flow!
- Went and had a cuppa to let it drain fully
- Removed the old filter with help from my ancient oil filter removal chain
- Gave the sump plug a good clean with a dry cloth – same for where the new oil filter is to be seated
- Rubbed a little oil around the new filter’s gasket
- Screwed on the filter to the recommended tightness
- Put sump plug back
- Put in about 4 litres of new oil
- Ran for one minute to let the oil circulate through the system
- Topped it up with a couple of engine runs in between – ended up using about 7.5 litres which is roughly what the manual says for the 2.8
And that’s it. I’d recommend the Haynes manual for a slightly more detailed description.