The type of oil used in a Dodge Ram 1500 varies depending on the truck's engine, but they typically use either 5W-30 or 0W-40. Owners should check the vehicle's service manual to find out which type of oil (and sometimes the brand) the manufacturer recommends for the specific model. This manual also includes other important information such as how often to change the oil and filter.
How Oil Protects the Engine
Motor oil plays an important role in the function of an engine and prevents damage. It reduces friction so that all the moving metal parts inside the engine don't grind against each other. Oil also collects contaminants as it circulates through the engine, minimizes oxidation, and cools the engine.
Understanding Oil Labels
Motor oils are categorized by numbers that show their viscosity, or how thick or thin it is, at different temperature points (a higher viscosity means a slower flow). The first number reflects how well it flows in cold temperatures (which is why it ends with letter W for winter). The second number indicates how well it flows in high temperatures. Motor oil classified as 10W-40 has a higher viscosity than 5W-40 motor oil in cold temperatures. In higher temperatures, 5W-30 oil has a lower viscosity than 5W-40 motor oil.
Types of Oil
In addition to viscosity, motor oil can be classified by its type. Conventional is the most common type of oil used in new cars. Some vehicles with high-tech engines use synthetic motor oil. This type of oil tends to perform better under pressure than conventional oil, but it's more expensive. Synthetic blend oil is a hybrid of the two. It's typically more affordable than full synthetic, but offers added protection compared to conventional oil. An option for vehicles with more than 75,000 miles is high-mileage oil. This oil helps condition the seals around the crankshaft to reduce cracking that leads to oil leaks. Motor oil also comes in different types.
Conventional oil derived from natural sources is the most common type of oil used in vehicles because it's effective and affordable. High-tech engines like those used in luxury and performance vehicles may use synthetic oil that offers impressive protection. Light trucks and SUVs often use synthetic blend oil that provides more advanced protection than conventional oil at a more affordable price than full synthetic. Vehicles with more than 75,000 may benefit from high mileage oil that helps condition the crankshaft seals to reduce oil leaks.
What Happens During an Oil Change
An oil change is the process of draining and replacing the oil in the vehicle's engine. The technician lifts the vehicle off the ground, removes the drain plug, and allows the oil drain out of the engine into a drain pan designed to hold motor oil. After draining the old oil, the technician removes and replaces the oil filter before refilling the engine with new oil.
Oil Change Frequency
Changing the oil regularly is an important part of on-going vehicle maintenance. The Dodge Ram 1500 has an oil change indicator light that alerts the driver when it's time to change the oil. However, some owners prefer following a timeline and change the oil after driving a certain number of miles or after a specific time period.