How to Complete a Forklift Oil Change in 10 Minutes

Filling oil to forklift engine oil capacity level

A forklift oil change is something you can complete quickly and as needed. Of course, you can always outsource this part of your forklift maintenance, but it’s easy to accomplish on your own.

We’ll guide you through changing your forklift oil in 10 minutes or less. Reduce downtime and get your equipment back in action fast with an efficient forklift oil change.

Most professionals recommend changing your forklift oil every 200 hours. Like cars, lift trucks need routine maintenance and care. Be sure to keep your maintenance on schedule and adhere to the proper forklift oil change interval of 200 to 250 hours.

What Forklift Oil Type Does Your Equipment Need?

Before you change your oil, you’ll need to know what forklift oil type your equipment uses. Just like with cars, different oil types are available.

If you have a standard sit-down counterbalance forklift, you’ll likely need 5W-30 or 10W-40 oil. The first number indicates viscosity at lower temperatures, while the second number refers to thickness at operating temperature.

Diesel forklifts require a different forklift oil type with additives. The type of equipment you have will determine the forklift oil type you need. Check your operator manual for oil guidelines for your specific model, or consult a servicing company in your area.

Performing a Forklift Oil Change

Follow these steps to perform a forklift oil change:

1. Place a drain pan under your forklift to catch oil. Turn on the machine and run it until the oil is warm, allowing it to drain at a low viscosity.

2. Turn off the engine. Remove the drain plug and let the oil drain. You can expect about a gallon of oil from a 4-cylinder forklift. Find out the exact amount from your manufacturer.

3. Inspect your drain plug and gasket for damage. Make sure the plug ceiling washer is clean and in good condition. Fix any problems before refilling your oil.

4. Reinsert the drain plug. Move the drain pan under the forklift oil filter. Remove the filter and gasket.

5. Apply oil to the rubber seal on your new forklift oil filter/gasket to help it seal. Screw the forklift oil filter on until the rubber seal comes in contact with the equipment. Then, turn another quarter or half turn. (Do not overtighten!)

6. Fill the engine with new oil. Check your operator manual or consult your manufacturer for proper forklift engine oil capacity and forklift oil type.

7. Start the engine and check for leaks. Be sure to check your oil levels again in an hour or so to make sure nothing is leaking slowly.

8. Record the maintenance you’ve completed in a log. Keep track of oil changes to ensure they are being done at the proper forklift oil change interval (every 200 to 250 hours of operation). It’s also a good idea to write the date of the oil change with a grease pen on the new forklift oil filter.

Professional servicer adding forklift oil to a forklift

Forklift Maintenance

While a forklift oil change is quick and easy to complete, many people opt to take their equipment to a servicing company. Oil isn’t the only thing that needs routine servicing every 200 to 250 hours on a forklift.

Many people like to get all their maintenance done in one place. For affordable professional servicing, we have you covered. Click here to compare pricing from top servicing companies.

Of course, maintenance can’t fix everything. If it’s time to replace your equipment, Industrial Forklift Truck can help. We offer free quotes on forklifts that fit your needs. Compare lift trucks for sale in your area from trusted, pre-screened dealers.

Get the equipment you need quickly. Stay on track and save your business money when you find the best deal on a new or used forklift with Industrial Forklift Truck.

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