This Is The Best 0w 20 Synthetic Oil For Your Car

best 0w-20 synthetic oilLooking for the best 0w 20 synthetic oil for your vehicle?  Great.  You’ve come to the right place.

We reviewed all the best-sellers to pick out the best of the best.

There’s a full guide later on, but for now take a look at the reviews below to see which ones came out on top.

Preview

Best Budget Option

AmazonBasics Full Synthetic Motor Oil (SN Plus, dexos1-Gen2) - 0W-20 - 5 Quart

Best Seller

Mobil 1 120758 Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil for 0W-20 5, 4.73L

Best Performer

Castrol 03060 GTX MAGNATEC 0W-20 Full Synthetic Motor Oil, 5 Quart
Product
AmazonBasics Full Synthetic Motor Oil (SN Plus, dexos1-Gen2) – 0W-20 – 5 Quart
Mobil 1 120758 Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil for 0W-20 5, 4.73L
Castrol 03060 GTX MAGNATEC 0W-20 Full Synthetic Motor Oil, 5 Quart
Rating
4.4
4.8
4.8
Price
from $24.99
from $33.11
$21.44

Best Budget Option

Preview
AmazonBasics Full Synthetic Motor Oil (SN Plus, dexos1-Gen2) - 0W-20 - 5 Quart
Product
AmazonBasics Full Synthetic Motor Oil (SN Plus, dexos1-Gen2) – 0W-20 – 5 Quart
Rating
4.4
Price
from $24.99

Best Seller

Preview
Mobil 1 120758 Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil for 0W-20 5, 4.73L
Product
Mobil 1 120758 Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil for 0W-20 5, 4.73L
Rating
4.8
Price
from $33.11

Best Performer

Preview
Castrol 03060 GTX MAGNATEC 0W-20 Full Synthetic Motor Oil, 5 Quart
Product
Castrol 03060 GTX MAGNATEC 0W-20 Full Synthetic Motor Oil, 5 Quart
Rating
4.8
Price
$21.44

The Best 0w 20 Synthetic Oil – The Top 8 Reviewed

When it comes to choosing the right motor oil there are a lot of options out there.

To help you out we’ve have narrowed your search down to eight of the best synthetic motor oils in this category.

Let’s kick things off with our top pick.

1. Castrol GTX MAGNATEC

Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

0w-20 synthetic oil castrol gtx magnatecCastrol GTX MAGNATEC takes our number one spot thanks to some incredible features.

It helps critical engine parts run up to four times smoother, and has been proven by industry experts to offer superior wear protection to its rivals.

It’s especially effective against viscosity breakdown, ensuring that there’s no sludge build up.

The real magic occurs on start up.

According to tests, up to 75% of engine wear occurs during the first few minutes of warm up.

When you turn off your engine, oil drains from the critical parts.  That’s not the case with this stuff.

Instead the “intelligent” molecules in this motor oil form an added layer of protection during warm up when your engine needs it most.

The result is that engine wear reduces dramatically, and with it the chance of damage and repairs.

With GTX MAGNATEC you’ll have a smoother running engine, and you’ll enjoy better fuel economy than with its competitors, which is a nice touch.

It’s also, surprisingly, no more expensive than any of the others on our list.  What’s not to like?

Buy on Amazon

2. Mobil 1 Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil

Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

0w-20 synthetic oil mobil 1 advancedOn another day this could have been number 1.  There’s really not much in it, but the openness of Castrol’s testing just gives it the edge for us.

That shouldn’t put you off though.

This advanced synthetic motor oil from Mobil 1 comes in a five-quart container, but you can also get it is a three pack and save a little bit of cash.

It’s a full synthetic formula scientifically advanced with low viscosity for improved engine efficiency and fuel economy.

It comes into its own in cold conditions.  The fast-start protection that it provides will help to extend the life of any engine oeperatinf in low temperatures.

Boasting outstanding thermal and oxidation stability, Mobil 1’s leading 0w 20 motor oil helps to reduce oil aging, resulting in longer lasting protection.

If you go with this it will save you money on gas with around a two percent fuel economy saving performance, so the more you drive, the more you save!

This is one of the best motor oils out there for low temperature performance, allowing for free oil flow even in extreme cold.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Buy on Amazon

3. AmazonBasics Full Synthetic Motor Oil

Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

amazon full synthetic oilA surprise entry here at number 3, but it shouldn’t really be that much of a surprise given there’s not a lot that this powerhouse doesn’t do well!

AmazonBasics is a lot like the store brand in your local supermarket in some cases, but in other cases it is completely different.

When it comes to quality, especially on certain products, AmazonBasics is one of the best kept secrets for buying high quality items on a budget.

Often, the AmazonBasics product exceeds established brands and heavily advertised products while still being offered at a lower price.

That’s definitely the case with this motor oil, which competently reduces friction, fights burn off, and prevents engine wear and tear.

Don’t let the label fool you. This is one of the best synthetic motor oils on the market.  A view shared by many independent users on review.

It’s also the best priced option on our list – at less than 20 bucks for five quarts it represents great value for money.

Buy on Amazon

4. Valvoline SynPower 0W-20

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

0w-20 synthetic oil valvoline synpowerVery unlucky not to make our top three, this best-selling synthetic motor oil from Valvoline is the top choice for supercharged and turbocharged vehicles.

And it does a perfectly good job with naturally aspirated vehicles too.

It comes in several different sizes including a one-quart size, five-quart size or a case of 6 quart bottles.

Valvoline keeps your engine clean and protects against sludge and varnish build up as standard.

It’s one of the best motor oils out there for providing protection at high temperatures due extreme driving conditions – you can see why the turbo guys and gals like it.

If you’ve got a powerful engine, and you intend to use it, this is the oil for you.

It also functions well at low-temperature, providing a faster oil flow than most on start up.

A very solid choice.

Check Price

5. Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic Motor Oil

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

platinum pennzoil 0w-20 synthetic oilPennzoil makes the next motor oil on our list.  It’s fully synthetic and designed to protect high grade engines.

As a result it costs quite a bit more than the others, so if you’re looking for high performing oil for a “regular” engine then perhaps go with one of the four listed above.

Like the others on our list, you’ll get improved fuel efficiency when you use this motor oil in combination with a high quality filter.

In fact you can expect an improvement of an extra 550 miles or so per year.  Impressive!

This is one of the best products out there for preventing loss of performance, including horsepower, in extreme temperatures.

In particular Pennzoil flows faster at low temperatures, meaning your engine will stay protected even when it runs hot, and your pistons will stay up to 30 percent cleaner, reducing the risk of damage and disrepair.

A bit pricey, but for many it’s worth it!

Check Price

6. Royal Purple API-Licensed SAE 0W-20

Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

royal purple 51020Royal Purple is a really popular brand, and given the high quality of their products, that reputation is well deserved.

So it’s no surprise that their leading synthetic oil made our list – it averages a whopping 4.8/ 5 from over 250 independent user reviews!

It comes in many different buying options so you can get whatever is perfect for your needs including a single quart or a five-gallon container.

This motor oil does amazing things for your engine, improving fuel efficiency, cutting down on emissions and protecting you from corrosion.

It’s compatible with fuels that contain ethanol and keeps your expensive engine parts running efficiently and fully protected.

According to the manufacturer it also provides better protection for expensive catalytic emission systems.  So there!

Their premium base oils combine with proprietary technologies to create one of the highest performing motor oils on the market.

If you’re a Royal Purple fan, go for it!

Check Price

7. ZEPRO Eco Medalist Advanced

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

zepro eco medalist advancedZEPRO is far from a budget option.

It’s an advanced engine oil that is optimized for vehicles with stop-start technology, and engines that are constantly on the go in demanding inner city conditions

This is the perfect for vehicles that operate in urban areas where there is a great deal of stop and go traffic including long commutes on crowded highways.

This synthetic oil provides a more balanced performance and better engine efficiency than others in these conditions.

You do have to pay a bit of a premium for that though.

It’s also suitable for all high performance cars, SUVs and light-duty trucks that specify the use of API SN (SM, SL, and SJ) engine oil –  you’ll need to refer to your owner’s manual to be sure.

Available in both a five-quart and a one-quart container.

If you’re an inner-city driver your car will thank you for this.

Check Price

8. Castrol EDGE 0W-20 Synthetic Oil

Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

castrol edge 0w-20 advancedFinally, let’s take a look at Castrol Edge, which comes in a five-quart size or a pack of three.

This premium full synthetic motor oil is strong enough to stand up to the extreme pressure of your engine, even in some of the most powerful vehicles out there.

This motor oil protects your car and lubricates to prevent metal on metal grinding in lots of different situations when driving at different speeds.

It also reduces debris deposits which helps your engine to perform at optimum levels.

This 0w-20 comes from one of the top brands, who claim that it’s the best synthetic motor oil money can buy.

It’s designed for use in engines that will be tested under consistent high pressure, so for those kind of situations it may well be the best choice (although Valvoline might have something to say about that).

It is however the most expensive option on our list.

It deserves it’s place, but if you’re not planning on thrashing your engine perhaps pick one of the others.

If you are planning on putting your foot down then fill your boots – it’ll do you proud.

Check Price

So, What’s The Best 0w 20 Synthetic Oil?

The bottom line is that there are a lot of motor oils  to choose from, but all of those listed here are going to improve your engine performance, reduce your emissions, make your vehicle last longer and make it run better than it has before.

If you pushed us to choose one, we’d have to go with Castrol GTX MAGNATEC.  We love the transparency of the manufacturer explaining how it’s product works (rather than using generic jargon like many others).

castrol gtx magnatecIt’s well priced, performs well in extreme temperatures, is suitable for so many vehicles, and is consistently praised on review by independent users.

Mobil 1 Advanced comes in a very close second and if you prefer that brand there’s no reason not to go with it.

For value for money AmazonBasics is very hard to beat.  And for turbo and supercharged performance engines you should give Valvoline SynPower some serious consideration.

Synthetic Oil Vs Regular Oil

scaleSo, we’ve looked at some of the leading brands, now let’s consider why you should choose a synthetic oil over a regular, conventional oil, for your vehicle.

The answer, in short, is that you’ll experience greater levels of protection for the key components of your engine with a synthetic oil, and with that comes superior performance.

But that’s a fairly blanket statement that we feel needs a bit of explaining so we can understand exactly how synthetic oil is made.

Like conventional motor oil, synthetic oil is made from crude oil mined from the earth.  After extraction, it undergoes the normal refining process of regular motor oil.

The difference is that it is then put through an intensive purification process that involves distilling the oil to separate it into its basic components.

The process removes contaminants and impurities from the oil, leaving behind a purer substance whose individual molecules are better equipped to protect your engine.

Why Use Synthetic Oil

There are lots of reasons why synthetic oil is better than regular, but the most important four are set out below:

1. They Provide Greater Protection Against Wear And Tear

When it’s working, an engine’s parts move at great speeds.  They come into contact with one another constantly, and therefore need a layer of protection, in the form of your motor oil, to prevent wear and tear.

Given the stress that is placed upon your engine, the conditions in there can get quiet extreme.  This means that over time, your engine oil will break down.

A traditional engine oil will break down a lot faster than a synthetic blend.  With the breaking down process your oil loses its ability to properly lubricate and protect your engine.

Synthetics are a lot more resilient.  This means that you get premium protection for longer periods between changes.  the result is less wear and tear, less damage, and therefore less repair costs.

2. Sludge Resistance

There are plenty of impurities for your oil to pick up as it makes its way around your engine.  A traditional motor oil will pick up all type of debris as it circulates, eventually turning to sludge.

Sludgy oil is not a good thing!  It loses its lubricating, protective characteristics, meaning that your engine will be exposed to more wear and tear.

A synthetic oil on the other hand has less of its own impurities, which makes it more resistant to deposits within your engine.  This ability to maintain lubrication for longer periods significantly reduces the likelihood of damage, extending the life of your engine.

3. Cold Weather Start Up

snow roadWhen you shut your car off for the night, the oil in your engine comes to a rest.  When you start it again the next morning the oil flows through, as it’s designed to, to lubricate and protect your parts.

Regardless of the temperature a traditional oil takes longer to change from its resting state to full flow, so your engine is exposed to friction for that bit longer.

In particularly cold weather the time that it takes to get into this flowing state can be even slower, compounding the damage.

The same is not true of synthetic motor oil.  The distillation process helps to create a more fluid oil that is adept at getting into this vital flowing state much quicker, meaning that your engine and its parts are protected as soon as you turn on the ignition.

4. Hot Weather Break Down And Evaporation

sun roadConversely, if you’re driving in extreme heat the oil in your engine is put under greater stress than in moderate temperatures.

The first consequence of this is that break down happens much faster, bringing forward the onset of friction damage.

The second consequence is that your oil can begin to evaporate at these higher temperatures, leaving your engine exposed with less lubrication.

In the heat this is par for the course for a conventional motor oil, but not so for synthetics, which are specifically designed to resist heat and endure, even when the thermometer is off the chart.

You can quickly see why, when it comes to synthetic oil vs conventional oils, the former is a strong favourite!

How To Choose Oil For Your Car – A Quick Guide

motor oilChoosing the correct oil to lubricate your engine can be a bit daunting to begin with.  There are lots of letters and numbers to understand before you begin to look at different brands.

Here’s a few handy tips to help you out:

1. Check Your Owner’s Manual

You can save yourself a lot of time and effort by referring to your owner’s manual to see what type and grade of oil the manufacturer recommends.

2. Understand The Viscosity Grading System

In this article we’ve been looking at 0w-20 synthetic oil, but what do the numbers actually mean?

Well, they refer to the viscosity level of the oil at extreme cold and extreme hot temperatures.

The first number (before the “W”) refers to the oil’s viscosity level at 0 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas the second number (after the “W) refers to the oil’s viscosity level at 100 degrees Celcius.

Yes, both temperature scales are used, that’s not a mistake.

A low first number indicates that a particular oil thickens less in the cold than an oil with a higher first number (ow-20 thickens less in the cold than 10w-30 for example).

A low second number indicates that a particular oil thins out quicker in the heat than an oil with a higher second number (5w-30 thins out quicker in the heat than 5w-40 for example).

3. Applying It To Your Driving Conditions

Once you understand the viscosity grading system you’ll be in a better position to pick a motor oil to suit your driving conditions.

The lower viscosity level of your oil in the cold, the easier it is to pump around your engine.

So if you regularly drive in cold weather you’ll need a motor oil with a low first grading number to ensure easy start us and quick lubrication in the cold.

The higher the viscosity level of your oil in the heat, the more viscous it will remain at higher temperature.

So if you regularly drive in extreme heat you’ll need a motor oil with a high second grading number.

4. Types Available

There are several types of motor oil available, but if you’re looking to change yours there are few reasons not to go for a synthetic.

For completeness there are:

  • Conventional motor oils which have not gone through such a rigorous distilling process;
  • Synthetic blend oils, which are mix of conventional and synthetic oils; and
  • Full synthetic motor oils, like the ones on this list offering maximum protection.

5. High Mileage And Age

If you have an old vehicle that has more than (or is approaching) 75,000 miles on the clock, you might consider changing to a “high mileage oil” that is specially formulated to extend the running life of high mileage engines.

We’ve written a full post on the best high mileage oils here.

FAQs

faqThere are plenty of questions that crop up when choosing a motor oil, ow-20 or otherwise, so we’ve set out below answers to some of the most common ones:

Q – Is Synthetic Oil Better For High Mileage Cars?

A – We’d say yes, for all of the reasons discussed above, and especially for cars with lots of miles on the clock.

Typically you’ll see brands advertising high mileage oils for cars with 75,000 miles on the clock or more.  It’s not imperative that you change at that point, but the closer you get to 100,000 the more you should be thinking about switching to a synthetic product for the superior level of protection that it will provide to your engine parts, particularly in extreme hot or cold temperatures.

Q – How Often Should I Change Synthetic Oil?

A – This really varies from vehicle to vehicle having regard to the type of use (and therefore stress) that your car is being used for.  As a rule of thumb every 3,000 to 5,000 miles is a good yard stick.

The best place to look is your car’s user manual.  Some manufacturers make certain recommendations – Toyota for example have some models where 0w-20 synthetic oil is required and they have been approved for extended oil changes of every 10,000 miles.

Circumstances are always different, so if in doubt on how long between synthetic oil changes, err on the side of caution.

Q – Is 0w 20 Oil Always Synthetic?

A – No, not always – as set out above a synthetic oil could in theory be blended with a conventional oil – for more information check out this discussion on BobIsTheOilGuy.

Best 0w-20 Synthetic Oil Brands

As you’d expect, all of the leading brands make good 0w-20 motor oil, however, based on price, popularity and performance, there are a few that deserve a special mention.

Castrol, with two entries in our top 8, seem to tick every box when it comes to making their customers happy.  And its no surprise when you consider the size of their network – they operate directly in over 46 countries, employing around 7,500 staff worldwide and indirectly in nearly 74 others.

Their delivery network extends throughout 120 countries, covering 800 ports, and with product ratings consistently around the 4.8 mark, it’s clear these guys know what they’re doing.

And, as you know, they make our number one choice:

castrol gtx magnatec

Buy on Amazon

Mobil 1 from Mobil was released over 40 years ago, the first full synthetic motor oil available globally and several decades later it has gone from strength to strength.  Mobil have pioneered synthetic oil development, paving the way for others after them.

They have teamed up with several winning Formula  overs the years, but perhaps their greatest partnership is with their customers, who loyally buy from this number 1 brand time and again.

We feel that Valvoline deserves a special mention also.  They make excellent motor oil for all types of vehicles and are developing a bit of a cult following to keep the two brands above on their toes.

Wrapping It Up

Hopefully you’ve now got enough info to decide which is the best 0w-20 synthetic oil for you.

If you feel that there is another brand that deserves a place on our list please let us know.  We did review plenty of others before settling on the eight above, but we’re always open to opinion.

Likewise if you’ve had a bad experience with any of the products listed above we want to hear from you.  Let us have your thoughts below.

What next?  We’ve got plenty of great articles for you.

How about checking out our ultimate guide to motor oil here.  Check out our comprehensive oil filter guide.

Need to know what to do if you’ve got oil in your coolant reservoir – read this.  Got too much oil in your car – no problem!

Home

Sharing is caring!

Too Much Oil In Your Car?

The oil in a vehicle is the lubricant for the engine. It’s important to make sure that you have the right amount of oil in your vehicle in order for it to run its best.

If there is too little oil there is not a sufficient amount of lubricant for the engine, which can lead to it burning out.

too much oil in car iiIf there is too much oil in a car, it can be churned into a thicker, foamy substance, which can work its way into parts of the engine where it shouldn’t. Too much oil can also cause low oil pressure, which is something you’ll want to avoid.

Too much or too little oil can lead to all sorts of problems with your car making repairs a certainty. For this reason, it is important to check the oil levels of your car regularly.


Measuring Oil Levels In Your Car

As it’s so important, everyone should be able to check the oil of their vehicle.

The best way to measure the amount of oil in a vehicle is to use the dipstick that is located under the hood.

A dipstick is a long thin rod that shows how much oil is in the car. It is a good idea to check the oil of your vehicle every time you fill up the gas tank, if you can.


How To Check Your Oil Level

  • First, you will need to make sure that your car is parked on a level surface. You don’t want an uneven surface distorting the results.
  • Next, look at your owners manual to see if you should check the oil when the engine is warm or cold.
  • If it recommends a cold engine check, do not start the car. If a warm engine is recommend, start the car for a few minutes or check the oil right after you have driven it for a while.
  • Third, you will need to open up the hood of your car and locate the oil dipstick. In most cases it will have a small handle that says oil on it.
  • Grab the handle and pull it out. Once you have the dipstick out, take some tissue and remove any traces of oil so that you’ll get a clean reading. You then need to put it back in the cylinder as far as it will go.
  • too much oil in engineOnce satisfied that you’ve reinserted it correctly, remove the dipstick and examine it on both sides to determine how much oil is in the vehicle.
  • There are lines on the dipstick that show the recommended oil levels.
  • If the oil level is above the minimum line and below the high line, it is fine.
  • If it is very close to the minimum line you should consider topping it up.
  • Once you’ve checked the oil level simply return the dipstick to its cylinder and make sure that it is inserted fully.

Signs of Too Much or Too Little Oil

There are several tell-tale signs that your car will make if the engine has too much or too little oil.

One sign to look out for is a white/grey exhaust smoke. If there is a thick white smoke coming out of the exhaust pipe it could mean that the engine is getting too much oil. If this is the case it is important to take your car to a mechanic as soon as possible in order to minimize the risk of long term damage to the engine.

White smoke is often an indicator that something is burning inside the engine. It may or may not be the oil. However, if the oil is mixing into the foamy substance mentioned earlier, this could start to burn, which will cause the smoke.

too much oil in carAnother thing to look out for is an oil leak. Oil is often spilled when it is added to the engine, so if you find a small patch of oil in the same place that you topped it up it probably won’t be too big a deal.

However, if the oil is found under the car in a completely difference location to where you topped the oil up last, there may well be a leak.

You should first check the oil plug located under the vehicle to make sure that there isn’t a leak there too. If the oil plug is not tightened correctly oil may not be coming from the engine, but simply draining out of the bottom.

If that is what is happening your vehicle is going to run out of oil pretty quickly, which, as you’d imagine will lead to a number of quite serious problems.

Check outthis interesting discussion on symptoms of too much oil in a car.


Problems Caused by Too Much Oil In Your Car

When most people think about the oil in their vehicle they worry about not having enough. However, adding too much oil can create problems as well.

When there is too much oil in the engine there is no place for it to go. And in these circumstances, when it’s turned it can fill with air, turning it foamy. Oil that has air in it does not function as well as an oil of a smoother consistency, which can cause overheating and may severely damage the engine.

Overflowing oil from the engine may also cause damage to different gaskets and seals as the oil is forced from the engine.

When these gaskets and seals start to fail, oil leaks may develop. This can leave stains on your driveway and cause the oil levels of the vehicle to become too low, which can cause more damage to the engine.

As you can tell, the knock-on effects of having too much oil are considerable.  Blown gaskets and seals need to be identified and then repaired as soon as possible.

Another issue that is caused by too much oil is that it could be forced through the seals and rings of the pistons. This could result in your engine being coated in oil, which is not want you want.

When that oil starts to burn off it could release dangerous fumes. It may also create a fire hazard if the oil find its way to the outside of your engine.


Removing Excess Oil

Here’s a great video to show you how to change the oil in your car:

And here’s a handy step-by-step guide:

  • If there is too much oil in the engine, it is important to remove the excess in order to prevent the damage that it may cause.
  • The first step to removing excess oil is to turn the vehicle off and open up the hood.
  • Put an oil pan under the car and then undo the drain plug and let all of the oil drain into the pan.
  • When you’re happy that oil if the oil has drained out screw the drain plug back in.
  • Then remove the cap on the engine that says oil and place a funnel in the hole.
  • You then need to pour the drained oil into the funnel, but make sure that you don’t use all of it!
  • Check the amount of oil using the dipstick by following the steps set out above.
  • Then place the cap back on the engine and close up the hood.
  • That is all there is to it.
  • You can pour the extra oil into a container and use it for your next oil change.

***It is important to make sure that your engine is cool when you are performing this task.***


Too Much Oil In Your Car – Conclusions

Having too little or too much oil in the engine can cause many issues with your vehicle.

It is important to make sure that you change the oil frequently and that you check the oil levels often as this will keep your engine running smoothly for a longer time.


Have you had a problem with too much oil in your car?  Or not enough?

Let us know what you did to fix it below.

Having trouble with an oil leak?  Check out our review of Blue Devil Oil Stop Leak Here.

Or are you looking for a good motor oil for cold weather?  Check out our guide to the best 0w 20 synthetic oils around right now.

Home

Sharing is caring!

Synthetic Motor Oil – The Ultimate Guide

Are you new to cars and engines?  Wondering which oil is suitable for your vehicle?

In this article you’ll find the answers to all of your questions about synthetic oil to help you decide if it’s right for you.

Everything You Need To Know About Synthetic Motor Oil

Over the years we’ve heard so many questions about motor oil, and synthetics in particular – a lot of the time it was us asking the questions – so we thought we’d put together a comprehensive FAQ guide to help others, just like us, out.

First of all, lets start with explaining what synthetic oil is.

What Is Synthetic Oil?

atomWell, it’s a lubricant, an organic substance, consisting of artificially made chemical compounds.

Synthetic oil is made in the lab, thus each manufacturer takes different approaches.

Most synthetic motor oil is actually made mostly from ordinary petroleum, as the primary feed stock. The molecules are highly modified, in terms of size and shape, so as to work better as lubricants and additional atoms of other kinds are added to make these new molecules work even better.

Zinc for instance may be added as an anti wear agent, and other chemicals are added to help neutralize acids formed by combustion of gasoline or diesel fuel, etc.

Some synthetic oil is made entirely from other synthetic molecules which may or may not have been manufactured using crude oil as one of the feed stocks.

What Are The Different Types Of Synthetic Motor Oil?

Not all synthetics are formulated the same way which is why not all of them provide the same protection.

As a result, we have different types: synthetic blend oil; and full synthetic. Here is the difference between the two.

1. Synthetic Blend Oil

synthetic blend oilSynthetic blend oil is a mix of conventional motor oils and synthetic base stocks.

It was first introduced by Mobil in 1966, and is typically engineered to offer similar benefits as its full synthetic counterparts, but at a much lower cost.

Because of the added synthetic base stock, you are going to get more performance and protection than you would by using a conventional oil alone.

Semi-synthetic motor oils are also not fully regulated by clear cut standards regarding the concentration of mineral or synthetic compounds.

As a result, great care has to be taken when choosing the exact composition that would offer a suitable level of performance when it comes to your own vehicle.

They’re less volatile, so they evaporate far less, which reduces oil loss.

2. Full Synthetic Motor Oil

full synthetic oilFull synthetic motor oil is more frequently used and has a synthetic base stock mixed with a variety of additives that boost the performance of the oil.

While all synthetics on the market may offer a higher level of protection than conventional or synthetics blends, not all synthetics are equal.

Each synthetic brand uses a mix of high-performance fluids and additives. How these formulations come together results in various protection levels and attributes.

Full synthetic compounds are known to increase the odds that your car will live longer, they have better machining and metallurgy and better protection under warranty and longer drain intervals.

However, full  synthetics are about 30% more expensive than the average synthetic blend, and their increased life span doesn’t always compensate for that cost.

Synthetic Oil Vs Regular Oil

scaleMost of you know, that synthetic motor oils typically perform better than conventional motor oils in providing protection for your vehicle, but you might not know why.

So, what’s the difference between synthetic and conventional oil?

Visually, you cannot tell the difference between new synthetic and conventional oil. There are two major differences, however.

First, how they are made is a distinction. We’ve explained that synthetic is far more refined than conventional oil.

Second, used motor oil shows a lot thicker and sludgy in conventional oil vs synthetic oil, given the same amount of wear. Synthetic burns cleaner, thickens far more slowly, and has fewer deposits to start.

According to industry tests, synthetic oil engines perform 47% better than engines using conventional motor oil.

How Is Synthetic Oil Made?

Conventional and synthetic motor oils both begin in the ground and are derived from petroleum.

Synthetic oil is not only refined but also distilled, purified and broken down into its basic molecules.

This process not only removes more impurities from the crude oil but also enables individual molecules in the oil to be tailored to the demands of modern engines.

These customized molecules provide higher levels of protection and performance than conventional oils.

What Are The Benefits Of Synthetic Motor Oil?

As oil circulates through your engine it can pick up deposits.

1. Sludge Reduction

Over time, conventional oils can sometimes form sludge, which can reduce your engine’s efficiency and, ultimately, reduce the life of your engine.

Synthetics contain fewer impurities compared to conventional motor oils and can better resist the formation of sludge thereby preventing deposits from forming in your engine.

2. Durability

In the extreme environment of your engine, components can wear and break down.

Your motor oil is the protective barrier between these components. As conventional oils break down, their ability to prevent engine wear diminishes.

Synthetics, on the other hand, retain their wear protection properties for a much longer time, increasing engine life.

With conventional oils, it takes more time until they are able to flow smoothly through the engine.

3. Performance In Extreme Temperatures

snow roadDuring the cold winter months, or if you live in an extremely cold environment, this flow process takes even longer.

Synthetics, however, are engineered to flow quickly even at low temperatures, and they start protecting your engine right after you start your car.

When running, engines tend to get very hot. Over time, the high temperatures in your engine can cause conventional motor oils to break down or evaporate exposing your engine to wear.

Synthetic oils are engineered to resist these high temperatures, which is especially important if you’re driving in hot climates.

Can Synthetic Oil Be Mixed With Regular Oil?

faqYou might wonder, whether it is possible to mix the two kind of oils – synthetic and conventional.

Manufacturers state, that it should be fine to mix oils and it is unlikely anything bad would happen because the oils are compatible with each other.

Many oils are a blend of natural and synthetic oils. So, if you are low on oil, don’t be afraid to add a bit of synthetic if you are using regular oil or even regular oil if you are using a synthetic.

Despite this, it is not recommended to routinely mix oils because the additives in different products may interact or the oils may become destabilized by the mixture.

You may reduce or negate the properties of the additives.

You could lose the benefits of the more expensive product. So, adding regular oil to your special synthetic motor oil will mean you’ll need to get your oil changed sooner than you would have otherwise.

Main Advantages

thumbs upAlthough it is more costly, synthetic has its advantages.

It is designed to be more effective at: resisting break-down, and thus lasts longer than mineral oil, withstanding high temperatures, flowing in cold temperatures, thus reducing engine wear during frigid startups.

Using synthetic will prolong your oil life and require fewer changes. Another good use for synthetic oil is as a salve for older engines prone to sludge buildup.

The use of synthetic rather than conventional oil is a major benefit to the environment, as used motor oil is a major source of toxic waste in the water.

Synthetic Oil Disadvantages

thumbs downThe main disadvantage is the price.

Car experts recommend that regardless of whether you use natural or synthetic, you should change your oil every 3,000 miles.

Synthetic engine oil does allow for less frequent oil changes, but this is not recommended, especially for more inexpensive vehicles

Can You Use Synthetic Oil In Any Vehicle?

After you have heard about the benefits of synthetic motor oil in vehicles, you may be inclined to switch.

Although, there are some risks you should be aware of if you own an older vehicle.

Technology has improved significantly over the years, and most cars on the road today should be able to use either synthetic or regular oil, so long as the proper weight is used.

In fact, some new cars require synthetic motor oil.

However, one exception is with older vehicles, especially those with high mileage.

The seals in those engines may not be able to handle the additives in some synthetic oils. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to switch to synthetic in an older car.

There are engine oils specifically designed for cars with 75,000 miles or more on the clock, and you’d be better off using one of these.

Check out our guide to the best high mileage oil for more information.

Can You Use Synthetic Oil In Motorcycles?

motorcycle viewEven in motorcycles, you can use any oil that confirms to manufacturer’s viscosity specifications.

Synthetic will last longer before it breaks down and looses it’s initial lubricating, cooling and cleaning properties so you can extend your oil change interval.

Otherwise, any oil or combination of synthetic and mineral oils will do.

This includes non motorcycle-specific oils such as a car and a diesel/truck oils.

Synthetic Oil – When To Change It

whenYou may know, that you are required to change the oil in your vehicle regularly.

If you use synthetic oil, you should probably change it every 7,500 miles, though some can last 10,000-15,000 miles.

Synthetic does not break down as quickly as conventional oil, so it doesn’t need to be replaced quite as frequently.

Synthetic oil change intervals vary between products and are often dictated by the condition sin which you drive and the stress that you out your vehicle under, so check the manufacturer’s guidelines to be sure.

Do You Need A Synthetic Oil Filter To Use It?

oil filterThe answer is no, you do not have to use a special type of filter although you can buy synthetic oil filters.

That said they’re not meant solely for synthetic oil – they’re called synthetic because they’re made of more synthetic fibres than normal paper filters.

Typically, synthetic filters do a better job of trapping small contaminates for a longer period of time, meaning less frequent changes.

Look for an oil filter that provides 10,000 mile protection with at least a 98% efficiency, such as the Premium Guard Extended Life oil filter.

Can You Use Synthetic Oil In Diesel Engines?

dieselBetween gasoline and diesel engines it is the diesel ones that especially need more maintenance and frequent oil changes for maximum protection and cleanliness.

And it’s the best synthetic diesel engine oil that ensures your engine runs appropriately and efficiently even when under pressure.

There are synthetic oils specially built for diesel engines and the best fuel for your car is one that’s compatible with your engine.

Both gasoline and diesel engines have the same base oils while different additives change the oil’s properties. So the difference between the two lies in the number of additives used in the oil.

As diesel engines absorb more carbon while gasoline engines absorb more moisture and tar, diesel oils contain more dispersants and anti-wear additives.

Diesel engines also need oil with a higher viscosity, unlike gasoline engines that only produce more heat. Full sensitive diesel engine oils contain more additives as they work under harsher conditions.

One of the most popular and best synthetic oils for diesel engines is Mobil1, famous for its superior protection in all working conditions. It’s unique and balanced formula keeps your engine running like new.

Being synthetic diesel engine oil, it outperforms conventional motor oils by offering better protection to your vehicle.

Best Synthetic Oil Brands

Apart from Mobil1 there are a few more brands worth mentioning.

Castrol

castrol gtx magnatecCastrol GTX Magnatec recently came out on top in our recent review of the best 0w 20 synthetic oil (which is specifically designed to help prevent dry start ups in cold weather.

Shell Rotella

Shell Rotella T6 5W40Shell Rotella is also highly recommended because of its wide array of impressive features. Among others, it is preferred because of its low ash technology.

This feature is basically responsible for controlling the blockage of the exhaust, making the oil fuel-efficient and emission-compliant.

It is also worth noting that the base of this product is free-flowing synthetic base oil. This means various benefits, with one of the most significant being its ability to provide protection even in extreme climates.

Even under high temperatures, the right level of viscosity can be retained.

Pennzoil

pennzoil platinumPennzoil is also a popular brand.

Their motor roil is full synthetic, which means that there are no additives used in its formulation.

Because of its purity, you can expect maximum benefits.

Another significant benefit that should be highlighted is that it provides protection from engine’s loss of power, increasing its reliability.

How To Choose A Synthetic Oil For Your Vehicle

Choosing the correct motor oil for your car might seem daunting but the best way to start is by checking your owners manual for your car manufacturers suggested oil weight.

Adjust this weight based on the weather and then start choosing a specific motor oil brand by checking out the starburst symbol that indicates the oil has been tested and meets the standards of the American Petroleum Institute (API).

Your next task is to pick the viscosity (thickness) that’s suitable for the temperatures your vehicle normally operates in.

Wrapping It Up

Without a doubt, searching for the right synthetic oil is not going to be an easy task.

Make sure that it is made by a trusted brand, given high rating by other users, and more importantly, appropriate for the engine of your car.

Looking for a good oil filter?  Check out our guide to the best on the market right now.

Need a hand getting oil out of your coolant reservoir?  No problem, read this.

Home

Sharing is caring!

This Is The Best Tuner For A 7.3 Powerstroke

Looking for the best tuner for your 7.3 Powerstroke?  You’ve come to the right place.

We’ve reviewed all the leading programmers.  Most aren’t worth your money.

But one, in particular, is.

Preview
Best Performer

Ford Powerstroke Diesel 7.3 1994-2003 TS Performance 6 Position Chip WITH KNOB 140+ HP
Best Alternative

Edge Products 15000 Evolution Programmer for Ford Powerstroke 7.3L
Best Of The Rest

Edge Products 15001 Evolution Programmer for Ford Powerstroke 7.3L
Product
Ford Powerstroke Diesel 7.3 1994-2003 TS Performance 6 Position Chip WITH KNOB 140+ HP
Edge Products 15000 Evolution Programmer for Ford Powerstroke 7.3L
Edge Products 15001 Evolution Programmer for Ford Powerstroke 7.3L
Rating
4.5
4.2
3.9
Price
$220.00
$396.19
$499.95
Best Performer

Preview
Ford Powerstroke Diesel 7.3 1994-2003 TS Performance 6 Position Chip WITH KNOB 140+ HP
Product
Ford Powerstroke Diesel 7.3 1994-2003 TS Performance 6 Position Chip WITH KNOB 140+ HP
Rating
4.5
Price
$220.00
Best Alternative

Preview
Edge Products 15000 Evolution Programmer for Ford Powerstroke 7.3L
Product
Edge Products 15000 Evolution Programmer for Ford Powerstroke 7.3L
Rating
4.2
Price
$396.19
Best Of The Rest

Preview
Edge Products 15001 Evolution Programmer for Ford Powerstroke 7.3L
Product
Edge Products 15001 Evolution Programmer for Ford Powerstroke 7.3L
Rating
3.9
Price
$499.95

The Best Tuner For 7.3 Powerstrokes Reviewed

When it comes to increasing the power and fuel economy in your Ford Powerstroke, a diesel programmer provides the best bang for your buck.

So, which one is the right choice for you? Let’s take a look at the best-selling 7.3 Powerstroke Tuners currently on the market to find out.

1. TS Performance 6 Position 7.3 Powestsroke Tuner Chip

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Best Tuner For 7.3 PowerstrokeIf you use your truck for a lot of towing, or just need an improvement in performance, this is the best Powerstroke tuner that you can purchase for the price.

It’s the best-seller by quite some distance, providing more power in the rear wheels than any other chip out there.

It has six settings that can be easily adjusted while you drive by turning a knob that is mounted to the dash.

Key Features

  • Adjustable in cab
  • Easy to install
  • Programming and hardware are designed by TS Performance
  • Anti-theft fitting
  • High Idle mode
  • Stock mode
  • 50, 75, 100, and 140 HP settings for huge increases in performance

There are six positions on this chip, offering a progressive increase in horsepower on each setting, which means you can adjust your truck’s capabilities to suit the job in hand with ease.

In stock mode you’ll notice an immediate increase in power.  High Idle mode helps you warm up your vehicle to maximize fuel economy and oil performance.

The 50 HP setting is the most commonly used of the six, with users reporting massive improvements in power and fuel consumption.

For larger towing jobs, and opening up on the highway, the 75 HP setting is very popular.

Given the huge improvements realized at the lower settings there are few reasons to go as high as the 100 HP or 140+ HP settings (most people report no intention of cranking things up that high), but if you do want to put your foot down they’re there for a little fun!

The six settings are programmed onto the chip based on the make, model, and year of the vehicle, and you can input your specs when ordering.

Overall, this chip has loads to offer at an incredible price.  One of the biggest benefits is definitely the ability to adjust it while you’re driving. It also offers more power than any of its rivals.

Averaging a whopping 4.5 stars out of 5 from over 400 independent reviews, it’s our NUMBER 1 CHOICE.

Buy on Amazon

2. 15000 Edge Tuner For 7.3 Powerstroke

Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

15000 Edge Tuner For 7.3 PowerstrokeIf you don’t have much experience in modifying vehicles you might want a tuner that is a bit easier to install.

This 15000 evolution programmer from Edge offers a tuner that is user friendly and has a lot of options.

It will allow you to enhance engine performance by increasing output by up to 100 HP.

In addition, it allows you to scan and then read computer codes so that you can easily find any issues and take care of them before they become serious.

There are three power settings for you to to choose from, so the scope is more limited than the TS.

There are more powerful options out there, but this is a good choice for many as its so easy to use.

Key Features:

  • 3 power levels
  • Additional 100 HP
  • Additional 200 ft lbs of torque
  • Adjustable shift points and pressures
  • Internet updatable
  • Scan tool allows you to read and clear any trouble codes

Overall, if you are looking for a tuner that is easy to use and provides your truck with more power, improved performance, and better gas mileage, this is a solid choice.

Although it’s easy to install and will provide you with the increased power that you’re looking for, you will have to pay quite a bit more for the privilege.

Buy on Amazon

3. 15001 Edge 7.3 Powerstroke Programmer

Rating: 3.9 out of 5 stars (3.9 / 5)

15001 Edge 7.3 Powerstroke ProgrammerThis product is a bit more high-end.

It’s a dash mountable unit that can be painted to match your current interior, to makes it appear as if it has always been a part of the truck.

The tuner provides an additional 100 HP to your truck’s stock settings, and will add up to 200 ft lbs of torque.

Again there are three power levels and it also has a scan tool that allows you to clearly read any trouble codes.

Key Features:

  • In cab display
  • Reads EGTs
  • 3 power levels that are adjustable
  • LED backcolor that is adjustable
  • Diagnostic trouble codes are clearly displayed

The technology behind the device is constantly being improved and all you have to do to update it is plug it in to a computer with active internet.

The programmer is easy to install as it plugs directly into an OBDII plug.

Overall, this is a quality tuner that offers a lot of power.  Again, you’ll have to pay a bit more for it, but to many happy reviewers that has proved well worth it.

Buy on Amazon

So, What’s The Best Tuner For Your 7.3 Powerstroke?

If you’re looking for the most power and the most versatility in a tuner, the TS Performance 6 Position Chip is the best overall choice.

It features the widest range of settings, allowing you to increase your truck’s performance in stages to find the perfect setup.

TS Tuner For 7.3 PowerstrokeAt around 200 bucks it’s very affordable (about half the price of its nearest competitors) and as you’ll see in the video below, it’s pretty easy to install.

The other two options on this list are top choices as well.  We’re put off a bit by the price tag, and they offer a little less additional power, but they’re both good choices if you don’t like the idea of installing a tuner, or you don’t have a professional at hand to help you.

What Kind Of Performance Increase Will You Get?

In short, you’ll get a massive performance increase from a 7.3 Powerstroke Programmer.  Here’s what you can expect from the TS 6 Position Chip:

Well, that was pretty impressive, but what exactly will you get?

1. Increased Horsepower

Obviously!  But let’s explore this in a little more detail.

It would seem, from the majority of the independent reviews for this chip (400+ reviews to-date) that just cranking the dial up to the second setting (high-idle) will result in a noticeable increase in power.

The sweet spot for most users seems to be around the third or fourth settings (50 HO and 75 HP respectively) which appear to provide sufficient increases to handle any situation in your 7.3 Powerstroke.

Most users report not needing to go higher than these settings, even when towing heavy loads (which probably isn’t advisable anyway).

The few that have gone higher, cranking the chip right up to the fifth and sixth settings (100 HO and 140+ HP respectively) consistently report being amazed at the transformation in performance of their trucks.

Some say it’s like driving a new one!

2. Better Fuel Consumption

Perhaps surprisingly, users report experiencing huge savings in fuel consumption when using this 7.3 Powerstroke Tuner.

You might think with the increased in power that fuel economy would be worse, however the general consensus among users is that, over the course, you’re going to see big savings in your regular fuel spend.

Many users report getting as much as an extra 100 or so kilometers out of a full tank of gas after installation.

The average improvement seems to be around an extra 4 miles to the gallon, although some users have reported saving 8 mpg or more.

With miles to the gallon up, and dollars spent on gas down, what’s not to like?

3. Improved Transition

A nice knock on effect for many users, after installing the TS Tuner, has been a smoother gear shift, most notably when in the mid-range settings.

Users have noticed firmer shifting, which results in reduced “bumping” between gears, for a much smoother ride.

4.  Warming Up Your Engine With High Idle Mode

If you operate in cold temperatures then warming your engine up before heading off is highly advisable, not only to help manage fuel consumption but to contribute to better lubrication of vital engine components.

The high idle mode at the second setting of this tuner, at 1,200 rpm, does a great job of that.  a few minutes warming your old work horse up on this setting could extend your engine’s life considerably.

And, even if you’re not driving in the cold, a short “warming up” period in high idle mode could get you a few extra mpg on the highway, which adds up to a nice saving if you drive medium to long distances regularly.

How To Install A 7.3 Powerstroke Tuner

Assuming you’ve gone with the TS Performance Chip (lets’ face it; why wouldn’t you) the next step is to install it.

Here’s a handy clip from Thoroughbred Diesel to show you how:

So, briefly summarized, you need to do as follows:

Step 1

  • After you’ve unboxed the product, remove the battery cables
  • We’ll say it again: remove the battery cables!
  • Unhook the PCM wiring harness
  • Find the PCM (on the driver’s side underneath the console)
  • Remove the box and the frame
  • Then remove the PCM itself and its bracket casing
  • You’ll then need to take it out of the bracket
  • Make a note of the ECM flash code
  • Check that the code matches the chip that you’ve ordered

Step 2

  • Open the plastic cover to get inside the PCM
  • You’ll immediately see the contact plate where the chip will be installed
  • Remove the waxy layer covering the contact plate on both sides
  • Clean both sides of the contact with an emery cloth
  • You should just be able to see some copper for a good contact

Step 3

  • Drill a hole in the PCM casing to accommodate your switch wire
  • Thread the switch cable through the new hole of your case
  • Install your switch onto the TS chip, locking it in place
  • Now install the chip into the PCM
  • Do this by pushing it onto the computer board

Step 4

  • Slip the PCM back into the case
  • Reinstall it back in your truck
  • Do this by placing it back in the bracket and re-attaching the bracket under the console

Step 5

  • To install the switch in the cab you’ll need to take it apart
  • Loosen the set screw before removing the knob
  • Drill a hole in the cabin panel
  • Pull the switch through the new hole and tighten it using the nut
  • Re-attach the knob to the switch and tighten the set screw
  • The chip knob should turn freely between each of the six settings

Step 6

  • Re-install your cabin panel
  • Reconnect the PCM connection on the outside of your truck
  • Make sure that your wire loom is properly lined up
  • You can now re-attach your battery cables before starting up your truck
  • And voila, you’re good to go!

How To Use Your 7.3 Powerstroke Tuner

ford truck racingOnce installed, using the programmer is as easy as turning a knob.  And that’s all you need to do in fact.

But you need to think about how best to use each setting.

The first setting keeps you in “stock” mode, and, despite the manufacturers claims that you’ll notice an immediate difference in power, very few users have reported that in this mode, so we question whether you’ll be using it that much if you need a tuner to increase horsepower.

That said, you may wish to keep your engine in stock mode all of the time and just bump it up a few notches for specific jobs, like towing, uphill work, or driving on the highway.

To benefit from the “high-idle” mode discussed previously, you’ll need to crank the dial on to the second setting, which is great to help warm your truck up before opening it up on the freeway.

If you feel that you’re going to need some extra power for the task in hand, but not so much as to effect handling, perhaps for slow towing work, the third setting is a great place to be.  On this setting you will feel a huge increase in performance immediately, thanks to the extra 50 HP through the rear wheels.

It’s much the same with the fourth setting, although the power jumps up to 75 HP through the rear wheels.  That my not sound like the largest increase in the world, but on an open highway you will feel a significant response when you put your foot down, and also for the hardest of towing jobs, which will feel considerably less labored.

The fifth setting (100 HP through the rear wheels) and the sixth setting (140 HP through the rear wheels) sound nice, and look good on paper, but we can’t think of many scenarios when you’re going to need that level of power increase.

Indeed, you probably shouldn’t be towing anything of significant weight at these levels.  They are a bit of fun though if you find yourself on a nice open stretch of road – just make sure you don’t collect a ticket in the process.

What Is A 7.3 Powerstroke?

ford truck beachThis might seem a weird thing to include halfway down a page discussing 7.3 Powerstroke programmers, but you’d be surprised how many don’t know, and also how many people look to buy a tuner for a 7.3 Powerstroek on behalf of someone else.

So here’s a very brief run through.

Powerstroke refers to a line of diesel engines produced for the Ford motor company for use in their trucks from 1994.

The Power stroke engine has been used in the Ford F-Series, Ford E-Series, Ford Excursion, and Ford LCF commercial truck.

The Power Stroke engine line came into force essentially existed as a re-model of engines made by Navistar.

The first Power Stroke engine was the 7.3L Power Stroke V8, which was to be the Ford version of the Navistar T444E turbo-diesel V8.

The 7.3L Power Stroke was replaced by the 6.0L at the start of the second quarter of 2003.

Later models followed, including a 6.4, 6.7, 3.2 and 3.0 engine.

Since the introduction of the 6.7L PowerStroke V8 in 2010, Ford has manufactured its own diesel engines.

In its time, the Power Stroke engine has been competed with the likes of the General Motors Duramax V8 and the Dodge Cummins B-Series when marketed against large-block V8 (and V10) gasoline engines.

Of all of the Power Stroke engines produced, the 7.3 is the one with the largest user base.  7.3 Powerstroke owners, on the whole, love this engine, and it’s no surprise that it has developed quite the cult following.

So, a 7.3 Powestroke Programmer to improve performance is often the best Christmas present that die hard fan can receive.

Make of that what you will!

7.3 Powerstroke Specs

magnifying glassPower Stroke engines are controlled electronically.  The 7.3 is a direct injection engine featuring a 4.11″ bore and 4.18″ stroke which combine to create a displacement of over 400 cubic inches.

It’s compression ratio is 17.5:1, and a total weight of 920 pounds.

The 7.3 engine produces up to 250 horse power in automatic-transmission trucks from the final years of manufacture, and up to  275 horse power in manual-transmission trucks.

Most people think that it can hold up to 15 quarts of oil.  However a 7.3 oil pan can hold 15 quarts of oil on its own, with the top end holding an extra three quarts, making a total of 18.

The 1994 to 97 Power Stroke engine features “single shot” hydraulic electronic fuel injectors, whilst running a high pressure oil pump to reach sufficient oil pressure to engage the injectors. The 1997 trucks use a two-stage fuel pump, and the 1999-2003 models use a mounted electric fuel pump.

The 1994 to 1997 Power Stroke has a single turbocharger with a turbine housing.  In 1999, they added an air-to-air intercooler to increase air density by cooling the turbo charged air.  The cooler air results improves the engine’s horsepower potential, whilst at the same time reducing exhaust gas temperature.

7.3 Powerstroke Problems

ford truck problemsThat all sounds great, and the 7.3 is generally considered to be one of the most reliable truck engines of all time, but it hasn’t always been smooth sailing.

Owners have experienced routine problems with the camshaft position sensor, which, from time to time would turn the truck off while in use, or revert to a no-start mode.  It’s easy to diagnose and fix, but it has in the past been a major gripe.

Many 7.3 owners also report problems with the fuel filter as the housing can begin to crack over time resulting in fuel leaks.

Blown fuses resulting from a short out of the heating element in the filter housing have also been a regular feature for 7.3 owners, who may also experience a no-start mode from this.

The up-pipes found on the turbocharger have also received wide criticism for not being up to scratch.  Leaks are a regular occurrence, especially at the joints, and result in the loss of engine power and an increase in exhaust gas temperature.

That may sound a lot, but compared to its main competitors it really isn’t.  The reality is that 7.3 Powerstroke performance and durability is second to none.

One final problem relates to decreased performance when towing or at speed over long distances.  That’s where getting the best 7.3 Powerstroke tuner comes in.  As we’ve seen, if you spend a bit of cash and a little time installing one, you can take your truck’s performance to the next level, and then some!

Best Brands

If you’ve read this far it will come as no surprise to you that we feel that the TS Performance 6 Position Chip is the best programmer for tuning a 7.3 Powerstroke.  And that is with good reason.

The company formed in 1997 and began by supplying customers with anything they needed for their diesel trucks. After a time the company started to offer their own tuning for the 7.3L Powerstrokes, before releasing their own chip to work with the Ford computer. That chip, the TS Performance 6 Position Chip, our number 1 pick, has grown to become, in their words “the most popular and widely used chip for the 7.3L Powerstroke engine“.

TS Tuner For 7.3 Powerstroke

Buy on Amazon

There are a couple of others who deserve a mention here too.

Edge Products, as we’ve seen, makes some pretty good stuff too.  It’s pricier, and won’t result in any better performance than the TS, but the interface is more modern  – they pride themselves on their ability to display multiple engine parameters on their programmers, which are easy to understand and easy to use. They’ve been around since 1999 and are a brand that you can trust with confidence.

A third company named Superchips also makes some decent tuning products that can help improve Powerstroke performance.  First incorporated in the UK they have grown to become a global leader in automotive tuning for late model cars, Jeeps and trucks.  If you’re looking for a 7.3 Powerstroke programmer, but don’t like any of the three on our list, you should consider Superchips as a good alternative.

Best Tuner For 7.3 Powerstroke – Wrapping It Up

Hopefully all of the information above has helped and you’re now in a position to choose the right programmer to improve the performance of your truck.

If you feel we’ve left anything out of this guide, or that any of the products reviewed above don’t deserve to be on our list, please let us know below.

Likewise if you’ve had any trouble with them or tuning your truck in general, we want to hear from you.

What next?

Well, if you’re a 7.3 Powerstroke owner we know that you’ve got a truck with a few miles on the clock, so why not check out our recent guide to the best oil for high mileage engines.

Do you use a CB radio?  If so check out our guide to the best in the business here.

Interested in claim-proofing your truck?  Then check out our review of the best dash cam for truckers.

Home

 

Sharing is caring!

Lug Nuts And Lug Nut Removal – All You Need To Know

Lug nuts aren’t the sexiest of topics.  But for those new to the home garage movement it pays to know a bit about them.

So read on for…

Everything You Need To Know About Lug Nuts

When we were new to mechanics we had a lot of questions.  Many of those are featured below, in our quest to answer the most frequently asked questions about lug nuts.

What Are Lug Nuts?

lug nutsLug nuts are the bolts used to hold your wheel to your axle on your vehicle, typically a car or truck.

How Do You Use Them?

faqWhen installing lug nuts it’s highly recommended that you give the nut or bolt at least 10 turns by hand before ever putting a wrench on it to ensure that no cross threading has occurred, and that the threads are free of obstructions.

Once you’ve done that tighten the nuts all the way down to snug by hand before ever putting a torque wrench to them.

This ensures not only that the threading is correct, but that the nuts have centered correctly in the lug holes of the wheel.

Lug nuts must be installed in an alternating pattern, commonly referred to as a “star-pattern” technique of applying torque to one lug nut, then the one directly across from it, but it’s important enough to bear repeating.

Torquing the lug nuts in this manner ensures that they center properly.

Tor­que one nut, then cross the center of the wheel for the next nut, and so on.

For a 5-bolt pattern, this will have you torque the nuts in the classic star pattern. For a 4-bolt, it’s a cross pattern.

What Are The Different Types Of Lug Nuts?

lug nuts iiFor the most part, dealing with lug nuts only involves using the ones that came with the wheels.

However, changing wheels will often require different lugs, and this is where it becomes important to determine that they are the correct type for the wheel.

Having the correct lug nut for your vehicle helps ensure that your wheel is safely and securely installed.

Conical

The most common type of lug nuts, conical lugs are cone shaped and designed to fit a corresponding cone-shaped lug hole. A taper of 60 degrees is still the most common style.

Conical lugs are generally easy to work with and center correctly just about every time.

Flat

Flat lug nuts have a mounting surface that simply extends out 90 degrees from the lug stud and looks like a large washer.

Most also have a small barrel that extends into the wheel’s lughole for centering, which is what makes them somewhat tricky to deal with.

Ball 

Ball-style lug nuts are essentially round rather than cone-shaped. Thankfully, there are relatively few of these types left in service, as it can be very difficult to tell them apart from conical styles.

Confusing the two can cause serious – and usually irreparable – damage to the mating surfaces on the wheel.

Ball lug nuts can, however, still be found on certain Mercedes, Audi, VW and Honda vehicles.

Tuner

Many aftermarket wheels are designed for extremely small diameter lug nuts usually known as tuner lugs. In the olden days, tuner lugs were open in the center and designed to accept a solid hex-shaped key for installation and removal.

Most are not made this way anymore, as the open design allows a wide-open pathway for air and moisture to get to the studs and threads, causing serious corrosion problems.

In this case, it’s a good idea to recommend changing them out for a set of the newer spline drive lugs.

Spline Drive 

These lugs have many narrow grooves on the head and even down the sides that will accept a special low-profile key that can just fit over the lugs and into the lugholes.

Some people tend to think that spline drive lugs are akin to wheel locks and will protect their wheels from theft which is not true.

The spline drive key is never a unique pattern, and are easily available from any auto parts store. Relying on spline drive lugs for theft protection is no protection at all.

Lug Bolts 

While most cars have lug studs coming out from the rotor plate, some cars, particularly BMW, will have lug bolts that thread into the rotor plate.

They are typically seen on European vehicles. Most tire techs despise this as it means you can’t just hang the wheel assembly on the lug studs while you thread the nuts on.

Instead, you must hold the heavy assembly up against the rotor plate while threading the bolts through the wheel and into the rotor, a process that requires approximately 3½ hands.

Are Lug Nuts Universal Or Do They Come In Different Sizes?

tape measureLug nut sizes have a specific thread pitch, which is determined by vehicle specifications.

Having the correct lug nut for your vehicle helps ensure that your wheel is safely and securely installed.

Different lug nut sizes:

  • 10mm X 1.25
  • 12mm X 1.25
  • 12mm X 1.50
  • 12mm X 1.75
  • 14mm X 1.25
  • 14mm X 1.5
  • 14mm X 2.0
  • 7/16″ X 20
  • 1/2″ X 20
  • 9/16″ X 18

How Tight Should They Be?

Each nut should be fairly tight but not too close to the final torque.

They must be tight enough so they won’t come loose and the heat will transfer uniformly from the hub to the wheel for cooling.

That heat transfer needs to be uniform so it is important that they all be torqued to the same value.

Typically this is somewhere around 90 ft-lbs.

How Do You Tighten Them?

The proper way to tighten the wheel is to use a torque wrench to torque every lug nut to its recommended torque when the car is on the floor.

Some cars even require more complex procedure which is hand tight first, torque to a specific lower torque while the car is up in the air, then torque to its final torque specification when the car is on the floor.

Here are the steps on how to tighten the wheel lug nut properly:

  • Wipe every stud with a rag and air blow the inside of each lug nut to clean them.
  • Use hand to tighten each lug nut onto the studs.
  • If you have an impact wrench, you may use it to barely snug up each lug nut, stop as soon as possible when  you hear a couple of clicks.
  • Drop the car on the floor.
  • Set the manufacturer recommended torque on the torque wrench and tighten each nut according to it.

The right order to tighten the lug nut is not clock or counterclockwise.

If it is a four stud wheel, you should tighten them in a cross order, which means first tighten the top one, second the bottom one, third the left one, last the right one and so forth.

If it has five studs, then you should follow an order of drawing a star.

It is recommended to re-torque the lugs after about 200 miles of driving, especially on alloy wheels.

Can They Be Too Tight?

Some technicians use an impact wrench to tighten every lug nut until he hear many clicks. However, not too many people notice that all the lug nut could be over tighten that way.

It’s remotely possible that dirt or corrosion is causing certain nuts to seem tight when they aren’t.

In that case it is recommended to clean any that seem like they might be a problem, and to apply some anti-seize compound.

What Are The Dangers Of Over Tightening Them?

Over tighten can stretch the stud and cause failure around the rotor.

It can also be the reason of brake warping on a vehicle.

It can make them virtually impossible to remove with normal tools (especially typical lousy tire irons) which can turn a flat tire into a need for a tow.

On some cars, it can cause warpage of brake discs or drums, or even of wheel hub flanges. And in extreme cases, it can cause the lug stud to break off.

What Equipment Do You Need To Tighten Them?

air impact wrenchWhile a lug, socket or impact wrench may be used to tighten lug nuts the final tightening should be performed by a torque wrench, ensuring an accurate and adequate load is applied.

Using the manufacturer recommended torque helps guarantee that there isn’t either too much or too little pressure on any of the assemblies to which the wheel attaches.

Before you install your wheels, check your vehicle’s recommended torque.

The general rule for steel wheel lug nut torque is usually around 80-90ft/lb, and for aluminum wheel is around 100ft/lb.

It can be used in most cases, but we would still prefer you to research for the exact torque for every particular model before you start working.

What Tools Do You Need To Loosen Them?

air impact wrench iiLug nuts may be removed using a tire iron, lug or impact wrench.

Tire irons can be purchased in  your local auto parts stores that usually have an end that fits all vehicles.

You may also choose to simply use a deep socket of the appropriate size with a ratchet or breaker bar.

If the lug nuts have rusted over, apply a generous amount of a thread loosener or rust remover to the nuts.

Allow it to sit for a few minutes, then attempt to loosen the lug nut again.

If the lug nut and stud break, you will need to have a new lug stud installed in order to repair the vehicle.

Be sure to use the correct sized socket.

A socket that is slightly too large could round off the lug nut.

If the wheel is to be removed then an automotive jack to raise the vehicle and some wheel chocks would be used as well.

Wheels that have hubcaps or hub covers need these removed beforehand, typically with a screwdriver, flatbar, or prybar.

What Are The Most Common Problems With Lug Nuts?

  • Failure to abide by the recommended torque value can result in damage to the wheel and brake rotor/drum.
  • Additionally, under tightened lug nuts may come loose with time.
  • Lug nuts can be difficult to remove, as they may become frozen to the wheel stud.
  • It is crucial that the lug nut seat and the wheel lug seat match.
  • If the lug nut seat type does not match the wheel seat type, it is possible that the lug nut could damage the wheel.
  • It is also likely that a mismatched lug nut and wheel could potentially cause the lug nut to loosen and the wheel to become unsecure to the vehicle.
  • If the lug is not centered just right, the stem can catch on the flat mounting surface rather than going into the hole, and if you’re not paying attention it can seem as if the lug nut has tightened when in fact it has not.
  • The best way to avoid this is to hand-tighten all the lug nuts to ensure proper fit before applying final torque.
  • Swelling lug nuts are common to Chrysler, Ford, and Toyota vehicles. The chromed caps separate from the steel nuts, moisture gets in between the two and causes corrosion, and the nuts swell.

Lug Nut Removal – How Do You Get Them Off In These Circumstances?

In such circumstances a breaker bar or repeated blows from an impact wrench can be used to free them.

  • Alternating between tightening and loosening can free especially stubborn lug nuts.
  • If the wheel is seized in place and won’t come off from you pulling on it, use a rubber mallet to bang it loose.
  • Strike the tire where the rim and tire meet all along the circumference of the wheel until it breaks loose.
  • Do not use a metal hammer to hit the rims or you may damage them.
  • It may take a good deal of force to remove the wheel if it is rusted in place.
  • For stubborn nuts, heat the nut with a torch, then move the flame away and immediately apply WD-40 or any other penetrating oil against the heated bolt threads.
  • The quick change from high heat to to the cool oil will cause the nut to retract and expand, allowing the penetrating oil deeper into the threads to create a slippery surface.
  • You can do this multiple times. Just make sure there is nothing flammable around when torching.
  • After doing this a couple times, use a breaker bar to pull it free.
  • If this fails, you may need to use an angle grinder to cut a groove in the nut, and a flathead bit on a hammer drill to get it out.

Self-Help

It is better to have a stripped or rounded lug nut cut off by a professional.

However, if you are ready to give it a try and remove rounded nuts yourself here is how:

  • First of all take a socket, place its mouth on the lug nut, and tap with the back with the hammer.
  • Make sure you don’t hit too hard. That may have the socket stuck badly.
  • Keep tapping till it fits well.
  • Secondly take the beaker bar and fit it onto the socket’s back.
  • Start hitting with the hammer on the breaking bar’s handle to the left.
  • When you do so a couple of times, you will feel that you are getting closer to breaking the lug nut free.
  • With persistent pressure towards the right, the lug nut will break free with a jerk.
  • Twist the socket clockwise and anti-clockwise a bit and pull it out. It will come off easily.
  • Once the nut is off, you still have to deal with the lug nut which will still be stuck in the socket.
  • Loosely screw the nut along with the socket back again.
  • Then gently tap the socket up and down with the hammer.
  • The socket will come out while the nut will be right there loosely screwed in.
  • You can twist it with your hand and pull it out.

Wrapping It Up

Well, hopefully that whirlwind tour of lug nuts and all they’re about has been helpful and you’re now better placed to work with them.

Let us know below, we’d love to hear from you.

What next?

Why not check out our recent post on how to remove a stripped lug nut (an altogether different kettle of fish!).

Or check out our new guide on the best air impact wrench for lug nuts to make things an absolute breeze.

Home

Sources:

Tire Review

Discount Tire Direct

Wiki

 

Sharing is caring!

How To Remove Rust From Your Car

If you happen to own an automobile (or are planning on buying one and want to learn how to keep it in great shape), this is an important guide for you. Check out this guide before buying a used car, a list of 101 questions to ask the previous owner to make sure that there are no hidden problems or hidden rust!

How To Remove Rust From A Car

It creeps up silently, takes its time developing and before you know it, your beloved vehicle looks aged, run-down and neglected.

Sounds bad, but the bark is usually worse than the bite here. That said the brown parasite can cause serious damage to your car if it gets to the frame components, so you need to get rid of it before it does.

To be able to successfully get rid of rust (and hopefully keep it at bay) it’s imperative to first understand what causes it.

Causes Of Rust

Rust is caused by a chemical reaction of iron and its alloys to oxygen and water.

oxygen and water cause rustBasically, moisture is the main culprit with saltwater and winter road treatments speeding up the whole rusting process.

There are broadly three stages of rust that develops on cars: surface rust, scale and penetration.

However, as you’ll soon discover, getting rid of rust is not half the daunting task it seems to be.

All it takes is a little preparation, patience and a few readily-available tools and materials.

Here’s all you need to know about the different methods of removing rust from your car, starting with basic prep.

Preparation

Regardless of which method you choose to work with, the following steps are highly advisable for safety purposes and to prevent further damage:

  • Be sure to wear safety glasses, gloves and a dust mask (though a respirator is advisable while using a grinder)
  • Use masking paper to mask clean spots to prevent them from getting dusty

Surface Rust

Surface rust mainly occurs when paint breaks down due to mechanical or UV damage.

surface rustIt doesn’t usually pose a problem as it is largely dependent on alloy composition and metal thickness.

However, it is highly recommended to correct surface rust as and when it occurs.

Solution 1: Rust Remover

Materials/tools required:

Liquid or aerosol rust remover or rust converter, sandpaper, grease and wax remover soap, rag, primer, spray paint

krud kutterMethod:

  1. Spray/brush the remover onto the affected area (as per the directions on the packaging) and let it sit for a few minutes
  2. Wipe off residue with a clean rag
  3. Remove any residual rust with sandpaper
  4. Clean the surface with a grease and wax remover soap
  5. Air dry the surface
  6. Spray a light to medium coat of primer and let it dry for an hour (three such coats should suffice)
  7. Spray about five-six coats of paint within plenty of time in between to prevent drips
  8. Make sure the paint coats are thinner than those of the primer
  9. Spray the clear coat
  10. Wait a minimum of three days before washing and two-six months before waxing your car

Why not check out our guide to the best rust converters around right now?

Solution 2: Pure White Vinegar (distilled)

Materials/tools required:

Distilled pure white vinegar, sandpaper, rag

Method:

  1. Use sandpaper to remove any rust in the affected area that is loose
  2. Use a vinegar-soaked rag over the area by holding it down for several minutes (the longer you hold it the more rust it will dissolve)
  3. Repeat the process as many times as required to remove all the rust from your car
  4. Follow steps 6-10 from Solution 1.

Scale

The underlying cause behind scale rust is that rust molecules are physically larger than those of iron or steel.

rusty didgeWhen you fail to remove rust when it is at surface level, it forms bubbles.

It begins to expand and flake away, thereby exposing base metal that soon begins corroding, causing a serious problem.

Removing this kind of rust demands significantly more effort and skill than surface rust, hence it is advisable not to let the rust develop till this stage at all.

Solution 3: Body Filler

Materials/tools required:

Grinder with sanding wheel, self-etching primer, fiberglass-reinforced body filler, fine grit sandpaper, wax and grease remover, spray paint

Method:

  1. Use the grinder to remove surface rust while taking care not to apply too much pressure
  2. Use a grease remover to clean the area
  3. Use the filler for the holes and let it cure completely
  4. Sand the filler with sandpaper then clean with wax and grease remover
  5. Use self-etching primer and leave to dry
  6. Follow steps 7-10 from Solution 1

Penetration

In case you haven’t dealt with the rust in its scale stage, it will advance to an even more problematic stage called ‘penetration’.

rust holeIn this stage, the base metal of the car gradually flakes away leaving holes in its place.

Having a car reach this stage leaves you with two options:

  • replace the entire affected panel

OR

  • cut out the affected parts and weld in ‘patch panels’ in place of them

At this stage the car is highly susceptible to crashes and further damage as its frame has been severely affected.

In this case, your best bet would be consulting a professional and getting it repaired at a repair facility.

Rust Prevention

Arguably the best way to deal with rust is to prevent it from accumulating on your car altogether.

Prevention is indeed better than cure, especially when you’ve invested thousands of dollars in your car and the alternative is spending hundreds more on ensuring it looks brand-new for years.

Hence, these are the most effective ways of preventing rust from developing on your car:

  • Wash your car regularly and thoroughly
  • Keep the underside clean from dirt, road grime and salts as these lead to corrosion
  • Check the drain holes that are present along the bottom of doors and rocker panels (that allow rainwater to flow out) regularly
  • Use a pipe cleaner to thoroughly clean these holes
  • Use multiple coats of wax, especially during winter months to protect paint, road grime and water
  • Don’t let snow and chemicals accumulate while driving on snowy or salty roads
  • Use rust prevention paint

Sources

Advance Autoparts

Popular Mechanics

Cartoq

Wiki

DIY

Wrapping It Up

Hopefully that’s been a useful overview and you’re now well equipped to remove rust from a car should the need arise.

Have you had to de-rust a car before?  How did you do it?  And are there any suggestions not included in our guide that you’d recommend?

Let us know below.

Home

Sharing is caring!

How To Become A Truck Driver – Ultimate Guide

The commercial driving industry is an ideal opportunity to begin your driver career as a passionate traveler.

However, it’s not easy to enter this industry.

In order to drive commercial vehicles you must be having a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).

How To Become A Truck Driver – All You Need To Know

The CDL ensures that the drivers are trained and qualified enough to drive high capacity commercial vehicles.

The CDL is issued by the Department of Transportation (DoT).

how to become a truck driverThe rules and regulations for obtaining a CDL vary from state to state, however to get a CDL there are certain basic requirements that an applicant must full fill.

All license classes (A, B, and C) have the same basic requirements. However, there are additional requirements for each license class which we’ll go through a little later.

How To Get Your CDL

The minimum age to obtain an intra-state CDL is 18 years while for an inter-state CDL you have to be at least 21 years old.

Paperwork

specificationsYou will have to: submit your state’s CDL Application and pay the appropriate fee; provide identity and social security number verification (check your state’s requirements); provide proof of state and US residency; submit a completed Medical Examination Report Form and Medical Examiner’s Certificate Form; Pass a vision test; pass a knowledge exam.

After passing the exam, you will be issued a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP). You will have to wait a minimum of 14 days before you can schedule your CDL road skills examination.

You will have to go through a pre-trip inspection. Once you are done with that, you will be able to pass the road skills and driving examination (you must bring your own vehicle).

After passing, you will have to pay the necessary fees for your new CDL (Optionally, submit a 10 Year Record Check, if you’ve had a driver’s license in any state or jurisdiction other than the one where you are applying for your CDL).

State To State

Although, there are different types of commercial drivers license and the requirements may vary by state, many of them are universal for all of the states, some of them are even federally mandated.

For example, it is a federal law that you must be 21 years of age or older to drive commercially interstate. However, many states will issue a CDL strictly for intrastate driving for those who are 18 or older. That is, why it is important to  check your state’s regulations.

When you are completely prepared to apply for your CDL, and you’ve filled out your state’s CDL application, you will need to provide proof of your social security number, your identity and your residency.

Exams

test paperOnce you have provided all necessary documents, you ought to pass the exams.

First, you must pass a vision exam and a knowledge exam. After you pass these, you will receive your commercial learner’s permit (CLP).

The Code of Federal Regulations states that you must have your CLP for a minimum of 14 days before you can take your road skills test, and the maximum amount of time you can hold a CLP is 180 days. However, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is currently considering extending this to 365 days.

Medicals

As far as the medical forms are concerned, drivers are required to fill out the medical history portion of the Medical Examination Report (MER) Form, MCSA-5875.

If the Medical Examiner determines that the driver examined is physically qualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle in accordance with the physical qualification standards, the Medical Examiner will complete and provide the driver with a Medical Examiner’s Certificate (MEC), Form MCSA-5876.

The Different Commercial Driving Licence Classes

According to guidelines issued by DoT, there are three different classes of CDL depending upon the type of vehicle to be operated.

truck windowClass A License

You have to get this type of a license if you are driving a combination of vehicles with a weight of over 26,000 pounds, and the vehicle that is being towed is over 10,000 pounds.

For many states, this would include commercial vehicles that have trailers or semi-trailers with two or more axles.

To be able to get a Class A License you need to do get through all of the requirements needed to get a CDL which we have discussed earlier.

Depending on your particular vehicle, you may need to take extra endorsement exams. Firstly, you need to bring a class A vehicle to your driving skills test.

You may want or need to take the double-triple endorsement exam, which allows you to drive with double and triple trailers, and the combinations endorsement exam.

If your vehicle has air brakes, you’ll also need to take the air brakes endorsement test.

Class B License

Needed in order to drive single vehicles with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing a vehicle 10,000 pounds GVWR or less.

You are required to get all the paperwork done and bring a class B vehicle to your road skills test.

If you decide to drive a tank vehicle or one with air brakes, you will need to get endorsements.

Class C License

With this kind of license you will be able to drive vehicles with a GVWR or GCWR less than 26,001 pounds.

Class C is strictly for vehicles designed to carry 16 or more people (including the driver), or carrying hazardous materials requiring the vehicle to display placards.

The process of how to get a class C license is very similar to the class A or class B licenses though it depends on which type of vehicle you will be driving.

If you are just transporting passengers, you will need the passenger transport endorsement.

For driving a school bus, you’ll need the school bus driver endorsement. For hazardous materials transporting, you’ll need the Hazmat endorsement.

For hazardous materials, you will also need to undergo additional state and/or TSA background checks.

Wrapping It Up

Overall, these are the factors that a future truck driver should consider and follow in order to apply for a Commercial Driver’s License.

You should also keep in mind, that the most important element needed, is your determination and dedication.

Good luck!

What next?  Once you’re up and running you’ll want a good CB Radio to communicate with other drivers and logistics, and a good dash cam for your truck for added protection.

Home

 

 

Sharing is caring!

The Best 6 Gallon Air Compressor – Our Top 10 Picks

After a lengthy process trying to find the best 6 gallon air compressor on the market, we’ve come up with a list of ten recommendations.

There’s a full guide later on, but for now take a look at the reviews below to see the top choices for price, popularity and performance.

Preview
Best Budget Option

DEWALT DWFP55126 6-Gallon 165 PSI Pancake Compressor
Highly Recommended

PORTER-CABLE PCFP12234 3-Tool Combo Kit
Our Top Pick

BOSTITCH BTFP3KIT 3-Tool Portable Air Compressor Combo Kit
Product
DEWALT DWFP55126 6-Gallon 165 PSI Pancake Compressor
PORTER-CABLE PCFP12234 3-Tool Combo Kit
BOSTITCH BTFP3KIT 3-Tool Portable Air Compressor Combo Kit
Rating
4.1
4.3
4.3
Price
$129.00
from $227.95
from $99.00
Best Budget Option

Preview
DEWALT DWFP55126 6-Gallon 165 PSI Pancake Compressor
Product
DEWALT DWFP55126 6-Gallon 165 PSI Pancake Compressor
Rating
4.1
Price
$129.00
Highly Recommended

Preview
PORTER-CABLE PCFP12234 3-Tool Combo Kit
Product
PORTER-CABLE PCFP12234 3-Tool Combo Kit
Rating
4.3
Price
from $227.95
Our Top Pick

Preview
BOSTITCH BTFP3KIT 3-Tool Portable Air Compressor Combo Kit
Product
BOSTITCH BTFP3KIT 3-Tool Portable Air Compressor Combo Kit
Rating
4.3
Price
from $99.00

The Best 6 Gallon Air Compressors Reviewed

Finding an air compressor that’s a good fit for your garage, workshop or business can be tricky.

As you’re dealing with stored potential energy you’ll want a compressor that’s safe, reliable, and easy to use.

All of the air compressors on our list tick these boxes.  There are eight 6 gallon air compressors listed, plus one slightly larger, and one slightly smaller alternative.

1. BOSTITCH 3-Tool Portable Air Compressor Combo Kit

Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

best 6 gallon air compressorThis 3-Tool Combo Kit by BOSTITCH is the Best-Seller and our Number 1 Pick.

The compressor features a 150 max PSI 6 gallon tank and a high efficiency motor that has an easy start up feature for use in cold weather.

It’s a cordless compressor with an easy to use oil-free (and maintenance-free) pump, which allows for a long run time and quick recovery.

Its operational noise level is just 78.5 dBA, which is ideal for a quiet working environment.

The air-hose is a generous 15 feet long for easy maneuverability.

The kit includes: 6-gallon Pancake Compressor; Brad Nailer; Straight Finish Nailer; Heavy Duty Crown Stapler; Air Hose; and Sample Fasteners.

It comes with a 1 year warranty, and you can purchase it without the additional accessories if you’d prefer.

This air compressor scores consistently higher than any other – the rating above is based on over 1,000 independent user reviews!

Things we like:

  • Less than 3 minutes to reach the maximum 150 psi
  • The tank fills fast, the motor is powerful and yet very quiet
  • Lightweight and easy to transport
  • No air leakage
  • Easy for beginners to operate

Things we don’t like:

  • The quality of the accessories and the hose aren’t amazing

Buy on Amazon

 

2. PORTER-CABLE 3-Tool Combo Kit

Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

porter cable 3 tool combo kitA close runner up is this Combo Kit from Porter-Cable which is includes a 6 gallon, 150 psi compressor.

It features a maintenance-free pump and an 120V electric unit which can run on a standard household current.

Weighing just 30lbs it’s super portable, and comes with a 25 foot air hose with a coupler and plug, plus a belt hook accessory and fasteners.

The compressor comes with a Finish Nailer, Brad Nailer and a Heavy Duty Crown Stapler.

A 1-year limited warranty on the compressor components is included as standard.

Very unlucky not be named number 1, this is an excellent choice.

Things we like

  • Great price for the air compressor and the three tools
  • All triggers are responsive and easy to use
  • No break-in period required, the pressure is easy to adjust
  • All couplings and gauges seem sturdy

Things we don’t like

  • It isn’t as quiet as the Bostitch

Buy on Amazon

 

3. DeWALT 6-Gallon 165 PSI Pancake Compressor

Rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)

dewalt 6 gallon pancake compressorThis 6 Gal Pancake Compressor from DeWALT represents excellent value for money.

It has a high efficiency motor, which starts easily in the cold.

The air compressor has a 165 max PSI air pressure, which is higher than most compressors in this category.

The 6 gallon tank can deliver 2.6 standard cubic feet per minute at 90 pounds per square inch.

It has a long time with quick recovery and works at a quiet 75.5 dBA.

The air tool is regulated by a high flow regulator, while the long-life oil-free pump allows for operation without maintenance.

Comes with two universal couplers to support two users and has thermal overload protection to prevent overheating.

The DeWalt weighs just 30 lb making it portable and easy to store.

For a standalone air compressor without all the flutes and whistles, this should be your first choice.

Things we like

  • It’s nice and quiet
  • High-flow regulator for increased performance
  • Features protective rubber leg covers

Things we don’t like

  • Two people can’t use it that effectively at the same time

Buy on Amazon

 

4. Ridgid 6 Gallon Portable Electric Pancake Air Compressor

Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

ridgid 6 gallon portable electric pancake compressorThis portable electric pancake compressor by Ridgid has a 6 gallon tank that reduces the cycle frequency to 150 MAX psi for tough jobs.

It can provide 2.6 SCFM at 90 psi for high air-delivery and has a maximum performance Universal motor for superior starting, even with low voltage.

The tool works with an oil-free pump offering reliable performance and little to no maintenance.

It comes with a locking regulator to prevent unwanted pressure changes.

The ball valve drains the tank quickly with one turn.

There are also two universal couplers that are easily plugged.

Ridgid’s compressor is well made and easy to use, making it a solid choice.

Things we like:

  • Reliable, with hose connections
  • The drain valve is conveniently tucked just under the rim of the tank

Things we don’t like:

  • A bit noisier compared to some others

Check Price

 

5. Campbell Hausfeld Quiet Air Compressor – 6 Gallon Pancake

Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

campbell hausfeld best quiet air compressor - 6 gallon pancakeCampbell Hausfeld’s 6 Gallon Pancake Compressor is one of the quietest units on the market.

It works at just 68 dBa, which is up to 50% quieter than some of it’s main rivals to guarantee as quiet a working environment as you’re likely to find.

It features a long life, oil-free air compressor pump, marketed as maintenance-free for long term use.

Its key components apparently last up to four times longer and it produces 25% more air compared to other 1.0 HP compressor motors.

Comes in a pancake design with a dual piston pump system which results in durability and high performance.

With a max PSI of 125 it’s ideal for a variety of projects including nailing and bolting, stapling, fastening and hobby painting.

This is a great product from a great brand.

Things we like

  • Quiet operation – one of the quietest air compressors in the industry
  • Reliable power with a maximum PSI of 125
  • Oil and maintenance free, this portable air compressor offers a user-friendly experience.

Things we don’t like

  • None that we can think of.

Check Price

 

6. California Air Tools Ultra Quiet & Oil-Free 5.5 gallon Aluminum Portable Air Compressor

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

california air tools 5.5 gallon alluminum best portable air compressorThis Electric Air Compressor by California Air Tools is an oil-free tool that boasts ultra-quiet operating levels of just 60 decibels.

It features a very powerful 1.0 HP motor.  It achieves that power with only 1,680 RPM, which results in less wear and less noise.

The aim was to increase the duty cycle to receive longer continuous run times, which it achieves.

The air compressor has a dual piston pump system for durability and high performance and a life cycle of of 3,000 Plus hours before wear.

The CAT-5510A, as its known, comes with one of the largest air tanks in the business, but at just 37.5 lbs and with a handy wheel kit, it’s very easy to move around.

Things we like:

  • Ultra Quiet air compressor of only 60 Decibels
  • Oil-Free Pump allowing for less maintenance and lower costs
  • 5 Gallon Rust Free Aluminum Tank with wheels
  • Powerful 1.0 HP Motor

Things we don’t like:

  • It’s capacity is actually 5.5 gallons, not 6

Check Price

 

7. Goplus Oil-Free Pancake Air Compressor

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

goplus oil free best pancake air compressorThis 6 Gallon, 150 PSI, 1.5HP Compressor from Goplus features an oil-free air pancake design that’s portable and quiet.

It’s ideal for use at home, in the machinery, chemical and mechanical industries, and other fields where compressed air is required.

The air compressor is equipped with an ergonomic handle which makes it is easy to control.

GoPlus’ leading model comes with a strong 0.5 horsepower 2 pole universal motor power, that can dramatically increase your working efficiency.

It is easy to start up in cold weather and it features a thermal overload protector and a built-in quick coupler for convenient air hose connection.

As far as air compressors go, this one’s fairly green, with energy conserving and environmental protecting features.

Things we like:

  • Oil-free pump and lightweight design
  • No maintenance needed
  • Adjustable output pressure for a variety of jobs
  • Smooth and reliable operation
  • 4 damping bases for extra stability

Things we don’t like:

  • None that we can think of

Check Price

 

8. JEGS Performance 6 Gallon Air Compressor

jegs performance 6 gallon air compressorJEGS’ pancake style compressor has a decent 1.5 HP motor.

It comes with an power output of 2.5 CFM at 90PSI.

The noise from the air compressor reaches 90 Db, which makes it quite noisy for indoor use, so do bear that in mind if you’re considering it.

The kit comes with a 3′ 6′ Power Cord 19.5″ H x 16″ Dia. 32.6 lbs. and an overload protection feature.

It’s fairly new on the market so user feedback is a bit scarce – time will tell if it deserves a higher place in our Top 10.

Things we like

  • The air delivery: 2.5 CFM @ 90 PSI
  • The low maintenance oil free design
  • The pancake style tank for extra stability
  • The protective shroud which prevents damage to vital motor parts and plumbing

Things we don’t like

  • The noise from the air compressor reaches 90 Db, which is quite noisy

Check Price

 

9. California Air Tools Oil-Free 8 Gallon Ultra Quiet Air Compressor

Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

california air tools 8 gallon ultra quiet air compressorAn alternative suggestion for those who want a larger air compressor, this ultra-quiet unit from California Air Tools , like the 5.5 gallon model reviewed above, is super quiet, working at just 60 decibels.

Again it features a powerful 1.0 HP motor that operates at only 1,680 RPM.

The air compressor uses an oil-free dual piston pump system which guarantees high performance and durability.

Its life cycle reaches 3000 plus hours and can be used in uneven terrain and a variety of temperatures.

The 8.0 Gallon Steel Air Tank is lightweight (54 lbs) and its wheel kit makes it very easy to transport.

This air compressor is ideal for anyone working inside where noise is a major issue.

Things we like:

  • Ultra quiet, just 60 Decibels.
  • The time to fill tank from empty to full – 165 Seconds
  • Less Maintenance and Costs thanks to the Oil-Free Pump
  • Maximum Pressure – 120 PSI

Things we don’t like:

  • Aesthetically the weld finish around the tank could be a bit better

Check Price

 

10. Makita Big Bore 2.5 HP 4.2 Gallon Portable Air Compressor

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

makita big bore 2.5 hp portable air compressorThe final product on our list is an alternative for those who’d consider a slightly smaller air compressor.

This 4.2 Gallon Option by Makita comes equipped with their Big Bore engineered pump cylinder and also a piston for higher output.

It can handle two nailers with less noise for improved job site performance.

The Makita has a highly durable build, for tough job site conditions and can deliver industrial level power to match them.

The Big Bore piston and cylinder are larger than those in standard compressors, so they compress more air on each stroke.

The twin-stacked 4.2 gallon tank maintains an operating pressure of 130 PSI, and delivers 40 PSI (4.8 CFM) and 90 PSI (4.2 CFM).

Portability and additional protection are provided by the roll bar handle.

This air compressor gets amazing feedback from users – the rating above is abased on nearly 600 independent reviews!

Things we like

  • Versatile Design for a Range of Applications
  • Convenient oil drain and oil sight glass
  • Low noise, high output and less maintenance
  • Industrial power and improved durability under tough job site conditions

Things we don’t like

  • None that we can think of

Check Price

 

So, Which One’s The Best?

All of the air products on our list are excellent options.  They’ve each been around for long enough to receive hundreds, and in some cases thousands of positive reviews.  You’ll get quality, whichever one you choose.

But, if you really pressed us to pick the best 6 gallon air compressor, we’d have to go with the Bostitch.  The combo kit comes with a series of nail guns which are incredibly handy if you don’t already have them.  However the compressor itself is well worth the price, regardless of the accessories.

bostitch 3 tool portable air compressor combo kitIt’s powerful, reliable, quiet and easy to use.  Of all of the products listed it’s received the most positive feedback, and it’s the best seller by a mile.

Porter Cable’s combo kit is a very close second and to be honest if at the time of purchase it’s cheaper than the Bostitch you may as well go with it – there’s really not a lot of difference, save for the Bostitch has been around for longer.

For value for money, and for a standalone 6 gallon air compressor without that comes without any additional accessories DeWalt’s 6 Gallon Pancake Air Compressor should be your first choice.

Complete Guide To Buying A 6 Gallon Air Compressor

An air compressor is a device that is able to convert power into potential energy, storing it as compressed air.

They use a diesel or gasoline engine, or an electric motor, to force the air into a storage tank to increase the pressure inside.

Then, as the tank pressure reaches its limit, the air compressor shuts off, and the compressed air is stored in the tank until needed.

At the point during use when the tank pressure reaches its lower limit, the air compressor turns on and the process starts all over again to re-pressurize the tank.

The air compressor differs from the pump, since it works for any air and gas, while the pump works on liquids.

In this guide we’ll run through everything you need to know about air compressors, the different types and your options on which to buy.

We’ll also take a look at some important things you need to consider when purchasing an air compressor for a home garage or small workshop.

But before we go any further check out this handy clip on how an air compressor works, and what to look for in a good one:

Air Compressor Types And How They Work

If you are new to the world of air compressors, the impressive number of options can seem a bit overwhelming.

They are initially divided into three groups based on the pressure delivered:

Low Pressure Units

These discharge pressure of 150 psi or less;

Medium Pressure Units

These discharge pressure between 151 psi and 1,000 psi

High Pressure Units

These discharge pressure of above 1,000 psi.

Then, depending on the principle of their operation and their design, air compressors and be classified as single-stage and two –stage reciprocating compressors, compound compressors, rotary-screw and rotary-vane compressors, scroll and turbo compressors, as well as centrifugal compressors

Key Distinctions

Air compressors have a wide range of uses, which commonly include the supply of high-pressure air to fill gas cylinders, and the supply of moderate-pressure to fill tires and power pneumatic tools.

specificationsOil Injection

AC pumps can can be either oil-less or oil-injected.  You’ll probably have notice that all of the products on our list are of the oil-less variety commonly used in 6 gallon models to keep maintenance to a minimum.

Oil-less compressors are more technical and provide better air quality, but are louder and more expensive compared to oil-injected units.

Power Source

Air compressors can utilize different power sources, with gas, diesel and electricity the most common.

The power of the air compressors is measured in cubic feet per minute of intake air, and the gallon size of the tank specifies the volume of the compressed air that is available.

Those that are powered by gas or diesel are usually used in remote areas where there is no electricity. They need ventilation for the exhaust gases and are quite noisy.

Electric powered air compressors are commonly used in domestic and light industrial workshops and garages where there is a permanent electrical power supply.

Portability

Depending on their size and purpose they can be either portable or stationary. And depending on the tank shape, the air compressors could be horizontal and vertical, twin tank or pancake.

The choice of the right air compressor should be closely linked to the project that you will be working on and whether the tool needs to be portable or not.

Our guide features mainly small units that can be easily stored, but which are powerful enough to be used on various projects, including light industrial and commercial use.

Important Features

People use air compressors for a variety of jobs, but most often they’re used as air tools for pneumatic equipment like pneumatic nail guns and impact wrenches, as well as for spray painting and inflating tires.

air compressor in actionLet’s take at some important things you should know before buying one for any of these tasks.

The Tank

Most people don’t need a compressor with a large tank – a six-gallon tank can provide more than enough power for most jobs.

That said, most buyers go for a compressor between six to eight-gallons, which is why we’ve included a slightly larger option for those who might want that extra bit of capacity for bigger jobs.

Air compressors around this size are convenient and easy to use.  They require no oil changes and almost no maintenance.

They come with drain valves which allow the compressor to go from full to empty very quickly.

PSI

Pounds per square inch estimates the maximum pressure that an air compressor can produce.

This is one of the most important factors that you should consider before buying.

Units that are capable of a higher PSI can perform as good as those with a bigger tank, and better than those with equal-sized tank with less PSI.

The higher the PSI, the less time you need for the tank to refill.

A higher PSI will also allow you to take on bigger jobs, and to complete them faster.

CFM

The cubic Feet per Minute indicates the mass of the air flow at the given pounds per square inch (PSI).

Noise Levels

noisyMost of the air compressors listed operate around the mid 80 decibel range when measured from five feet away.

The ones that operate around the 60 decibel level are considered quiet.

Weight

6 gallon air compressors are intended to be portable.

No-one wants to drag a heavy air compressor up a flight of stairs, right?

So, choose the right unit for the type of job you intend to carry out.  If you do need to take it up and down stairs, consider whether the smaller 4.2 gallon compressor by Makita might be a better option.  It has a handy roll bar for protection and easy carrying, and it’s super powerful as we’ve seen.

Portable, lightweight units are now well powered, and have become very popular of late.

Oil-free air compressors have become very popular as in they avoid the hassle of having to continuously replace the oil.

However, do note that you still have to regularly drain the air tank to keep water vapour from collecting.

Routine maintenance is something that should be done regularly to ensure that your air compressor is running efficiently, and to make sure that there are no leaks.

This might include replacement of the air compressor fittings or checking the differential pressure in the compressed air filter.

Wondering how to use an air compressor?  Take a look at this clip from howcast:

Accessories

Some of the air compressors that we’ve reviewed come with a  raft of accessories.

If possible, go for a complete set to avoid searching for extra items after the event – you wouldn’t want to fork out unnecessarily for an extra piece at a later date would you?

Usually there is a main unit that could be used right out of the box, warranty information and instruction manual.

There’s no standard list of accessories for to accompany air compressors, and every manufacturer is different – save for they all want your money so may throw anything into the offer to convince you to part with it.

In the case of those on our list, in particular the Bostitch and the Porter Cable, we have to say that the additional extras represent great value for money, and that the compressor in each case is worth the price on its own.

Things You Should Look For When Buying An Air Compressor

Since, we presume, your aim is to get an air compressor mainly for home or light industrial use, the choice should be quite easy.

magnifying glassIf you live in a small to mid-size home, close to your neighbors, in a quiet neighborhood, or plan to use it in an enclosed garage, then get an air compressor with low dBA.

You can search for small units that have a large tank, which will allow you to handle a wide range of projects.

A small unit with a small tank will allow for easy storage and the noise level will still be ok.

If you live in a large home, or set away from your neighbors, then you can go for a larger air compressor, since the dBA will not be so much of an issue.

In general, all sized units are ideal for large homes, so the choice depends on the individual and the type of projects planned.

When looking for a home based air compressor that’s electrical, consider the cord length and the location of the outlet.  Sounds obvious, but we’ve made this mistake before!

Make An Informed Decision

Hopefully we’ve given you enough information to make a good decision on what’s the best 6 gallon air compressor for you.

Since there are no bad eggs on our list, and they’re all designed to last for a long time, whichever one you choose will do fine.

That said, electric powered air compressors are the models of the future, they have fast refill time and are usually quieter, so bear that in mind when making your decision.

Best Brands

attention noticePicking the right air compressor will come down to the nature of the project you’re working on, and probably price.

All of the air compressors on our list are small yet powerful enough for a large variety of projects.   They’re also all very well priced.

They all come from reputable companies that have a strong reputation in this market.

If however you’re not familiar with these brands, but do want to shop based on those with the best reputation, there are three in particular that you should consider.

They are BOSTITCH, Dewalt, and Campbell Hausfeld.

FAQs

question marksQ: How much does an air leak cost?

A: You should eliminate air leaks to save money. The cost of a 1.8″ air leak at 100 psi costs about $ 0.31 per hour.

Q: What is the hidden cost of bad air quality?

A: Bad air results in repair costs plus replacement costs and lost benefits.

Q: How much water is generated by the air system?

A: One 100 CFM compressor can generate around 18 gallons per day at 90° F and 50 percent RH. Approximately 60 % of that moisture will be removed by the after cooler. The remainder can get into your compressed air system if no dryer is installed.

Q: What size piping is needed to minimize the pressure drop?

A: This has to do with the CFM capacity of your air compressors, the required pressure and the total length of piping. A standard table can be used to determine the size of pipe required to minimize pressure drop.

Q: How much maintenance will my compressor need?

A: Change the oil filter as the manufacturer suggests. Clean or replace the air filter on a regular basis. And remember to drain condensate from the tank regularly.  That should do it.

Q: Which key areas of the compressor will need maintenance?

A: Look out for signs of wear and tear on the heat exchanger surfaces, air lubricant separators, lubricant, lubricant filters and the air inlet filter.

Wrapping It Up

Thanks for taking the time to read our guide.  We hope you found it helpful and you have everything you need to pick the right 6 gallon air compressor for you.

As you know our top pick, and the best all-round option is the 3-Tool Portable Air Compressor Combo Kit by Bostitch.

It has a 150 max PSI 6 gallon tank and a 2.6 SCFM high efficiency motor. It’s easy to start up in cold weather, comes with an extension cord, features oil-free maintenance, needs less than three minutes to reach maximum power and is relatively quiet to operate.

bostitch air compressor

Buy on Amazon

Porter Cable’s Combo kit is just as good and you should give it serious consideration if at the time of purchase the price is more competitive than the Bostitch.

If you’re looking for a standalone compressor then the Dewalt takes some beating.   You don’t get all the bells and whistles in terms of accessories that the two kits above boast, but you do get a great 6 gallon air compressor at a great price.

So, which one die you choose?  Let us know below.  We’d love to hear from you.

What next?  You might be interested in our guide to the best air impact wrench for lug nuts.

Home

 

Sharing is caring!

A Trucker’s Life – What It’s Like To Drive A Truck

Starting a job as a truck driver might be exciting, but hard at the same time.

There’s no doubt, you will have to make a lot of adjustments.

It will be take a while until you get used to your truck, utilize new driving skills and get accustomed to your new lifestyle.

Life As A Truck Driver

One of the biggest challenges you will have to face as a truck driver, will be adjusting to being away from home.

Nowadays, professional drivers often tend to be on the road for several weeks or more at a time. It might be especially hard if you are married or in a relationship.

life as a truck driverOne way to connect with your family while home is share stories of your travels and pictures you take along the way.

New technology makes it easier to keep in contact with family members, so having that much needed connection with them on a regular basis is entirely possible.

Keeping a cellular phone is essential to the job for emergencies with the truck or delivery, contact with the dispatch room, and for contacting the shipper or consignee.  CB Radios are also great for contacting friends on the road.

So, every driver should have a cellular phone within days of becoming a full time driver.

Calling family while at a rest is a small, but important method to being there for family while in a different state.

Many truck stops have several amenities like showers, dining areas, and wireless internet and using it for social media or video messaging is the next best thing to actually being able to go home at night.

Messaging and phone calls will allow first year drivers to ease into their heavy driving schedule and fight feelings of homesickness.

What To Expect

Being alone for long periods of time can be tough emotionally on some people. Loneliness, depression and anxiety are not uncommon issues truck drivers face.

truck driverThe job can also be boring, but it is possible to make it more fun for yourself by listening to music or purchasing audiobooks and listening to your favorite authors.

You can also listen to some language tapes and learn some of the useful phrases in different languages.

Some operators pair up with a partner to help combat the loneliness of long-haul driving. In addition to having someone to talk to, they can cover more ground by having one person sleep while the other drives.

Staying Focused

Drivers must also be mentally prepared in order to perform well on the road.

The ability to focus and concentrate on driving safely and efficiently with a variety of tractor-trailer combinations is only one part of the driving experience.

A driver must be able to calmly and collectively deal with any distractions or frustration that may occur on the road.

Driving may also be monotonous and may take a mental toll on a driver – it’s important for a potential trucker to know how long they can confidently perform one task for an extended period of time.

A trucking career can take it’s toll on the both the mental and psychical health of a trucker.

New technology, like alertness apps and dash cams for truckers can help you to stay sharp, but, as we’ll see in the next few sections, staying fit and getting enough sleep are also key.

Staying In Shape

It is important to try to stay fit as a long distance driver.

All you need are a pair of running shoes, which are easy to store. You can use them to go walking or jogging in the rest area or around the outer edges of the parking lot to avoid traffic.

runningYou can also take weights with you. Make sure you have a good place to secure them. You do not want them to roll under your acceleration pedal, brake or clutch which could be deadly.

Getting Enough Sleep

In order to stay healthy you have to keep track of your sleeping schedule as sleep is essential to good health.

You need to get as much sleep as possible in your 10 hours off and, to do that, your sleeping conditions must be as comfortable and as quiet as possible.

For a driver, truck cabs are like mini-apartments. In addition to sleeping quarters, many have outlets or power sources that can accommodate small appliances like refrigerators, microwaves, and cooking gear—all valuable resources when drivers want to avoid the greasy, calorie-heavy food at restaurants and rest stops.

Taking It All In!

The one highlight of receiving driving assignments is taking the road less traveled.

Driving is the one way to view the countryside, big cities, and hundreds of American suburbs all at once.

Stopping in a variety of cities throughout the country will help gain a glimpse into life in different regions around the U.S. and is an experience that is like no other.

truck mountainsNo other career, other than anthropology, allows you to travel the world and experience other groups and their lives in a regular manner like this.

Truck drivers receive one of the best crash-course educations on daily life around the U.S. through his or her freight routes.

Getting Your Licence

If trucking for a living truly appeals to you, seeking out a CDL and trying out long haul loads for a year is the only fool proof method towards figuring out if trucking is a career for you long term.

Again, a trucking career has its challenges; however, the positive gains towards becoming successful, getting paid to see the country, and providing a good life for your family greatly overshadow the negatives of being an OTR driver.

Wrapping It Up

Truck driving is not a career for everyone due to the long hours spent driving, the monotony of the highway and the possible health risks of eating regularly at rest stops and sitting for long periods of time.

For others, the thrill of the drive, the hours spent alone and the satisfactory pay can make a life of pick ups and deliveries well worth it.

Truck drivers are highly respected by their employers for the time spent away from home and family and for their integral role in helping companies operate successfully.

Despite the challenges, many people find trucking to be a satisfying and rewarding occupation.

Home

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

The Greatest Trucker Songs Of All Time – 15 Timeless Classics

Life on the road can sometimes get a little dull.

Music is one of the best ways to keep yourself entertained.

So crank up the volume and sing along to the…

15 Greatest Trucker Songs Of All Time

1. On the Road Again – Willie Nelson (1980)

The song about life on tour was written after the executive producer of the film Honeysuckle Rose approached Nelson about writing the song for the film’s soundtrack. It became one of Nelson’s most recognizable tunes.

2. Roll on 18 wheeler – Alabama (1984)

This was the first single and title track to the band’s album Roll On. It was the group’s 12th straight No. 1 single on the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles The song is a tribute to the American truck driver. Here, the story is that of a man who drives an over-the-road semitrailer truck to support his wife and three children.

3. Six Days on the Road – Dave Dudley (1963)

A song which captures the sense of boredom, danger and swaggering masculinity that often accompanies long-distance truck driving.

4. Truckin’ – Grateful Dead (1970)

The song was recognized by the United States Library of Congress in 1997 as a national treasure. It molds classic Grateful Dead rhythms and instrumentation. The lyrics refer to a drug raid of the band’s hotel lodgings in New Orleans during a concert tour.

5. Highway Star – Deep Purple (1972)

In 1971 when a reporter asked the band how they wrote songs, they decided to demonstrate and ended up playing the first version of Highway Star. Deep Purple continued refining it and ended up performing it live that night. It is considered one of the best driving songs.

6. Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses – Kathy Mattea (1988)

The song is about a truck driver named Charlie who is retiring after thirty years to spend more time with his wife. The song mentions Charlie receiving a gold watch, a common retirement gift.

7. Big wheels in the Moonlight – Dan Seals (1988)

The song written by Seals and Bob McDill peaked at number one immediately after its release. It is about a young man’s childhood memories of watching semitrailer trucks travel along a nearby highway, listening at night to the roar of the trucks’ diesel engines in the distance and dreaming one day of being a truck driver.

8. Drivin’ My Life Away – Eddie Rabbitt (1980)

The song is a first single from Rabbitts album Horizon. It reached number one on the Hot Country Singles in 1980, and peaked at No. 5 on the BillboardHot 100. The song, a look into the life of the roadies and the long periods of time they spend away from home, was featured on the soundtrack of the 1980 movie Roadiestarring Meat Loaf and Art Carney.

9. I’m a Truck – Red Simpson (1971)

The song — sometimes known as “Hello, I’m a Truck” — became Simpson’s biggest hit single, reaching No. 4 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart in January 1972, and spending 17 weeks on this chart.  about life on the road through the eyes of a truck. Instead of giving praise to the hard work of the truck driver (as most truck-driving songs had), the truck — whose story is told in first-person narrative — takes a cynical look at the profession.

10. Truck Drivin Man – Terry Fell (1954)

Popular country song written and recorded by Terry Fell. One of his band members, Buck Owens,  recorded the song himself in 1965, omitting the fourth verse – “When I get my call up to glory, They will take me away from this land, I’ll head this truck up to Heaven, ‘Cause I’m a truck drivin’ man.”

11. 500 Miles – Bobby Bare (1963)

Also known as “500 Miles Away from Home” or “Railroaders’ Lament” is a song made popular in the United States and Europe during the 1960s folk revival. The simple repetitive lyrics offer a lament by a traveller who is far from home, out of money and too ashamed to return.

12. East, Bound and Down – Jerry Reed (1977)

Song written by Jerry Reedand Dick Feller, and recorded by Reed for the soundtrack for the film Smokey and the Bandit. The song spent sixteen weeks on the U.S. country music charts, reaching a peak of #2. It also reached #3 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100.

13. I’ve Been Everywhere – Lucky Starr (1959)

Originally written by Geoff Mack in 1959 and made a hit by Lucky Starr. The song has been sung and recorded by many different artists – Johnny Cash,  Lynn, Asleep at the Wheel and others. Original singer Lucky Starr released an EP called “Lucky’s Been Everywhere”, which contained four different versions: United Kingdom, United States, New Zealand, and Australia.

14. Teddy Bear – Red Sovine (1976)

The song — actually, a recitation with an instrumental backing — was one of Sovine’s many recordings that saluted the American truck driver. “Teddy Bear,” released during the height of the citizens’ band radio craze of the mid-1970s, is titled after the song’s main character, a young paraplegic boy whose semi-trailer truck-driving father had been killed in a road accident, and is left with a CB radio to keep him company.

15. Bud the spud – Stompin’ Tom Connors (1969)

The song is an account of a truckerwho hauls potatoes from Prince Edward Island, Connors’ home province. It was written about his truck-driving friend, Bud Roberts. Connors crisscrossed Canada, performing it along with his many other songs about Canada, at first in small venues. In this way the song became known through word-of-mouth as well as through radio airplay on CBC Radio.

Do you have any suggestions?  Let us know your favorite truck driving songs below.

For more great ideas check out the following:

Today’s Trucking

AXS

Why not install a subwoofer and crank up the bass?!

Are you a truck driver?  Need a good dash cam for added security?  Check out our ultimate guide.

Looking to get into trucking?  Take a look at our post on how to get your licence.

Home

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.