So I'm a total newbie when it comes to mechanics. I bought a 1992 Thomas MVP Saf-T-Liner with my mom, and like the carpenter ants that we are, we converted the hell out of the cabin
and got a professional mechanic to worry about engine stuff because that's not our realm of experience. Well, the old 12 volt batteries (for the engine system) finally died this fall/winter and I'm finally in a good enough financial place that I can go get 'em. I'm determined to learn to service this thing myself, do my own oil changes, etc.
The thing is, it has sat for about 5-6 months unused because since the batteries crapped out, I haven't been able to start it up every month like you're supposed to, to make sure there's no water in the air system, etc. Also, I live in Oregon, where it's VERY WET ALL WINTER. So I'm concerned about starting the engine up after I get these new batteries, since it hasn't had any oil running through it for 5-6 months. What am I supposed to do to prevent my engine from getting damaged?
Also, how frequently am I supposed to change the oil & filters? I've heard different things from different people and the manual isn't super clear about it. The first mechanic we worked with said 10,000 miles, but then I've heard other mechanics say 3,000 miles...but that seems pretty darn often when it costs so much just for the new oil and filters. My engine is a Cummins 6BTA-190.
Thanks in advance for the assistance! Any other general advice/info on maintenance/things to watch out for is MOST WELCOME. I'm an absolute beginner at this (I've never even changed the oil in my regular car on my own).