How to Change the Oil on Ford Carsby Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017
Changing the oil on a Ford car is just a little bit different than changing the oil on the other Ford car F-series. Proper maintenance on a Ford car is essential to making the engine run better and last longer. The key to servicing the Ford car is knowing where to find the oil filter and knowing how many quarts of oil to add to the engine. You can change the oil and the oil filter on the Ford car yourself with the proper tools.
Under The Hood:
- How to Change the Oil on a 1999 Ford Expedition
- How to Change the Oil in a 2007 Ford Fusion
- How to Change the Oil in a Ford Ranger Transfer Case
- How to Change the Oil on a 2001 Ford Explorer V6
- How to Change the Oil in a 2006 Ford F150
- How to Change the Oil in an F-150 5.4L
- How to Change Oil on a Ford 4.0 SOHC Engine
- How to Change the Oil on a Ford F-450 Diesel
- How to Change the Oil in a Ford V10
- How to Change the Oil in a 6.0 Powerstroke Diesel
- How to Change the Oil in a Ford Focus
- How to Change the Oil on a 2003 Ford Ranger
- How to Change the Oil in a 2006 Ford Fusion
- How to Change the Oil on a Ford Freestar
Flip the switch for the air ride suspension, located on the passenger side kick plate, to the "Off" position, if your Expedition is equipped with air ride suspension.
Park on a level surface, and engage the parking brake. Start the engine, and let it run for approximately 10 minutes. Shut the engine off. Open the hood, and remove the oil filler cap from the valve cover.
Jack up the 1999 Ford Expedition, and place jackstands under the notches on the vehicle frame near both front tires. Lower the vehicle by releasing the jack slowly, until the Expedition rests securely on the jackstands.
Place the drain pan below the oil pan drain plug on the underside of the vehicle. Remove the drain plug, using the proper size socket wrench. Wipe the drain plug with a clean rag after the oil has drained fully into the drain pan. Check for, and wipe away, any small metal particles on the drain plug, as these can contaminate new oil. Wipe the area around the drain plug hole in the oil pan, the reinstall the drain plug. Tighten securely, but avoid stripping the threads.
Move the drain pan so it is beneath the oil filter, located under the vehicle, near the driver's side headlight. Loosen the oil filter with a filter wrench, turning counterclockwise. Place the filter wrench around the oil filter. Turn counterclockwise until it is loose, and then twist by hand until the filter releases. Once released, immediately tip the open end up, stopping any oil inside the filter from spilling.
Wipe off the oil filter mounting surface on the engine block with a clean rag, and scrape off any pieces of the old gasket (rubber ring on the oil filter) that may be stuck on the engine block with a putty knife.
Compare the new filter to the old filter to ensure they are the same type. Wipe a small amount of oil on the gasket of the oil filter, then screw into place, turning it clockwise by hand. Do not over-tighten; once the oil filter gasket meets the engine block, rotate only ¾ of a turn more, unless the manufacturer instructions state differently.
Remove all materials and tools from beneath the Expedition, then jack it up slightly to remove the jackstands. Lower the vehicle to the ground.
Pour four quarts of fresh SAE 5W-30 oil into a clean funnel placed into the oil filler valve. Wait three minutes, then remove the dipstick, and check the oil level, which should be in the hatched area on the dipstick. If not, add oil in small increments, and repeat procedure, wiping the dipstick between readings, until the oil level reads in the hatched area.
Replace the oil filler valve cap. Start the engine, and let it run for one minute. Inspect under the vehicle for leaks from the oil filter or drain plug while the engine is running. If you find leaks, stop the engine, and tighten the leaking part. Recheck the dipstick level after five minutes. If the level falls below the hatched area on the dipstick, add oil, as necessary.
Turn the air suspension switch back to the "On" position, if equipped.
Items you will need
Jack up the front of the Fusion and support it with the jack stands. Crawl under the car and see if it is equipped with an oil filter cover. Remove the screws from the cover, then remove the cover. Place the oil drain pan under the vehicle to catch the used motor oil.
Loosen the oil drain plug in the middle of the oil filter housing, but don't remove it. Using the cap-style oil filter wrench, loosen the oil filter housing by one turn. Remove the oil filter drain plug completely. Let the motor oil drain into the bucket. Wait until it has completely drained before continuing.
Remove the o-ring from the oil drain plug. Remove the oil filter housing and filter cartridge inside. Discard the filter cartridge and the sealing o-ring from the housing cover.
Wipe the oil filter cover and the mounting surface clean. Install the new o-ring seal for the housing cover and lubricate it with clean engine oil. Use the cup-style wrench to install and tighten the oil filter cover.
Install the drain plug sealing o-ring on the oil drain plug. Coat the o-ring with clean engine oil. Install the drain plug and tighten it with a combination wrench. If your Fusion has one, install the oil filter cover and tighten the two screws that hold it in place.
Wipe up any spilled motor oil from the underside of the vehicle. Remove the jack stands and lower the vehicle.
Open the hood and remove the oil fill cap from the engine. Pour in four-and-a-half quarts of 5w-20 motor oil. Replace the oil filler cap. Start the engine and wait for the oil pressure light to go out or for the oil pressure gauge to rise from the zero mark.
Check under the vehicle for leaks. When you are sure that there are no leaks, shut off the engine. Remove the dipstick and wipe it off. Insert it back into the dipstick tube all the way. Remove it again to check the oil, which should be at the full mark. If it is still low, add enough oil to bring the level to the full mark.
Items you will need
Oil drain bucket
Metric open end wrench set
Cup-style oil filter wrench
5 quarts of 5w-20 oil (meeting API certification)
New oil filter
Drain plug o-ring
Position the oil drain pan under the drain plug located at the bottom of the transfer case. The transfer case is the large object between both rear axles that the drive shaft goes into.
Allow the vehicle to cool down completely before proceeding further with these steps.
Center the drain pan under the drain plug and turn your 1/2-inch drive ratchet counterclockwise to loosen it. Remove the drain plug.
Allow the oil to drain until there is just a slow drip. This will take some time as the transfer case oil is much thicker than engine oil.
Screw the drain plug by hand back into position, and using your 1/2-inch drive ratchet, turn clockwise to tighten until snug.
Remove the oil pan from under your truck and dispose of oil in the OSHA-approved container.
Using your 1/2-drive ratchet, turn counterclockwise to loosen and remove the fill plug at the rear of the transfer case.
Fill your oil-fill pitcher with transfer case oil and slowly pour into transfer case. Check the level periodically by sticking your finger into the hole. Look for a level that just touches your finger, otherwise the oil will just run out.
Once the appropriate level is reached, turn the oil plug clockwise by hand until it is secure in the fill whole. Use your 1/2-inch drive ratchet to tighten, turning clockwise until the plug is snug.
Items you will need
OSHA-approved oil drain pan
OSHA-approved disposal drum
1/2-inch drive ratchet
Oil pour bucket with extending hose
Park the Ford Explorer on a flat and level surface. Set the parking brake. Open the hood.
Locate the oil drain pan underneath the engine. Place a drain pan underneath the oil pan to catch all the oil.
Unscrew the drain plug with a socket wrench. Let all the oil drain into the drain pan. Screw the drain plug back in to the oil pan when the oil stops pouring.
Locate the oil filter directly in front of the oil pan. Unscrew it from the oil filter housing with an oil filter wrench. Place the old filter in to the drain pan with the waste oil.
Fill a new oil filter with fresh oil. Wipe some of the oil around the black gasket around the top of the filter. Screw the new filter to the housing by hand. Do not wrench tighten the filter. Doing so might strip the threads on the filter housing or filter, and could cause an oil leak.
Locate the oil fill cap on the top of the engine. Unscrew the cap by hand and pour in four quarts of engine oil.
Pull the engine oil level dipstick, located next to the oil cap, out of the tube. Wipe it clean with a rag. Insert the dipstick back into the tube and pull it back out. Examine where the oil stops on the dipstick. Add oil if the oil does not stop at the full mark. Pour oil in at half-quart intervals until the level reads full.
Start the Explorer. Let it idle for five minutes. This will circulate the oil through the engine. Turn the truck off and let it sit for an additional five minutes. Check the oil level one more time. Add more oil if the oil level is not on the full mark of the dipstick.
Write the current mileage of the Ford Explorer on a piece of paper that can be referenced later. This will help ensure the oil gets changed in proper intervals.
Items you will need
5 quarts engine oil
Pen and paper
Drive the truck until the engine has reached a normal operating temperature. The hotter the oil, the thinner the oil will be. Thinner oil releases more easily from the engine and allows more of the engine oil to be drained.
Park the truck on a level surface and turn off the engine.
Pop the hood of the truck and remove the oil cap. The oil cap is on top of the engine on the driver's side, beside the oil dipstick.
Crawl under the truck and locate the oil drain plug on the bottom of the oil pan. The oil pan drain plug is on the lower back side of the oil pan. The oil pan drain plug is a 15mm plug.
Put the oil catch pan under the drain plug. Then, put the closed end of the 15mm wrench onto the drain plug and loosen the plug by turning the wrench counterclockwise. Finish removing the plug with your fingers. Unscrew the plug slowly because the oil will be hot. Let the oil run into the oil catch pan.
Wipe off the plug and reinsert the plug when the oil has completely drained out. Tighten the plug back down with the 15mm wrench. Make sure that the plug is tight but do not over-tighten it.
Locate the oil filter on the driver side of the engine and slide the oil catch pan under the oil filter. The oil filter will be facing horizontal out of the engine. Not vertical. Put the oil filter wrench on the oil filter. Turn the oil filter counterclockwise to loosen and remove the oil filter. Discard the oil filter into the oil catch pan and let the excess oil run into the catch pan.
Take a clean rag and wipe the facing of the oil filter housing. Dab a little bit of the used motor oil onto the rubber seal on the new oil filter. Screw the new filter onto the threads of the oil filter housing. Turn the filter clockwise to tighten it. Once the filter tightens down, turn the filter another half turn to securely tighten the oil filter.
Put the funnel into the oil filler tube. Pour seven quarts of 5W-20 oil into the funnel. When you have finished adding the oil to the engine. remove the funnel and place the oil cap back on; tighten it.
Crank the engine and let it run for about 30 to 45 seconds. Turn off the engine. Get out and inspect the oil drain plug and the oil filter for leaks.
Wait about two to three minutes for the oil to completely drain back down into the oil pan. Remove the dipstick and check the oil level on the dipstick. The oil level should be on the full mark of the dipstick.
Items you will need
Oil catch pan
Oil filter wrench
5W-20 Motor oil
Park the F-150 on a level, paved surface. Start the F-150 and allow it to reach normal operating temperature, which is about halfway up the temperature gauge, and shut the engine off. Remove the oil filler cap. Raise the front of the F-150 and slide jack stands under its frame rails. Lower the truck onto the jack stands. Wait about 15 minutes so all of the oil returns to the oil pan.
Move under the F-150 and locate the oil filter. It is in front of the engine cross member. Locate the drain plug on the passenger side of the oil pan, behind the cross member. Be careful of hot engine components when moving under the F-150.
Slide a drain pan under the drain plug. Loosen the plug with a ratchet and six-point socket. Finish removing the plug by hand. Be careful not to get scalded by hot engine oil. Catch the oil in the drain pan.
Clean the drain plug with a shop rag. Wipe off the oil pan with a shop rag. Install the plug. Use a torque wrench and socket to torque the plug to 10 foot-pounds.
Move the drain pan under the oil filter. Attach a filter wrench to the oil filter. Turn the filter in a counterclockwise direction to loosen it. Finish removing the filter by hand. Catch any oil that pours from the filter in the drain pan.
Make sure that the rubber gasket on the oil filter is on the filter and not stuck on the engine. Fill the oil filter about three-quarters full with clean motor oil. Wipe a film of clean motor oil on the filter gasket. Clean the filter mounting surface with a shop rag. Install the filter by hand and tighten it an additional three-quarters of a turn after you feel the gasket make contact with the engine.
Raise the F-150, remove the jack stands and lower it to the ground. Fill the engine with the rest of the motor oil. The engine holds six quarts with a new filter. Start the engine and check for leaks.
Items you will need
6-point socket set
6 quarts 5W-20 motor oil
Raise up the front of the vehicle using the jack and set it on the jack stands. Make sure that the vehicle is solidly on the stands before crawling underneath it.
Place the drain pan underneath the oil pan on the engine and locate the drain plug. Unbolt the plug using the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket, and allow the oil to drain into the pan. Once the oil is emptied from the engine, reinstall the drain plug using the ratchet.
Move the drain pan underneath the oil filter and use the oil filter wrench to remove the oil filter from the engine. Oil will spill out from the engine at this point, so make sure that you're careful as you lower the filter. Place the filter face down, so that the oil inside it drains into the pan, as well.
Open up the container for the replacement filter and fill the filter with as much 5W-30 motor oil as it will contain. Dip your finger in the oil, and run it around the rubber seal on the outside of the filter--this will create a solid seal. Next, install the oil filter onto the engine, tightening it with your hand, not using any tool.
Lower the vehicle back onto the ground, using the jack. Pop the hood and open up the oil cap on the valve cover, using your hand. Pour the remainder of the five quarts of motor oil into the engine, then reinstall the oil cap. Start the engine and allow it to run for five minutes to circulate the oil.
Items you will need
3/8-inch ratchet and socket set
Oil filter wrench
Replacement oil filter
5 quarts of 5W-30 motor oil
Place the oil catch pan under the oil pan and remove the drain plug and let the oil flow into the oil catch pan. While the oil is draining into the catch pan, get ready to replace the oil filter.
Take a 36mm socket and ratchet and remove the oil filter housing top. The oil filter housing on the Ford F-450 diesel will be directly in the center of the engine.
Pull the oil filter out. Be sure to hold the oil filter upright so that oil will not spill everywhere.
Put the new oil filter into the oil filter housing and reattach the oil filter housing lid.
Go back underneath the truck and put the oil plug back in the oil pan and tighten the oil plug.
Go back up top to the engine and put the funnel into the oil filler mouth. Then add 7 quarts of oil to the engine. When done, put the oil cap back on.
Crank the truck and let the oil pressure come up to the operating temperature and then shut the truck off. Wait at least five minutes to give the oil time to drain back down into the pan and recheck the oil level on the dipstick and add more oil until the oil reaches the full mark on the dipstick.
Items you will need
Oil filter wrench
New copper washer
Oil for diesel engines
Oil catch pan
Change Your Oil
Remove the oil cap and place the oil drip pan beneath the oil pan of the engine. Using a socket wrench, loosen the oil plug located to the rear of the pan and remove. Set to the side. Make sure the oil is draining into the drip pan.
Loosen the oil filter located on the driver's side of the engine block located toward the bottom, near the front. You may have to use a filter wrench to loosen the filter.
Inspect the drain plug. If the plug looks damaged or worn or if the rubber grommet looks damaged or worn, replace with a new plug or grommet available at any auto parts store. Otherwise, reinstall the plug to finger tight.
Remove the oil filter catching any dripping oil in the drip pan. Wipe some fresh oil onto the rubber seal on the new oil filter and install to hand tight. Once tight, turn one more quarter-turn by hand to properly seat the filter. Tighten the oil plug to 15 to 20 foot pounds of torque using the torque wrench. If a torque wrench is not available, tighten using a socket wrench to firm and then one quarter-turn more.
Fill the engine up with seven quarts of 5w20 oil, using the funnel to avoid spilling. Once full, replace the cap and start the vehicle. Look at the oil plug and oil filter after the vehicle has ran for about two full minutes. Inspect the two locations for signs of leaks.
Items you will need
7 quarts of oil (5w20 recommended)
Fram PH2 oil filter or equivalent
Oil drip pan
Park the vehicle on a flat, level surface. Engage the parking brake and place wheel chocks underneath the rear wheels to prevent the vehicle from moving. Open the hood and disconnect the negative terminal cable from the battery.
Locate the Powerstroke's oil filter cap at the top of the engine. Loosen the oil filter cap using a ratchet with a 36 mm socket. Raise the cap to remove the oil filter and O-ring attached underneath. Detach the filter and O-ring from the cap and properly dispose of both.
Locate the oil pan drain plug underneath the vehicle. Position a drain pan underneath the plug and loosen the plug using a ¾-inch combination wrench. Allow all of the oil to drain out into the drain pan. When finished, inspect and clean the threads on the drain plug.
Replace the drain plug gasket as necessary and reinstall the drain plug. Use the ¾-inch combination wrench to tighten the plug.
Install a new O-ring onto the oil filter cap, then snap the new oil filter onto the oil filter cap. Place the new filter into the housing. Tighten the oil filter cap using the ratchet and 36 mm socket.
Open the oil filler cap on the passenger's side of the vehicle near the firewall. Insert a funnel inside the filling receptacle.
Refill the engine with 15 quarts of 15W-40 (if operating above temperatures of 30 degrees Fahrenheit) or 15W-30 engine oil (if operating below temperatures of 30 degrees Fahrenheit). Afterwards, use the engine oil level dipstick to check the oil level.
Seal the drain pan and move it from underneath the vehicle. Reconnect the negative terminal cable to the battery and start the engine. Allow the engine to run for a few minutes, then check underneath the engine area for any leaks. Recheck the oil level with the engine oil level dipstick.
Dispose of the used engine oil at your nearest automotive parts outlet or repair shop. This service is normally free of charge.
Items you will need
Ratchet with 36 mm socket
¾-inch combination wrench
Motorcraft 6.0L Powerstroke oil filter with O-ring
15W-30 or 15W-40 engine oil
Drain plug gasket
Park your Focus, put the transmission in "Park" or "Neutral" and set the parking brake. Chock the rear wheels. Open the hood and remove the engine oil cap.
Position the floor jack under the embossed triangle on the front frame rail behind the front wheel. Lift the car -- each side in its turn -- and support it on jack stands.
Remove eight bolts from the engine shield and remove the shield. Depending on which engine is in your Focus, there may be a retainer strip protecting the forward edge of the shield. If applicable, remove the three bolts and the strip to reveal the shield bolts.
Find the drain bolt in the oil pan, on the side toward the rear of the engine compartment. Position the drain pan underneath it, remove the bolt and drain the engine oil into the drain pan. While the oil is draining, remove the oil filter, invert it and set it in the drain pan. Make sure the rubber gasket comes off with the filter.
Apply a thin coat of fresh oil to the gasket on the new filter and install the filter. Tighten the filter to 71 inch-pounds and then turn it an additional 180 degrees or half-turn. Install the drain bolt and tighten it to 20 foot-pounds.
Install the engine shield and the retainer strip. Lower your Focus to the ground. Add 4 quarts of oil. Start the engine and check for leaks. Turn the engine off and wait a few minutes to allow the oil to drain into the oil pan. Check the oil with the dipstick and add as needed to bring the oil level to the "Full" mark. Install the engine oil cap.
Turn the ignition switch to position II -- the "On" position -- but don't start the engine. If your Focus has keyless ignition, press and hold the "Start-Stop" button for two seconds without pressing the brake pedal.
Press the gas pedal and the brake pedal together and hold them down. After three seconds, the oil reset in progress message appears. Continue to hold the pedals down for another second until the message appears that oil reset is complete. Release the pedals and turn the ignition switch off. If your Focus has keyless ignition, press the "Start-Stop" button to turn off the ignition.
Items you will need
2 jack stands
5 quarts Motorcraft SAE 5W-20 premium synthetic blend motor oil, part No. XO-5W20-QSP or equivalent
Oil filter, part No. FL-910- S or equivalent
Start the engine, and let it idle until the oil-temperature gauge begins registering. This thins the oil so it drains more completely. Unscrew the engine oil-filler cap, letting air in to help oil drainage. If you’re facing the open hood, the oil filler cap is in the center of the engine.
Slide under the engine, and find the oil-drain bolt. It will be about the lowest point under the engine. Don’t confuse it with the transmission-fluid drain plug. You can tell the difference because the metal around the oil-drain bolt will be hot.
Loosen the drain bolt with a regular crescent wrench. If it won’t budge, use a closed-end wrench. The bolt turns counterclockwise. Slide a drain pan under the drain bolt, then unscrew the bolt all the way.
Find the oil filter underneath the engine. Adjust the oil-filter wrench to grip when turned counterclockwise, if it has such an orientation. Put the oil-filter wrench on the oil filter. Turn the wrench, preferably with a socket wrench, although a crescent wrench works, too. You insert the male end of a socket wrench into the hole in the center of the oil-filter wrench.
Unscrew the filter manually. Don’t put your face under it--it’s full of hot oil. Let the oil drain into the oil pan, for an hour if you have the time. This is much longer than repair shops do it, which is one improvement you can make. Screw the drain bolt back in, using a new washer, as recommended by Edmunds. The washer flexes to form a good seal, but this means it wears fast, too. If you have a torque wrench, tighten the bolt to 29 pounds/feet.
Remove the rubber O-ring that seals the filter to the engine. Wipe the area clean with a rag before installing the new seal and then the new filter. Coat the new O-ring with oil first. Screw the filter on until you feel resistance. Adjust the oil-filter wrench to grip when turned clockwise. Use it to turn the filter an additional two-thirds of a revolution.
Add 4 quarts of oil for the Ranger's 2.3-liter engine, 4.5 quarts for the 3.0-liter engine and 5 quarts for the 4.0-liter engine, as recommended by Ford. Pour the oil into the fill hole on top of the engine. Screw the cap back on. Idle the engine until the oil-temperature gauge begins registering. Check any leaks around the drain bolt or the filter.
Items you will need
New oil-drain bolt washer
New engine oil drain bolt washer
Drive the Fusion slowly up onto two car ramps. Apply the parking brake.
Open the hood. Remove the oil fill cap by turning it counterclockwise. Place it in a safe location so you do not lose it or drop it in the engine compartment.
Put on the safety glasses and latex gloves. Grab your tools and equipment except for the funnel and engine oil. Crawl under the front of the vehicle.
Place the drain pan beneath the oil pan. Remove the oil pan drain plug with a metric box-end wrench. Make sure you align the pan properly. The oil is going to come out fast at first and at a slight angle away from the pan. Allow the oil to drain until no more is trickling or dripping from the drain plug hole.
Replace the oil drain plug and tighten it snugly. Do not over-tighten it. Turning it flush to the pan and then about 1/4 turn of force with the wrench should be sufficient. Wipe the pan and any surrounding area with spent oil on it with the shop rags.
Remove the oil filter trap door in front of the oil pan.
Align the drain pan beneath the oil filter. Remove the filter of the 3.0-liter with an oil filter wrench by turning it counterclockwise until it is loose enough to drain. Allow it to stop trickling before you remove it fully. Remove the center oil drain plug from the oil filter casing on the 2.3-liter using the 6-mm hex-head male socket, an extension and the ratchet. Allow to drain.
Obtain the oil filter drain plug replacement gasket supplied in the replacement oil filter box. Remove the old one from the plug, and install the new one. This is for the 2.3-liter model only. Replace the oil filter casing drain plug and again tighten it snugly. Do not over-tighten it.
Remove the oil filter casing of the 2.3-liter using the ratchet, extension and the 74mm 14-flute oil wrench socket. Turn the casing counterclockwise until it is fully removed. Reach up and pull the filter straight down. Sometimes, the filter comes down with the casing. Remove the 3.0-liter filter by continuing to turn counterclockwise until it is fully removed.
Replace the large O-ring gasket on the 2.3-liter oil filter casing. This is also supplied in the replacement cartridge oil filter box. Rub a small amount of oil on the O-ring gasket of the casing or the rubber gasket on the 3.0-liter replacement filter. Be sure the old gasket is not still stuck on the oil filter flange.
Reinstall the respective oil filters for the engine size of the Ford Fusion by reversing the procedure. The canister filter should be tightened by hand only. The oil filter casing should only be tightened snugly like the drain plugs were. Wipe up any spills or drips with shop rags.
Place a funnel in the oil fill hole and pour 4.8 quarts of 5W-20 oil for the 2.3-liter or 6 quarts of 5W-20 oil for the 3.0-liter. Pour the quarts in slowly so you do not overflow the funnel or oil fill spout.
Replace the oil fill cap. Tighten it in a clockwise motion.
Start the ignition. Allow it to run for 30 seconds.
Remove the oil dipstick (yellow ring handle in lower front passenger side of engine). Wipe the dipstick clean with a shop rag. Reinsert it into the dipstick tube. Make sure the dipstick is fully seated in the tube. Remove the dipstick and inspect the end to make sure the oil capacity is in the "Safe" range (markings on dipstick are easily identifiable).
Items you will need
2 car ramps
Metric box-end wrench set
6mm hex-head mail socket
3/8-inch drive ratchet
3/8-inch drive 6-inch extension
Filter wrench, for the 3.0-liter six-cylinder model
74mm oil wrench socket, 14-flute, for the 2.3-liter four-cylinder model
2010 replacement canister filter, 3.0-liter six-cylinder model
7013 replacement cartridge filter, 2.3-liter four-cylinder model
5W-20 oil (5 quarts for 2.3-liter model; 6 quarts for 3.0-liter model)
Changing Your Own Oil
Plan on a couple of expenses if this is your first time changing the oil on your Ford Freestar. They will more than pay for themselves over the course of their useful life span. First, look around your garage for an oil filter wrench and an oil collecting container. These are the type of objects that get tucked away into corners for years. If none are found, head down to your local auto store and buy these items. Get a container that can collect old oil and then be sealed and taken to a recycling plant. Get yourself some jack stands as well. These will support your car once it has been jacked up off the ground. These are a good idea, as depending simply on your car jack can result in slippage. Many people are seriously injured each year when their jack fails.
Buy 6 qts. of above-average motor oil. Go synthetic if you like, just don't buy the bottom-of-the-line stuff. Finally, buy an oil filter. Simply tell the clerk behind the counter the year of your Freestar, and he will give you the proper filter.
Drive the Freestar for about five miles to warm up the oil. Find a flat place to park your Freestar. The garage is ideal, but if that isn't possible, find as flat an area as you can. Jack your car up so that the front end is off the ground. Place the jack stands under the car for safety. Spread newspaper under the car.
Remove the oil cap where you normally add engine oil. This will greatly speed the draining of the oil. Locate the drain plug on the bottom of the engine oil pan on the underside of your vehicle. The plug will be a hexagonal head that can be removed easily with the proper ratchet set or with some difficulty using a wrench. The hex will be between 14 and 17 mm depending on the year of your Freestar.
Position your oil collecting container and remove the plug, carefully setting aside the washer that was under the plug. You will get some oil on your hands at this point, but remember, oil isn't corrosive, and you'll be fine if it stays on your skin for an hour or so. Just wash with hot soapy water at some point, and you'll be fine.
Give the oil plenty of time to drain. It will gush out initially but drip out for a good 45 minutes after that. It isn't critical, but if you have the time, let it drip until the dripping stops. While that is happening, slip the oil filter wrench over the oil filter and loosen it by tugging counterclockwise. Remove the filter and put the new one in by hand, then tighten it with the oil filter wrench. You just saved yourself the $15 markup most oil change stations charge for a new oil filter. Pour any oil in the old filter into the drain pan and set the used filter aside.
Replace the washer and drain plug using your ratchet set or wrench. Tighten it by hand as much as possible, then give it a few twists with the socket or wrench until it feels as if it is in there tightly.
If you were using a drain pan, get a funnel and a plastic bottle of some kind, and transfer the oil into the bottle, sealing the bottle afterward.
Leave the newspaper, but lower your Freestar and remove the jack and jack stands. Pour 5 qts. of oil into the oil receptacle, and put the sixth quart in your trunk in case you need it down the road. Check your oil level using the dipstick. It will read high at this point because your new oil filter is empty. Start the engine and let it run for 10 minutes. Check under the car frequently to see if there is a leak. If there is, turn the car off, jack it back up and tighten the drain plug.
Put the used filter in a bag of some kind, make sure your used oil is sealed, and then take a ride to the nearest oil recycling center.
Items you will need
6 qts. oil
Oil filter wrench
Oil collecting container