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Ford Fiesta Engine Questions

adaema05adaema05 Posts: 8
Has any 2011 Fiesta owner followed the oil life monitoring system yet to decide when to change the oil? According to the maintenance schedule, it can go up to 10,000 miles between changes or one year, which seems like a very long interval than what I'm used to. I always changed my oil every 3 months/3k miles. My Fiesta has about 2.5k miles, and when I checked the oil a week ago, it looked like it wasn't even used, so I imagine I could drive a few k more before the OLM indicates I need to change the oil. I'm curious to hear what other Fiesta owners feel about the OLM system and about the traditional guideline of changing oil every 3 months/3k miles.


  • iamziamz Posts: 542
    3k is too short an interval for most people's driving.

    I changed out the factory oil at 2k and replaced it with a full synthetic (Mobil 1), and changed that out when the car got to 8k. When the car gets to 16k, I'm going to change the oil again but also send a sample of the used oil to Blackstone for a complete analysis. Based on that I'll decide whether to go up to 10k, down to 6k or leave it at 8k intervals.
  • adaema05adaema05 Posts: 8
    I usually go to my Ford dealer (where I purchased the Fiesta) and with my previous car (2008 Focus) since it is covered under the warranty. If I were to wait until the OLM indicates a change, I could imagine the service advisor would give me a "tongue lashing" for waiting so long to change the oil. I will probably change it around 5-6k, have the tires rotated, and inspect to make sure it's ready for the winter months (I live in upstate NY). I should ask them if the Motorcraft oil they use is synthetic. I am not handy enough to change my own oil and I'd rather wait to go to an independent repair shop once my warranty expires. Thanks for your feedback.
  • iamziamz Posts: 542
    I think 5-6k is a good compromise for you. Ford specs a semi-synthetic for the Fiesta, so I'm sure that is what your dealer is using.
  • jjr41jjr41 Posts: 2
    edited July 2011
    Here is the issue I have with the Oil Life Monitoring System. I changed the oil at 3.5K, because I was going on a long trip. I then changed it at 8.5K thinking that I would get on an every 5K cycle. Not once has my indicator come on that tells me I need to change the oil. Then, at 10.1K, it came on. This tells me that the "Oil Life Monitoring System" is nothing more than a light that comes on every 10K. At 10.1K, my oil (full synthetic) only had 2K miles on it when the indicator came on telling me to change the oil. So it's not an intelligent system, but only something that lets me know in 10K intervals to change my oil. I have been trying to find out if there is a way to modify that interval, so the light will come on every 5K, which is the schedule my dealer recommended I follow. Does anyone have thoughts on how to do this? I love my fiesta, but was a little discouraged that this "Oil Life Monitoring System" was just a fancy name for a counter that tells me when the car has driven 10K miles since I last reset the "Oil Life Monitoring System".

    Any input on how to modify when that indicator comes on? To change it to every 5K as opposed to every 10K?

  • iamziamz Posts: 542
    edited July 2011
    It is just a mileage counter. At this point I know of no way to change the interval. You can however, reset the light yourself if you don't want to have to go to the dealer to clear it. Just check your manual for the instructions.
  • adaema05adaema05 Posts: 8

    I suspected that this OLM system with the Fiesta is not intelligent, especially when I found a YouTube video explaining the difference between the OLM and IOLM (Intelligent Oil Life Monitor) on the more upscale Fords. I would imagine Ford could develop a computer software patch (or flash update, whatever they call it) to reprogram the "unintelligent" OLM light in the Fiesta to turn on in 5k intervals. I'm currently at 3.2k, and it's been so hot here in NY that I may have to change before the 5k. I will most certainly check my oil this weekend for degradation!! :sick:
  • jjr41jjr41 Posts: 2
    Let me know if you hear of any patch that comes out. And I will do the same for you. I guess I just don't see the point of it. It goes off every 10k, yet my dealer recommends every 5k. So I am constantly going to be battling it throughout my ownership of the vehicle. I know it's a small negative, with all the positives. I just feel like it's being used as a selling/marketing point for the car, when it's actually a negative, in my eyes.
  • adaema05adaema05 Posts: 8
    Yes, I will do so. The funny thing is yesterday I received an e-mail from my Ford dealer reminding me it's time for my 5k service. I bet Ford is officially revising their maintenance intervals for the Fiesta (10k intervals according to the manual) and that's why I received the e-mail. Another funny thing is over to the side of the message it said my battery had "light wear at last visit.
    Checked and okay." I actually had to take my Fiesta back to have a metal interior accessory kit installed (metal door sill plates and leather/metal gear shift knob-5 speed). That was at 450 miles. How does a battery exhibit "light wear" at that low mileage?
  • iamziamz Posts: 542
    edited July 2011
    "I received an e-mail from my Ford dealer reminding me it's time for my 5k service. I bet Ford is officially revising their maintenance intervals for the Fiesta (10k intervals according to the manual) and that's why I received the e-mail. "

    That has nothing to do with Ford. That notice strictly comes from your dealer. Your dealer makes twice as much money by having you come in every 5k.
  • obktobkt Posts: 35
    Funny thing happened with my monitoring system. 0n 9-30-2011 it flagged me saying that I needed an oil change. My car only has 3200 miles on it. My manual says that the oil change needed to be done at 10000 or ONE YEAR. I checked the data plate and sure enough. My car was built on 9-30-2010. That monitoring system should have been reset at the dealership when I bought the car. I wonder how many people have gone in and got a needless oil change.
  • dprivendpriven Posts: 10
    My change-oil light came on, though I had the oil changed at about 6000 miles. I followed the instructions in my manual, but they were wrong.

    To reset the OLMS: Turn your car key to the on position, without starting the car. Hold down the brakes and accelerator for 20+ seconds.

    The manual says to do that in the accessory position, and that doesn't work.
  • hackattack5hackattack5 Posts: 315
    edited December 2011
    Next time you take it in for an oil change talk to the service adviser about 10,000 mile oil changes. He will tell you that it is a sales pitch and if it was 100% highway miles that it might be OK. I myself will stick to 3500-4000 mile oil changes. After all the oil sludge problems that all manufactures had with 4 cylinder engines I think my $30.00 oil change 4 times a year is well worth it. They recycle the oil now so its not so bad.
  • The 3,000 mile oil change is the biggest fraud going! Who's been pushing this scam? Oil and oil filter manufacturers. Do the SMART thing: follow your car's owner's manual.
  • I think changing the oil every 5k is the best compromise for the Fiesta. I don't think it's good to wait until 10k or the oil light goes on before changing. So far I've changed the oil only once on my Fiesta, and in about a month or so will take it in for the 10k service (I'm currently at around 8.7k). It's also a good idea to check your oil periodically to see how much it has darkened since the last oil change.
  • iamziamz Posts: 542
    I sent my oil out for analysis after 8k miles and was told it was still fine and I could even go to 9k. I do mostly highway driving which is pretty easy on oil. On the negative side, I drive in extreme temperatures from well below 0 F up to near 100 F. That particular sample had mostly cold, winter driven miles on it but was ran throughout the entire summer also. So, for my driving, it represented a worst case scenario.

    I will now continue to change it at 8k intervals. I'm using Mobil1 5w-20 and Fords filter.

    For the cost of an oil change, anyone can have their oil analyzed and know just how far they can drive between oil changes.

    Guessing is for amateurs. ;)
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,507
    That's great advice.

    As long as you keep your parameters the same (same type of oil, grade, etc), a group of three analyses (while costing about the same as an oil change) will help you determine the best interval for your vehicle. Once you've established a baseline, you don't need to continue the analyses unless something changes.

    That way, you're not guessing at the intervals, wasting oil, or potentially damaging the engine.
  • iamz:
    That sounds like a great idea. Who did you send your oil to for analysis? My Fiesta is a 5 speed manual and it runs 3100 rpm at 70MPH and I heard the 6 speed auto is only at 2600 rpm @ 70MPH so I might need to change my oil sooner than you
  • iamziamz Posts: 542
    Google "Blackstone Labs".

    I'm sure there are other places that do oil analysis but most people and businesses seem to use Blackstone. They will send you a sample container for you to use and mail back to them. They charge $25 for a basic analysis but I would really recommend paying the extra $10 for a TBN count.

    Read over their site so you understand what numbers are important. It wouldn't hurt to vist "Bob's the Oil Guy" web site and read a few of the discussions there too.
  • obktobkt Posts: 35
    On a 2011 Fiesta, does it have a timing belt or a chain. Dealer says a chain so they can go 150K miles before changing. I find it having a chain hard to believe.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,507
    The 2011 Fiesta owner manual states that the replacement schedule is 150,000 miles, and that it is a timing belt. Specifically, the schedule states on page 340:

    Every 150,000 miles (240,000 km):

    *Change automatic transmission fluid and filter (filter not required on 6F35, 6F50, DPS6 and AWF-21 transmissions); consult dealer for requirements
    *Change manual transmission fluid
    *Change rear axle fluid (RWD vehicles)
    *Replace accessory drive belt(s) if not replaced within the last 100,000 miles (160,000 km)
    *Replace timing belt (Fiesta); failure to replace belt can cause internal engine damage
  • obktobkt Posts: 35
    Thank you. I am aware of all that. Short story. I was getting the oil changed in my Hyundai Santa Fe and was asked how I liked it. I responded that I do like it except for the frequent required service. For example, Hyundai requires a timing belt change at 60K miles, while my Fiesta requires it to be changed at 150K miles. That's when the salesman said that Ford uses a timing chain not a belt. To add to confusion, if you Google " 2011 Ford Fiesta Timing belt/Chain" you'll get all kinds of answers, including the use of a timing chain in the Fiesta.
    I think I should go to the dealer's parts dept and have them look it up. But like you say, I'm 99% positive that it's a belt, not a chain. Anything technical that comes from a salesman is questionable.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,507
    Anything technical that comes from a salesman is questionable.

    Hahah; words to live by!

    My Fiesta only has 16,000 miles, so I'm a long ways from knowing for sure which it is. If it were a chain, I doubt it would be on the maintenance schedule at all.
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