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Easy DIY Oil Change Holds a Minefield of Potential Screw-Ups - 2015 Ford F-150 Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,059
edited October 2015 in Ford
imageEasy DIY Oil Change Holds a Minefield of Potential Screw-Ups - 2015 Ford F-150 Long-Term Road Test

Changing the oil in a 2015 Ford F-150 with the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 is easy, but you need to know a few tricks and quirks beforehand.

Read the full story here


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Comments

  • ebeaudoinebeaudoin NE IllinoisPosts: 509
    Wow, that's really pretty terrifying. I'm assuming you had the last oil change done at a dealer? He used the wrong oil and way too much of it. Is it his first day? The oil spec is written on the cap, for crying out loud! I mean, really... How hard is it to verify that you are changing the oil properly on a customer's truck? Wow. Thanks for the write-up; great pics, too!
  • swibswib Posts: 6
    I own a Focus ST and it is well known that they (Ford dealers) routinely do the oil changes incorrectly. With the ST they won't recognize that it is the turbo engine instead of the regular Focus' engine so they fill it a quart low and with the wrong weight oil - pretty poor showing by Ford for sure.
  • ebeaudoinebeaudoin NE IllinoisPosts: 509
    swib said:

    I own a Focus ST and it is well known that they (Ford dealers) routinely do the oil changes incorrectly. With the ST they won't recognize that it is the turbo engine instead of the regular Focus' engine so they fill it a quart low and with the wrong weight oil - pretty poor showing by Ford for sure.

    For as many Ford products as there are on the road with turbo engines, it's a darn shame Ford dealers aren't maintaining them correctly.
  • dm7279dm7279 Posts: 63
    As I said in the previous post about the 15 minute wait to check the oil on this car, my Volvo has a similar requirement, and similar to what you indicate above, my dealer (and many others, from what I've read) has significantly overfilled it. I believe they bill for 8 quarts, when the car only takes a bit over 6. Since the car still has a free service left from purchase, I will let Volvo do it one more time, and I will be on them about it if they get it wrong. It amazes me that the people that sell and service these cars don't even know how to properly change the oil.
  • reminderreminder Posts: 383
    I know it might not bother other people, but that plastic pan & drain plug makes me a bit nervous. I'm still partial to the old school steel drain plug.
  • I knew something was up with your poor fuel economy when most owners are reporting much better than you have been able to achieve.. Having an extra GALLON of oil in the engine surely had an effect on your fuel economy. I learned long ago it is best to do your own oil changes if you want them done right. It's not a matter of IF they will screw something up it is a matter of how badly and how often they will screw something up.
  • You should let the dealer know and have it documented that it was overfilled. Ford clearly says that overfilling may cause engine damage.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,190
    This entire overfilling debacle reminds of a quote from Douglas Adams:
    "A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools."

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,048
    dm7279 said:

    It amazes me that the people that sell and service these cars don't even know how to properly change the oil.

    Why is this so amazing? There is a quote that applies here, "You don't know what you don't know" and that applies to everyone. Go look up the oil change service on the new Corvette. Now picture someone having done thousands of oil changes and encountering one of those for the first time. In this context you have been directed to look up the service first but in practice anyone who took their car to a shop and saw the technician stopping and looking up the routine would immediately not only lose trust in them they would waste no time in telling everyone to avoid them because they didn't even know how to change the oil.

    One of the things that Dan correctly points out is the contradiction between the consumers expectations about how long the service should take (aka the ten minute oil change) and the fact that it takes longer than that just for the oil to make it down to the pan when filling. Meanwhile the most important details such as how to choose a product that is genuinely approved to meet the specs again wasn't mentioned. Or wait, maybe it was when Dan questioned if the dealer used the correct "blended synthetic" since in his opinion it didn't specify that by the bill and he was only comparing by the price of the oil. Most consumers don't even know what the word "synthetic" means when talking about engine oil in North America. Synthetic doesn't mean what the average person thinks that it does, with that being the case what exactly does "blended synthetic" really mean? Consumers should be asking just what can an oil company put in a bottle when they sell it with such labeling.

    There are definitely people who should be called out onto the carpet for issues like this but when the blame is placed only on the techs, especially the entry level ones the real culprits are actually standing beside you pointing their finger at them too.




  • banhughbanhugh Posts: 315
    edited October 2015
    I had similar experience with my Accord. The first oil change at dealer #1 was done with the wrong oil viscosity. Dealer #2 forgot to replace the engine air filter (even though I was charged and paid for it). I only caught that because the engine bay was dusty and the air filter box looked untouched.
    After these experiences I decided to do my own maintenance on the car. I got online, found the repair manual of the car, a good informative owner's forum and since then I have replaced engine and transmission oil and filters, spark plugs, brake pads and rotors, brake fluid, coolant, steering fluid, etc.
    Dealers use the same $8/hour 18yr old "mechanics" that the shop next door does, I have no trust on their "special" training for their employees. Unless it's a complicated repair (most probably for a German car, these are made to be be untouchable by owners like me...) I would first try to fix it myself!
  • What a ridiculous PITA for doing a job that should be as simple as getting a 5/8" or 14mm wrench, a drain pan, and a filter removal tool. What masochistic engineer designed this system? I saw a story about Castrol designing a "cartridge" type oil and filter changing system in one package that can be changed as easily as changing a battery. THAT should be OEM for every new car. This entire process is just over engineering and smells like something done just to drive up service hours at the dealership, because really, it's not difficult, just a PITA.
    Pffffffft, Ford, give me a break.
  • mecksermeckser Posts: 18

    What a ridiculous PITA for doing a job that should be as simple as getting a 5/8" or 14mm wrench, a drain pan, and a filter removal tool. What masochistic engineer designed this system? I saw a story about Castrol designing a "cartridge" type oil and filter changing system in one package that can be changed as easily as changing a battery. THAT should be OEM for every new car. This entire process is just over engineering and smells like something done just to drive up service hours at the dealership, because really, it's not difficult, just a PITA.
    Pffffffft, Ford, give me a break.

    What? This needs even less tools, and is even less effort. No fishing for a filter in the back of an engine, its right up top.
  • Hello to all...I am a long-time lurker, hence my screen name, but I had to register to point out that the fact of this truck being filled with too much of the wrong kind of oil was pointed out back on August 1 by several commenters.

    It appeared to be overfilled by only one quart of the wrong weight of oil at that time, but if that had been acted upon, the four-quart overfill would have been discovered then, and the dealer would have had to do it over with the right amount of the correct oil. And any recheck since then of the oil level would also have shown the huge overfill...so this vehicle was driven for the past 10,000 miles without anyone checking the fluids in it?

    That's not good. I would not want to be a subsequent owner.
  • LOL, that was tiring reading all of that. Its not supposed to be that complicated. You summed it up with:

    "I may never pay anyone to change my vehicle's oil again, especially when it's this easy. "

    Yep. So, your Ford dealership screwed you over (unintentionally!), so what percent of owners do you think are going to be driving around with the correct amount of oil in them and using the right filters and such? 10%? 20% at the max? What do you think Jiffy Lube will do to that vehicle? Butcher, butcher.

    Its an oil change FFS. Its supposed to be super easy. Our Pilot has an "Oil" with an arrow pointing to the bolt. Drain it fill it, change filter. Done. Just like every other freaking vehicle in the planet. Did a German manufacturer help with this?
  • dm7279 said:

    It amazes me that the people that sell and service these cars don't even know how to properly change the oil.

    Why is this so amazing? There is a quote that applies here, "You don't know what you don't know" and that applies to everyone. Go look up the oil change service on the new Corvette.
    Except that this isn't a Corvette. This is a workhorse of trucks, starting at $26k. It shouldn't be this complicated.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,190

    Did a German manufacturer help with this?

    Oil changes are dead simple on the three BMWs in my fleet- top side mounted filter canister and a drain plug that can be removed without dropping any underbody panels- and they all take M1 0W-40. Next easiest is the TJ, which has a relatively easy to reach spin-on filter element. The MS3 is the worst- hands down; a splash panel needs to be removed and the cartridge filter is mounted inverted- it has its own drain plug so you don't have a complete mess when you unscrew the cap. Fortunately, my Mazda dealer gave me free oil changes for life and-unlike the Ford dealer mentioned here-my dealer hires techs that actually know what they are doing.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,048

    Fortunately, my Mazda dealer gave me free oil changes for life and-unlike the Ford dealer mentioned here-my dealer hires techs that actually know what they are doing.

    If they have to hire techs then they have a problem because that means they can't keep the ones that they already have.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    4 quarts over-filled? I'm surprised it didn't blow out every seal in the engine, or at least start some serious smoking out the tailpipe. If this engine develops oil leaks, you know already how they started.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,190
    edited October 2015


    If they have to hire techs then they have a problem because that means they can't keep the ones that they already have.

    Are you ever happy? You don't like people complaining about incompetent hacks- yet you gripe at me when I praise competent techs. But now that you mention it, my Mazda dealer does have a problem(in your opinion it would seem)- they provide excellent service 100% of the time. Of course if they continually made boneheaded mistakes I'm certain you'd defend them to the bitter end.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,048
    edited October 2015
    This is like peeling back the layers of an onion. You don't get it and from your consumers perspective you probably never will. It should be easy for everyone to realize that nobody is perfect so the idea of them providing excellent service 100% of the time just doesn't hold water. They probably are very good which is great, but still there is something wrong and that layer of the onion just past the free oil changes needs to be peeled back so that it can be seen.

    There have been countless stories about the upsells that occur in a lot of shops. A lot of that work is easily legitimate, but through a process of punishment and reward even good people can be trained to do bad things. Most of them figure it out one way or the other and eventually move on only to be replaced by someone else with no training or experience. (See the video below)

    You are completely wrong when you say that I defend incompetent hacks. There are people who try to be mechanics/technicians who don't belong in the trade and the sooner they are gone and into careers that better suit them the happier everyone should be. Your problem is that you can't see the difference between them and someone who has the natural talents to become a qualified technician but simply lacks the training and experience which would come in time given the right work atmosphere. Combine that with how long it really takes to master the trade which is measured in decades and consumers should begin to realize just how big of an issue this really is.

    So back to the free oil change. Without the upsells techs lose money doing that service for the time that it actually takes to do it. With the upsells they get paid more than the job(s) take to do. That has the appearance of a good plan right up to the moment someone objects that an upsell wasn't legitimate. The moment that happens the revolving door atmosphere of most shops exposes itself. The common approach to this is to simply blame that person instead of the management practices that really cause it. Here is a nice example of how bad that can get. Make sure that you catch them giving away the one oil change for free while they take full advantage of the driver.

    They should all go to jail in my opinion but did you see the other issue? Trying to sell oil changes with a "good, better, best" approach? That is totally inappropriate with today's cars and yet you can find companies all over the place that train their employees to do that. The problem is there is almost no way to stop them from marketing like that because consumers gravitate towards it because it starts out with the promise of a low price or even free. The result of that is many cars are serviced with products that don't meet the manufacturer's specifications and that is the number one reason for the majority of the engine failures and oil consumption complaints all through the forums.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,190
    edited October 2015

    This is like peeling back the layers of an onion. You don't get it and from your consumers perspective you probably never will. It should be easy for everyone to realize that nobody is perfect so the idea of them providing excellent service 100% of the time just doesn't hold water. They probably are very good which is great, but still there is something wrong and that layer of the onion just past the free oil changes needs to be peeled back so that it can be seen.

    Oh wow, thanks for the heads-up!. In 8 years I've never had any issues with my Mazda dealer- but yet there actually IS a problem.
    Got it.

    As for not defending incompetents hacks, anyone can read through A Mechanic's Life - Tales From Under the Hood and see for themselves. You even gave a "no harm, no foul" pass to a dealer service tech who had instructed another tech to learn how to drive a manual by practicing on a brand new Mazda that he was supposed to PDI.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,048
    There is a difference between giving a pass and trying to level the perspective.

  • You both raise interesting points, but I am interested in hearing from Edmunds on how this was handled and how it will be handled going forward, by Edmunds. I had already asked why comments that the work was done incorrectly back in August were not addressed, and as for the next course of action, I don't think I would just dismiss a 66% overfilled crankcase over the past 10k miles with "still running strong and smooth..." and dump it onto the next owner, if it were within my power to have the dealership take responsibility for their error (maybe an extended warranty, etc. - ?). I don't think that's the right thing to do.
  • dgcamerodgcamero Posts: 148
    The technician probably drained the oil too quickly after shutdown, so only 3 quarts drained out, and then refilled with 7 quarts. You were likely driving around with half of the original oil for the second service interval. Too bad you didn't get a sample for analysis.

    Ford should probably replace at least the oil caps and dipsticks on the 2.7TTs with some that have warnings to wait 15 minutes before checking or draining oil, and perhaps a sticker near the drain plug that reiterates the warning. Also it seems reasonable for them to implement an oil level sensor as a running upgrade to the engines.
  • emajoremajor Posts: 332
    Well, I'll never buy a used 2.7 Ecoboost F150. Apparently even a clean-looking example with a documented service history could still hide the fact that it was overfilled by 4 full quarts.

    The oil change procedure doesn't look onerous at all, and even the 15 minute wait time is no big deal. But it is really disturbing that technicians employed by the Ford dealership haven't been properly trained to handle someone's $40K Ford vehicle during such a basic maintenance procedure.

    Excellent post, Dan. Any chance you will be bringing this up with the dealer?
  • As some other comments note, its not just a Ford issue. Our local Honda dealer managed to put an extra quart into our 01 Accord and tightened the filter so much I needed a small pipe wrench to loosen it.

    Regarding the Motorcraft blend oil, it seems to be pretty good stuff, at least in normally aspirated engines. I can' t say about the boosted ones. I routinely ship samples for testing and it was about as good as my last full synthetic change in my 5.4L V8 after 5000 miles, much to my surprise.

    All this being said, I'm surprised no one at Edmunds checked the oil since the previous oil change and picked up on the previous service mistake, especially given all of the towing and mileage in between.
  • reminderreminder Posts: 383
    Strange that nobody commented about the fact that it takes 15 minutes to get the majority of the oil back into the pan. Clearly not a common arrangement. I'm going to speculate that the reason the motor was built this way was to keep some surplus oil in the upper reaches of the motor to pull excess heat away. Maybe.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 13,724
    Dan,
    That was a very enlightening post. The 2.7 seems like a Ferrari (or at least Italian) engine put in a Ford pickup.
    Time to bring back the old Ronnie Regan, 'Trust but verify', when it comes to service.
    The dealer I usually get my service done at has a dedicated truck service building, so maybe they're more savvy about the product.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 13,724
    I did some checking the oil drain plug lists for about $7. Another thing, the owner's manual does not specifically say the wait time is for the 2.7.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
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