Yea, it's time for me to change the oil again in my car. Since I am the one driving it a lot now, I need to pay for the oil. So, what kind of oil would you all recommend for a internally stock Zetec engine?
Depends on how picky you are. Regular oil will probably serve you okay in this state of tune if you're broke. Newer car specs are forcing the dino oil to get better and better all the time.
I'm running Mobil 1 because I'm putting on a lot of miles and want it to hold up a long time. Synthetics work better in extreme temperatures and leave less deposits in your engine. Anecdotal evidence also suggests wear is decreased compared to dino oil.
Whether this is worth paying 2-3 times as much is your call. BTW - the stock 5W-20 is a synthetic blend - apparently you can't get straight dino oil that meets specs with that viscosity.
More important is your choice of filter. The Motorcraft filter is about the best that fits our engine - if the Mobil 1 filter came in a version for the Zetec that would be the hot ticket - but they don't make it yet. Don't get Fram... never, ever, EVER!!! They don't filter out impurities as well, and the filter media has been known to disintegrate.
Use the search function - you'll find out more than you wanted to know about this.
At 5000 mi I changed to Castrol Syntec 5W-30W in a black 5 quart jug at Walmart($16). I just returned from a round trip to L.A.,CA some 1700 mi and got 30 mpg at best @75 mph. it idles so smooth I need to step on the gas to see if its running sometimes. Anything more is a waist of money for street use.So called racing oils will just empty your wallet(and in some cases boost your ego).