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Discussion Starter #1
not to hijack but how much better is it to use synthetic.
~sabre
this is something that was brought up in the past, but now that people are hitting the 1st oil change mark i think it would be good to hear some feedback from people who have switched to synthetic.

if any of you have made the switch or have some knowledge about it, please tell. cuz ive looked for that got damn motor oil and it isnt ANYWHERE. what the hell kinda doo-doo is that?!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
so i take it 0w20 is the closest you can get to synthetic viscosity without going the somewhat more expensive route?
 

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Mr Know-It-All
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I personally will be waiting until past the 4000 mile mark to make the switch to synthetic.

I did my first oil change at ~250 miles. I'll do another one at about 1500 miles, and then I'll probably make the switch to synthetic about 3000 miles later. I assume that it's ok to break in an engine on syntehtic since a lot of companies now fill with synthetic from the factory, but since the Focus began it's break-in with regular, I'm going to keep it that way until I think the break-in period is up.

Personally, I don't like Castrol's synthetic. I've spent some time talking with the reps and reading the literature on Mobil 1 and in comparison to Castrol it seems to have a lot of benefits. The 0w20 they offer should be fine for our cars, and that is what I plan to switch to.

>8^)
ER
 

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Discussion Starter #6
well..

i think i have like 5600+ miles on the engine and i think this weekend will be the perfect time to get an oil change.

also, since i haven't ever had a vehicle that i would have put synthetic into, i have this question. i know some places around here offer a "flushing" for your engine when you get the oil changed. is it worth it to go somewhere to get this done or should i stick with doing the oil change myself sans the flush?
 

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Mr Know-It-All
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Absolutely not - that engine flush is a ridiculous waste of money IMO. The only person I know who ever had it done ended up needing a rod bearing replaced about a month later in an engine that had been very well maintained up until that point. I can't guarantee that the flush was the cause, but it's seems rather coincidental.

>8^)
ER
 

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Discussion Starter #8
well thats enough coencidence for me not to do it. looks like im doing that myself. anyone have any links to the underside of the focus or the maintinence book yet?
 

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Inheritly Sinister
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I don't have any pictures, but its really simple. The oil filter is right there on the bottom in the front, and the drain plug is on the back near the bottom. You can't miss either.

And I love changing the oil in this car. Its so clean and easy!
 

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Mr Know-It-All
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I took some photos of the underside of mine when I did the first oil change. I'll try to post them later tonight. It's a really easy oil change to do. The filter hangs down right at the front of the engine and is totally unobstructed. The drain plug is at the back of the oil pan at the bottom.

The actual plug is really long which I found to be kind of odd, and it has a rubber seal mounted to it which takes the place of any kind of drain plug washer. When I was unscrewing it, I had it almost all the way out before even a drop of oil had escaped. The one thing that is kind of a pain is that the filter and drain plug are so far apart that there is no way to have both removed at the same time. You would need a really large catch pan if you were going to try.

I drained the oil through the plug first and then removed the oil filter afterwards. Most of the oil stays in the filter since it's mounted vertically upside down, but some does spill over the side so wear some gloves and keep a rag handy. It's not like other cars I have changed oil on where the filter is mounted horizontally and spills it's contents all over the suspension, drive shafts, or the exhaust when you remove it. That was a nice change.

Any other questions, just let me know.

>8^)
ER
 

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Internet = Serious Business
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I switched to semi synthetic for my second and will switch to full synthetic on my third. I've used plain Castol for years and haven't had one problem. I had the heads apart on my SHO a couple weeks ago and the internals look brand new running plain Castrol. I'll switch to Mobil 1 for the full synthetic on my Focus just because it costs as much as Syntec and I plan on keeping it for a daily driver for 10 years. I don't think it really matters what oil you use as long are you change it regularly and don't pussy foot your car. We have more Crown Vics come in with engine problems than any other vehicle, because old people don't change their oil and drive S-L-O-W.

...and who ever put my filter on at the factory must have used a 500ft/lb impact. I dented the filter gripping it so hard taking it off.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
anyone have the part numbers and names of the oil filters they used? i looked online for some auto part shops around here and there isnt mention of an oil filter for the pzev yet.
 

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Mr Know-It-All
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I went to AutoZone and the guy looked in their computer for a compatible oil filter for the PZEV. He told me that the engine was too new and that they didn't stock anything for it yet.

I wasn't thinking at the time, but I assume he could have looked it up under the Ranger or the Mazda 6 - no guarantee that those would work, but I plan to do that next time around.

I ended up going to the dealership and getting the factory one. I think I paid like $6.40 for it including tax. The part number is like FM-910 or something close to that. I can post the exact number and a those pretty photos I mentioned earlier when I get home.

>8^)
ER
 

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Discussion Starter #15
well looks like its time for some oil changing madness this weekend. hell yea. thanks for the part number, the ford dealership is like 5 minutes away. self high-5.
 

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Mr Know-It-All
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Thanks for the clarification on that part number.


It's funny that you mention the Ranger one being too long - I was kind of thinking that a lowered PZEV could even have problems with taking out the oil filter on a parking stop or large speed bump. I guess that it's far enough up there that it wouldn't get taken out, but I'll still be careful after I drop it. It's kind of in the same place at the header on an SVT and I know people have damaged those before.

>8^)
ER
 

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Inheritly Sinister
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When I was spending time under the engine on labor day working on my intake, I had a good look at the filter. And if I recall, the filter didn't extend past the radiator. But maybe it was because of the funky angle I was at.

Then again, the angle Omni took this pic at, it makes it look really low.

 

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Mr Know-It-All
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Ok, I'm back with the photos I promised to post. I really think anyone could do this oil change themself without much hassle at all. In fact, unlike so many other cars, you shouldn't even need to raise this one off the ground to get the job done.

For starters, you'll need the typical oil changing supplies and 5 qts of which ever motor oil you choose, as the 2.3L needs about 4.5qts. I chose regular Castrol 5w20 for this first change but there are several other brands available. I also bought a universal filter wrench which I found was totally unnecessary once I crawled under the car.



Here's a shot of the familiar 'rats nest' under the hood. I recommend removing the oil filler cap before draining the oil. It helps if the engine is warm as well.



This shows the location of the filter - this is looking at the car from the ground head-on. That is the right front driveshaft on the lower left side of the picture. The tube that comes down in the center of the picture and enters the oil pan is the dipstick tube.



This is a view from underneath the car looking forward. The center of the photo is the drain plug with that built in rubber seal I mentioned which acts as the washer. You can see how far away from the drain plug the oil filter is in this picture. It's about a foot difference, but because the oil arcs out an additional foot when you are draining it, there's no real way to position an oil catch pan to cover both of them at the same time.



Here's the drain plug removed. It is definitely longer than the ones I have seen on other engines. It does have that additional unthreaded end section which I thought might be a magnet, but it's not. I know some manufactures have used the magnet tip before to collect fine particles of metal. The drain plug requires a 15mm socket or combo wrench to remove, or you could make do with a crescent wrench.



Here's a close up of the filter still mounted, seen from the driver's side. As mentioned, no filter wrench is necessary - I was able to remove mine with brute strength. There is a lot of room for your hands to grip it and no need to worry about denting it.



Here is the filter mount. The recessed section at the top is where some oil will still be trapped even after you drain the pan. This oil will spill down on your hand when you remove the filter. I assume you could take a screwdriver and puncture the bottom of the filter to drain it before removal if you don't enjoy getting your hands dirty.



Here's our factory replacement filter. As I said, I didn't have any luck getting a different brand at an AutoZone, but I didn't try any other parts places. I also didn't ask them about a filter for the Mazda 6 2.3L engine which might also work. The receipt I got says that list price for the factory replacement is 6.98, but my local dealer sold it to me for 5.97 + tax. I guess different dealers may be cheaper or more expensive.



I have read that it's a good idea to prefill your oil filter if it's vertically mounted. I have no idea if it provides any real benefit, but I went ahead and did it before screwing it on. I also dabbed a little bit of oil on the filter's rubber gasket to make it easier to remove later.

Then you just need to add in the new oil and check the oil level to make sure it's right. Look under the car once to make sure nothing is leaking and you're done. Make sure you put the filler cap back on too - I know someone who drove away from Jiffy Lube when they had failed to complete that simple step and it was not pretty.

If you want to see a larger version of any of those pictures, simply copy & paste the image URL and add '.orig.jpg' to the end of it. They're all uploaded at 800x600.

>8^)
ER

P.S.: Please remember to help protect the environment by returning your used oil and filter to a recycling center as opposed to disposing of them by other means.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
you , sir, are the winner. i will be doing that oil change this weekend. thank you very much for the pictures.
 

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...I was under the impression that the PZEV came with synthetic blend from the factory...Maybe the dealer was wrong (imagine that
) ...Anyways, Im coming up on oil change number 6, and I havent removed the filter or drained any oil once...The dealer does all that for me; for free...For as long as I own the car...
 
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