How Often To Change Oil In A Ford F-150

The Ford F-150 has long been known as a reliable truck that can stand the test of time. To make sure that your vehicle is still running smoothly in the years to come, proper maintenance is a must. You may be wondering how often you'll need to change the oil. We have thoroughly investigated this question to provide you with an answer.

Bring your Ford F-150 in for an oil change every 7,500 miles or every six months if you are using synthetic oil. Conventional oil should be changed every 3,000 miles or every three months. Always consult your owner's manual for customized maintenance advice for your vehicle year.

Oil changes are an essential part of regular vehicle care. We'll discuss whether it is best to change it by mileage or by the date. Keep reading as we go into detail on how you can tell if your oil has been changed and signs that you need to change the oil. We'll also cover what can happen if your oil is not changed regularly.

Checking oil levels in the car engine, How Often To Change Oil In A Ford F-150

How Long Can A Ford F-150 Go Without An Oil Change?

How long you can wait to get an oil change depends on a few different factors. Where you drive, the amount of time the engine runs on average, and the weight of loads can all affect how often you should get an oil change.

Pouring brand

We recommend not going longer than 10,000 miles or one year without an oil change if you are using synthetic oil. When using conventional oil, don't wait longer than 5,000 miles or six months. You'll want to change your oil more often if you use your F-150 in the following situations:

  • Towing/hauling heavy loads
  • Towing trailers or an RV
  • Driving over rough terrain
  • The engine is turned off and on many times daily
  • You frequently take short trips where you brake and accelerate frequently

Mechanics also recommend checking oil levels and getting an oil change at shorter intervals if you live in a climate that is extremely hot or cold or if you often drive on dusty roads.

What Happens If You Don't Change Oil For Two Years?

Pouring brand new oil into the car engine, How Often To Change Oil In A Ford F-150

If you are driving in the best of conditions and you use your truck for infrequent longer distances with synthetic oil, you may be able to go two years without incident.

Mechanics and auto experts do not recommend this, as there is no benefit to your vehicle to wait so long between service visits. The potential for engine damage increases.

Allowing this amount of time to pass may mean you are also checking oil levels and quality less. If you are changing your oil less than twice a year, make a point to check your oil monthly or bimonthly to stay aware of how much oil you have.

Dirty oil or low levels can cause irreparable damage to your engine. The engine may seize or your vehicle could blow a gasket, making your vehicle undrivable.

Trouble from a dry engine or one that has dirty oil could cause your vehicle to stop in the middle of the road.  Finally, if your vehicle is under warranty, you may void it by taking too long between oil changes. Changing your oil frequently is usually less expensive than most engine repairs.

For more on how long you should wait to check your oil, read this article: How Long To Wait To Check Oil

Should You Change Your Oil By Date Or Mileage?

Ford F-150 parked at a dealership

After an oil change, it is customary for the mechanic to put a sticker on the windshield to let you know both the date and the mileage at which your car will be due for service. Use the service date for vehicles that make frequent short trips or pull heavy loads but may not put on many miles.

Use the mileage for high mileage vehicles and vehicles that may sit for long periods and if you normally use the vehicle for trips that are longer and uninterrupted by stops and starts.

If you are unsure or you use your truck in a variety of ways that vary from month to month, mechanics recommend changing your oil at the date or mileage that comes first.

For example, if it's been three months, change the oil even if 3,000 miles have not been reached. If you have traveled 5,000 miles since your last service visit and it's before three months have passed, get an oil change.

How To Tell If The Oil Was Changed

There are a few ways to tell if your oil has been changed recently. The oil should be clean, semi-transparent, and at the full line on the dipstick. It should also be smooth and glossy. Oil that has been in circulation for a while could be dark brown or even black with gritty soot in it.

Is There A Noticeable Difference After An Oil Change?

Many drivers report a difference after an oil change, especially if the oil was low or very dirty to begin with. The vehicle may run smoother and most likely quieter. If other fluid levels are checked and filled during the oil change, then steering and braking could also noticeably improve.

How Can You Tell If You Need To Change The Oil?

Dark red colored Ford F-150 at a Ford Dealership

There may be circumstances that could cause your vehicle to need an oil change before the date or mileage marker. Be aware of changes in your engine's sounds or new burning smells in the cabin or exhaust. If you notice these, check your oil. If your oil is low or black and gritty, change the oil as soon as possible.

How Does The F-150 Calculate Oil Life?

Brand new Ford F-150 photographed at the parking lot

In models as old as 2004, you may find an oil life indicator. The display will vary from year to year. In recent years, your truck includes the Intelligent Oil-Life Monitor that pulls information from your vehicle's different systems to give you a recommendation on when to change your oil.

Ford's Intelligent Oil-Life Monitor uses an algorithm to gather data on your driving habits and driving conditions. It will also take the time since your last oil change into consideration. It then displays your expected oil life in a percentage from 0% to 100%.

How To Reset Oil Life In A Ford F-150

Once the monitor reaches 15%, schedule your vehicle for service. Once service has been completed, the mechanic should reset the oil monitor. After your oil change, verify that your oil life has been reset to 100%. If it hasn't been reset, reset it to avoid getting premature reminders.

Reset Oil Life In A 2021 Ford F-150

On the steering wheel, press the "Menu" to get to the Main Menu. Use the up and down arrows to navigate to the Main Menu, then press "Truck Info." Select "Settings" then "Vehicle Maintenance." Choose "Oil Life," then hold down the "OK" button until the display shows "100%."

2018 Ford F-150 Oil Life Reset

In some models, the display controls will be on the left side of the steering wheel. Press the left arrow button to get to the menu. Go to "Settings," then "Advanced Settings." Select "Vehicle Settings." Arrow up and select "Oil Life Reset." Hold down the "Okay" button to reset the Oil Life Monitor.

2014 Ford F-150 Oil Life Reset

In older trucks with a digital display, press the "Info" button. Press the "Setup" button multiple times until the oil life information is displayed. Press and hold the "Reset" button to set the Oil Life Monitor to 100%.

Should You Use Synthetic Oil In The F-150?

The owner's manual for the 2022 F-150 recommends Motorcraft 5w-30 synthetic blend motor oil. Synthetic oils last longer since they can handle higher heat and resist breaking down. For more on what type of oil is best for your Ford F-150, read this article: What's The Best Oil For A Ford F-150?

Click here to see the recommended oil for an F-150 on Amazon.

For extremely cold climates, the manual recommends a 0w-30 oil. This oil should be used in climates that reach temperatures colder than -30 Fahrenheit.

Click here to see oil suited for colder climates on Amazon.

Final Thoughts

Checking oil levels in the car engine

Now that you know how often you should change the oil in your Ford F-150, consider oil changes a priority. With regular service visits, you'll avoid costly repairs and replacements. Proper care of your Ford truck will ensure that this reliable vehicle stays running for years to come.

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