How Often to Change Oil in a Ford Explorer

eHow may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. Learn more about our affiliate and product review process here.

The high cost of automobiles and the seemingly even higher cost of repairs are two excellent reasons to make sure you maintain your vehicle in proper running order. A vehicle that is properly maintained will perform better and last longer than a vehicle that is not properly maintained. Oil changes are a key component to vehicle maintenance and each manufacturer provides their own specifications and requirements based on engine design.

Recommendations from Ford

Ford recommends changing the oil every 7,500 miles or 6 months, whichever comes first. This recommendation assumes the usage of MotorCraft 5W-20 brand of oil or an equivalent and normal driving conditions. Special driving conditions include towing a trailer, carrying heavy loads, extensive idling or low-speed driving, off-road driving, driving in dusty areas and using a flex fuel. If you have special driving conditions, you should change the oil every 5,000 miles, 6 months or after 200 hours of engine operation, whichever occurs first.

Only use oils that are have the American Petroleum Institute trademark symbol "For Gasoline Engines" on the container as this guarantees that the product meets current engine and emission system requirements. You should never use oil additives, cleaners or other engine treatments. If you are maintaining your vehicle per Ford's guidelines, additives and cleaners are not necessary.

When you change the oil, you should also replace the oil filter. Ford production filters and certain aftermarket filters are specifically designed to extend the life of your engine. Using a filter that does not meet Ford's specifications may cause engine knocking. Ford recommends the Ford production filter and the Motorcraft filter or an equivalent.

Warranty Considerations

Failure to follow the manufacturer-recommended maintenance schedule or the use of parts that do not meet the manufacturer specifications can invalidate your warranty. Every time you have your vehicle serviced, save the receipt and make note of the mileage at the time of service. Some owners keep a maintenance log in their glove compartment with a written record of dates of service and vehicle mileage, but you still need to keep all your receipts.

If you choose to perform the oil change yourself, keep the receipts for the oil and the filter purchase and a log of the exact dates and vehicle mileage. If something fails on your vehicle, you may be asked to produce the receipts in order to prove you properly maintain the vehicle according to Ford specifications.