2011 Mustang - Oil change question - Ford Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011 Thread Starter
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2011 Mustang - Oil change question

The dealership where I bought my 2011 GT offers free oil changes for life. This is a great feature, but what I didn't realize is that they do the oil changes every 7,500 miles. I brought it in for a free change at 5,500 miles, when the oil life indicator was down to 0%. The service manager said they would do it this time, but next time they would only do it after 7,500 miles (13,000 total on vehicle). I'm now at 9,600 miles total on the car, and the oil life indicator is at 18%, so there is no way I'll make it to 13,000.

I'm thinking that I'll just have it changed when the indicator gets close to 0, and then have the dealership change it again at 13,000. Can anyone advise as to how difficult changing the oil myself would be? I used to do it all the time (had 1986 and 1990 Mustangs, both 4 cylinders), but stopped about 6 or 7 years ago. I'm not sure if the current cars would be much more difficult or not.

Thanks for any advice.

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011
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I think your oil indicator might be messed up. We should change oil every 8-10k miles in these vehicles.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011
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Decapod, are you tracking your car?

As for changing the oil, its real easy. I even made an 'DIY Oil Change guide' for the 2011 V6 Mustangs.

The 5.0's aren't real different.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011 Thread Starter
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No, I have not tracked the car (yet). In fact, I haven't generally driven it very hard at all. Perhaps the oil indicator is off, as ssimaniac suggested. Is it possible to tell anything by looking at the oil on the dipstick? When I checked it a week ago the color was still light, not black at all. When I used to change the oil on my older cars (usually every 4,000 miles or so) the oil would always be black.

Can you tell me how to find your DIY oil change guide?


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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011
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as stated above, you only need to change the oil every 8-10k miles. but, you can never baby your beautiful ride too much!

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011
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Not run hard or tracked...... do you do a lot of very short trips? Gotta be some reason for that unless its a sensor/software bug as already suggested.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011
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Oil life is greatly influenced by driving style. Short trips on a continuously cold engine are the worst for the oil, followed by start and stop city driving. Long highway trips are on the other end of the equation and generally are least tough on the engine and oil. So, if the majority of your miles are short city miles, then it is a good bet you will need to change your oil more frequently than the suggested change interval in the manual. The oil life meter does not actually sample your oil, but calculates oil life based on the logged driving parameters.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011
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Changed oil at 5500 miles now at 9600 miles = 4100 miles driven.
I would take it in to have them check the oil life indicator.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011
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At most, you can go 10K miles. That monitor is not based off of a sensor, it is a very complex calculation taking numerous readings into account. The chance of the PCM being faulty for a concern like that is extremely unlikely. The systems are very accurate, so your driving style/conditions likely warrant the sooner intervals.

The owners manual states to use the monitor or do it at 10K/1 year if the counter does not reach zero first. You can't expect to go the same amount of miles doing hard stop and go as you would if you drove on the highway continously.

My first oil change was done at almost 8K miles, but it was mostly highway. Now that I do more of a 50/50 mix, I will be due at around 5K. Follow the monitor, and you shouldn't have any oil issues down the road.

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Originally Posted by ssimaniac View Post
I think your oil indicator might be messed up. We should change oil every 8-10k miles in these vehicles.
Not necessarily. These new oil indicator systems base the percentage off numerous things. Lets say you drive like a grandma 24/7; your oil indicator will probably still show 30% at 8K miles. If you drive it like a bat out of hell, your oil indicator might show 30% with only 3K miles. It also takes into consideration the time you start your car until you shut it off. So say you start it up and only drive 2 miles every day. This is sorta hard on the engine oil because the short trips never lets the oil get up to operating temp. The computer records a lot of information gathered from your driving habits to determine the oil percentage life. No two cars will be the same.

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No matter how you drive it should go more than 5500 before getting to 0%, I'd ask the service department to check it out.

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I doubt there's anybody alive who drives their car harder than I do, unless they're doing heavy track use. At 3K miles, my oil life meter read 82%. Since I spend most of my driving time at wide open throttle, I have no idea why this would be. I changed it anyway because -- sorry -- I've always changed oil every 3K miles and will continue to do so.

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I had my oil changed last weekend at just under 5,000 miles. The oil life indicator showed 68% remaining so the only reason I had it changed was because my service plan includes oil changes every 5,000 miles and I want to get my money's worth out of the plan. Otherwise I would have waited until the indicator was much lower. I drive about 50/50 highway and city with frequent stop-and-go on a 10 mile commute.

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Mine's oil life indicator has consistently run at 5000 miles whether driving hard, easy, in the hot, in the cold, using synthetic, whatever.

If the dealer is giving you a hard time about changing it with the service indicator says to, I would question the legitimacy of their 'free oil changes' crap. They are obviously trying to keep their expenses down.
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