2009 Ford Flex Limited: DIY Oil Change
May 25, 2010
With over 55,000 miles on the clock, our 2009 Ford Flex has had its oil changed many times. But we've never done the job ourselves ... until now. The above video says it all, but here's a summary of the lessons learned.
1) Don't be tempted by the discounted price of those 5-liter (5.28 quart) jugs of oil. The tallness of the jug makes them very hard to pour without spillage. Same goes for the sheer weight of the thing and the way the oil glugs out of the spout. Also, if your car takes, say, 4 quarts of oil, it'd be very easy to overfill. Save yourself the trouble and stick with 1-quart bottles.
2) The genuine Ford Motorcraft oil filter I bought has a weird fluted end that isn't compatible with the socket-style oil filter wrenches I have in my tool box -- they don't slip on. So I was forced to use one of those hateful band-type wrenches. As you'll see above, it was a royal pain in the butt, made worse because the last oil-change mechanic really king-konged the old filter on there. Even though I'm sure Ford (or Snap-On) sells a special service tool that fits, I won't be buying another filter with a fluted end like that again.
3) The oil drain plug is nearly horizontal, so the escaping oil really jets out of there. You'll need to brush up on ballistics theory to place the drain pan in the right spot to avoid a driveway tragedy. But even after the oil slows to a dribble, the pan is still too far away from the filter drip zone to collect both streams at once. I had to re-install the drain plug before I could attack that filter.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 55,568 miles or thereabouts