By on January 7, 2019

2019 Ford Ranger at MAP - Image: Ford

If you’re holding off on purchasing a new Ford Ranger based on what you read here last Thursday, consider this a green light for your trip to the dealership. The new-for-2019 Ranger does not — repeat, does not — require the removal of the left front wheel in order to access the oil filter. 

Drawing from a source with knowledge of Ford service procedures, our January 3rd story stated that the oil filter on the 2.3-liter Ecoboost four-cylinder found in all U.S.-market Rangers would be removed by technicians via the left front wheel well, necessitating the removal of the wheel. Not true, according to Dawn McKenzie, Ford’s North American product communications manager for trucks and commercial vehicles.

While the written process provided to us listed the removal of a LF wheel arch access panel, held in place by nine fasteners, Ford North American product communications manager Mike Levine states only three fasteners need to be removed in order to peel back the flap to access the oil filter. The wheel does not have to be removed to facilitate this. You’ll want the wheel hard over, though.

It’s a procedure similar to that of overseas models equipped with the 3.2-liter diesel.

So, with that said, apologies to Ford for the error and to our readers.

[Image: Ford]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

59 Comments on “We Got It Wrong About the Ford Ranger’s Oil Change Procedure...”


  • avatar
    jatz

    That sounds fast and therefore cheap enough for the dealership tech to do while the truck is up on a lift.

    Who’s going to DIY this on a warrantied vehicle?

    • 0 avatar
      JuniperBug

      Probably the same people who will DIY an oil change on an out-of-warranty vehicle. As long as you can prove that the oil changes were properly done, the automaker can’t wiggle out of honouring the warranty.

      I’ve never owned a car in warranty, but I did my first oil change on my last motorcycle about 4 days after it came off the showroom floor.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      I changed the oil in my mom’s car the entire time it was under warranty, and continue to do so now (when I’m around and not gone a job).

      Turns out, it’s not a Hyundai/Kia, so I wasn’t too worried about it.

      (Yes, I know any manufacturer can deny warranty work for lack of maintenance, but H/K is notorious for it, add to that the defective engines they denied and tried to finagle out of, thus the reason for my comment.)

      Also, I wasn’t aware that the truck will come with a fully-transferable lifetime warranty.

      • 0 avatar
        nels0300

        You really have it out for Hyundai-Kia.

        It’s strange that you know so many Hyundai/Kia owners, who have had warranty claims, and who don’t have maintenance documentation, and have had a warranty claim denied.

        • 0 avatar
          FWD Donuts

          Ran into a couple who was denied an engine change by Kia because they had issues where their oil changes were done. They’ve been fighting them for years. Two sides to every story — but their side sure makes Kia look bad. Really bad.

          • 0 avatar
            nels0300

            I’m sure there is more to that story. There should be no issues with where you have service done, they’re only concerned, rightly, that the service was done. Was the service done properly?

            I imagine there may be more stories of warranty denial simply because Hyundai-Kia warranty coverage is much longer, there are more claims, and people find out the hard way that you need to maintain your car properly and keep documentation.

            There are no warranty denials on Ford with 80K miles because it doesn’t have a warranty anymore.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          Anecdotally, I dont know of anyone that had a uniquely difficult time getting a warranty claim on their H/K product.

          That said, the situation regarding the Theta engines is well-documented and reflects very poorly on H/K.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          I’m in a few online Kia groups and haven’t heard of anyone being denied an engine change. Not saying it’s not possible, but you know how bad news travels online. If denials were normal I would have heard of it.

          That said H/K won’t be getting my dollars in the future as this recall is ridiculous.

          • 0 avatar
            nels0300

            It is a bad recall, but is it that much worse than other companies?

            I mean, Lexus, the best of the best, had a valve spring recall on 270K vehicles.

            So you’re mad that your $20K Kia needs a new engine, imagine the same thing on a $70K Lexus.

        • 0 avatar
          igve2shtz

          My brother was denied warranty coverage on a 2008ish Santa Fe. His oil changes were aways done at the dealer (lifetime free), but he did the timing belt himself around 70,000 miles. Around 90k, the car started running rough, and it was low on compression. Dealer refused warranty work because even though he showed receipts for the new timing belt, supposedly: ‘because he isn’t ASE certified, Hyundai could not verify the work’ and he was on the hook for a new engine himself.

          It must be stated that my brother did not argue as hard as he should have considering the consequence, nor did he take it to a different dealer for confirmation.

          At a minimum, it doesn’t speak well for the specific dealer, but I’ll extend my opinion to the brand as well (considering the regional tech concurred with the warranty denial).

          • 0 avatar
            MBella

            Did the timing belt fail? I don’t see how that would be relevant otherwise. If a belt failed after it was installed by someone outside the manufacturer’s world of influence, why should they be responsible?

        • 0 avatar
          cartime

          I’m aware of one person denied a motor in a Hyundai. The car was only 2 or 3 years old. I don’t know the complete specifics but maybe the oil wasn’t changed or the wrong oil type or proof of oil changes. Anyways, they wouldn’t come good for it.

    • 0 avatar
      3XC

      I do all my oil changes myself. I don’t trust some careless tech to service my cars. Few places pay skilled mechanics to do oil changes. They’re often highly inexperienced and poorly trained, and I’ve read online about quick lube techs sawing off underbody trays, draining transmission fluid and then overfilling the crankcase, etc. And that is only one aspect, the others being the quality of the oil and filters used, and of course cost.

      When the only impediment to cheaper and better is laziness, well….

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        My buddy worked at a lube place and they hired a new guy who had worked on cars all his life, according to him. First job, Ford Bronco II, he fills the entire engine with oil up to the valve cover. Another tech saw it, ran over and stopped him before he tried to crank it.

        I wonder what it’s like to be fired less than an hour after you start a new job?

    • 0 avatar
      sirwired

      I DIY all my oil changes, in-warranty or no. It’s easy enough to store your oil/filter receipts online.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        I buy Motorcraft filters in bulk online, much cheaper and easier than dealing with it each oil change. I think the last lot I bought for my mom’s Taurus was 30 of them on eBay, it worked out to a little over $2/filter. That’s like Walmart Super Tech price for OEM quality.

        (Yes, I put Motorcraft filters on everything, including my (recently sold) Nissan Altima and my GMC pickup. They’re made by Purolator and are of good quality for the price.)

        • 0 avatar
          MRF 95 T-Bird

          Whenever I do a oil change on my MN-12 I always use the Motorcraft filter. Same back when I owned my 87 Thunderbird. Once I used a K&N oil filter because it came as a deal with the air cleaner element. When I changed that one it seemed ok but heavier because of the multiple filters.

        • 0 avatar
          raph

          That reminds me I need to pick up a case of filters for the GT350. I’m unaware of an aftermarket brand and Ford has a really good oil filter so no reason to ditch it (not to mention Ford has a sticker to remind one about properly torqueing the filter on the 5.2)

          And while its not nessecary I also purchased a bunch of drain plugs. The GT350 comes with a funky plastic plug that screws out in about 1.5 to 2 turns and just doesnt engender confidence so I replace them with each oil change. Cheap peace of mind at a 1.47 per plug.

        • 0 avatar
          MBella

          Be careful with motorcraft or across Delco parts. There’s usually two different grades. There’s also no motorcraft oil filter factory. They buy them from the cheapest bidder. Funny you mention supertech. They used to be really good filters made by champion labs. I don’t know if they still are because Walmart also can change vendors at any time.

        • 0 avatar
          paladin54692

          Motocraft filters are great for the price. They always felt a little heavier than comparable oil filters and I loved putting them on the Ex’s 1-GR 4.0 4runner. More’s the better that their dirt cheap at Walmart

      • 0 avatar
        George B

        I change oil myself and record maintenance the old school way with a bound paper notebook, taping the receipts for oil and filters used to the pages. Probably overkill, but I also save the used oil filters while the car is still under warranty.

    • 0 avatar
      R Henry

      I have only paid others to change my oil maybe three times in my whole driving career–30 years and likely well over a million miles.

      Why? I find it more better to spend 20 minutes in my own garage, whenever is convenient, than it is to wait for some Jiffy “tech” to finish his previous drain plug over-tightenings…and to watch him display my very clean airfilter and hear him tell me how it MUST be replaced…with is $40 tissue paper replacement.

      As a long-time semi-pro wrench, I just can’t stand having others work on my vehicles. I find it distasteful, and I almost always find something done to a level lower than my own standards.

      Besides, I LIKE working on my cars…why should I pays somebody else to do it?

  • avatar
    JimC2

    Oh… OK. The real story makes me feel soooooo much better.

    @jatz- I’m not one for DIY maintenance when a vehicle is in warranty, but how long does the warranty last?

  • avatar
    VW4motion

    Hilarious that all the tools came out of the tool bag to spit out a negative comment.

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      Meh… Ford is not alone in putting this oil filter in a dumb place. I have a couple of old Toyotas- on the V6 the filter dumps half its contents into a mess when you remove it. On the 4 the filter does the same thing but with the bonus of burning your hands and arms on the exhaust manifold to even get to the thing. Who knew that welder’s gloves are required tools for an oil change?? Life goes on though.

      My point is that future Ecoboost Ranger DIY’ers, indy mechanics, and factory-trained dealership “techs” will be able to change with a little creativity and minor inconvenience, the sun will still rise, but the fact that they will have to resort to that creativity is will always be mock-worthy.

      • 0 avatar
        Russycle

        Yeah, my Scion requires pulling the wheel to get the filter off. First time I did it I managed to get it off while leaving the wheel on, but what a messy PIA. Next time I did the wheel removal, and it made it so much easier. Worth the couple minutes to remove/install the wheel. But I miss my MINI with the filter on top of the engine, right in front. So easy.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        Creativity?

        • 0 avatar
          JimC2

          Creativity like any time a part is awkward to access or tough to get leverage on (like getting an extra tight oil filter started). I mean figuring out how to get your hands in there or to use your own tools, if you don’t own the factory’s specialized weird tool for that one part on that one make/model, which in this case sounds like ithe job might require a double reverse gooseneck confined area oil filter strap wrench.

  • avatar
    1500cc

    Still seems like a PITA … does the 2.3L Mustang require the same access?

    • 0 avatar
      Ion

      No the filter is past the skid plate on the Ecoboost. The 3.7 & 5.0 on the previous generation needed the skid plate partially removed. I say partially because the skid plate wrapped around suspension braces.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      The Mustang does not have as big of an oil cooler, so no. And how is turning the wheel a “PITA”? As far as the (three pins! OMG!) access panel, the Ranger is far from the only vehicle to have such, certainly not the only truck. Still seems like no big deal.

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        I change my oil on Rhino or Race ramps, and turning the wheels to full lock while up on them is probably not possible or safe. Maybe there’s enough ground clearance on the Ranger to get underneath without ramps, I haven’t actually seen one in person.

  • avatar
    JMII

    Thanks for the correction on the previous article. Still sounds kind of poorly engineered. I guess if you had to remove the wheel I would take advantage of it and do a tire rotation at the the same time.

    I have switched to doing all my oil changes after hearing too many horror stories. My buddy had a tech put the wrong oil in his truck, luckily it had a oil pressure gauge that showed something was wrong on the drive home. The number of quick lube places that understand how the dry sump in my Z51 C7 works is likely below 10% thus there is no way I’m taking the ‘Vette in.

  • avatar
    FWD Donuts

    Nice to publish a correction. That said, changing the oil on my 2014 Fusion with the 2.0 was a colossal pain in the rear end with all the different fasteners used to hold the engine shield in place. Something like 9 or 11. Should’ve had an access port.

    • 0 avatar
      lon888

      This is the reason I buy Asian cars – typically they’re easier to work on than Euro/USA cars. My wife’s Kia Optima has nice access doors on the undertray for the filter and the drain plug. Makes oil changes easy. Heck even the changing the oil on my GTI is easy. The oil filter is accessible from the top of the motor. Unfortunately, changing the oil is the only easy repair task on my GTI.

      • 0 avatar
        dukeisduke

        My only gripe with the Kia Forte (first-gen with 2.0l and 2.4 Theta) is that the filter is mounted vertically, so that as soon as the gasket isn’t in contact with the base, the oil runs down the outside of the filter – very messy.

      • 0 avatar
        jalop1991

        “This is the reason I buy Asian cars – typically they’re easier to work on than Euro/USA cars. My wife’s Kia Optima has nice access doors on the undertray for the filter and the drain plug. ”

        pshaw. Under the car?

        If you want easy to change the oil and filter, nothing beats ze Germans. Do it while wearing a tux, if you want. It’s that easy and clean.

        under the car. How barbaric.

        • 0 avatar
          raph

          I’ve never had problems with domestic cars for the most part. There are a few weird ones out there (S-10 4WD blazer for example had a remote filter). The worst that I can remember though was the late 80’s early 90’s Maxima with the V6. The filter was between the engine and firewall and was a bit of a tight fit even on a lift.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    Good on TTAC for the correction.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      Not just for correcting, but making the correction with as big a statement as the initial article. I hate it when the error is broadcast to the hills, but the correction is something you might stumble across. Kudos to TTAC for doing it right.

  • avatar
    BunkerMan

    It can’t be any worse than the oil filter on my 3.5 EcoBoost F150.

    1. The filter is mounted horizontally for some weird packaging reason.
    2. Remove 3 clips from below to access the filter.
    3. Remove weird rubber panel from the skid plate in case oil pours out at this location.
    4. As per above, depending on how level the truck is, or the phase of the moon, or who the hell knows what else, when the filter is removed, the oil will either pour out of the hole in the skid plate, or from a small trough at the front of the engine. This can not be predicted, even when the truck is in the same location as the last oil change. Two catch basins are necessary.

    I’d love to meet the engineer who came up with this set up. I have a feeling they don’t work there anymore.

    My Taurus has the same (albeit non-turbo) 3.5 engine and the filter is vertically mounted. It’s very straightforward to change the oil on that car.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      I guess they got rid of that dude for the 2.7…It is right up top and in front. 4 bolts to drop the splash shield and the much maligned plastic drain plug has never failed me and pops right out and you cant overtorque it (I have a spare just in case that set me back 7 bucks. Don’t think I’ve ever spilled a drop.

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      On my ’95 F-150 (5.0 Windsor), it was mounted horizontally on the driver’s side, accessed through a hole in the crossmember. Once you started unscrewing the filter, the oil would pour onto the crossmember, and off the back of it. It was easy to catch everything, but you had to wipe the crossmember down, too, or you’d have residual oil dripping off of it later.

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      “I’d love to meet the engineer who came up with this set up. I have a feeling they don’t work there anymore.”

      On the contrary, I bet he or she still does work there. You need look no further than the other DIY oil change comments here to find plenty of evidence of the employment of similar geniuses at many of the popular car brands.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      I’ve changed it twice on my dads F-150 3.5L EcoBoost, didnt have issues with it spilling anywhere.

  • avatar
    No Nickname Required

    Classy retraction by TTAC. I’ll be surprised to see the same thing from the myriad other news sites that published the faulty story (it’s amazing how many sites ran the story).

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Yeah AutoBlog corrected the original article, but somehow deleted it where you have to search for it to find it. And, they said it requires 9 clips to remove the access panel when it was clearly said it was 3.

  • avatar
    pdog_phatpat

    Apology accepted. And LMAO @ those still towing that “omg its still a PITA” line because its a Ford and by gosh, they just cant say they were wrong and move on.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    On the Chevy Vega you had to turn the wheel hard to the right, to move the steering linkage out of the way of the filter (horizontally mounted on the driver’s side of the block).

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      @dukeisduke, with a quart of oil with every tank of gas, my Vega pretty much changed its own oil. Panel wagon, Dark Side of the Moon prism graphics, slotted mag wheels and Jensen triaxial speakers. Lost my pukka shell necklace sometime during college.

  • avatar
    cartime

    Sierra/Silverado FTW. You won’t find that in a review though. A real screw on filter, out in the open, easily accessible without a lift. Remove plug, remove filter, replace plug, replace filter. Pour an even 8 quarts. Can’t get any simpler.

  • avatar
    jalop1991

    all you pansies.

    Old farts remember the 1980 Turbo Trans-Am.

    I win.

    • 0 avatar
      nels0300

      I win, I worked at Jiffy Lube for 8 years….or does that mean I lose? Lol.

      But yeah, a bunch of pansies. I had exhaust flex plate patterns burned into my arm. 2.2L Cavaliers, 3.8L W body regals, older Nissan Pathfinders, MR2 turbos, I’ve done all of the pain in the butt filters from the 80s-early 90s.

      This filter location really isn’t a big deal.

      Access through wheel well. Sounds like the old Toyota 4Runners.

  • avatar

    Where EBFlex is hiding? He usually is all over the place when it comes to Ford and Ecoboost. I miss him (not really).

  • avatar
    kamiller42

    Bad reports are like gossip. Once out, it’s hard to take back.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I would like to see a video on the Ranger to see how to change the oil and get to the filter. I am sure someone will find a simpler way to get to the oil filter and remove it.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • redapple: Hatch struts still work? W T Fudge? My sawed off broomstick handle was always in the back.
  • kosmo: “How’s that Ranger Raptor coming, Ford? Oh, it isn’t? I see. Thanks for the mobility scooter,...
  • dividebytube: When I’m down south I’m taken aback by the number of decent looking old trucks and even G...
  • redapple: RED…. Great catch. Love it.
  • teddyc73: What an ugly rear end.

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Timothy Cain, Canada
  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States