How Ford Oil Requirements Have Changed Over The Last 20 Years

If it's about time to change the oil in your Ford, and you've taken to the forums to find out what oil is best for your vehicle, you’ve probably noticed that the advice is varied. This is because the oil requirements have changed in both the type and intervals when it comes to service, and here’s why.

Ford oil cap

Why Oil Recommendations Have Changed

When it comes to oiling a Ford engine, the type of oil to use and maintenance interval has changed. You might even come across a warning to not use certain types of oils that you’ve seen recommended for Ford vehicles other than yours.

The most important thing to keep in mind is the warning against using modern oils, such as SM GF-4 and SN GF-5 service rated oils, in older cars. This is because some older engines use a flat tappet camshaft. The current oils have diminished anti-scuff additives compared to previous oils that can lead to premature cam wear. This isn’t an issue with modern roller cam engines.

If you have to use modern oil in an older vehicle in a pinch, adding a ZDDP additive to the crankcase is a must. This will minimize the risk of damage to flat tappet engines.

Synthetic oil

Wondering about using synthetic oils? Check out our post here that explains your options and what you should choose.

Official Ford Oil Service Interval Recommendations

As a general guideline, Ford Motor Company recommends this oil change schedule:

  • 2008 and newer models: every 7,500 miles or every six months
  • 2007 and older models: every 5,000 miles or every six months

There are exceptions, like these less typical driving habits:

  • Towing or hauling heavy loads
  • Driving at low speeds/in a low gear for long distances
  • Driving in dusty conditions
  • Driving off-road
  • Using E85 fuel more than half of the time

When you drive with these habits regularly, Ford recommends this alternate oil change schedule:

  • 2008 and newer vehicles: every 5,000 miles or every six months
  • 2007 and older vehicles: every 3,000 miles or every three months

Oils Recommended By Ford

This may help to clear things up a little when it comes to choosing the right oil based on your vehicle. Here’s a breakdown by specification:

Ford WSS-M2C913-A

SAE 5W-30. This meets the ILSAC GF-2, ACEA A1-98, B1-98 and additional Ford requirements.

Ford WSS-M2C913-B

The Ford M2C913-B specification is released in Europe for initial fill engine oils used for lubrication of spark ignition engines using gasoline and for compression ignition diesel engines.The oil meets requirements of both the ILSAC GF-2 and GF-3 specification and the ACEA A1-98 and B1-98 specifications.

Ford WSS-M2C913-C

This is strongly recommended for all applications that currently require the specification Ford M2C913-B. The new oil provides various benefits, such as improved fuel economy and added robustness to biodiesel fuels.

Ford WSS-M2C913-D

Introduced in 2012, oils under this specification are recommended for all Ford diesel engines except Ford Ka TDCi models made before 2009 and Ford Galaxy 1.9 TDi models made between 2000 and 2006. It is especially recommended for diesel engines where M2C913-B or M2C913-C oils were initially required. An oil meeting this specification must be used in Ford Transit vehicles manufactured from 2012 on with a Duratorq 2.2 engine. Oils meeting this specification can be used with extended oil change intervals and are suitable for engines running on biodiesel or high sulfur diesel.