Mustang Oil & Filter Change Overview
Last Updated: October 20, 2020
Chances are, if you are new to the automotive, Mustang, or car world, you might not know how to change your oil and oil filter. Well, Steeda is here to help give the knowledge and expertise to become more technical with your favorite pony car. If you think about it from a constructive standpoint, your Mustang powertrain, wiring harness, and drivetrain are like the organs, fluids, and nervous system in your own body. Engine oil is like the blood pumping through your veins and into your heart; only your Mustang engine oil is the lifeblood that keeps your pony's heart running like a racehorse.
Since the Mustang debuted in the mid-1960s, enthusiasts and performance companies have pushed the boundaries on what is capable in Fords' famous pony. While adding better airflow, displacement, and forced induction is terrific to create additional horsepower and torque, without the proper supply and lubrication of oil, you won't be able to go full tilt at the road course, drag strip, or favorite canyon road. It is to enhance performance and longevity and maintain your Mustang engine vital internal components. Choosing the proper engine oil and filter is key to enabling the full potential out of your legendary Ford V8.
In decades since the Mustang launched, both the original pony car and oil technology have progressed at a staggering level. The more powerful Mustang engines have become, engine oil has had to provide the lifeblood to enable the stallion to go like hell. Nowadays, synthetic oil and oil filter technology allow Mustang enthusiasts to make tremendous horsepower and torque. Below you will find a complete comprehensive overview of how to change your Mustang oil and oil filter; to prepare you for the road ahead.
Why Is Oil So Important To Your Mustang?
Oil is single-handedly the lifeblood of the automotive industry and engine performance; without it, there wouldn't be any form of the racing, enthusiast community, or passion for the incredible engineering marvel that is the Ford Mustang. Throughout Mustang history, there have been many legendary Ford engines, which have empowered enthusiasts from all walks of life to get the most out of their iconic pony car. To accomplish this, chemical engineers have put the most valiant effort in creating synthetic oil solutions to help every Mustang and enthusiast create monstrous amounts of power while properly lubricating vital internal engine components.
An engine is essentially a giant air compressor; simultaneously, it sucks in air, and fuel is injected into the combustion chamber. A massive explosion happens throughout all eight cylinders to transmit power through the drivetrain. Your Mustang motor creates a lot of heat and friction; as the rotating assembly moves up and down in the engine block. Oil is the substance that ensures everything stays at optimal temperature levels; while providing thorough lubrication, and oil pressure are consistent throughout the RPM band. Though engine oil is widely abundant, all engine oil is not created equal. It is why you must choose wisely for your motor, to maintain proper engine functionality and to keep oil sludge at bay.
One of the first things enthusiasts must ask themselves is, “what kind of driving or racing will I do in my Mustang?” Once this question is answered, you can decide what type of engine oil you will need for your Mustang. Nowadays, it is a pretty standard practice to have synthetic oil no matter what modifications are done to your pony's engine. Remember, various oil types are not equal, and some are positioned for specific applications. So you must pick a synthetic oil that will hold up to a certain amount of heat, wear, viscosity, and additives to enable proper lubrication of your pistons, connecting rods, piston rings, and crankshaft. It will ensure that your Mustang engine will hold up to the extreme forces exerted when you're going full send on the track or street.
How Does An Oil Filter Work?
Your Mustang has many filters to keep contaminants out of vital areas, including your oil, fuel, and air intake. All of these require proper filtration to filter out harmful deposits, which could hurt your motor. Like you, your blood is vital to correct performance and health, and the ability to have an adequate amount is critical. An oil filter is like your kidneys; it is the component that filters out all of the bad bacteria and harmful contaminants that enter your body. The same thing goes for your stallion's engine; it needs pure and clean oil to help your engine cool and maintain seals between piston ring gaps and cylinder walls while absorbing contaminants. Oil filters are exceedingly essential to keep engine oil as clean as possible throughout the life of your engine.
If your Mustang engine didn't have an oil filter, it wouldn't be able to separate harmful deposits in your oil, which could affect how your engine performs, especially at higher RPMs. Over time, your motor in your pony can build up deposits such as sludge and soot that, if not properly maintained and cared for, could trigger engine detonation, which could ultimately result in your powertrain breaking down. So the way to ensure this doesn't happen is by installing a high-performance oil filter. It will cycle engine oil through while your engine runs to provide maximum oil pressure, filter out contaminants, and promote better lubrication throughout all vital internal engine components.
As your engine is running, your oil pump is responsible for proper oil circulation. At the same time, your motor runs to circulate oil throughout the block, cylinders, and pistons to promote performance. Like all fluid, gravity forces oil downwards into the engine; this is where the oil pickup comes into play. While your Mustang engine circulates its oil, it will move through the oil filter to filtrate out harmful contaminants your engine can see during a drive cycle. However, your air filter is designed to get out as much polluted air as possible; particles can still enter your engine during a drive cycle. So your oil filter is responsible for completely filtering out the remaining contaminants throughout your engine; oil will pass through one side of the filter and then reach the other side completely clean to move through all eight cylinders.
Ensure you choose a filter built to withstand high pressure and has the proper filtration system built within so that you will have reassurance it will perform when it counts most!
Steps To Change Oil & Oil Filter
In most cases for spirited driving, we recommend changing your oil in 3,000-5,000-mile intervals depending on the application you use your Mustang for, whether it is for drag racing, road racing, canyon carving, or crushing the autocross. Once you have this maintenance planned, then you can change your oil and oil filter!
- Prepping Up Your Mustang:
Before you even think about draining your oil, replacing your oil filter, and filling your pony's engine back up with fresh engine oil, you are going to need to complete a few preliminary steps.
First, if you have been driving your Mustang beforehand, you should let it sit and cool down for at least 30-45 minutes so that you don't burn yourself, and if your motor is completely cold, start it and let it run for a few minutes to get the oil cycled. It will be much easier for the oil to drain out of the oil pan once this is completed.
Second, you will need a floor jack, and jack stands if you do not have access to a two or four-post lift. You will not be able to change your Mustang oil without these tools safely; they are vital to have a proper outcome.
Finally, you will need the appropriate hand tools to complete the job; mostly, you will need a ratchet and suitable socket set; most common sockets need are a 10mm or 13mm size socket, then you will require an oil filter wrench, or you can use your hand to loosen the filter itself.
- Draining Oil:
Once you're all set up to do your oil change, you can proceed to locate your drain plug on the engine oil pan. It will always be found at the rear of the engine towards the front of the transmission. After you have located the drain plug, be sure to have a bucket or pan to let the oil drain into, then take your 10mm or 13mm socket with your rachet to loosen the drain plug. Be careful about how you screw off the drain plug because it can strip depending on the previous maintenance and servicing.
After you have removed the drain plug, be sure to allow every ounce of oil to drain out while looking for any contaminants in the oil, such as metallic flakes, debris, or foreign particles that shouldn't be deposited. If any of these are found, they are signs of severe engine wear and issues that need to be diagnosed immediately. If all the oil has drained out, go ahead and put the drain plug back into the oil pan, be sure to hand tighten with your socket and rachet, do not overtighten as you may strip the head of the drain plug.
- Oil Filter Change:
After you have completed draining your oil from your engine, we highly recommend you unscrew the oil filter and allow the residual oil to drain from the filter. Ensure that you have a good catch pan or bucket for all the fluid. Once completed, go ahead and grab your new filter; before installing it, take some fresh oil and pour it into the filter. You will also want to lubricate the top of the filter and O-ring with new oil.
Concluding these steps are finished, install the new oil filter by hand screwing it onto the receiver. Be sure to only hand screw and tighten until the seal is flush again the pickup mount. Check for any obscurities or improper fitment to be sure everything is OEM quality and correct.
- Final Steps:
Once you have completed the previous steps, you will want to ensure your oil filter and drain plug are securely fastened. The last action you will need to take is appropriately filling your synthetic oil into the top of the engine marked engine oil. Ensure OEM specifications are taken into account, and oil is at full capacity, then run your Mustang for a minute or two.; this will cycle the new oil throughout the entire engine. Finally, you will need to check oil levels with the dipstick to ensure proper oil capacity.
What Oil And Filter Should I Choose For My Mustang?
As stated, oil is the lifeblood of every Mustang on the road and track; it gives every enthusiast the ability to go full send on demand. Choosing the right oil is crucial to enabling all-out performance, horsepower, and torque from your pony's engine. So you will have to ask yourself, what are you going to use your stallion for, and how you plan to drive it? Over the last decade, companies like Royal Purple, Pennzoil, and Valvoline have pushed the edge in engine oil technology to aid racers and enthusiasts alike to give their Mustang boundless performance and reliability to every vital engine component.
We highly recommend choosing a synthetic oil over a synthetic blend or non-synthetic oil because of the tolerances and additives built within. It will add to your engine's durability, driveability and help produce more power and fewer deposits from lousy fuel or air intake contaminants. Also, choose your oil based on your engine's application, whether you have forced induction or a naturally aspirated engine. Do not squander and be negligent to your pony's heart and give the blood that it deserves to output nothing but brute American muscle!