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Old 04-04-2012
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2006 Ford Ranger -- Oil Change Philosophy

Hello Everyone,

I don't post on here too often -- and I really should post more often -- but I lurk around here quite a bit and I have a question for you guys.

I have a 2006 Ford Ranger XL 2.3L 5sp. I drive the hell out of this truck. I probably put 13k-35k miles on it a year. Most of the stuff that I do involves a lot of highway driving. It's hard on my truck to say the least.

The truck had 35k miles and when I bought it, it had always had either a ford oil change or Quaker State. Being the kind of person that I am, especially at 16 years old (this is/was my first vehicle) I did some research on the kinds of lubricants to use. I determined that the lubricant with the best cost/benefit ratio was Mobil 1. I have sometimes had to skimp on the kind of oil that I use, but I've always put either Mobil 1 or Castrol Edge Synthetic.

Some of the first things that I did when I bought my truck:

1. I replaced the engine oil, after flushing out the old oil in it by doing two oil changes in under 500 miles.

2. I bought a K&N Filter and have lubricated it myself.

3. I changed all the spark plugs.

4. I changed the differential and transmission fluid. (I used synthetic in the diff, and the best ATF that I could find that met the specifications in my Ford manual. )

5. I had the O2 and MAF sensors cleaned.

6. I had the butterfly plate on the throttle body cleaned by a ASE certified ford mechanic.

7. I've always put Shell, Exxon, or Texaco gas in it (until lately, when I discovered that Kroger's gas and Shell is essentially the same thing)

8. I use Seafoam every 3000 miles in the tank.

Needless to say, being a 16 year old kid when I bought it. (I'm 20 turning 21 now) I knew that I was going to be hard on my truck, and I was, and so I kept on top of every single little bit of maintenance that I could.

My poor little Ranger now has 75 going on 80k miles on it and I've kept up with all of the oil changes on it. The A/C doesn't work anymore (the ranger that I bought came with aftermarket A/C, because no A/C was equipped on the truck when it was built, but I didn't know that until later.) I've paid a lot of money to have the A/C fixed, and every time I do, some mechanic screws me over on A/C work. I guess that's what I get for being a penny pincher and going to "friends" and places that will be willing to do a service-for-services exchange for my IT work, which I am highly renowned in this town for.

Anywho, just to get to the meat of why I'm posting this thread. It's going on 80k miles, I've noticed that my truck has some noises coming from the valve train (sure doesn't sound like injectors) and I'm beginning to wonder if I've made some kind of a mistake along the way.

When I first got the truck I really didn't have a respect for the limits of the engine, and to be honest with you, I've hit 4k but never gone above 4.5k RPMs. I'm wondering if that's the cause.

I use 5w-30 in the winter and 10w-30 in the summer in the engine oil, because a mechanic told me to do so, despite my truck clearly saying that it takes 5w-20.

I've always been nervous about that. . . especially since, for most of the truck's life, I've used a quart of lucas-oil in it with every single oil change.

I'm wondering if the oil is too thick to get up into the hydraulic lifters and is causing some kind of tappet noise b/c of gunk, oil, sludge or some kind of dirt stuck in there.

I know that I've used the best oil, best filters (NEVER Fram, always Mobil 1 or K&N, and at the very minimum WIX), and followed my instructions to take care of my truck down to a T.

As the days go on, the truck noise gets louder and louder, and it generally quietens down as the truck warms up, but you can still hear it.

What do you guys think? Would a sound recording help? Would it help to tell you that the truck idles just a little bit rough? How about a video? Let me know whatever you need.

I've grown very fond of my truck and I do my best to take care of it, especially now that I've grown up and am not acting as irresponsibly as I did in my teenage years -- and I've had some good memories in this truck. My goal is to keep it to 500k miles on an original engine and transmission.

-- elektron
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Old 04-04-2012
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I would skip the additives.
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Old 04-04-2012
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I would use 5w-20 like ford recommends year round for one thing. Sounds like you take good care of it though.
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Old 04-04-2012
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^ That is what I was thinking. Is there any particular reason why the mechanic that I spoke to would tell me to run that weight of oil? I've had some people also tell me that I should put conventional in there because it "flows better." Scientific data proves them otherwise.

What do you guys use?
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Old 04-04-2012
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it's unlikely that using a thicker oil will cause harm, but you should always put in what the manufacturer says. they know better than your mechanic. he's probably just going with a standard weight, and maybe thought in his opinion 5w-20 was too light. it's just that his opinion on that isn't really valid.

I run mobil 1 5w-30 because that's the weight recommended in the 4.0

conventional is never better than synthetic in a regular automotive internal combustion engine. the only advantage is price.
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Old 04-05-2012
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I had an '06 Ranger from new to 100K miles. 2.3L 5 spd. I used Amsoil fully synthetic 0W20 with an Amsoil EaO filter. Only changed the oil at about 20K miles. I've done the same with my other 2 cars. Amsoil is expenseive, but it is cheaper in the long run and I don't spend as much time change the oil.
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Old 04-06-2012
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Damn! My first truck was a $700 truck that got the **** beaten out of it by the previous owner and me once I got ahold of it! 2 years straight and that 4.0L never had a problem other than pulleys. Great engines (the pushrod ones, that is). Not even a tick at almost 200k miles after all the beatings.

Unfortunately This truck i have now is the only experience I have with the 2.3L and it only has 5500 miles on it so I cant tell you what kind of maintenance routine i'm gonna be on. The only thing I ever did on all my other trucks was a quakerstate oil change with motorcraft filter every 5-8k miles.
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Old 04-08-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcollins View Post
Damn! My first truck was a $700 truck that got the **** beaten out of it by the previous owner and me once I got ahold of it! 2 years straight and that 4.0L never had a problem other than pulleys. Great engines (the pushrod ones, that is). Not even a tick at almost 200k miles after all the beatings.

Unfortunately This truck i have now is the only experience I have with the 2.3L and it only has 5500 miles on it so I cant tell you what kind of maintenance routine i'm gonna be on. The only thing I ever did on all my other trucks was a quakerstate oil change with motorcraft filter every 5-8k miles.

The people that had my truck before me put Quaker State 10w-30 conventional -- because it was cheap and it was oil. They even overfilled the damn thing, and I didn't realize it until much much later when I did my first oil change. Take it from me, use Mobil 1, with the right weight oil of course (something I neglected to do), put good filters in it.

I read an article awhile ago that was written by one of the people that designed the 2.3l duratec engine that goes into the 2001 and newer rangers. He said that the engine was really designed to run with Mobil 1 5w-20. Put that in it. It's worth it.

In hindsight, had I bought my Ranger new and knew all the things I know know about 2.3l ford rangers, I would've done the following differently:

1) Not let other people drive my truck
2) Not taught people to drive stick in my truck
3) Not revved the engine above 4k RPMs for the ---- of it.
4) Not plunged it into 3 ft of water when going to a shooting range
5) Put Mobil 1 5w-20 from the very start -- and nothing else
6) Replaced the spark plugs earlier (the ones that were on there when I got it were stock, and all kind of fouled up, I put e3's on mine) Iridium is the way to go.
7) Been more patient with my shifts.
8) Waxed my truck more often (the clear coat is coming off the bed now)
9) Purchased a really good spray-in bed liner from the onset
10) Taken better care of the brakes & put new ones on there prematurely.
(I ground out my front disks by accident. And. . . The pads that come
from ford are crap ones. Put some low-dust ceramic ones on there and you'll
be much happier, trust me)
11) Greased and sprayed off the underbody better. There were times that I would
go off road in my truck and not spray out the underbody really good. Well, that
has led to rust getting everywhere under there. I should've done a better job.
12) Kept the inside cleaner. After the time that I went off road, I didn't realize it
until later, but submerging my truck actually got mud in the cab b/c of a hole
in the bottom of the floorboard.
13) Not gone over speed bumps so fast. Now I have to replace my upper and lower
ball joints.
14) When I bought the truck, aftermarket exhaust came on it. Later, it rusted and
created an exhaust leak that sounded like crap. I traded IT work for automotive
work and the welding job under there looks like crap. I should've replaced the
tubes myself.
15) Not lived in Georgia, where everything rusts to bits. My truck is a California
ULEV spec model with Cali emissions equipment. In Cali, nothing rusts.

16) I wish I had saved up more money so that I could buy another one before they
went out of production :*(**

When I bought this truck, I knew that I would want another one. And I still do. I just hope that Ford brings back the Ranger in the sense of a typical ranger -- a small truck with lots of potential and durability. I love these trucks.
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Old 04-08-2012
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^ Oh and, addendum:

17) THE VERY FIRST THING that I should've done when I bought my truck. Got an aluminum oil plug. The Ranger comes from ford with a Aluminum pan that has a steel plug. Over time, that plug WILL get stuck in that pan. Get an Aluminum one. (When I had to get a new pan installed on my Ranger, the new pan that came directly from Ford came with an Aluminum bolt.) Take it from me, do that now. Go to your favorite auto parts store, and buy a new aluminum bolt, preferably one that has the valve in it ^_^. I can't use my new aluminum bolt with the valve b/c that will void my warranty from Ford for another year.

18) Never get your oil changed by anybody anywhere. Always do it yourself. If someone else changes your oil, odds are that they will torque down the oil bolt too much and put the filter on too tight.

19) If you must get your oil changed by someone, don't do it at Wal-Mart or at a small time auto-shop. Go to Ford.
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Old 04-08-2012
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If the engine was designed to run Mobil1, then how come Ford uses Motorcraft synthetic blend oil? Which is what I'll continue to put in my new truck, along with a motorcraft filter.
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Old 04-08-2012
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Originally Posted by pcollins View Post
If the engine was designed to run Mobil1, then how come Ford uses Motorcraft synthetic blend oil? Which is what I'll continue to put in my new truck, along with a motorcraft filter.
He went round with ford about that for quite some time, apparently. He said it was to keep maintenance costs down. If I can find the article, I'll post it here. I don't expect you to take my word for it.
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Old 04-08-2012
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people on this site are really gay for motorcraft products. i'm sure they're fine, but mobil 1 is a better oil and that's what I believe.
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Old 04-09-2012
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I just prefer to put what came out back in. I run my oil 5000 miles. Not long enough to justify any synthetic oil really.

Something like balljoints and tie rods? I'll put MOOG parts in because they are quality but have grease fittings unlike OEM.
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