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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
These fourms have been so helpful for me so far about my upcoming purchase of the 2012 FF. I know it has probably been posted before but when I searched I could not find a COMPLETE oil change how to guide. Will somebody please post a step by step guide (with pics) on how to do an oil change. Thanks so much. I know I am a rookie noobie but there are others that are wondering this too![wiggle]
 

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One issue of changing the oil is havinga really GOOD oil catching device.
There are all sorts of them, from old frying pans to cardboard boxes (bad bad idea)
The very best device i have ever used is this stylehttp://www.amazon.com/Wedco-W77-PAN-DRAIN-CONT12-5QT/dp/B0002JMA2K/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1316729970&sr=8-3It is low, can carry pretty much oil, and itself has a pour spout easy to use.
The yellow insert pops out and spins onto the body, then stores away nice.
For do it yourself oil changes where you are getting under the car, it is the BEST. Place it on one of those $1 rug samples. the nthe rug gets the wear sliding around on concrete, not the oil drain pan.
period. I change it HOT. i park the car on the ramps, and get under and pull the drain plug and it is HOT. Usually I just drop the drain plug into the tray..
I let it cool about a half an hour before pulling the filter, So i let it drain all that time and stick the plug back in when I do the filter.

Mine (oil drain tray) was stolen from the garage, and I searched for one, when I found one again, I bought TWO. just in case. It is THAT GOOD.
(and the drain tray will stop the drain bolt if you drop it, from falling into the inner oilpan. Nice.

Then for the filter, buy the plastic gizmo that fits the notches to remove the old one.
ALWAYS put the new filter on only hand tight!! do NOT use any tool to 'tighten' it up hard. hand tight is my weak little girl hands tight... that is all. (I actually have a little soft rubber cup I use because i have poor hand strength, but if you have normal hands, just hand tight is great... Actually way too tight will make it leak!!!
Before you put the NEW filter on, make certain you pull the rubber seal ring off and oil the entire thing, then slip it back on the top of the filter.
Is is better to fill the filter with some oil, (but it is NOT neccessary, just nicer for the engine) if it is too hard to do, skip it, usually the filter will take a little then I have to wave it around to get the oil into the filter material. so it takes a few minutes to fill. But IF prefilled, then the engine does not have no oil for a few moments while the pump is filling up the empty filter you stuck on. Like i said, not a BIG deal, just nice if you care.
Use the correct tool to remove and replace the drain plug. DO NOT USE an adjustable wrench. The drain bolt is a 15mm bolt head.

Do not forget to put the new oil in. Starting an engine with no oil WILL KILL IT DEAD in about five minutes. (maybe a little longer at idle, but trust me DO NOT DO IT.)
So say you drain it and plan on putting the oil in tomorrow.. bad idea.. really bad idea.
When you fill the engine, use a funnel. really. saves pouring a pint all over the engine....
Oh yeah, a roll of paper towels too. clean up the drain bolt before sticking it back on, any drips, your hands...a must.
I made small ramps out of 2x4 type wood, but 8" by 2" pine, sawed off an angled edge, and doubled them up with bolts. so i have a ramp goes up 2" the a foot forward then 2" more for a foot forward and a bump stop. Just enough extra to get under the car. perfect. I have had the same ramps for 15 years now that i made.

these are my little general hints. [angel]
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
THanks for all the advice. It will be helpful. But I am a complete rookie and I don't even know where the plug is under the car. If you or somebody who has done one themselves cause post pics that would be great. Also. Do u need a special tool to get the bottom cover off to get to the oil drain?
 

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Does the drain plug use a crush washer / is a new crush washer required?
The drain plug on my Contour was reused at least 35 times over 110,000mi
it came with a built in rubber grommet washer, which never needed changing.
I assume (with some confidence) the Focus is going to be the same. Just wipe off the drain plug area with a paper towel, and the drain plug too, before reinserting.
As for the bottom cover: Torx #30 is what you need to remove the screws for the shield. Only the rear half of the two part shield under the front of the 2012 Focus needs to be removed.

One reason to use the exact correct wrench on the drain bolt is to tighten it down. You want it TIGHT, but not damaged. A 15mm spanner with a leverage of eight inches is what you want to apply to the drain plug with one hand, 'hard as you can' one handed on a eight inch wrench is good. (and NOT Arnold Schwarznegger hand either..). No long arm (24") lever to snap off the bolt... Yeah it should be tight, but not crazy tight.. LOL (i use Craftsman 10" leverage tool, and it is right for me as i am a weak girlie..)
Especially for a first time do-er. the understanding of how tight is tight is important. Like the first time you take the drain plug out, (and the filter) they are probably going to be really tight. You do not have to make the new filter, nor the drain plug that tight. (anD you may need a wrench tool with that plastic Filter tool to get the original filter off, or one from a dealer or oil change place. They often overtighten them. Ditto the drain plug.

A newbie wants to know where the stuff is, but knowing how hard to tighten is really as important.
PS I do not know where the stupid drain plug is either.. One thing I DO know: it IS going to be on the lowest point of the engine sump. probably on an edge, at an angle


And put something on the floor to catch drips and sloppyness. i have done this stuff a LOT, and never fails some mess is made.. And wipe up the oil that gets on the concrete with the paper towels...
 

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THanks for all the advice. It will be helpful. But I am a complete rookie and I don't even know where the plug is under the car. If you or somebody who has done one themselves cause post pics that would be great. Also. Do u need a special tool to get the bottom cover off to get to the oil drain?
I don't mean to sound like a jerk so please don't interpret it that way. If you want to do basic maintenance on your car and it's available where you live, I suggest you enroll in a workshop or class at your local community college or community center on basic auto maintenance and the tools and supplies you will need. Oil changes are really simple to do and having an experienced teacher help explain and show what to do would be a better learning experience than relying on what you read here. Not that the advice or explanations here aren't accurate, it's just better to see it done, do it yourself and log some hands on before you tackle your own car. At least you will be prepared when the oil gushes out the drain hole and spills all over your garage floor. That happened to me the first time and I bet it happened to a lot of folks here their first time. Another suggestion is to visit a local service station or auto repair shop and see if they will let you observe an oil change. The drain plug and filter set up is basically the same on all cars, the only thing different on your Focus will be removing the air shield, which requires a Torx 30 driver. Good luck.
 

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As stated above, don't over tighten. If you were planning on doing your own work for a long time to come I'd suggest a torque wrench, and a proper service manual will specify how tight it needs to be. OR you could just do when feels right.

If you haven't done much mechanical work yourself before I recommend having a family member or friend with experience help you out. Not only to give you tips but it's also nice to have a ride if you need to go buy a new part or tool (this is more of an issue on older cars where plastic parts are brittle and break easily). [:I]

And for a funny little story: I had a friend that had an older infinity when we were starting college. I was letting him use my tools/ garage to change the oil, a little while after he started he asked me if the oil was supposed to look red. He was accidentally draining the transmission fluid. [:0]
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I don't mean to sound like a jerk so please don't interpret it that way. If you want to do basic maintenance on your car and it's available where you live, I suggest you enroll in a workshop or class at your local community college or community center on basic auto maintenance and the tools and supplies you will need. Oil changes are really simple to do and having an experienced teacher help explain and show what to do would be a better learning experience than relying on what you read here. Not that the advice or explanations here aren't accurate, it's just better to see it done, do it yourself and log some hands on before you tackle your own car. At least you will be prepared when the oil gushes out the drain hole and spills all over your garage floor. That happened to me the first time and I bet it happened to a lot of folks here their first time. Another suggestion is to visit a local service station or auto repair shop and see if they will let you observe an oil change. The drain plug and filter set up is basically the same on all cars, the only thing different on your Focus will be removing the air shield, which requires a Torx 30 driver. Good luck.
. I did indeed look into this. My local CC doest have anything automotive classes at all[slap]. And I guess it is safety code everywhere that during oil change you have to stay in the car. But one resource I used and abuses[nutkick] was YouTube :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
As stated above, don't over tighten. If you were planning on doing your own work for a long time to come I'd suggest a torque wrench, and a proper service manual will specify how tight it needs to be. OR you could just do when feels right.

If you haven't done much mechanical work yourself before I recommend having a family member or friend with experience help you out. Not only to give you tips but it's also nice to have a ride if you need to go buy a new part or tool (this is more of an issue on older cars where plastic parts are brittle and break easily). [:I]

And for a funny little story: I had a friend that had an older infinity when we were starting college. I was letting him use my tools/ garage to change the oil, a little while after he started he asked me if the oil was supposed to look red. He was accidentally draining the transmission fluid. [:0]
Haha that is funny. Probably one of those "OH $HIT" moments![facepalm]. I thought you were going to say that he was bleeding. [popcorn]
 

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One reason to use the exact correct wrench on the drain bolt is to tighten it down. You want it TIGHT, but not damaged.
Thank you for the advice about how to properly use a wrench but...

The reason that I asked is that my 2 previous cars did use a crush washer and I have yet to change the oil on the Focus. Not knowing if the Focus uses a crush washer and not knowing how to use a wrench are 2 different things entirely.

FWIW, I have rebuilt my fair share of engines.

Perhaps the fact that I know what a crush washer is should have told you that I know which end of a screwdriver to hold.
 

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My professor always goes on about how the rising costs of oil has gotten so high that its almost a waste of time to change your own oil, cause you're not really saving all that much money. But from the amount of people on here saying they change their own oil I'm gonna assume that hes either wrong or that you guys do it to ensure that the job is done perfectly and only the best product is put back in your engine. Thats why I love these forums, you'll always find people who take the extra step just to make sure their whip is running smooth
 

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My professor always goes on about how the rising costs of oil has gotten so high that its almost a waste of time to change your own oil, cause you're not really saving all that much money. But from the amount of people on here saying they change their own oil I'm gonna assume that hes either wrong or that you guys do it to ensure that the job is done perfectly and only the best product is put back in your engine. Thats why I love these forums, you'll always find people who take the extra step just to make sure their whip is running smooth
The advice given above about taking a class is really good advice. If there is no class join a local focus club, or mustang club and get to know the guys a little bit. then ask someone that does their own to come help you learn how to do yours. People can put up instructions all day long (and what is here is very good) but until you do it yourself it will be semi-understood greek to you. having someone there telling you what to do gives you the chance to get instant feedback on questions that are sure to come up. working on a car is good fun but if you do it wrong you will ruin your car and your hands.

I normally do my own tune-ups / oil changes and other car work but if I don't have time or don't want to be bothered with it I have a shop that I 100% trust that I pay to do it. I have been doing car work off and on since I was about 12 (started out helping my dad work on the family car) so while I still enjoy it sometimes a lot of the time I just have too many other things to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Would you say that your local Ford dealer would do a great job. Because I think for the first few changes, I want them to do it because they can spot something wrong on the whole car in general. And after watchig jiffy lube horrors idk where to go!
 

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Thank you for the advice about how to properly use a wrench but...

The reason that I asked is that my 2 previous cars did use a crush washer and I have yet to change the oil on the Focus. Not knowing if the Focus uses a crush washer and not knowing how to use a wrench are 2 different things entirely.

FWIW, I have rebuilt my fair share of engines.

Perhaps the fact that I know what a crush washer is should have told you that I know which end of a screwdriver to hold.
Gee, you ask this in a thread started by a person who has no clue how to do an oil change. What did you expect? Any answers are going to be geared to the op's level of understanding.. it IS his thread after all.
[angel]
Sorry you felt insulted. The idea because you called something by a name does not mean anything. "knowing it was a crush washer" jeez. I would think you might have prefaced your question with: "i am an automotive genius, and rebuild engines and all, but i have this little question".. THEN maybe the answer would have been geared to match your opinion of yourself.
Secondly, questions get answered for a general audience, and not JUST for the asker, so it may not fully apply to the person asking the question. Since a LOT of other folks will be reading the post. i have always tried to answer for the larger audience. If you think the answer was just pointed at you, personally, then your ego IS bigger than your 'screwdriver', fer' sure. [giggle]

So also sorry to divert the thread, but this needed a response IMO. [nutkick]
And yeah, I am a b_____. [neener]
 

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I just want to recommend using a torque wrench and torquing the oil plug to spec. (Anyone know what the spec is for the 2012?)

And most importantly, when using a torque wrench remember that Nm is not equal to ft-lbs. I found that one out the hard way. :(

Another good tip is using those cheap latex gloves so you don't get as much grime on you.
 

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SEE ALSO:

http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=263472&highlight=oil+change&page=5

The pictures are not in order so read carefully.
Bill

I'm running off to a meeting so I may have to append this later . . . . but nothing speaks like pictures.

Bottom line is . . . . it'd be "not much fun" if you were working without the car in the air. BUT . . I (that's my personal opinion) would NEVER cut the shield.

Once you get the car up (and good ramps would do a pretty fair job of it . . but you ain't doing the "slide under" unless you are about 6'-2" and 97#) it's a no brainer.

The shield is secured by a roughly 8 T-30 screws. It comes off and goes on easily.

NOTE: Photos ended up in reverse order and I've got to run . . start at the bottom and scroll up if you are a person bound by serial order.



BE SURE YOU USE THE CORRECT FILTER . . . that "S" on the end appears to be important.




THOSE ARE ALL 8 OF THE SCREWS THAT SECURE THE SHIELD































 

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Great pics Bill. Thanks for posting them.[thumb]
I am going to do my first oil change on my new 2012 Focus this weekend. At 1,000mi is early but i am just wanting to do it..
 

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what is the purpose of that shield on the bottom? I would imagine that it is to keep dirt out or to improve aerodynamics but damn looks like it would keep a fair amount of heat in as well .
 

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These fourms have been so helpful for me so far about my upcoming purchase of the 2012 FF. I know it has probably been posted before but when I searched I could not find a COMPLETE oil change how to guide. Will somebody please post a step by step guide (with pics) on how to do an oil change. Thanks so much. I know I am a rookie noobie but there are others that are wondering this too![wiggle]
I read the other posts and I found them a little confusing. I will try to help you through a step by step.
1. Purchase a set of carbon fiber ramps, a large metal or plastic oil collection pan, Torx #30 screwdriver, good shop light, 15mm box end wrench or a socket set with metric sockets included, an oil filter wrench that the handle swivels to 45 degrees, buy the smaller loop wrench, a funnel, some shop rags, rubber or single use latex gloves, 5 quarts of 5W-20 semi synthetic (that's what comes in the car) or full synthetic motor oil and a Motorcraft FL-910S oil filter, available at Wal Mart.
2. Drive your car for about 20 minutes to heat the oil, this will help it flow out easier and more will drain. You never get all of the oil out of the engine, a few ounces stay on the cylinder walls, in the bottom of the oil pan...
3. Drive the car slowly on to the ramps, be careful not to go off the end.
4. Open the hood (make sure it's not going to hit anything above) and remove the oil filler cap by turning it to the left about 3/8 of a turn. I believe this helps drain the oil by allowing air to enter, maybe it does, maybe it doesn't, but it make me feel good. I have a piece of thick mil plastic I put down on the floor. Light your work area under the car and slide under the car. Using the Torx driver, remove the 8 screws holding the air shield. Slide it back slightly and it will drop, use both hands. Don't worry it's very light. Move the shield from under the car and make sure you put the screws in a safe place.
5. Find the oil drain plug. It is in the center rear of the oil pan (see pic posted earlier, thanks CourtneyNYC). Place the oil collection pan under the drain plug. Make sure you have the front of the pan under the drain hole and the back of the pan further back. When you pull the plug, oil is going to gush out about 8 to 10 inches, (that's where I made my first mistake about 39 years ago). Loosen the drain plug slightly. Remember rightsy tightsy, leftsy loosey, or, turning to the right tightens the bolt, left loosens it. If the bolt doesn't start to loosen, check to make sure you're turning it the correct way, as mentioned before, you can break the bolt head off. At this point only loosen the drain plug slightly so it can be turned by hand.
6. With your rubber glove on, turn the drain plug out slowly. Oil will begin to drip, flow slightly and when it unscrews all the way, this is when the hot oil will gush, (this is why I like thick rubber gloves) pull your hand out of the way fast so the oil doesn't splash off your glove or just drop the plug in the oil collection pan, you can fish it out later.
7. I like to let the oil drain for 30 minutes, that might be excessive, but it's how I do it.
8. Locate the oil filter (again see photo). As mentioned before the factory filter may be on really tight. Swivel your filter wrench so the handle is at a right angle to the loop. Think about which direction you will need to turn it off to the left and place the loop over the filter. Use both hands if needed to tighten the loop around the filter and give the handle enough space to turn about 1/4 turn. Again, all you have to do it loosen it enough to be able to turn it by hand. By this time the oil pan should have stopped flowing and only dripping. If it's large enough, carefully pull the collection pan (hot oil sloshes easily) so it's still under the drain hole and under the filter. You may have to wait until the drain plug is back in to move the collection pan under the filter. I have a collection pan and a small dish pan for under the filter.
9. With your rubber glove on, slowly begin turning the oil filter. Oil will begin to spill out from the top of the filter. Turn it off about 1.5 rotations and let that oil drain into the pan. After it stops draining, turn the filter about 8 or 10 rotations until it's all the way off. Be careful here because the filter will be slippery and easy to drop, also try to keep the top of the filter as level as possible because oil will spill out. Place the filter open end down in the collection pan. Check the area where the oil filter seats with the siphon tube to make sure the old filter gasket didn't separate from the old filter and is still attached. Fish out the drain plug if it dropped in the collection pan, wipe it off and make sure the plug is clean.
10. After a sufficient draining time, clean any oil from around the drain area, wipe off the drain plug and now this is very important, screw the oil drain plug back in until it's finger tight. Make sure it's threaded on straight and not cross threaded. Carefully slide the oil collection pan out so there's no chance of bumping or kicking it. Tighten the oil drain plug snugly and don't over tighten.
11. Take some clean oil and moisten the new filter's rubber gasket using your finger. With a lint free rag clean the filter area. Turn the new oil filter on the round threaded siphon tube only until the gasket seats with the metal. Visually note the lettering in front of you and turn the filter by hand 3/4 of a turn, maybe a little more, but not much more. Replace the air shield making sure you don't over tighten the screws. Remove any tools, lights, rags or friends from under the car. Now you are done under the car. Do not start the car yet. Leave it on the ramps.
12. Place your funnel in to the filler hole. Fill with 5 quarts of new oil. (Thanks to my obsessive compulsive tendencies, I have found to get the oil to perfectly at the top of the cross hatching on the dip stick it takes 5 quarts and 4 ounces. Don't worry, I'll be OK someday). Filling with 5 quarts is just fine, that takes it to about 1/8" below the top of the cross hatching. Anywhere within the cross hatched area is OK. Replace the filler cap and turn so it's in and fully seated. Back in the 70's my brother got Midas to buy him a new engine because they neglected to replace the filler cap. The cap was found on a work bench in their shop.
13. Start the car. At this point you will see the oil light come on and you may hear some knocking noise. That's normal, it takes a second for the new oil to flow into the engine. Close the hood and carefully back off the ramps. Let the engine run for a few minutes and with a flashlight look down at the filter from behind the radiator (careful not to touch the turning fan blades) to check for leaks at the filter and look under the car at the drain plug. One thing I do is drive for a little bit, park the car and come out in an hour or so to check the garage floor for drips and look at the filter. Check the oil level on the dip stick.
I keep 1 gallon plastic jugs from windshield wash to store the oil until I take it to the recycling center. Place a absorbent rag or old towel under the jug and use your funnel to pour the oil into the jug, once again be careful, it can get away from you very easily. Prop the old filter in the funnel to drain the oil into the jug.
Well, I think that’s it. I hope that helps, good luck.
Other Members, if I forgot anything, please feel free to add info.
 
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