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Discussion Starter #1
Well I did my first 2012 Focus oil change today.

Raised car with my old ramps, (about 3.5 inches) Just enough upwards added for me to slide under and remove underbody shield. as said 8 screws, #30 torx head.
The rear of the shield has a slight 'hold. so take out the rear ones first, then front, as the rear will not fall down. (Putting the shield back is a little awkward, as it is hard to figure out where/how the rear sits up so it does not fall down. I had to get it up there, then try to align the FRONT screwholes and after a bit the rear would stay up with whatever it slip into a little bit.) then with the rear not falling down, I could screw up the front first (five) and the rear (three) after.(since i had little room UNDER, I really could not go to the back and see, and as i had no extra light, that also did not help seeing what held the rear up)
I really was stretching out the max to reach the rear shield screws with the minumum height ramps i use.

Anyway the real suprise was unscrewing the drain bolt, [bigcry] and the hot oil squirted out, NOT down, not sideways, STRAIGHT OUT to the rear. falling about only two inches in the first FOOT straight out the side. Suffice to say I was taken by suprise, and spilled some onto the floor before moving the drain pan..

Next time i will have the pan much closer, and perhaps devise some shield or funnel to catch the 'highly motivated' oil before it shoots well PAST the catch basin.
It was funny to be suprised like that. (took awhile to clean the floor up afterwards too.) ((WHY did they make the drain plug sideways???? ))

The other problem was the filter would not budge. i only had one of the plastic bottom grabber tools, and it would NOT turn the stuck on original filter. So I changed the oil and left the filter, as I did not want to try and stab it with a screwdriver and twist, as if THAT failed... Jeez. So I left it. (Just an excuse to change the oil sooner AGAIN anyway.)
I went out after and bought a filter tool that has a band that locks on the body, That tool has to be the smaller one, of the two sizes available...

Once the shield is off, the drain plug and the oil filter are easy to see.

Anyway, got it back together. Added the new Mobil One, Started it up. smooth... really smooth. I love the way an engine sounds and feels (through the wheel etc) right after an oil change.

So it was a success. And being a lazy 62 year old bag, i did OK. Several other older folks saw me down n the garage and mentioned it is not very expensive for a oil chage place... LOL!
I told them I enjoy doing it... (that is what I tell myself..)

Afterwards, my manual tranny starts from a stop are easier. The engine seems to hesitate a tiny bit less. And it may be i am just getting in tune with the clutch and all, but it is getting easier to start off and not have to give it much extra gas to takeoff.

The final thing is a oil drain tray with a small lip (like mine) is NOT very good. you want a big tall-walled tray to catch the oil. It is really spitting out sideways hard, when the plug is pulled. (and naturally as the oil drains, the stream begins to arc more naturally down. until empty..)
[woot]
 

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Wow! Sorry it was such a PITA! I know some other Ford vehicles have extremely overtightened oil filters from the factory so it's not just you!

BTW, big kudos for you being 60 something young and also enjoy the satisfaction. My wife likes doing hers too. ;)
 

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Elizabeth ... nice write up, thanks. Now all I need is a few more miles before it's my turn.

[cheers]
 

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Thanks so much for the oil squirt direction warning! That's all I need is another oil spot in our driveway. I think before doing mine I'll cut open a milk jug or wiper fluid jug and affix it into my drain pan somehow.

I used to use one of those rubber jar openers to get the filter off my car and motorcycle, but I eventually ran into one that was too stubborn as well. I found a very cheap wrench that works like a set of channel-lock pliers at the local Harbor Freight store. It's worked really well, even in the tight area of my motorcycle. I've heard about the screwdriver trick as well but I always thought it would end up being way too messy.

How tight were the torx screws? Would a cordless screwdriver be usable for getting them out & in?
 

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The Torx screws on ours were tight but easily manageable by hand at least for me anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
How tight were the torx screws? Would a cordless screwdriver be usable for getting them out & in?
The shield torx screws were very easy to remove. They are slightly harder to install, as you do need to get the tip of the screw INTO the fastener in the bodywork.
I used a fancy multi-tip screwdriver with a built in ratcheting device. (I have like a hundred tips)
No problem at all with the Torx. I checked them all a second time to snug them up before I left them alone.. I would not use a high powered device to tighten them fully. taking them out, no problem, getting them into place: By HAND, (the area around each is easy to mistakenly stick the screw into and just DRILL it in anyway. You can feel/see the real opening for the screw, and the hole in the shield is big, so you CAN see into it and see the right spot to stick the screw.) and then final tightening by hand, or if the tool has a low torque limiting device...

All those fast oil change places are going to flip having to take off and replace the aero under shield... Plenty of folks are going to have them left off by those places. IMO. (so if you use a fast oil change place, make certain they do it right, and not cut up or toss out your aero underbody engine cover.) (( they should just charge a buck extra for the aero shield work, and guarantee it will be put back on right!!)

(In my former 1999 Contour, the shield in-chassis parts came loose after a year or so from new, i roughly glued them into the chassis body with 50 year house caulk, and never another issue (10 years of weathering, no problem)
 

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I'm not doubting that Elizabeth had this problem, but I've changed my oil and it drained straight out when I did it. My first change was done for free at 1200 miles by the quick lube at the dealership and I changed it over to full synthetic after 200 more miles. The filter the dealership tech put on was was way too tight, but I got it off with my right angle filter wrench. Some folks say it doesn't matter, but I feel that leaving the old filter on is not the best thing to do. Even though it's a only a cup or two, it leaves some of the old oil in the engine. Also, depending on how long you plan on going between your next oil change, if you have any engine issues, your warranty repair can be declined if the original generic filter is still on the car after 10,000 miles. I doubt that will be an issue in her case.

How tight were the torx screws? Would a cordless screwdriver be usable for getting them out & in?
My experience was the screws weren't all that tight and not very long, no need for a cordless drill, unless you want to use it to remove the screws quickly. Be careful if you use the drill to install, the anchors are plastic and may strip easily.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm not doubting that Elizabeth had this problem, but I've changed my oil and it drained straight out when I did it. .
Did you do it HOT. I changed it 15 minutes after driving the car.
Perhaps if the oil is not hot, it may act thicker, and not spurt out?
Did you do it hot, or engine cool? Just curious.
 

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Did you do it HOT. I changed it 15 minutes after driving the car.
Perhaps if the oil is not hot, it may act thicker, and not spurt out?
Did you do it hot, or engine cool? Just curious.
Yes, very hot, at full operating temperature. I have a 12 mile city, highway, freeway loop I drive to heat the oil. I have everything set up and ready to go and get right to draining the oil. It comes out fast and hot.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Here is a gizmp a lot of folks who use them like.
Even Ford truckers..
http://www.amazon.com/Fumoto-F-106N-Engine-Drain-Valve/dp/B003T7XUE4/ref=sr_1_2?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1316910031&sr=1-2
I think it would be perfect, as it would stick out backward, and be shielded by the aero undershield.
My only fear is if it leaked.. (but everyone who uses them say years of use, on multiple cars and they are great.)
So just having to make certain to get the correct size...
It would certainly solve making a mess!!
 

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I changed the oil on mine today (@ just over 1200 miles). Everything went pretty much as you described. Taking the shield off and putting it back on wasn't an issue. I learned about the oil shooting out, not down, from my old Explorer. It had the drain plug in a similar position. That was fun! A filter wrench made easy work of removing the factory filter.

I too used Mobil 1 5w20 with a Mobil 1 filter. Afterwards, the engine does feel like it's running noticeably smoother.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I emailed Fumoto asking what valve to buy for 2012 Focus. Thier site does not have a listing for it. When I hear, i will post it
 

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Why are you changing your oil so soon. ?
My first oil change is at 20000 Km or 1 year depending on which comes first.
Here we get free oil changes and service for 5 years or 90000 km whichever comes first and 4 years 120000 Km guarantee.
All my previous vehicles were at 15000 km or 1 year but the Focus is 20000 Km.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Why are you changing your oil so soon. ?
My first oil change is at 20000 Km or 1 year depending on which comes first.
Here we get free oil changes and service for 5 years or 90000 km whichever comes first and 4 years 120000 Km guarantee.
All my previous vehicles were at 15000 km or 1 year but the Focus is 20000 Km.
Car madness. Plain and simple.
I just like the engine to have fresh oil. I already plan on changing it again at another 2,000mi because i did not change the filter.
After that i will wait a little longer I guess. maybe 5,000mi between changes with Mobil One.
No problem in my mind for folks who think changing it too often is crazy. I fully agree. And do it anyway. [thankyou]
 

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Did you open the oil fill cap prior to draining? I ask because another member and I changed his oil and no abnormal issues. Also first oil change in his new car...
 

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Here in South Africa we have to check the oil once a week and top up if necessary.
We are not allowed to change the oil or filter during the guarantee period, It has to be done by Ford Dealerships. I'ts strange how things work differently in different parts of the world.
By the way my engine drank about 200ml of oil during the first 300 km but since than I've done another 1600 km and it has not used any more. (this is good, I like)
If I was allowed to change the oil I would probably do it every 10 000 km or six months.
 

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...The final thing is a oil drain tray with a small lip (like mine) is NOT very good. you want a big tall-walled tray to catch the oil. It is really spitting out sideways hard, when the plug is pulled. (and naturally as the oil drains, the stream begins to arc more naturally down. until empty..)
[woot]
Elizabeth,

What works really well for me, is the bottom cut out of a 5 gallon oil bucket. You can get under there, and with latex gloves on, you can anticpate the side-ways stream, by tilting up the catch-can.

Note that it is good business to start with a really well cleaned-out catch can, and then, when you pour out the freshly changed oil, look closely at the dregs as you pour it out into your for-disposal container. You might see some moisture, or some crappy stuff (if you have gone too far between oil changes... hopefull not!). Leastwise, it's good to see what the oil looks like, to get a hint of whether there are specific problems...

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I decided to do a second oil change to get rid of the original filter. (which I could not get off with the tools i had on hand back then)
So at 2,000 mi I did a scond oil change. NO PROBLEMS. Did not spill a single drop of oil. Finished much faster too.
I arranged the oil tray high up so the oil could shoot out sideways and no problem.
Got the OEM filter off with a better wrench. Prefilled the new one too.
The aero shield was easier to remove and replace. Noted two of the eight screws are longer.I assume they must be for the farthest outside 'middle' screws (I never noticed that two were longer last time..
Now my motor is smooooooooooooth sounding.
It may seem a waste to change it so soon. Agree. I just wanted to get the original filter off. So blowing another $23 to get '100%' Mobil One Advanced Fuel Economy Oil in there. worth it to me.
So NOW I can let the oil alone for awhile! [angel]
 

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I just did my first oil change at 1,040 miles.
Right after the break in period. Perfect to get the old conventional out of there. I went with what I like and what I have been using in my past vehicles (Pennzoil Ultra full-synthetic 5w20). I went with a Ford FP910S filter. They can go 10k from the factory so might as well stick with what the user manual says.

Only issues I didn't quite like is that panel underneath, the spots to Jack the car up aren't perfect and doesn't seem to have a spot to use a regular flat floor Jack so I used the one for the spare tire which is perfect, and that the original oil filter was on sooooooooooo stinking tight. After muscling on it for a while and getting a good grip I was able to loosen it. My next change should go even faster since I know what I can expect and what it looks like under the Focus.
 
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