02 Explorer Dino oil Mobil M1 filter?

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Feb 14, 2003
Chicago, IL
I am a new here. I have an 2002 4.0L V6 Explorer with about 10k miles on it. So far I drive mainly short distance at local speed limits. I plan to try and be nice to it. I am trying to change the oil and filter and air filter myself every 3k miles and willing to spend a few bucks more for better quality. Before this vehicle I was lucky to remember to visit a lube shop at a 6k interval.

I have been using 5W-30 Quaker State or Motorcraft Super Premium (meets Ford's WSS-M2C205, but thats not the Ford spec that the owners manual recommends) oil for lack of experience and or knowledge. I think I used a Fram filter on the first oil change and then switched to Mobil M1-210 thereafter. I looked at the Bosch, PureOne, Motorcraft, and Puralator packaging info at the Autozone and figured that the M1 seemed the best on the multipass efficiency and had a solid construction.

Is using a Mobil M1 filter with Dino oil a waste of money on the filter? I have heard lots of good stories about synthetic oil, but the owners manual sorta discouraged me. So for now I am using Dino especially since they recommend a 5k break-in before switching to synthetic.

I just bought a case of 5W-30 valvoline thinking it is better than Quaker State or the Motorcraft.

Any suggestions? Should I opt for a synthetic or synth blend and stick with an expensive filter or stick with dino and save a few bucks on the filter?

Thanks - John

For just being a daily driver, I would stick to a cheaper (not cheap quality) oil filter and a good dino oil. Chevron Supreme and Pennzoil High Mileage get my vote for OTC dino oils. SuperTech (Wal-Mart brand.... believe it or not, search this board, they are great for $1.97) and Wix are great budget filters.
I would say any expensive filter with 3K oil change is a real waste. But I also think that sometimes a 3K oil change is a waste.

Maybe read a bunch of threads here....this topis is beat to death...but this IS an oil forum

And really explore, 7.5K mile or longer, oil change intervals with synthetic oil and appropriate filters...I mean if you do any highway driving there is nt need to face the hassle of changing the oil every 3K. That is a myth. Needs to die.
What did the owners manual imply about synthtic oil,I find that interesting.To me if I spend a crap load of money on a new vehicle and plan on keeping it for a long time the best lubricants and regular maintenance items I can afford go into it.
Mobil One synthetic oil & Motorcraft filter @ Wallyworld.

My change interval is April & October with about 12K miles a year.
Of the three dino oils you mentioned the Motorcraft is the best . Where is Dragboat to comment?
As Pablo mentioned there is a ton of questions just like yours here. Also there is varied information to teach you about oils and filters in general. The Mobil1 filter is a waste for only 3k miles. SuperTech makes probably the best filter for the money. Changing even Dino Oil is overkill at 3K miles with most conditions but some oils are in poor shape by then. I'd say use up your oil - but Chevron Supreme and Castrol GTX seem to be the best of dino oils. As you (and if you ) get addicted to oils and this board you are going to want to do an oil analysis (that's when it really gets addictive)
As was mentioned-strange that the manual would steer you away from synthetics.
If you've got a 2002, chances are the recommended viscosity is 5w20. If this were my 2002 Explorer, I'd opt for Mobil 1 0w30 (or the 0w20 when it comes out) and a SuperTech filter. Under your driving conditions, I'd change it twice a year—once every six months (or 7500 miles, whichever comes first.)
G-man, my wife has a 2002 Exploder w/4.0L sohc motor and I'm sure that it requires 5W-30, not the 5W-20 that most of the rest of the Ford vehicles from that model year require. By the way, the 4L sohc motor is a German made motor. I wonder if that has something to do with using the 5W-30 oil instead of the 5W-20 oil.

jwclemens ,
Use the oil you already have with either a Supertech($2) or Motorcraft($3) filter. Change it out at a reasonable interval(3k-5k).By the end of the second interval you will either be addicted to this forum and send the oil in to Terry for analysis, or make a judgement on the oil you'll next use on other peoples experiences here.


A Mobil 1 filter is overkill for such a short change interval. My advice is to use the plain old motorcraft filter, which is a very good filter, and is only $3 at Wally World.

The 4.0l V6 is one of the Ford "exception" engines from the 5w20 bit. Use a decent brand of 5w30 and that should be fine with the short intervals.

Valvoline is not terribly well regarded around here, although I have had very decent results on their durablend product. I wouldn't push the regular All Climate much past 3,000 miles though as it will thin out pretty quick. I'd use what you have and then use something like Chevron Supreme, which does a terrific job.

I think with the short trip regimen, this falls under the "Severe Duty" schedule in the Ford service intervals, which is still a 3,000 mile interval, while the regular interval is 5,000 miles. After a while if you get curious, you can join the "cult" of oil analysts and see if you can start to extend from there, just to make you comfortable!
Like spending 20 dollars on an Amsoil filter, that is what is overkill.
Were an acdelco for 3 dollars will do the trick.

Originally posted by rick:
Like spending 20 dollars on an Amsoil filter, that is what is overkill.
Were an acdelco for 3 dollars will do the trick.

Do we have data that says this is true...an 80% 25 micron removal, multiple pass tested filter is better in reducing engine wear than a 90% 10 micron removal,mutiple pass filter?Someone show me lab tested results on this,not oil samples on different engines(too many variables),but actual SAE tests and I'll switch to a cheaper filter and save a few bucks
Overkill in this case meant the Mobil 1 filter generally costs $10 or more around here. Other filters are availible for much less than this that will deal with a 3,000 mile interval just fine. Heck, there are tons of cars out there that operate on the dreaded Fram filter with regular changes just fine.

Bobs results, while certainly not the most scientific, were interesting.

I'll even note here that I use a Purolator Pure One which gets thumbs down as being too restrctive and too thin a case by some here, but my regular parts house stocks only Frams and Purolators, no motorcrafts, so that is what I use. Pure Ones only cost me $5, sometimes less on sale when I stock up!
If it were my car, I'd run Mobil 1 with a cheap Ford oil filter rather than a cheap oil and the M1 filter....You will get much better results and can run longer change intervals. I think Ford recommends 5000 miles max? - with Mobil 1 you could run that long between changes even with lots of heavy towing.

I have an '02 Explorer and I'm running M1 5w30 and have posted some results on this forum.

After much research, I decided to go with the Motorcraft filter for now, and might switch the the K&N filter. I will be posting follow up results in a couple weeks on my oil change that has 4000 miles on it.
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