Motorcraft 5W20 - Underrated? Overlooked?

Joined
Sep 19, 2004
Messages
576
Location
Tennessee
On my most recent trip to my local Ford dealer (for routine maintenance), I asked the counter service advisor, the following question: "What was the greatest odometer mileage of a 4 cylinder Ford that they see come into their dealership, for routine maintenance?" The answer, surprised me a bit. He said, "that's easy, we have a courier parts running, Ford Ranger that comes in on a regular basis with over 750,000 miles on it. We also have a woman who comes in regularly with an older Ford Focus with between 500,000 - 600,000 miles. The body is starting to fall apart, but the engine is still running strong. Both come in for Motorcraft 5W20 Blend." I was surprised, mostly, because most of us don't think of either of those vehicles for likely candidates to see that kind of odometer mileage. Maybe a handful of Toyotas or Hondas, but not Rangers or Focus. When I looked at the Ford Focus forum, the person with the highest odometer mileage in a survey, responded to me that he used "only" the dealer sourced Motorcraft oil. He lives around Toronto and had 400,000 miles on a 2001 Focus Zetec. That statement made me initially think, "duh, well all the vehicles that come in for Motorcraft Blend." Upon thinking about it, those mileage figures are impressive for any vehicle, or motor oil, much less, a low dollar motor oil. Maybe real world experience trumps the UOA's that we are so quick to argue about. On one of the Ford F150 forums, I dug up the following quote from one of the members, from a few years back: "Motorcraft oil 5W20 will have for a base, an acid washed white Gp III base oil that is extremely pure. According to the techs I have spoken with, it's about 50% synthetic base blended oil. In the formulation you'll find averages 80 ppm moly which comes into play on parts where the temps exceed 305F. That would be like cylinder walls, pistons, etc. It makes a major difference in the life of an engine and is a fabulous thing to have in the formulation. You'll find boron averages at 230 ppms. Boron is a multifunction additive in that it is a detergent and a friction modifier. Oils using boron are going to provide better engine life and better fuel mileages. Motorcraft, I'm hearing now is using a splash of nano-borates. While I haven't personally seen it, and it certainly isn't going to flash out in spectroscopy, if it's there, it's like the titanium in other oils. It brings more lubricity to the oil. You'll also find the newer magnesiums in Motorcraft oils. These are used as a detergent, but primary use is to stabilize the base over longer periods. It doesn't take much of it to work. Amsoil is now using it so they can get their extended drain intervals. Amsoil is using about 15 ppms and Motorcraft is at 10 average. It's been long suspected that Ford is subsidizing the Motorcraft oils. I can believe it. For the price you are paying and the value of the components in the bottle, it's a major bargain. It shows some of the lowest wear metals in spectroscopy and is built to go the recommended distances that are in the current owners manuals. You can certainly pay more for an oil but it's doubtful that it will equal Motorcraft. Yeah, it's really that good." On this forum a couple of years back, ModularV8, came to the same conclusion. He mentioned how 1) Ford is consistently, one of the worlds top R&D spenders, year in and year out & and that Ford is said to be "subsidizing" this oil. 2) the non standard Boro nitrides used, and the 3) purity of this "group II/II+ or group III" of the base oil involved. Sounds like a motor oil that is "sand bagging it." More to it, that is on the surface. I will also add, Google the "hero F150 engine" on Youtube. It makes a strong argument for using Motorcraft blend, after that Ecoboost engine was tortured and disassembled for the world to see at the Detroit auto show. Makes me wonder if the engine was designed for the motor oil, or the motor oil was formulated for the EcoBoost?Or does it really matter? Personally, I'm driving a 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid, with 111,000 miles on the clock. Has had Motorcraft 5W20 Blend, every 5,000 miles as a former government car, for the first 60,000 miles. At which point, I've been depleting my stash of Motorcraft 5W20 FULL synthetic every 6,000 miles or so. No consumption over those intervals. I've been averaging a bit higher than most Ford hybrids: 40 mpg in winter, 47-49 in summer. 80% highway driving. I don't know if the oil is a factor, but it hasn't hurt, that I can see. Stash is almost gone. Going back to Motorcraft, when it was $11 for a 5 qt jug was a no brainer. However, I'm moving on to Mobil 1 0W20 next. Am I making a long term mistake? I hope to reach 400,000 miles one day. Happy New Year! Comments? What say you about the previous statements?
 
Joined
Oct 5, 2005
Messages
5,266
Location
Kansas
IMO, Conoco-Phillips, the maker of Motorcraft oil, is the one of the most underrated refiners. They also give us the sleeper oils of TropArtic and Kendall and their Phillips 66 gasoline, sold cheaper than other brands in this area, is Top Tier.
 
Joined
Apr 17, 2006
Messages
19,528
Location
Lake Forest, CA
Some engines are just running with any oil you use. My 1994 LS400 with more than 370k miles keeps running without protesting regardless what oil brand I use, it even didn't care for syn or dino. The problem is after 20 years the other parts of the car are falling and I'm a little tired of driving it.
 
Joined
Dec 6, 2014
Messages
32
Location
Germany
Always used Motorcraft 5W20 Blend in my 2011 Ford Fiesta. Even runnings 9,000 miles OCI in burning hot Oklahoma summer showed way below average wear in UOA. (10,000 miles is factory recommended interval)
 
Joined
Dec 16, 2006
Messages
4,262
Location
Port Orange, Florida
I don't think Ford Motorcraft oil is really anything special. I think the key to engine long life is simply changing the oil. I wouldn't discount any of the major oil companies turning out a bad product. Ford Motorcraft oil doesn't strike me as a bargain, simply because I never see deals on it. You change your oil at 5000 miles with any major oil maker and I think you will get the same results.
 
Joined
Jul 15, 2005
Messages
13,189
Location
Maricopa Arizona
I like it and its sister offerings from Phillips lubricants. The only draw back is the best I see Phillips products around here is 76 for 2.99 a quart at the 99 cent only store as the best deal. I remember the days of 1.76 or 1.00 a quart deals of trop artic. BTW the last round of oil changes I picked up QSAD for 2.29 a quart from a local distributor.
 
Joined
Jul 20, 2008
Messages
29
Location
USA
I run it in my race car. I get it at a bargain price too.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jun 30, 2011
Messages
8,860
Location
Mahzurrah!
Originally Posted By: Kruse
IMO, Conoco-Phillips, the maker of Motorcraft oil, is the one of the most underrated refiners. They also give us the sleeper oils of TropArtic and Kendall and their Phillips 66 gasoline, sold cheaper than other brands in this area, is Top Tier.
It is well thought of here from what I have seen, but there are many other fantastic lubes available also and the price on Motorcraft hurts it a bit there. I have run a good bit of it's value priced cousin, Trop Artic, and it is great stuff too and available here consistently for $1.99 a quart. A recent UOA posted had Trop Artic holding it's own well (if not better) against a top tier syn at a fairly long OCI.
 
Joined
Aug 27, 2005
Messages
207
Location
NW Indiana
This was excellent. on my post on next page I am debating using MC or ST full syn. in my 08 Ranger. You just made up my mind. MC it is!
 

CT8

Joined
Oct 9, 2014
Messages
15,369
Location
Idaho
Engines that are run a lot last longer than those that don't run a lot. Am Over the road semi truck lasts longer than an around town semi truck.
 
Joined
May 17, 2014
Messages
50
Location
Toronto Ontario Canada
There is statistic bias in the topic favoruing motocraft and Ford. This observation/question is on a Ford dealership service adviser who has seen more Ford with motocraft than any other combination. No doubt this stands out as the number 1. Had the same question been asked at any other brand service counter, there is always a number 1 combination.
 
Joined
Sep 30, 2013
Messages
15,047
Location
Indiana
I feel its very overlooked. The consensus here seems to be that for a few dollars more, you can buy full synthetic.. but in reality when the OLM is followed, it wont know the difference between that or a blend. Driving habits play a huge role and how long oil lasts. Winter driving and short trips will yield a shorter OCI than summer highway miles. My dads truck proved that to me last OCI. This is just like saying for a few dollars more, one could upgrade to the Fram Ultra. Yeah its an upgrade if you want to call it that.. it still costs more and your engine wont know the difference. If one is a Ford owner, MC filters and oil are all that's needed IMO. (Assuming AZ hasn't had any $1 quarts lately. smile )
 

pbm

Joined
Apr 19, 2004
Messages
9,432
Location
New York
I'm sure MC is a great oil but it's no longer the screaming deal it used to be (price wise). I'm sure that Zetec and Ranger would have done just as well on PYB, GTX, QSGB etc..... PS: I've seen several Zetecs with well over 200K....that was a good engine...
 

01rangerxl

Site Donor 2021
Joined
Apr 8, 2006
Messages
10,825
Location
Birmingham, AL
Originally Posted By: Best F100
I was surprised, mostly, because most of us don't think of either of those vehicles for likely candidates to see that kind of odometer mileage. Maybe a handful of Toyotas or Hondas, but not Rangers or Focus.
Why would you think that? With a couple exceptions, most Ford four cylinders are regarded as reliable engines. I don't know of any Ford four cylinder used in a RWD application in the last 30+ years that was considered unreliable, and most of the FWD engines were fine save for one model used in the Tempo (HSC) and one in the Focus (CVH). Lima and Duratec engines are generally regarded as pretty bulletproof. The Lima is still available as an industrial engine today, even though it hasn't been used in a car or truck since 2001. It wasn't the oil that got them there. It certainly helped that a quality oil was used, but either of those vehicles you mentioned would be doing just as well on Pennzoil, Valvoline, Castrol, whatever. Anything but the stuff on PQIA's [censored] list. Motorcraft oil did not work some magic on the engine to make it last longer. They are just good engines that would have done fine on any decent brand of oil. The vast majority of vehicles do not get taken out of service because the engine got "worn out" anymore. That's what happened in the 1970s. Not now. In most cases, going over 500K miles is a matter of how the vehicle is used, maintenance of critical things, and luck. It's not a brand of oil or "buy a Japanese car" thing. Most non-heavy duty vehicles with mega miles are light trucks that live on the interstate.
 
Joined
Sep 30, 2013
Messages
15,047
Location
Indiana
Also forgot to add. Locally WM raised their full synthetic prices back to 25.xx for both PP and M1. MC Blend is 17.xx.
 
Top