OCI And Towing

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Apr 25, 2004
I convinced my Dad to start using Motorcraft 5w20 in his '02 Expedition 4.6. His manual says to change oil every 5000 miles, which he has done. He is on his 2nd change with the 5w20. While towing the boat to the lake yesterday, he looked in the manual under "severe" driving conditions. Towing is "severe", and the OCI should be 3000 miles. He has about 4000 miles on this interval. We are going to do a UOA. Should we change the oil now? Or go the full 5000 miles? There is probably about 1000 miles of towing on this oil change. The boat/trailer probably weight 3500 lbs. We tow with overdrive off. The engine just isn't big enough to negotiate the hills in overdrive. RPMs are about 2800 while towing. Total miles are about 28,500.
[Cool] You didn't say how far the lake was, but my .02 is that there is a difference between towing a boat a few miles to the water and pulling a camper all over creation. If you don't tow the boat often and your round-trip is like, 100 miles or so, I wouldn't worry about it. I agree, with 1000 towing miles I'd change it and get a UOA.
The lake is 100 miles away. We go almost every weekend, so the towing miles might actually be more than 1000 miles on this interval. We haven't towed in hot weather yet.
What is the recommended viscosity for this engine?. What was your Dad using before? I reckon this oil is receiving a severe beating, towing that weight with OD off. I'd do the oil change now and get a UOA done. If this oil performs well towing a load, not in OD, and in the heat of summer, it must be a miracle oil. Time will tell. Dave
The recommended oil is 5w20. He was getting his oil changed at WalMart or Castrol Quick Lube. He doesn't know what they put in it. You know, motor oil is motor oil. [Roll Eyes] Hopefully I can help him (with y'alls help) to use the right oil. Thanks for the replies.
You've gone far enough that a uoa will show you some really meaningful results. This will really give you some good guidelines of what to do in the future. I wish Ford would do an oil life monitor like GM. Don't jeopardize your warranty. I'd go ahead and uoa it now and work up from there when the warranty will be out. Change it and uoa. [Smile]
Originally posted by jthorner: With that much towing I would absolutely follow the severe service schedule.
[Cool] I agree. If he goes to Wal-Mart ask them to put in a Motorcraft filter and Motorcraft 5w-20, using the rationale that it's a Ford so it should have a Ford filter and Ford oil (this might work on your dad), follow the severe schedule, and it'll be fine. I was assuming earlier that you towed your boat to the lake and left it there. I tow my jetski to the river which is all of 1.5 miles away, so I don't really count that as "towing". [Big Grin]
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