Oil Change Interval Advice

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Jan 21, 2022
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I have a 2012 Ford E-350 12 passenger van with a 5.4 gasoline powered V-8. I have been using Mobil 1 (5w-20 extended life) recently, other brands of full synthetic since I bought the van on 2013. I use Fram ultra synthetic filters.

My question is this: The oil change indicator just came on. I only have 2,500 miles since my last change, and my intuition tells me that it is only coming on because 6 months have elapsed since my last oil change, and I am good just to reset the light and change at a more reasonable interval.

I would appreciate whatever thoughts, opinions, or insights anyone would be willing to share about ignoring the OCI indicator.

Thanks!
 
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Aug 19, 2010
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A few more details can help paint a picture, such as; Owned since new? Any oil analyses?
Might you know if your engine is a "clean running" one or one which dirties up its oil fast. We've had both in our family.
Again, not a substitute for oil analysis, but sometimes you see a trend.
General description of your driving (local vs. long distance)
Have you been keeping track of your OCIs so far?

Your 5,000 miles per year lands you on the cold ops end of the spectrum so in the absence of other info I'd use a known, mid-priced synthetic on a 5K OCI. Many here advise a superior oil and a longer OCI-which you can easily confirm with analysis.
I'm in the "Get the Stinky Old Oil Out" camp. Yes, yes, destroying the Earth every day.
 
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Dec 28, 2011
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3,903
A few more details can help paint a picture, such as; Owned since new? Any oil analyses?
Might you know if your engine is a "clean running" one or one which dirties up its oil fast. We've had both in our family.
Again, not a substitute for oil analysis, but sometimes you see a trend.
General description of your driving (local vs. long distance)
Have you been keeping track of your OCIs so far?

Your 5,000 miles per year lands you on the cold ops end of the spectrum so in the absence of other info I'd use a known, mid-priced synthetic on a 5K OCI. Many here advise a superior oil and a longer OCI-which you can easily confirm with analysis.
I'm in the "Get the Stinky Old Oil Out" camp. Yes, yes, destroying the Earth every day.

I'm with Kira here. That engine on a decent synthetic (I'd use Super Tech 5-30) at 5k yearly change generally does well. Like Astro stated, the Ford OLM is heavily weighted for time.
 
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Oct 9, 2004
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Cincinnati, OH, USA
The 5.4 2V engines are pretty easy on oil, M1 EP is one of the better mass market Big 3 synthetic oils, I would go at least a year on it. We ran 5000 minimum on the Econolines we ran (mostly 4.6 2V engines), they would sometimes get a pushed to 7500 or more-and they weren’t running that good M1 either!
 
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i track engine running hours if possible to check to see how long it takes me to reach x miles. Also I've owned a 5.4 and they'd like a 30 or 40 grade oil. Never ran 20 grade in mine since new. But 2500 miles on m1 ext performance is too little. Id just top it off if needed and go.
 

Zee09

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I'm with Kira here. That engine on a decent synthetic (I'd use Super Tech 5-30) at 5k yearly change generally does well. Like Astro stated, the Ford OLM is heavily weighted for time.
Count me in with Biscut and Kira....
 
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Middlesex County CT
Yah, EP is a great of so change it out 1/8 of the way into its advertised service interval.

6 months = 2500, 1 year = 5000 Seriously? People think it needs to be swapped out?

If using the OLM, why bother EP?
 
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As long as the vehicle gets to full operating temps to burn off moisture, lube up the engine with hot oil, etc. I'd go 1 year on the M1 5w20 EP, considering you're doing 5k annually. You'll be fine.

However, if you're doing significant short trips, idling, other things considered "extreme" then yeah, probably 6 month and 2500 mile intervals are the safest bet. You would "probably" be fine even on this driving pattern at 1 year / 5k miles but why risk it?

And, FYI, if this is your pattern, stop wasting money on the primo M1 oil and get a inexpensive blend if you're dumping out oil at 6 months and 2500 miles. The M1 Extended is rated for I think 10k or 20k (that's pushing it) miles and 1 year or so, so if you're dumping this primo oil prematurely, stop wasting your money and get a nice inexpensive blend, like Pennzoil or Quaker State or Chevron for 1/3rd the price.

I'm overly cautious so take note. I change my oils far too frequently.
 
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The Schaeffer Oil "million mile van" used 15w-40 at 8,000 mile intervals. YMMV
 
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Scruffy City
I'm sure this will have the barbarians at my gates with pitchforks, but unless it basically never warms up Id run it at least a year / 5000 miles and probably closer to two /8-10,000...
 
Joined
Feb 3, 2022
Messages
1
I have a 2012 Ford E-350 12 passenger van with a 5.4 gasoline powered V-8. I have been using Mobil 1 (5w-20 extended life) recently, other brands of full synthetic since I bought the van on 2013. I use Fram ultra synthetic filters.

My question is this: The oil change indicator just came on. I only have 2,500 miles since my last change, and my intuition tells me that it is only coming on because 6 months have elapsed since my last oil change, and I am good just to reset the light and change at a more reasonable interval.

I would appreciate whatever thoughts, opinions, or insights anyone would be willing to share about ignoring the OCI indicator.

Thanks!
This is from a 2013 E350 5.4 2 valve engine with 326000 miles on it.
It was in a FedEx van that was driven hard for years then parked for a while,then brought back into service after a couple of breakdowns in the new replacement vans.
Needless to say it was driven by many different people ,idled for literally hours a day ,accelerated hard when freezing cold -20F ,etc.
it was clean inside as you see .
It got pulled out because it blew out one to many spark plugs after many helicoils and machine shop work on the heads which is common on these 5.4 2 and 3 valve fords).
The oil that was used was 5-20 semi synthetic blend and the cheapest filters that you can buy.
Oil change intervals were supposed to be in the 7 to 8 thousand mile range but we all know it went way over many times.
So ina nutshell it looks like running a engine hot and hard all day is good for it .
We just put a 2004 Chevy one ton van to rest after 451000 miles on it due to rust issues not the engine which was a 350 and never got pulled apart.
 

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Joined
May 12, 2018
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CA
Mobil 1 ep and a fram ultra? Minimum 7.5-10k imo unless it has super high miles. No time limit, oil doesn’t expire. You’re likely throwing away good oil if you change less than that. Your sump is probably huge too
 
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Jan 25, 2003
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Decatur AL USA
I forgot to mention some of the earlier versions of the Ford IOLM (Like the 2011-2014 F150) let you set the starting percentage. If your van is set where it starts at 50% it would go off at a max of 5,000 mi (and possibly 6 months) instead of a max of 10,000 mi and 12 months. That could explain an early indication.
 
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