Oil considerations Duratec 3.0 V6, 85k miles

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9,283
Location
Fayetteville, NC
So I recently got a new to me 2010 Ford Escape Limited with the Duratec 3.0, AWD. This is a 3rd/extra/outdoorsy/adventure vehicle/grocery getter. Wasn't looking for a Limited but price was ok so... It has 85k miles. The car seems to be maintained well overall. No rust anywhere visible in the usual suspect areas. CarFax shows oil changes being done at a few independent places AND at Ford dealerships. When I first got the car i took it to the dealer (had a coupon) and got the oil change and fluid check done. (had coolant flushed at same visit) Used MC 5w/20 (the recommended oil) and the FL-500s MC filter. Just for peace of mind, then I took the car to an indie Ford place (run by a former Ford master tech, and sort of a friend) and had the PTU fluid and ATF also drained and filled. (both fluids were still in good condition, per mechanic. But now I know). However the mechanic also told me that he noticed the valve cover gaskets are "seeping/leaking" a little bit and oil pan gasket also a bit. He said I probably wouldn't even have to add oil betw OCs, but just keep an eye on it. He also suggested when the 100k (or is it 95k?) service comes up for spark plugs etc it will be better to do the VC gaskets at that time because labor involved is similar. He is an honest guy and I trust him. Per the research I have done it seems fairly common for this engine. I have only driven 1000 miles so far on 5w/20 and no drop in oil level so far. No drops on the ground either. SO... MY question is: i don't know what oil was in the car when I got it changed at the Ford dealer with 5w/20. (Last recorded OC was at an indie place). If it has been some dino oil or a thicker oil I keep wondering if the change to 5/w20 somehow "assisted" or is assisting with the usage/leakage. (I am not saying it STARTED it, just that the 5/20 semi-syn might have "assisted" it a bit) - Esp because the guy who changed the oil never mentioned that he saw VCG leaking .... may not mean anything. He may not have been interested enough, who knows? While i know that different oils cannot STOP the leakage/seapage I am sure I can do something to minimize it. I am wondering if I should: -- go with MC 5w30 syn blend (I have read Ford recommends 5w/30 in other areas of the world for this engine) I live in NC - pretty hot. I also know that it is not that much "thicker" than the 5/20 MC -- Go with a 5/20 High Mileage oil (And which would be best??? GTX? MaxLife? Others? Are all HM oils Syn blend? are there fully dino HM oils? -- go with a DINO 5w/20... (does it even exist?) --Go with a DINO 5/30. --Any additives that has a good rep for minimizing leaks? And if so, keep the oil at 5w/20 or 5w/30? So... a lot of questions/options... I would be interested to see what you guys think.... or WWYD? MPG is not a primary concern as it is abysmal anyway.
 

CT8

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15,392
Location
Idaho
Try a High mileage oil at your next oil change it won't hurt and may help. It sounds like tour mechanic/tech is awesome.
 
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13,194
Location
Maricopa Arizona
Way back when Phillips introduced it's "synthetic blend" line it was the most cost effective way for Phillips to blend a GF-4 spec PCMO. What Phillips did was import SK group III base stocks and blend it with group II to meet API/ ISLAC standards. It isn't anything more special or less than any off the shelf PCMO meeting the same spec.
 
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2,781
Location
Kansas City
Used Valvoline Maxlife Blend 5w-30 in a 2008 Mercury Mariner with that engine. Always clean underneath when it was time for Oil changes and ATF drain and fills. Started using it at 60K and when I did the last ATF drain at 100K, every thing still was dry underneath. IMVHO I feel that a hi mileage oil helps keep gaskets doing their job well, the way they are supposed. too.
 
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588
Location
Southern Oregon, USA
The engine is super easy on oil. I've used 5w20 and 5w30, it doesn't seem to care either way. No change of fuel economy in my case. Unfortunately the gaskets are garbage... I've had the pan gasket, valve cover gaskets, timing cover gasket, cam seal, and the extra little gasket below the cam seal ALL replaced... all under 105k miles... all of them weeping prior to being replaced. If the car was less reliable I'd have ditched it and not spent over $2k to have them all replaced... but besides the leaky gaskets it's been rock solid reliable and we really enjoy driving it.
 
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1,602
Location
MD
Originally Posted by sdude2k2000
The engine is super easy on oil. I've used 5w20 and 5w30, it doesn't seem to care either way. No change of fuel economy in my case. Unfortunately the gaskets are garbage... I've had the pan gasket, valve cover gaskets, timing cover gasket, cam seal, and the extra little gasket below the cam seal ALL replaced... all under 105k miles... all of them weeping prior to being replaced. If the car was less reliable I'd have ditched it and not spent over $2k to have them all replaced... but besides the leaky gaskets it's been rock solid reliable and we really enjoy driving it.
I've had a similar experience in a Ford and Mazda with this engine. HM oils seem to help the leaks some.
 
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588
Location
Southern Oregon, USA
Originally Posted by ET16
I've had a similar experience in a Ford and Mazda with this engine. HM oils seem to help the leaks some.
That's good to know, I'll keep it in mind if it ever kicks back up again (hopefully not for a while considering they've been replaced). My folks had an ‘05 Mazda 6 with the same motor as well, and they too had the same experience. Most of them are easy enough to resolve, but the timing cover is a real beast to replace. Have to pull off the entire side of the car, and even then it takes real finesse to get it in and out. That's where the bulk of the cost came from... the valve covers come off to do it anyway, and the cam seal isn't that big of a deal with the right tools (ford dealership did mine). Plus once they're inside they were able to do the crank seal too since labor cost is already implied.
 
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336
Location
NJ
I have that engine in our '05 Mercury Mariner, currently at 205K miles. Ditto the earlier comments about the valve cover and oil pan gaskets, they harden and leak. I replaced the front valve cover gasket earlier this year as it was leaking the worst, it was rock-hard and came out in pieces. Rear valve cover and oil pan are future projects. Ours is prone to valvetrain tick at the #6 exhaust valve lash adjusters. Valvoline MaxLife synthetic blend seems to be doing well in keeping this quiet since I started using it a few months ago. I use 5W-20 in winter and 5W-30 from spring-fall. If you're having oil consumption (not leakage) problems, replace both the PCV valve and hose with Ford/Motorcraft parts. The hose is plastic and mine was cracked. Also...only use the factory spec Motorcraft spark plugs and replace them on or ahead of schedule.
 

97tbird

Thread starter
Messages
9,283
Location
Fayetteville, NC
Originally Posted by sdude2k2000
The engine is super easy on oil. I've used 5w20 and 5w30, it doesn't seem to care either way. No change of fuel economy in my case. Unfortunately the gaskets are garbage... I've had the pan gasket, valve cover gaskets, timing cover gasket, cam seal, and the extra little gasket below the cam seal ALL replaced... all under 105k miles... all of them weeping prior to being replaced. If the car was less reliable I'd have ditched it and not spent over $2k to have them all replaced... but besides the leaky gaskets it's been rock solid reliable and we really enjoy driving it.
That's good to know that the weeping gaskets are not a death warrant for this engine. It was a bit despairing to learn about it but I have hope in keeping the Escape... I am not sure if I will get all 3 areas done, for now I think i will get the VC and oil pan gaskets done when it's time for new plugs. Should I stay with Ford/MC parts or are there any better brand of VC gaskets? Did you have to add a lot of oil between the changes? Which 5w/30 oil did you use?
 
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97tbird

Thread starter
Messages
9,283
Location
Fayetteville, NC
Originally Posted by crainholio
I have that engine in our '05 Mercury Mariner, currently at 205K miles. Ditto the earlier comments about the valve cover and oil pan gaskets, they harden and leak. I replaced the front valve cover gasket earlier this year as it was leaking the worst, it was rock-hard and came out in pieces. Rear valve cover and oil pan are future projects. Ours is prone to valvetrain tick at the #6 exhaust valve lash adjusters. Valvoline MaxLife synthetic blend seems to be doing well in keeping this quiet since I started using it a few months ago. I use 5W-20 in winter and 5W-30 from spring-fall. If you're having oil consumption (not leakage) problems, replace both the PCV valve and hose with Ford/Motorcraft parts. The hose is plastic and mine was cracked. Also...only use the factory spec Motorcraft spark plugs and replace them on or ahead of schedule.
Thanks. I already thought of the PCV valve. Seems easy enough to DIY. And yes, I plan on staying with MC plugs when the time comes. I need to drive the car at least 3k miles on the MC 5/20 to see if i need to add oil Already got a can of Liqui Moly Oil Saver just in case
 
Messages
588
Location
Southern Oregon, USA
Originally Posted by 97tbird
That's good to know that the weeping gaskets are not a death warrant for this engine. It was a bit despairing to learn about it but I have hope in keeping the Escape... I am not sure if I will get all 3 areas done, for now I think i will get the VC and oil pan gaskets done when it's time for new plugs. Should I stay with Ford/MC parts or are there any better brand of VC gaskets? Did you have to add a lot of oil between the changes? Which 5w/30 oil did you use?
I'm always a fan of OEM personally. For a valve cover, it's easy enough to do if you need to again down the road. Keep an eye out though - because the cam seal / secondary gasket under the cam seal can look like a valve cover weeping, when it's actually that seal. It'd be below the forward valve cover, just underneath the water pump pulley. It's hidden from view when looking top-down, but the oil will drip down onto the forward catalytic converter. It drips right between the water pump and block. Pro tip - have your mechanic add some UV dye to the oil and clean everything as good as he can. Then drive around a couple days. Should help isolate your leaks to confirm. If the timing cover is confirmed to be weeping, the Ford tech who did mine said you will eventually need to decide what to do... repair or not. Because once it starts getting worse and onto the pulleys/belt, things will get messy in a rush. In terms of loss, the oil was never hitting the pavement. The timing cover gasket was still a slow weep... the valve cover was too. Just the secondary gasket below the cam seal was dripping, but it was flashed off once hitting the cat converter. I just learned from my folk's experience with their ‘05 Mazda 6 where the timing cover leak had advanced and was all over everything (like the Ford tech said). That's why I opted to just bite the bullet and have it done. Then again - we've owned the car since 2010 (21k miles), and I've kept up on all the other maintenance. I know it's history and trust it to keep going for us (barring something catastrophic) for years to come. Plus the wife likes it.... so that's that lol.
 
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260
Location
STL, MO
My wife's vehicle has this same engine, I've done Motorcraft 5w30 in 5k intervals. Now it gets whatever 5w30 is on sale. Currently Supertech 5w30 HM. Engine seems to like it. Pic is at 150k miles.
 

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Kansas City
I'm a big fan of Rotella Gas Truck and QSUD in 5W-20, very strong additive pack for the cost point.

At 100k, you could go up to 5w-30 for better film strength and go to Supertech Full Synthetic or really any others.
 
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Location
MA
Boy old threads always seem to come back to life. Sounds like that engine hasn't changed. Had those same problems in a 2001 Taurus. Intake manifold gaskets would go and once you change those, the plugs are right there to change along with the PCV. Oil pan also leaked but I never changed it as the exhaust was in the way, not sure about the 2010. I mostly used 5w-20, but sometimes 5w-30. I noticed the leak wasn't as bad when using 5w-30 as opposed to 5w-20. Mostly used semi-synthetic and got over 200k out of the engine before the transmission went. Oil changes were in the 5-7.5k range although once I went 8k.
 
Messages
260
Location
STL, MO
Boy old threads always seem to come back to life. Sounds like that engine hasn't changed. Had those same problems in a 2001 Taurus. Intake manifold gaskets would go and once you change those, the plugs are right there to change along with the PCV. Oil pan also leaked but I never changed it as the exhaust was in the way, not sure about the 2010. I mostly used 5w-20, but sometimes 5w-30. I noticed the leak wasn't as bad when using 5w-30 as opposed to 5w-20. Mostly used semi-synthetic and got over 200k out of the engine before the transmission went. Oil changes were in the 5-7.5k range although once I went 8k.
Yeah, I brought this one back from the dead. I clicked "post" because it had not been in the ground for that long.

Same thing is true with our 2012: if there is no oil under it, then there is no oil in it.
 
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