A Ford Explorer is a strong, sturdy
vehicle, but there's one thing that it requires that is exactly the same
as every other car on the road: a fresh batch of oil every 3000 miles
or so. The oil in your Explorer lubricates the engine and makes it run
smoothly, and without proper oil replacement, the engine can become
clogged and overheated, which may cause serious and irreversible damage.
Fortunately, changing the oil in your Explorer is a straightforward
process that is both inexpensive and fast. You should be able to do it
in less than an hour, and you'll save both time and money by changing
the oil at home rather than taking your Ford Explorer to a service station for
Step 1 -- Gather the Materials
You'll need the following tools and materials to change the oil for your Explorer:
- New oil filter
- New oil packages (several additional quarts)
- Oil collection pan
- Jack stand set
- Wrench set
- Paper towels
- New gasket system (optional)
Step 2 -- Prepare the Explorer
Begin by setting up newspapers underneath the front portion of the
Explorer. These will help to catch any oil that spills and save you from
having a big mess. Check to see if you'll be able to access the
underside of the vehicle as it stands; if not, mount the front end up on
jack stands before you continue. Be sure to wait several hours after
the car was last running to give the oil time to cool down. Open up the
hood and locate the oil container.
Step 3 -- Drain the Oil
Next, you'll need to drain the oil from the Explorer. Place your
collection pan beneath the oil container and unscrew the oil drain plug
by hand. As soon as it comes loose at all, the oil will begin to drip
into the collection pan. Give it several minutes to drain completely.
Next, clean off the entire area with a set of paper towels.
Step 4 -- Check the Filter and Change if Necessary
Remove the oil filter, located just next to the oil drain plug, using
a wrench. Unscrew it by hand the remove it completely, then examine it
for signs of damage. Look for corrosion, debris buildup and other wear
and tear. If it appears to be in bad shape, discard it and install a new
filter. You can do the same with the gasket system on the container.
However, keep in mind that both of these components will not likely need
to be changed out as often as you change the oil in your vehicle.
Step 5 -- Replace the Oil
Finally, close up the drain plug in the base of the oil container and
place the funnel into the top of the container. You'll now need to
install new oil into the engine system. Drain the new oil through the
funnel until you have enough quarts as recommended by your vehicle
owner's manual or a local mechanic. Then close the container completely,
close the hood of the car, and remove it from the jack stands if it was
Before turning the engine on, it's a good idea to check on the oil
levels once again. Use a dipstick to check on them manually, then adjust
the oil level as necessary in order to get a proper reading. This may
involve you adding a bit of oil to the container once again, or draining
some of the oil from the container. When the reading is exact, feel
free to start up your car once more.
All of the materials necessary to complete this at home project are
available through your local hardware store or at a nearby auto body
repair shop. Ask a mechanic or another service person nearby for
additional advice as necessary to completing this project.