One of the most important regular maintenance jobs that you'll need to perform on your Ford Ranger
is changing the oil. The oil is responsible for lubricating the engine
and keeping it from overheating, which can result in serious damage to
the vehicle. You should plan to change your oil about every 3000 miles
or so. Before you take your Ranger to a shop and have the oil changed
there, you should think about changing it yourself and at home. The
process only takes about an hour and it's very affordable. Plus, you'll
have the added bonus of knowing exactly the quality of the work that
goes into the job, and you'll learn a bit more about the inner workings
of your vehicle if you weren't already familiar with them.
Step 1 -- Gather the Materials
You'll need these following materials in order to change the oil in your Ranger:
- New oil packages (with several added quarts as backup)
- New oil filter
- Jack stand set
- Paper towels
- New gasket system (optional)
- Wrench set
Step 2 -- Prepare the Ranger
Next, you'll need to prepare the Ranger for the oil change. Mount the
front end of the vehicle up on a set of jack stands so that you'll
better be able to access the underside to drain the oil. Lay out a set
of newspapers underneath the car so that you'll be able to catch any
drops of oil that may fall as you work. Open up the hood and keep it
propped up as you work. Be sure to allow for a few hours for the oil to
cool off after the car has last been running before you continue.
Step 3 -- Drain the Oil
Place your collection pan underneath the oil container in the Ranger
and unscrew the oil drain plug at the base of the container. The oil
will start to drip out almost immediately as soon as the drain plug
becomes loose. Keep the pan in place until all of the oil has drained
off, after several minutes have elapsed. Then clean up the entire
container and the drain plug area with a set of paper towels.
Step 4 -- Check and Change Out the Filter, if Needed
Although you won't need to change your oil filter every time that you
change the oil, it's good to get into the habit of checking on it
anyway. The filter is located adjacent to the drain plug. Unscrew it by
hand or with a wrench if you need to. Examine the filter for signs of
corrosion and other wear and tear, and replace it with a new one if it
appears to be damaged. Otherwise, reattach the filter as it was. You can
do the same with the gasket set, if you wish.
Step 5 -- Replace the Oil
Finally, close up the drain plug and place the funnel into the top of
the container. Pour in the prescribed amount of new oil, following
directions for how many quarts as given by your Ranger owner's manual.
Once the oil has drained completely into the vehicle, remove the funnel,
close up the container, and close the hood of the car. Then remove the
Ranger from the jack stands.
Before you turn on the engine once again, it's a good idea to check
on the oil levels one last time. Use a dipstick to do it, and then
you'll need to adjust the oil levels as necessary; change the oil so
that it's higher by adding a bit more, or lower by draining off a bit.
If you need any additional assistance with the process of changing
out the oil in your Ford Ranger, speak with a certified mechanic or
another professional in your area for more advice. All of the items that
you'll need to complete this project can be found at a hardware store
or at your local auto body repair shop.