Ford F-250: Basic Maintenance Schedule

Basic maintenance is a key factor in how well the truck will run. This article covers the most important maintenance and when it should be done.

November 21, 2014

This article applies to the Ford F-250, F-350 Super Duty (2005-2014).

Doing the maintenance can be a hassle, but it's very important that it gets done in a regular fashion. Luckily, a lot of the work can be done in a few hours over the weekend to save you from the downtime and cost of going to a shop. As the types of fluids used for each component vary with the different year ranges and truck configurations, it's always best to refer to your owner's manual for both the proper type and amount.

Engine Oil

The interval to change varies on how often the truck is driven, but the typical interval is around 5-10,000 miles. If you tow a lot you'll want to change at the lower end, and it's always important to check both oil level and condition before long drives. Oil is important for the motor; it keeps it properly lubricated, and as it gets old it loses its lubricating properties. It is crucially important to use synthetic oil if the truck has over 100,000 miles on it. This will help keeps it going for hundreds of thousands miles to come.

Figure 1. Oil cap.

Transmission Fluid

Transmission fluid is just as important as the engine oil; it not only keeps parts lubricated, but also cools them. It is recommended to check both at every oil change and before every long trip. It'll need to be changed every 30-50,000 miles or if the fluid is burnt or dark colored.

Figure 2. Transmission fluid condition comparison.

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Engine Coolant

Coolant level and condition should be checked with every oil change and before every long trip. The interval to replace varies with driving habits; if you tow a lot, you may want to change it before the Ford recommended interval of 100,000 miles for the first change, and 50,000 miles for every subsequent change.

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Figure 3. Engine coolant.

Tires and Brakes

Tires should be rotated every oil change as well as inspected for both proper tread wear and tread depth. Improper tread wear means you'll want to get a fresh alignment, as well as replace any worn front suspension components such as ball joints, tie rod ends, etc. Low tread means you'll need new tires to be able to maintain proper traction on and off the road. It's recommended to check the brake fluid when doing an oil change as well, and top it off if it's low. You'll be greeted by a squealing sound and vibrations from the front end when your brakes are going bad, so replace those when needed.

Figure 4. Tire with uneven tread wear.

Spark Plugs

This doesn't apply to diesels because they don't have spark plugs; however, the spark plug change interval really varies. 60-100,000 miles is a good range for replacement, but you'll be greeted by some check engine lights and a misfire when it's definitely time.

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Figure 5. Replace the spark plugs.

Everything Else

ComponentWhenWhat to Do
Power Steering Fluid Every oil change Top off when low
Air filter Every 15-30,000 miles Replace
Gas Filter Every 15-30,000 miles Replace
Washer Fluid Every 10,000 miles or so Top off when low
Exhaust Every 15-30,000 miles Check for leaks, fix if necessary

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