Oil Change Schedule

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'29 Ford Model A - my 1st car to 2011 Lincoln MKS
Last seen
May 27, 2002
Thunderbird Year
I am ready to take my baby in for an oil change - or - am I?

Although I have purchased several new cars and trucks in the past, none are as dear to me as my new T-Bird. I plan on driving this to my death bed - I hope at least 30 more years.

We all hear the key to long engine life is frequent oil changes. I have just turned 2,000 miles and am ready to get the oil changed. I had a friend state you should NOT change the factory oil on the new engine until the 5,000 miles to allow the engine parts to seat. Any thoughts on this or suggestions? My first idea was to change the oil every 2,000 - that is about twice a year.

Paul In Alaska

2002 Black T-Bird
1974 Green Cougar XR-7
2000 Ford F-350
I just had our bird in for the first oil change at 3,000 miles. I change the oil in all of my cars at 3,000 mile intervals.If you do not drive the car 6,000 miles per year, then I would change twice a year. I have torn down the engine in one of my Model "A" Fords that had 35,000 miles. I used modern 20-50 oil with a full flow oil filter. The oil was changed every 3,000 miles. The inside of the engine was just as clean as the day it was rebuilt. I am sure that the same would hold true for a modern engine with regular 3,000 mile oil changes.

02 Black T-Bird
1955 Sunliner Convertible
1955 Crown Victoria Glass Top
1931 Model "A" Panel Delivery Truck
1931 Model "A" Station Wagon
1971 Chevrolet S/B Pick up
Allow the parts to seat? I don't get it. The parts are going to seat, but what does older oil have to do with it. I like to change early the first time. 1500 to 2000 just knowing that there are small metal shavings floating around.

On this car, it gets so few miles for me it will be more an issue of time then miles. Most likely I'll change in the Spring when it comes out of hibernation, and then again around Sept or Oct.

Normal cars, when I hit 4000 miles I start thinking about changing my oil, if it works to get it changed I do, but do not make a special effort until over 5000.

The new oils and filters are so much better then years ago, and the cars have so much tighter tolerances, that people who change at 2000 to 3000 are wasting money. Maybe even doing more harm then good, because you get more tiny paper fibers from new filters all the time.

Do you have any pictures of your two 1931 Model "A" Vehicles. If so, can you post them here?

Recently I was in Wal Mart in Lake Worth ,Texas. They had a sign up that said "All Ford Vehicles Mfg. after 1999 MUST have motocraft oil replaced when changed, so as not to void the Warranty" Anyone know anything about this?? My bird has 1500 miles on it and I`m gettting ready to do an oil change myself. Wal Mart will never touch my T-bird, but they can change the oil on my 99 Nissan truck. Again , certainly relacement oil does not have to be motocraft, I would not think???????

Blue Blue Blue Premium
VIN #12295
Rotation 2290
Mansfield, Texas
Ford also recomends to change your oil every 5,000 miles for a normal climate and 3,000 for an extreme climate like Wisconsin where the weather can get below zero in the winter and over 100 in the summer.
Allow the parts to seat? That sounds like an old wives tale to me. I've rebuilt a few engines and no gear head has ever told me that. The parts seat because you put them in right not because of the oil. The only thing I can think of is that it might speed the breaking in process. That process is a process that you want to allow to take its time because essentially what it does is wear and heat the cylinder walls untill they are hardened and scored. Your wearing the engine and you want it to wear slowly. Change the oil every 150 miles if you want. I do in my 55. The other thing about only using motorcraft. Yeah I'm sure ford is going to do a chemical analysis on you old oil to determine if it is motorcraft. I do recommend synthetic, especially the really high end synthetics that will last up to 10000 miles or more(change it every 5 anyways). If I were you i would purposely use a different brand jsut because they tell me to. Thats what you call forcing a monopoly and is probably illegal. Oil is oil and synthetic is synthetic dispite what ford says.
The manufacturer does use a special break in oil blend in new car. Correct me if I am wrong.
the oil is listed as standard motocraft 5w-20. if you used an equivalent brand, it makes no difference to the car. the whole reason the sae ratings came into being was to allow the military to obtain vehicle oil from multiple sources, and they had to be compatible one to the other. best advice for oil; change early and often. single best maintenance you can do for an engine.

Gary L Henkel
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