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Ford Flex Engine Oil Change Guide
How to change the motor oil and filter on the Duratec 35 3.5L V6 engine in a 1st generation 2009 to 2019 Ford Flex.

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2019 Flex 3.5L V6 Engine
Twist Off Oil Filler Cap
Oil Fill Cap Removed
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the first generation (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019) Ford Flex crossover SUV in changing the motor oil and replacing the oil filter on the Duratec 3.5 liter V6 engine.

Owners of other Ford or Lincoln vehicle such as the Explorer, Fiesta, Focus, Fusion, C-Max, Mustang, Taurus, EcoSport, Escape, Edge, Expedition, Transit Connect, F-150, Ranger, MKZ, MKC, Navigator, MKX and Continental may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful. The procedure should be the same or very similar for the EcoBoost 3.5L V6 engine.

A few compatible replacement oil filters with their part numbers include the following: Motorcraft FL500S, Fram XG10575, ACDelco PF63E, Mobil 1 M1-212, Ford FL-500-S and Purolator PL22500.

The tools and other items needed to complete the procedure include a floor jack, two jack stands, a 15mm socket with a 3/8" drive ratchet, a used oil catch container, an automotive funnel and 6 U.S. quarts (5.7L) of new SAE 5W-20 oil.


Partially Remove Dipstick
Raise Front of SUV
Oil Pan & Old Oil Filter
The first steps are to warm up the engine for a few minutes, park the vehicle on a level surface and turn off the ignition.

Warming up the engine will help suspend any contaminants within the old oil and also allow it to drain out more quickly.

Engage the emergency / parking brake and place wheel chocks on both sides of the rear tires to prevent the car from moving.

Open the hood to access the engine bay.

Twist off the oil filler cap in the counterclockwise direction and set it aside in a safe place.

Pull out the yellow plastic handled dipstick an inch or two.

Removing the oil filler cap and partially removing the dipstick will help prevent a vacuum from forming and also allow the old oil to drain out more quickly.

You might be able to squeeze under the engine bay to access the oil drain bolt and oil filter. I found it necessary to raise the vehicle.

Carefully raise the front of the SUV with the floor jack and securely support it with at least two jack stands.

Alternatively, you could drive the car up on to automotive service ramps.

Slide under the front of the vehicle with the 15mm socket, a 3/8" drive ratchet and a used oil catch basin.

Drain Bolt - Rear of Pan
Loosen Oil Drain Plug
Drain Out Old Oil
Locate the silver metal oil pan and the drain bolt on the rear edge.

The oil filter is situated in front of the oil pan.

Position the used oil catch container to just below the oil drain bolt.

Loosen the oil drain bolt in the counterclockwise direction with the 15mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratchet.

Be careful when you remove the oil drain bolt. The old oil might still be hot enough to burn your fingers depending on how long you warmed up the engine.

Spin out the drain bolt by hand to prevent from dropping it into the catch basin.

Allow the old oil to drain out for at least a few minutes or until the flow slows down to just an occasional drip.

Replace Oil Drain Bolt
Oil Filter - Front of Pan
Lisle Oil Filter Wrench
If the oil drain bolt is equipped with a crush washer or "gasket", inspect it and replace the washer if necessary.

Spin in the oil drain bolt a few turns by hand in the clockwise direction to prevent it from becoming cross threaded.

Tighten the drain bolt in the clockwise direction with the 15mm socket and a 3/8" drive socket to just past hand tight.

If you have a torque wrench, tighten the drain bolt to the service manual specification of 20 lb-ft of torque.

The old oil filter is located in front of the oil pan and next to an exhaust pipe.

If the engine was recently running, avoid touching the exhaust pipe. It might still be hot enough to burn your hand or arm.

Twist off the old oil filter in the counterclockwise direction.

If you have trouble removing a stubborn or stuck oil filter, I recommend using a Lisle 63600 oil filter wrench.


Loosen Counterclockwise
Drain Oil Filter Receptacle
Dip Finger In New Oil
Allow the old oil to drain out from the filter receptacle for at least a minute or two.

Make sure that the rubber o-ring gasket from the old oil filter is not still attached to the engine.

Lubricate Rubber O-Ring
Spin On New Oil Filter
Insert Automotive Funnel
Dip your pinky finger into some new SAE 5W-20 oil and lubricate the rubber o-ring gasket on the new oil filter.

I recommend buying the original OEM Ford Motorcraft FL500S oil filter since it has excellent reviews on Amazon.

Lubricating the rubber o-ring gasket on the new oil filter will allow it to form a better seal, prevent oil leaks and also make it easier to remove during the next oil change.

Spin on the new oil filter by hand in the clockwise direction to about 1/2 to 3/4 of a turn past finger tight.

(Some mechanics opt to fill the new filter with oil before installing it. The difference is negligible and mostly personal preference.)

Try to avoid over tightening the new filter filter to prevent from damaging the rubber gasket which could result in an oil leak.

Insert the automotive funnel into the oil filler port.

Pour In New Oil
Replace Oil Filler Cap
Push In Oil Dipstick
The total oil capacity specification for the Duratec 35 3.5L V6 engine for an oil change with a filter replacement is 6.0 U.S. quarts (or 5.7 liters) of new SAE 5W-20 oil.

It is much better to have slightly less oil than necessary in an engine than to run an engine that has been over filled.

I recommend only pouring in about 5 to 5.5 U.S. quarts of new oil at first.

Then replace the oil filler cap by twisting it on in the clockwise direction and push down the oil dipstick.

Start the engine and allow it to idle for at least a few minutes. Then turn off the ignition and allow the new oil to drain back down to the oil pan for at least five to ten minutes.

Pull out the dipstick, wipe it clean with a clean paper towel, fully re-insert it and pull it out again to check the oil level.

Check Oil Level
Oil Change Complete
Reset Oil Life Meter
If necessary, slowly pour in more oil and repeatedly check the level on the dipstick until it reaches just at or below the upper hole in the tip of the dipstick which indicates the "MAX" (maximum) or "Full" line.

You may not need to pour in the entire 6 U.S. quarts of new oil in order for the oil level to reach the "Max" line above the cross-hatched area.

Avoid overfilling the engine with oil.

Be sure to record the oil change in your vehicle's service records.

To clear the "Oil Change Required" message and reset the oil life meter, follow these steps: 1. From the main menu on the LCD screen, choose the "Settings" option. 2. Choose the "Vehicle" option. 3. Scroll to the "Oil Life Reset" option. 4. Press and hold the "OK" button until the message "Reset Successful" is displayed. 5. The oil life meter on the instrument cluster should now read "Remaining Life 100%".

If you do a lot of towing, off-road driving, mountain driving or live in an extremely hot or cold climate, the oil change required message will appear more frequently than the standard 7,500 to 10,000 mile interval or anywhere from 3,000 to 7,500 miles.

Please check out all of my Ford Flex DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

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