bestselling full-size pickup trucks, the F150 gets a noticeable engine upgrade for the 2004 model year. The more powerful drivetrain comes with the cost of reduced fuel efficiency, but using the right motor oil and getting regular oil changes can help!
The 2004 Ford F150 takes 6 or 7 quarts of oil depending on which V8 engine it has.
Ford recommends using its Premium Synthetic Blend motor oil.
Check your F150’s oil every month or at every other refuel.
You can save money by changing the oil in your 2004 F150 at home.
The Ford F150 takes more motor oil than your average car. After all, the truck’s got a massive V8 engine! If you drive the 4.6-liter V8, the truck has a 6-quart or 5.7-liter oil capacity. The 5.4-liter V8 engine takes 7 quarts or 6.6 liters.
Whatever you do, don’t confuse the engine displacement (that 4.6 or 5.4 number) with oil capacity. Engine displacement is the volume the engine’s cylinders take up. If you get them confused, try to remember that in this case, the oil capacity is the larger number.
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What kind of oil does a 2004 Ford F150 need?
Now that you know how much oil to buy, you’ve got to know what type to get! Ford recommends using Premium Synthetic Blend 5W-20 motor oil. This motor oil is blended with performance additives specifically designed to use in your Ford.
The blend minimizes engine deposits and protects the engine against oxidation and rust. With regular use, this oil will protect your engine from wear and tear, so it performs better and lasts longer. Plus, the blend uses friction-reducing technology to improve fuel economy—something a V8 engine really needs!
How to read engine oil specifications
We talked about the synthetic oil blend, but you might be wondering what the numbers mean. The 5 before “W” (which stands for “winter”) means the oil stays thin even at 0°F, so it can get to critical engine parts faster than conventional motor oils, even when it’s freezing. The 20 tells you that the oil is also thin even when the engine temperature reaches its normal operating temperature of 212°F.
Traditionally, manufacturers recommend changing the oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, but if you use Ford’s premium synthetic motor oil, you can drive around 7,500 miles before changing the oil.
However, you still want to check the oil frequently to see if the level is low or if the oil looks bad. Try to inspect the oil on the dipstick once a month or every other time you refuel. Watch for any of these signs that your F150 is ready for an oil change:
The oil appears dark brown or black instead of light brown or amber.
The oil feels gritty, coarse, or chunky when you rub it between your fingers.
The engine makes strange sounds.
You smell oil, smoke, or burning.
Your truck struggles to start or handles differently.
If your F150 is ready for a change, gather your supplies and head to the garage! Here’s what you’ll need: a socket wrench, a funnel, a drain pan, a filter wrench, a replacement filter, and the recommended motor oil. You might want some old cloths or rags to wipe your hands on, too.
Start by switching on the truck’s engine, and let it run for about five minutes. This warms up the oil, so it drains faster. Then, turn off the engine,
Unscrew the oil fill cap and set it somewhere you won’t lose it.
Get under the truck and put the drain pan directly under the engine.
Remove the oil drain bolt and washer.
Drain the old into the pan and take out the old filter.
Install the new filter.
Swap out the oil drain bolt with a new washer and tighten it.
Stick a funnel into the oil fill location and pour in the new motor oil.
Screw the oil fill cap on until you hear three clicks.
Next, get into the cab and turn on the engine, letting it run for about 30 seconds to give the filter time to absorb some oil. Then, turn off the engine and check for leaks. If you don’t spot any, remove the dipstick and see if you added enough new motor oil. Top it off if it looks a little low.
You’re almost done! You’ve just got clean up. Pour the old oil into a sealed container and take it to your local recycling center so that they can dispose of it safely. Don’t pour old oil onto the ground or throw it in the trash.
Finally, congratulate yourself on saving money and a job well done!