2013 Ford Explorer 3.5 Engine Oil Capacity

Looking for the 2013 Ford Explorer 3.5 engine oil capacity? We’ve got all there is to know.
Written by Matthew Lynaugh
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
The 2013 Ford Explorer is one of the many chapters of Ford’s line of globally best-selling SUVs. Sporting great ratings and offering expansive versatility, you’ll want to keep your Explorer trucking for as long as possible—but to do so, you’ll need to understand its engine oil capacity.
Nobody said owning a car was going to be cheap. Between gas, maintenance, and repairs, those bills can certainly stack up quickly. If you’re interested in applying a little elbow grease to eliminate one of these expenses, though, you’ve come to the right place.
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2013 Ford Explorer 3.5 engine oil capacity

Before you start rolling up your sleeves, we need to go over exactly how much oil your Explorer needs
This specific SUV has a 3.5-liter, V6 engine with an oil capacity of 6 quarts. The 3.5-liter part of the engine describes its displacement and cannot be mixed up with its oil capacity.
Displacement refers to the volume of air and fuel swept into each of the cylinders during one engine cycle, while the oil capacity is the amount of oil necessary in keeping the engine operating smoothly. Understanding this distinction will prevent you from filling up your engine with an insufficient amount of oil.

What kind of oil does a 2013 Explorer 3.0 need?

Now that we’ve covered your Explorer’s oil capacity, let’s discuss the most compatible oil type.
When you're scanning the seemingly countless shelves (or webpages) of oil types, keep an eye out for Motorcraft SAE 5W-20 Synthetic Blend Motor Oil. Not only is this the oil recommended by Ford, it’s also the oil manufactured by Ford.
If you’re not the most car-savvy person, we’re here to help you better understand exactly what you’re putting into your truck. “5W” means that this oil remains thin while the engine is under cold conditions (“winter”). The “20” after the “W” indicates its moderate viscosity (thickness) when the engine is at normal operating temperature
At its most basic, you want an oil thin enough to flow during those cold morning start-ups, as well as one thick enough to keep the engine cool and lubricated while it’s running.
If you’re interested in weighing out your options, here are a few alternatives we suggest:
  • The genuine article:
    Motorcraft SAE 5W-20 Synthetic Blend Motor Oil
    is for those that want to use authentic Ford materials.
  • Extra-strength: If you push your truck to its limit, SAE 5W-30 can help better protect your engine.
  • For cold climates: For anyone that lives in a wintery area, SAE full synthetic 0W-20 is the thinnest blend under cold conditions.
MORE: How to test an oil pump

How often to change oil on a 2013 Ford Explorer 3.5

Ford recommends changing the oil on a 2013 Ford Explorer every 3,000 to 5,000 miles to preserve the life of its engine. 
Regularly checking your oil level and keeping track of previous oil changes can help you from going too long without putting fresh oil into your engine. For those that don’t drive often, you still need to have your oil changed every six months because oil decays over time. 
In addition, stay alert for any of these telltale signs that your Explorer needs an oil change:
  • The oil has turned dark brown or black
  • The oil texture gritty or coarse
  • The engine is making strange sounds
  • Burning odors or smoke are coming from under the hood
  • There are noticeable changes in your truck’s performance
MORE: How to build a custom Ford Explorer

How to change your oil and oil filter

And now the main event—let’s change that oil! Before you start, ensure you have the necessary materials: a socket wrench, drain pan, filter wrench, new filter, and cotton rag. Oh, and don’t forget your bottle of fresh SAE 5W-20 oil, of course.
Begin by starting the engine to warm up the current oil—this will help it flow easier. After a few minutes, turn off the engine, pop the hood, and follow these steps:
  • Situate yourself underneath the engine and set your pan below the oil drain plug. 
  • Using your socket wrench, remove the oil drain plug, allowing all of the oil to drain out.
  • Remove the
    oil filter
    with your filter wrench, letting the excess oil drain into your catch pan.
  • Clean the filter mount and install your fresh filter with the filter wrench.
  • Screw the oil drain plug back into place.
  • Pour the necessary amount of oil into the top of your engine.
Give yourself a hand, you did it! As soon as the new oil settles, confirm you have poured enough in by checking its level on your dipstick. Next, confirm that the oil pressure dashboard light is off. Lastly, start your engine and look for any leaks—if you don’t see any, you’re all set.
Last but not least—the cleanup. Never dump your old oil into your garbage bin or onto the ground. Instead, pour it into an unwanted container and bring it to a nearby recycling center for proper disposal. 

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