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How does the Distance to Empty calculation work?

Discussion in 'Stock 2011 - 2019 Ford Explorer Discussion' started by willied, August 3, 2011.

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    1. willied

      willied Well-Known Member

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      My mom is curious because her 2011 Explorer has a different DTE calculation after each fill up...and it varies widely. One tank was around 300 miles and another tank was around 380 miles. What gives?

      Also, what is the recommended interval for changing the oil?
       
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    3. harlenm

      harlenm Active Member

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      Amount of fuel times average miles per gallon. Average mpg will change as you drive, and the computer adjusts accordingly.

      Service intervals should be in the owners manual. My dealer said oil changes every 5,000 miles. Fluid flushes every 30k.
       
    4. Spengracin

      Spengracin Active Member

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      Most new cars/trucks every 5k. Good question: does anyone know if Ford in shipping the Ex's with Synthic blend in the motors, this will help with the 5k. I found my 98 F150, running full synthic after the first 10k, has worked great, and I change every 5k with synthic. If I was running regular oil, I think 3k would be better, depends on usage I guess.
       
    5. harlenm

      harlenm Active Member

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      I was told semi synthetic blend and not to go full synthetic.
       
    6. JDJones

      JDJones Member

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      Let the car determine when to change the oil. Changing at 3K or 5K is old school and does not help the Explorer last longer or run better, and does not help the enviroment. The system calculates on type of driving and conditions, and there is some good information from Edmunds that these numbers are acurate and still a bit conservative. The only absolute way to know if motor oil is used up is to send a sample to a special lab, but the low mileage numbers are meant to sale oil changes and filters, not help your car last longer.

      I personally use full synthetic for the last 12 years and never ever had an issue, but that is a personal choice.
       
    7. willied

      willied Well-Known Member

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      We're at almost 7,000 miles now so we were just wondering if it would tell us when to change. We changed the Expedition's oil every 5,000 miles even though 3,000 was recommended back then and it was extremely reliable.

      The DTE calculation still seems a little iffy though.
       
    8. RandyH2

      RandyH2 Active Member

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      12,000 miles between oil changes on our BMW's and that is the factory system notifying me when to make the change. I trust the engineers to know more about the needs of the engine than the oil marketing folks. :)

      The distance to empty calculation is a wonky bit of engineer humor. "Wouldn't it be funny if there were some display giving the miles to empty--- and we made it change randomly? Can you imagine it? Some poor guy is driving down the road at night, on his way home from a visit with the in-laws, and the gas gauge is indicating "E".... but we put a separate gauge that says he can make it 30 miles. His wife will be going crazy because they are about to run out of gas. He'll be confident he can make it home without stopping. Then we change the estimate to 18 miles until empty!! Hahahaha!"
       
    9. JDJones

      JDJones Member

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      Willied, on your left hand display, I beleive under information or system check, the Explorer will tell you in % how much oil life is left.
       
    10. BethesdaEC

      BethesdaEC Active Member

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      The only people who recommend 3K miles are those that make there money changing oil (cough, Jiffy Lube). VW I believe are 10 or 12K between oil changes now. I do when the computer tells me.

      Per Manual:
      NORMAL SCHEDULED MAINTENANCE AND LOG
      For your convenience, your vehicle is equipped with a message center
      which determines the proper oil change service interval. You should
      perform the engine oil change as indicated by the message center. The
      message center will display ENGINE OIL CHANGE SOON or OIL
      CHANGE REQUIRED to indicate when an oil change is needed. The
      engine oil change service needs to be completed within two weeks or
      500 miles (800 km) after the OIL CHANGE REQUIRED message is
      displayed. Your oil change service interval can be up to one year or
      10,000 miles (16,000 km). Reset your Intelligent Oil Life Monitorâ„¢ after
      each engine oil and filter change; refer to the Instrument Cluster
      chapter.
      If your message center is prematurely reset or becomes inoperative, you
      should perform the oil change interval at six months or 5,000 miles
      (8,000 km) from your last oil change
       
    11. John Frank

      John Frank New Member

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      DTE is just a guide based on current driving average consumption (mpg) and fuel left as harlenm already said.

      Driving conditions changing from gentle to heavy foot driving and city vs highway will change how far you can get with the fuel that is left in the tank.

      So as driving pattern or cycle changes so will DTE for same amount of fuel.
       
    12. Bill #5 Explorer

      Bill #5 Explorer Well-Known Member

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      DTE I am sure is a pretty complex calculation. I am pretty sure it also takes into consideration the MPG's you accomplished on your most recent fill-up.

      I am changing my oil every 7,000 miles. Full sythetic. Did first oil change at the 1,000 miles mark.
       
    13. Bill #5 Explorer

      Bill #5 Explorer Well-Known Member

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      Told by who? What silliness. Our Explorers require a semi sythetic, at a MINIMUM.

      I am using a full sythetic, every 7,000 miles. A full sythetic is superior to a blend, or a dino, in just about every way. Though not required.
       
    14. Bill #5 Explorer

      Bill #5 Explorer Well-Known Member

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      This is all wrong. You need to find a better dealership, or a deeper wallet. Read your owner's manual.
       
    15. blwnsmoke

      blwnsmoke Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      3,000 miles is crazy these days. Cars run more efficient and cleaner then back in the day. I see everyone talk about semi syn, dino and full synthetic but rare that any mentions a good oil filter. The oil filter is key.. I only put mobil 1 filters.. Never EVER put a fram on your car. They are complete junk.. $2 filter for your $40,000 vehicle?? that alone should say something. Spend the $13 on a filter and know that it is collecting all the crap in your engine properly.

      I use the 7,500 mile interval on oil changed, I'll go 10,000 miles if I use full synthetic. My last cars maintenance interval (Audi a4) was 10,000 miles. I had almost 160k on it and NEVER had an engine issue, not one mechanical failure or breakdown.

      If you want proof of how long your oil is good for, send a sample to blackstone and get an analysis on it. That will show you how long you can go between changes.
       
    16. willied

      willied Well-Known Member

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      Thanks for all the info guys.
       
    17. harlenm

      harlenm Active Member

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      His point was to save the money, no need to use full synthetic.
       
    18. harlenm

      harlenm Active Member

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      Here is the actual schedule.

      [​IMG]
       

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