5.0 oil usage? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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5.0 oil usage?


Well-Known Member
June 14, 2004
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City, State
Wine Country
Year, Model & Trim Level
'00 XLT 5.0 AWD
I checked my oil before my recent oil change and I was 2 quarts low! The oil level would barely cover the tip of the dipstick.

I have less than 50K miles on the motor, and have been using Mobil 1 for the last 20k miles. I usually go 5000 miles between oil changes. I've never noticed smoking on start-up, or excessive carbon/oil on the plugs.

Does the 5.0 use oil like this?



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I dont ever recall my truck needing that much if any, additional oil between changes.
Do you think that you may have gotten less oil in there on the last change.

With that much oil you should be able to see it going where ever.

How much miles do you go between changes?

That is definately not normal. On my last 3 oil changes the 5.0 has used a negligable amount of oil, not even detectable on the stick.

check for leaks

It could be engine internals, but is more likley a leak. When was the last time you replaced your drain plug and it's crush gasket? The whole assembly is $1.99 at any parts store. Look under the truck for oily spots. If you don't find any, change the oil, noting its consistancy, and then keep a close eye on all your fluids over the next few weeks.

I'd notice if it was dripping - it's not.
it's only been 5k since the last oil change.

How many quarts of oil should the 5.0 take during an oil/filter change?


5 quarts.

Valve cover gaskets - front and rear seals are all suspicious areas for leaks. It could be that you are only leaking when it runs (which happens with valve cover gaskets) and then when it does leak, it comes down on the exhaust and burns off... I'd do a good check for leaks like the other guys have said.

In the past, I have run Amsoil for extended periods between changes (like 25,000 miles) and have not had to add any oil except a quart at about 12,000 for the filter change at mid-year (change the oil ever 25,000 and the filter at 12,000). I did that in a car for 245,000 miles and it was the same at the end as at the beginning.

I'm losing oil somehow too. There's no leaks and no smoking. I don't know where it's going. I heard the valves tapping and checked the dipstick, nothing to show for on the stick. Each time I needed to add 4 quarts. I'm starting to think something changed when I modified the valvetrain and cam. Both times I had the problem, it was noticed at the end of long trips. This past friday I put almost put 600 miles on in one day. By the time I got home, valves were tapping. Unless it burns really slow and I can't tell it's burning or really slow leak somewhere internal or at a gasket. Don't understand....

I'd start checking the oil every other day. If you had to add 4 quarts you were dangerously low on oil. I'd change that and the filter, and keep ahead of the tapping.

I'd lay odds that you didn't replace the valve seals and the added lift of the cam has run the valves more open, destroying the stock seals that were worn in at a certain place.

To be 4 quarts low, you gotta be burning a LOT of oil... Remember, your cats will burn off the oil, you probably will not see it "smoking" out the tailpipe, even if it is burning oil.

If it were me, I'd pop the intake and see how much oil is inside the intake track from blowby as well. I'd make a bet that it is loaded!

I have a similar problem. I'm using about a quart of oil between changes (about 3000-4000 miles; Mobil1). I don't drive an excessive amount of miles, about 200 per week. I'm not leaking, at least not onto the ground (I have a brand new driveway so I'd know pretty quick) but it looks like I should look more closely at the valve covers for starters.

Ya, I agree with the others, you should not be burning oil at all.

I've actually run into the opposite problem, the last 2 oil changes I've had, the oil has been just slightly too high on the dipstick. I have almost 90k on my 5.0 and it doesn't burn an ounce of oil. Time to take the X back to the oil change shop, I don't like having the oil this high on the dipstick, they must not have drained out all the old oil properly or something.

Hard to not drain out all the oil. Hopefully something isn't leaking into the crank.

I did crawl underneath and see there may be some leakage on the drivers side. I was able to tighten the valve cover bolts maybe a turn. I dont want to over torque them though. I will bring up the valve seals issue to my 5.0 mechanic. Thanks