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Thread: Opinions on F150 Maintenece

  1. #1
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    Default Opinions on F150 Maintenece

    Hey guys,

    This doesn't involve anything outdoors, but I've learned there are some very knowledgeable people on here so I wanted to get your thoughts...I have a 2008 F150 Lariat 4x4 5.4L with 142,000 miles on it. I bought it 4 years ago with 79,000 miles on it. I get my oil changed every 4,000 to 5,000 miles. I try to baby this truck because I will need to drive it as long as I can. I used to change the oil myself, but since I've been in grad school and live in an apartment now, I haven't had a place to do it. The last few times I've been to the dealer (fairway ford in Greenville) to get oil changes, they have recommended I get my transmission flushed, fuel injectors cleaned, differential fluid changed, and a few other things. I don't know if the previous owner every had anything done, but the only thing I have ever done (aside from oil changes and air filters) is change the spark plugs at 80,000 miles. My question to you all is what actually needs to be done? Is a transmission fluid flush that important? They quoted me over $800 to do everything they recommended. I don't have $800 to fork out, but I'm getting married in a couple weeks, so I would like to at least do whatever is most important before I'm on a budget with someone else. Should I just continue getting oil changes and not worry about the other stuff, or is one of those things vital and long over due?

    Appreciate any info.

  2. #2
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    With that mileage I wouldn't do the flush, just a fluid and filter change instead. Seafoam in the gas tank to clean the injectors. Diff fluid is a parking lot job.
    A service managers job is to sell this stuff. Not saying it's not due, but they put their lowest paid tech's on it and make a killing.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I should add if you're set on paying somebody else to do it, talk to family/friends and find a good reputable independent shop to do it. Should save a ton of money and get better service.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9c1cap84 View Post
    With that mileage I wouldn't do the flush, just a fluid and filter change instead. Seafoam in the gas tank to clean the injectors. Diff fluid is a parking lot job.
    A service managers job is to sell this stuff. Not saying it's not due, but they put their lowest paid tech's on it and make a killing.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I should add if you're set on paying somebody else to do it, talk to family/friends and find a good reputable independent shop to do it. Should save a ton of money and get better service.
    Thanks for the reply. I actually called a few places around the Clemson area that had good reviews, but they were all about the same on price. You are not the first person to tell me to hold off on the transmission flush since its got over 100,000 miles, so I wont do that. I checked the fluid and its still bright pink and looks pretty good, so I'll probably just hold off on getting it changed as well. I will try seafoam in the gas tank, thanks for that recommendation. What are your thoughts on getting the brake fluid changed? I've heard some people do it every 30,000 miles and other people never do it. That's the only thing I was thinking about doing since they claim it needs to be and they're offering a discount right now. I appreciate your help.

  4. #4
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    BG makes a good fuel injector cleaner and may be better than Seafoam (Good Stuff) and there are videos on youtube if you need instructions.
    I doubt I would flush the brakes and also believe that dropping the pan and changing the filter with an inspection and small fluid replacement is the best route.
    I might drain the differential enough to see if I could pick up metal debris on a magnet...maybe...then refill...just so you know
    Yippee Ki Yay

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    They really sell hard on the fluid flush and change. I knew it was high but never dreamed $800. I would not worry about them until over 100,000. Coolant doesn’t wear out. If it is contaminated you have a problem other than the coolant. The recommendation used to be clean screen or replace filter on Tran at 60,000 and fluid. I don’t do any of that and run our truck over 225,000 in the three year lease. We change the engine oil and filter at 3000 and check the other fluids at that time. Brake fluid should be replaced when you do replace the brakes and not a periodic replacement. Other fluid changed if dirty or there is a problem. If the transmission fluid or differential grease is dirty there is a problem and it’s not the fluid.

    On the machines we service, we change oil filters regularly and perform oil analysis quarterly. No need to throw away good oil. We have salvaged the oil charge on several machines by changing filters. Some of These machines hold over 200 gallons of oil so it is a big savings. These are not internal combustion engines but neither are your brakes, transmission, or differential.
    "Any man who thinks he can be happy and Prosperous by letting the US Government Officials take care of him, better take a closer look at the American Indian."
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  6. #6
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    Transmission oil breaks down with heat. Any amount of towing will speed up the process. The reason I would not flush is because any buildup on inner surfaces could be knocked free and clog up orifices. Then tranny no worky.

    Differentials dont have grease, they have oil. It also degrades with heat but to a lesser degree because of lower temps.

    I buy my wife a new vehicle every three years and I drive old stuff, newest is a 95. Every time I acquire a used vehicle (usually150k plus), I change everything. Fresh start so you know what's been done and when.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9c1cap84 View Post
    Transmission oil breaks down with heat. Any amount of towing will speed up the process. The reason I would not flush is because any buildup on inner surfaces could be knocked free and clog up orifices. Then tranny no worky.

    Differentials dont have grease, they have oil. It also degrades with heat but to a lesser degree because of lower temps.

    I buy my wife a new vehicle every three years and I drive old stuff, newest is a 95. Every time I acquire a used vehicle (usually150k plus), I change everything. Fresh start so you know what's been done and when.
    Yes it is 90 w gear oil. Folks used to call it grease. You are right about the towing. My last two trucks have a transmission temp gauge and you can see the difference. Pulling a bass boat or utility trailer not much increase but pulling my camper you can really see the increase.

    Take a look at the manufactures vehicle maintenance schedule and they will give you the real recommendations without the sales pitch from the dealer. The newer lubes reduce friction and have a longer life than the old single run lubes.
    "Any man who thinks he can be happy and Prosperous by letting the US Government Officials take care of him, better take a closer look at the American Indian."
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iceman View Post
    They really sell hard on the fluid flush and change. I knew it was high but never dreamed $800. I would not worry about them until over 100,000. Coolant doesn’t wear out. If it is contaminated you have a problem other than the coolant. The recommendation used to be clean screen or replace filter on Tran at 60,000 and fluid. I don’t do any of that and run our truck over 225,000 in the three year lease. We change the engine oil and filter at 3000 and check the other fluids at that time. Brake fluid should be replaced when you do replace the brakes and not a periodic replacement. Other fluid changed if dirty or there is a problem. If the transmission fluid or differential grease is dirty there is a problem and it’s not the fluid.

    On the machines we service, we change oil filters regularly and perform oil analysis quarterly. No need to throw away good oil. We have salvaged the oil charge on several machines by changing filters. Some of These machines hold over 200 gallons of oil so it is a big savings. These are not internal combustion engines but neither are your brakes, transmission, or differential.
    Just a generic point on your comment on coolant not wearing out. It does, it's components break down over time and it no longer works as it did when fresh. Although I don't know if Ford ever used Dexcool but GM sure did and it was pure garbage if not replaced around 5-7 years. It turns to what looks like mud when it breaks down and can clog up not only the radiator but even engine block coolant passages. I know this for a fact as it happened to my father's Cadillac. I am stating this because someone not driving a Ford may think that coolant doesn't wear out but it most certainly does, over enough time. Most if not all manufacturers recommend a complete coolant replacement at some point in the life of the vehicle.

    For what it's worth my 2001 Dodge Dakota with 285,000 miles has never had it's manual transmission oil or diff oil changed and it doesn't leak. But I will say sometimes I think to myself I probably ought to change both. The clutch was changed at 225,000 but only because the release bearing was burned due to my wife resting her foot on the clutch pedal while driving it.

    BTW, my best advice is to always avoid dealer service if warranty issues are not involved. They are thieves.
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  9. #9
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    my F250 has 389K...the trans fluid to my knowledge has been changed several times in that period...6 maybe. The rear diff had some changed when I replaced the front seal and yoke. Coolant every time the water pump is changed.
    Yippee Ki Yay

  10. #10
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    Good advise on here. Never keep my truck more than 60,000 miles. Our service vehicles are rotated out every 3 years. Retiring soon so I will have to get back into keep a vehicle to mega mileage again. Some of you guys know the ropes on that.
    "Any man who thinks he can be happy and Prosperous by letting the US Government Officials take care of him, better take a closer look at the American Indian."
    Henry Ford

  11. #11
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    I have a 2001 F150 with the 5.4 engine that has 205k on it. I do all the maintenance myself. Here's my advice.

    Trans - Do NOT power flush the trans. Not only because your truck has 142K on it, but because it's a bad idea always. Here's what I do. First, I installed a drain in my pan at 50K. I can tell you how to do this at some other time if you want. Then, every other oil change, I open the trans plug and drain it. Every 75K or so, I drop the pan, change the filter and check the magnet. It holds about 15 qts. but only about 5 come out. That's ok since I drain it every 12K miles. I use Castrol Mercon V.

    Oil - Every 6K using full synthetic.

    Differential - Every 60K. I have a limited slip so I have to use the Ford additive. Easy job but stinky.

    Brake Fluid - There are many opinions on this but for the money, I'd do it. It's a pretty easy DIY job if you have a helper to help bleed. I have only done mine once at 125K.

    Coolant - Definitely change the coolant at this point. It can prevent headaches in the future.

    Plugs - If they've never been changed, they are in desperate need. Not only for performance and gas mileage, but there can be other bad consequences if you don't change them every 100K. It's a big job and a bit complicated but can be a DIY. It's expensive to have done by a dealer or even a corner garage. If you want to DIY, and want guidance, PM me.

    Injectors - Don't change them if they work. Do as others have said and use seafoam or injector cleaner.

    Coil Packs - Not sure if your dealer mentioned these but don't let them talk you into this one. Again, if they work, leave em. If one goes bad, it'll feel like your engine is falling apart. Luckily, it's an easy DIY job. It's usually the one on the passenger side, cylinder closest to the back. It gets all the heat and usually goes bad first. I keep a spare in my truck and a 7mm socket on a 1/4" drive ratchet. That's how easy they are to change. You can do it on the side of the road in 15 minutes. However, they are a bit expensive to buy.

    Fuel Filter - Probably not a bad idea to replace. You'll need a cheap special release tool and also you'll need to know how to depressurize the line. Youtube is your friend.

    I guess that's all I can think of for now.
    Last edited by Banjo Bud; 07-12-2019 at 04:51 PM.
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  12. #12
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    Since I was in the auto parts business for years, I highly suggest Lucas fuel treatment, oil treatment, transmission treatment, and coolant treatment if you can find all of them at your local parts store.

    Ford did not go to Dexcool, but every manufacturer now has their own brand of coolant. I've always run the Advance Auto Parts brand that is compatable with all of the various manufacturer brands.

    Also, Banjo Bud is spot on about the #8 cylinder coil pack. I just went ahead and had all of mine replaced, plus I had the breakaway plugs replaced with the Champion Iridium instead of the Autolites. My '05 Lariat 4x4 with the 5.4 has nearly 170,000 and it runs like brand new since I had that done. BTW, mine also has an 8" lift kit with 33s on the 18" factory mags.
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  13. #13
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    I bought a Nissan Frontier new in 1999 and still have it.It is about to turn over 500,000 miles.I use Mobil1 every 5000 miles.I drained what little comes out of the transmission and cleaned the screen every 30,000.Change the coolant every other year.It will go bad and lead to head gasket problems.The alternator lasted 350,000 miles and the water pump went at 375,000.At 400,000 the trans went and I found a junkyard transmission with 100,000 miles,installed it and a huge(for that truck)transmission cooler and flushed and filled it with synthetic fluid.I know this little truck cant go forever but it will be interesting to see how far it will go.

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    That’s amazing buddyb. Heres hoping you get to 1,000,000.
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    I had the same truck. And spent many days working on it. The diff fluid is a joke to change. You just have to add the LSD friction modifier if you have a limited slip. Forget the fuel injector clean. That’s a gimmick. And you can easily change the tranny fluid. Will the tranny service make it last longer maybe not. Honestly I would just drive the thing until the wheels fall off. Those trucks had tons of issues.

  16. #16
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    Tons of issues? Not mine. I think if they’re maintained like they should be they’ll last a loooonnnngggg time. 205,000 and I still have my original exhaust, water pump, alternator, a/c pump, PS pump, every light and switch works as it should, no ABS issues, no blown plug issues. It’s been a great truck. I wouldn’t be afraid to drive it to Alaska.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Banjo Bud View Post
    Tons of issues? Not mine. I think if they’re maintained like they should be they’ll last a loooonnnngggg time. 205,000 and I still have my original exhaust, water pump, alternator, a/c pump, PS pump, every light and switch works as it should, no ABS issues, no blown plug issues. It’s been a great truck. I wouldn’t be afraid to drive it to Alaska.
    Mine was great till 200000. And the 3v did not have blown plug issues that was the 2v. The 3v the plugs would stick in the head

  18. #18
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    Stuck plug issue is solved by running seafoam or Marvel Mystery oil though one tank of gas, and also spraying aerokroil around plugs the night before removal.
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  19. #19
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    Its funny you say DONT flush the trans Banjo,,,Ive done it on every car and truck Ive ever owned. Never had a problem. Worked at quite a few dealerships and the guys tell me to do it......
    Capt Rick Hiott
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iceman View Post
    They really sell hard on the fluid flush and change. I knew it was high but never dreamed $800. I would not worry about them until over 100,000. Coolant doesn’t wear out. If it is contaminated you have a problem other than the coolant. The recommendation used to be clean screen or replace filter on Tran at 60,000 and fluid. I don’t do any of that and run our truck over 225,000 in the three year lease. We change the engine oil and filter at 3000 and check the other fluids at that time. Brake fluid should be replaced when you do replace the brakes and not a periodic replacement. Other fluid changed if dirty or there is a problem. If the transmission fluid or differential grease is dirty there is a problem and it’s not the fluid.

    On the machines we service, we change oil filters regularly and perform oil analysis quarterly. No need to throw away good oil. We have salvaged the oil charge on several machines by changing filters. Some of These machines hold over 200 gallons of oil so it is a big savings. These are not internal combustion engines but neither are your brakes, transmission, or differential.
    It was $800 for everything, not just the flush. Thank you for the info!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jester896 View Post
    my F250 has 389K...the trans fluid to my knowledge has been changed several times in that period...6 maybe. The rear diff had some changed when I replaced the front seal and yoke. Coolant every time the water pump is changed.
    Wow... What year and engine is it?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Banjo Bud View Post
    I have a 2001 F150 with the 5.4 engine that has 205k on it. I do all the maintenance myself. Here's my advice.

    Trans - Do NOT power flush the trans. Not only because your truck has 142K on it, but because it's a bad idea always. Here's what I do. First, I installed a drain in my pan at 50K. I can tell you how to do this at some other time if you want. Then, every other oil change, I open the trans plug and drain it. Every 75K or so, I drop the pan, change the filter and check the magnet. It holds about 15 qts. but only about 5 come out. That's ok since I drain it every 12K miles. I use Castrol Mercon V.

    Oil - Every 6K using full synthetic.

    Differential - Every 60K. I have a limited slip so I have to use the Ford additive. Easy job but stinky.

    Brake Fluid - There are many opinions on this but for the money, I'd do it. It's a pretty easy DIY job if you have a helper to help bleed. I have only done mine once at 125K.

    Coolant - Definitely change the coolant at this point. It can prevent headaches in the future.

    Plugs - If they've never been changed, they are in desperate need. Not only for performance and gas mileage, but there can be other bad consequences if you don't change them every 100K. It's a big job and a bit complicated but can be a DIY. It's expensive to have done by a dealer or even a corner garage. If you want to DIY, and want guidance, PM me.

    Injectors - Don't change them if they work. Do as others have said and use seafoam or injector cleaner.

    Coil Packs - Not sure if your dealer mentioned these but don't let them talk you into this one. Again, if they work, leave em. If one goes bad, it'll feel like your engine is falling apart. Luckily, it's an easy DIY job. It's usually the one on the passenger side, cylinder closest to the back. It gets all the heat and usually goes bad first. I keep a spare in my truck and a 7mm socket on a 1/4" drive ratchet. That's how easy they are to change. You can do it on the side of the road in 15 minutes. However, they are a bit expensive to buy.

    Fuel Filter - Probably not a bad idea to replace. You'll need a cheap special release tool and also you'll need to know how to depressurize the line. Youtube is your friend.

    I guess that's all I can think of for now.
    Thank you sir for the detailed and valuable information! The spark plugs were changed at 80K miles (I had the dealership change them before I bought it). Based on your response and the limited money I have right now being a graduate student, it sounds like I should make changing the coolant the priority (and just use seafoam to clean the injectors. I might double up with seafoam and lucas fuel treatment actually).

    I really appreciate your advice.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by rthomas4 View Post
    Since I was in the auto parts business for years, I highly suggest Lucas fuel treatment, oil treatment, transmission treatment, and coolant treatment if you can find all of them at your local parts store.

    Ford did not go to Dexcool, but every manufacturer now has their own brand of coolant. I've always run the Advance Auto Parts brand that is compatable with all of the various manufacturer brands.

    Also, Banjo Bud is spot on about the #8 cylinder coil pack. I just went ahead and had all of mine replaced, plus I had the breakaway plugs replaced with the Champion Iridium instead of the Autolites. My '05 Lariat 4x4 with the 5.4 has nearly 170,000 and it runs like brand new since I had that done. BTW, mine also has an 8" lift kit with 33s on the 18" factory mags.
    What exact kind of lift do you have? And have you found that it wears out some parts (like your ball joints) faster? I only have a 1.5 inch leveling kit cuz ive always heard any sort of lift or level over 2 inches wears out your front end faster and makes the ride worse.

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