How to Change the Oil for a Ford Mustang

Over the weekend I had some time to get under my Mustang’s hood and change the oil. Its generally an easy task if you have the right parts. I have compiled a few key photos to ease you along the process. Changing your Mustang’s oil can save you money, around $30 or so. In time that can add up to a new performance part or money for gas.

Here’s a quick list of what you’ll need for the installation:

  • Socket sized to fit oil plug
  • Socket Wrench
  • Oil Filter Wrench
  • Drain Pan
  • Vehicle Ramp or Jack
  • Large Ziplock Bag
  • Latex Gloves


It’s best to change a Mustang’s oil when it’s warm. Warm oil will flow better, helping you drain as much used oil as possible. It will also help to carry residual sludge out should there be any in the oil passages. Wait at least 15 minutes between shutting the engine down and starting the oil change to let the Mustang cool down so you dont get burnt by any hot surfaces.

After the oil install I like to check the engine levels again after the first drive as the oil filter should be full and it gives the chance for the oil to run through the system. Top off with more fluids if needed.

Step 1 – Remove the engine oil cap to help assist the used oil in draining from the engine.
Step 2 – Next locate the drain plug on your Mustang’s oil pan.
Step 3 – Position your drain pan under the plug. Use a socket wrench to loosen the oil drain plug. Once its becomes loose you should be able to spin it by hand.
Step 4 – Make sure the drain pan is in position otherwise your going to have a mess, you may have to adjust the position as the oil is draining out. When the oil has stopped, replace the drain plug. Do not over-tighten the plug, turn it by hand until its snug and use the socket wrench an 1/8 of a turn or so.
Step 5 – Next you’ll need to remove the oil filter. Use a filter wrench to turn it counter-clockwise.
Step 6 – Once you’ve loosened the filter you can spin it off by hand.
Step 7 – I like to use a ziplock bag around the filter to minimize oil spill. Place the bag around the filter to help catch any draining oil from hitting the car’s chassis. If you don’t use a zip lock bag make sure your oil drain pan is in position.
Step 8 – The ziplock bag comes in handy.
Step 9 – Examine the old filter, make sure the rubber seal is still attached to the filter. If it’s missing your going to have to retrieve it from the filter mount on the engine. Since the new oil filter has a seal on it if you don’t remove the old seal you it can lead to oil leaks when driving.
Step 10 – Use a little oil and lubricate the seal of the new oil filter.
Step 11 – Not necessary but I like to pre-fill the new filter. This eliminates excess air in the oil system upon engine startup. Keep in mind you may have to tilt the oil filter when re-installing so do fill it up too much. Between 1/2 to 3/4 should be fine. Hand tighten the new filter into place, then use the filter wrench to snug the filter on about 1/4 to 1/2 a turn.
Step 12 – Keeping the spout of the quart of oil on top will give you more control and if poured correctly eliminates the need for a funnel.
Step 13 – After about 5 quarts I check the level to see if it is full, you may need to add more oil depending on what your manual says. After the oil level is correct, start the engine up. Be sure to check if your oil pressure gauge indicates there is oil pressure. I like to look under the car while its running to check for any leaks.