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Debating doing own maintenance (oil, tire rotation etc)


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11 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Jujulie

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Posted 28 April 2018 - 02:04 AM

Interested in others opinions on this:

Should I invest in a car jack, lug wrench, and either ramps or jack stands? I used to change my own oil and rotated my tires for years and then didn't need to with electric leafs, so I sold all my equipment. Didn't need ramps back then since my old (old 90's) car didn't have an under-cover.

Looks like I can get what I need for $50-80 depending (used on Craigslist or new on Amazon/chinese-made probably.)

An oil change at a shop will run me around $75 including tax here in SF. Doesn't make sense to go to ford, probably, since it's 45 miles away. Not sure how much $/which brand of synthetic oil is best?

Also, I ordered the inner fender liner since I'm missing one in front, so I either pay someone $40 to install or do on my own. Seems like maybe investing in the equipment will nearly pay for itself for that one job. I no longer have a garage to store stuff so I gotta consider that, too...sigh.

So...recommend me doing my own maintenance? If you do yours, what oil do you recommend? I'll be adding Motor Purr at each change, already have a jar of it ready (and about 9800 miles til I need it!) But, the fender liner will be here next week... I also have always carried tire plug kits with me, and have one in the c-max too. Have saved me many times, never had a failure using them either. Have had 2 unrepairable tires due to sidewall blowout or nail too close to sidewall for safe repair.

Ok...have at it! :)







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#2 OFFLINE   SnowStorm

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Posted 28 April 2018 - 07:06 AM

Well, I do oil changes but not tire rotations.  Thoughts:

  1. You need a T30 bit for the screws on the under-engine cover.  When installing, make sure it clips in place about 2/3s the way back near the sides - have a look before you take it off.
  2. There's not much room for a filter wrench to move so get one with a swinging handle or one that fits over the end of the filter.
  3. I happen to use Mobil 1 but I'm sure Ford's blend or many other quality oils are fine - I'm in no position to actually recommend anything.
  4. My tire dealer dealer does rotations for free every 5000 miles so that's what I do.  The next time you buy tires you might get them somewhere that does free rotations.  In any case, don't go longer than 10k (you can end up with cupping and noise) and use Ford's rotation pattern in the manual which rotates each tire to all 4 locations.
  5. If you do rotate yourself, be sure and get a proper 6 point socket with the undercut corners (there's a number of posts about this issue).  Do not use a 12 point!  The lug nuts have covers and they will get deformed.
  6. Engine and cabin air filters can be changed too - both are a bit of a pain but really not that bad.  Read up on all the posts on this forum first, though.
  7. Find something fun to do with all the money you save!

  • JAZ, obob, BIG ROCCO and 1 other like this

#3 OFFLINE   Jujulie

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Posted 28 April 2018 - 10:46 AM

awesome, thanks for all of that! Great tips...I have done the cabin and air filters, so all set on that. Curious about the spark plugs/wires, too, if anyone has info on that end.

#4 OFFLINE   homestead

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Posted 28 April 2018 - 11:32 AM

When I got my cmax the ramps that I used on my previous car would not work because the cmax is so low

to the ground.  I had to use a jack and stands to be able to change the oil.  Changing the oil was easy once

you get it jacked up.



#5 OFFLINE   Jujulie

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Posted 29 April 2018 - 02:32 PM

I looked at the lug nuts on my c-max and they appear to be in good condition. Small marks on the flat sides but no rounding off, no rust. No obvious bulging. I think it would make sense that after 375k, the oem's have been replaced with something else. I don't know what that means for the specifics of the lug wrench. I'll try to get one that fits oem and hope that works.

Now I'm thinking through what it'll take to rotate cross-ways my tires. Will I need to put it up on 4 jack stands to be most efficient? I'm stuck thinking about the last step and only 3 lift points enacted (as in, I'm worried that the front left, with no wheel, will need to be kept up til the end and will I have enough gear to get all the way around the car in the meantime.)

#6 OFFLINE   SnowStorm

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Posted 29 April 2018 - 09:19 PM

I would still get a 6 point socket with undercut corners - I've never seen a lug wrench made that way.



#7 OFFLINE   Jujulie

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Posted 01 May 2018 - 10:47 PM

Is there any kind soul who can recommend a setup for lug nut removal? Do I buy a breaker bar and a socket? What size? Sorry, I keep going back into the threads but the dimensions are all over the place...

#8 OFFLINE   SnowStorm

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 09:57 AM

Here's my post about the type of socket to get (6 point with undercut corners).  Follow the link in that post for pictures.  Here's the socket I bought - 19mm.  Impact sockets should be made the same way but may cost a bit more.  Yes, I carry a breaker bar to be sure I can get them loose but its really just for emergencies (when I take the spare tire along).  Of course for tire rotations you might also want a ratchet or some type of power driver (to speed thing up) and a torque wrench.  This post says 100 ft-lbs.



#9 OFFLINE   Jujulie

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 11:12 AM

For the breaker and socket is 1/2 or 3/4 better?

#10 OFFLINE   JAZ

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 01:44 PM

Never found a nut I couldn't loosen or an automotive bolt I couldn't break with a 1/2 breaker, but there were times I wished I had a 3/4.  How's that for a wafting answer?



#11 OFFLINE   Jujulie

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 03:51 PM

All good advice, thanks everyone. I ordered 1/2 inch so I should be good. :)

#12 OFFLINE   BIG ROCCO

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 07:59 PM

1/2" breaker bar - I use an impact socket part of a set from HF.  Always works fine not sure of the size.  To change the oil, I jack up first one side and then the other on the front end.  I use a floor jack and lift behind the front wheels.  As I jack up each side, i place a small HF jackstand immediately adjacent to the jack saddle, on the rocker panel.  To change the oil, I crawl under the car and start removing the bolts that hold on the lower engine cover.  When the last ones come out, the cover drops onto my chest/belly.  Then drain the oil and change the oil filter - standard stuff.  Reverse the process to install the cover.  Leave the jackstands in place, remove the front tires, then use your floorjack to raise each rear corner (jack from underneath, in front of the rear tires)  and remove and replace the tires.  Finally place the tires from the rear up front and jack and remove the jackstand and lower each corner.  I change the oil when the car says to change - usually ~ 10K, so that's a good tire rotation interval, too.  If you are more conservative about your oil change intervals, it wouldn't do any harm to rotate your tires more frequently (7K? 5K), too








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