Recommended Engine Oil for Ford Explorer

Choosing the Right Engine Oil for Your Ford Explorer: A Comprehensive Guide


For over three decades, the Ford Explorer has been a dependable companion for countless drivers, offering versatility, performance, and durability. To keep your Ford Explorer running at its best, choosing the right engine oil is crucial. In this article, we will delve into the recommended engine oils for various Ford Explorer models, spanning from 1980 to 2021, and provide insights into the top brands and their suitable options.

Understanding the Ford Explorer

Before we dive into engine oil recommendations, it’s essential to understand the different generations and engine types of the Ford Explorer. Over the years, Ford has introduced various engine options, from V6 to V8, and even hybrid powertrains. To make an informed choice, you need to know your specific Explorer model and engine type.

  1. Ford Explorer First Generation (1991–1994):
    • Engine Types: 4.0L V6, 4.0L V6 OHV, 4.0L V6 SOHC
    • Recommended Oil: During this era, conventional 5W-30 motor oil was widely used, with brands like Castrol GTX and Valvoline offering suitable options.
  2. Ford Explorer Second Generation (1995–2001):
    • Engine Types: 4.0L V6, 5.0L V8
    • Recommended Oil: Continue with 5W-30 for the V6 engine, but for the V8, consider a synthetic 5W-30, such as Mobil 1 or Pennzoil Platinum.
  3. Ford Explorer Third Generation (2002–2005):
    • Engine Types: 4.0L V6, 4.6L V8
    • Recommended Oil: Stick with 5W-30 for both engines, with brands like Royal Purple or Amsoil for enhanced protection.
  4. Ford Explorer Fourth Generation (2006–2010):
    • Engine Types: 4.0L V6, 4.6L V8, 4.6L V8 SOHC, 4.6L V8 3V
    • Recommended Oil: 5W-20 for the V6 and 5W-30 for the V8 engines, considering brands like Mobil 1 or Pennzoil Ultra Platinum for peak performance.
  5. Ford Explorer Fifth Generation (2011–2019):
    • Engine Types: 3.5L V6, 2.0L EcoBoost, 3.5L EcoBoost
    • Recommended Oil: Switch to 5W-20 or 5W-30 synthetic for the V6 and EcoBoost engines, with options like Castrol EDGE or Shell Rotella.
  6. Ford Explorer Sixth Generation (2020–2021):
    • Engine Types: 2.3L EcoBoost, 3.0L EcoBoost
    • Recommended Oil: Stick with synthetic 5W-20 or 5W-30 for these engines, considering brands like Mobil 1 Extended Performance or Quaker State Ultimate Durability.

Top Engine Oil Brands for Ford Explorer

When selecting engine oil for your Ford Explorer, the brand you choose matters just as much as the oil’s viscosity and type. Here are some top engine oil brands known for their quality and performance:

  1. Mobil 1: Mobil 1 offers a range of synthetic oils suitable for various Ford Explorer models, providing exceptional engine protection and performance.
  2. Castrol: Castrol is a trusted name in motor oil and offers options like Castrol GTX and Castrol EDGE, known for their reliability and durability.
  3. Valvoline: Valvoline has a long history of producing high-quality conventional and synthetic oils, making it a solid choice for your Explorer.
  4. Pennzoil: Pennzoil offers a variety of synthetic oils, including Pennzoil Platinum, known for maintaining engine cleanliness and reducing wear.
  5. Royal Purple: Royal Purple specializes in high-performance synthetic oils, ideal for enthusiasts seeking top-notch engine protection.
  6. Amsoil: Amsoil’s synthetic oils are engineered for extended drain intervals, making them a great option for those looking to reduce maintenance frequency.


Choosing the right engine oil for your Ford Explorer is crucial for maintaining its performance and longevity. Remember to consult your owner’s manual for specific oil recommendations and change intervals. Regardless of the model year, using high-quality engine oil from reputable brands is key to keeping your Ford Explorer running smoothly on the road for years to come.

Interested in other Ford Models? Check out new interesting articles about Ford models here: Ford

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