According to the Ford-150 owner’s manual, 5w30 synthetic blend or full synthetic/super-premium motor oil is the most suitable for a 3.5 Ecoboost engine.
Picking the right oil is critical for your Ford 3.5L EcoBoost engine. Inferior oils can cause engine wear, deposits, leaks and even turbo failures over time.
With 10+ years of experience, I’ve seen the damage improper oils can do. I’ve seen improper oils cause engine wear, deposits, leaks, and even turbo failures over time.
In this article, I’ll walk you through the factory-recommended oil specs, weights, and leading brands that meet Ford criteria.
Whether you opt for premium synthetic or reliable conventional oil, you’ll know exactly what to pour in your EcoBoost to maximize performance and protection.
If you’re confused about the viscosity grades of motor oil, I will highly recommend you to read my guide on the difference between 5w20 and 5w30 motor oil.
What You Will Learn:
Important Factors for the Best Oil for 3.5 Ecoboost
I have taken the following factors into account while reviewing the best oil for Ford 3.5 Ecoboost Engine:
- Fuel economy
- Gears shifting
- Overall engine feel and sound
- Oil drain intervals
- Greenhouse gas emissions
- Engine deposits
For optimum performance, it is important to select the right type of oil for your vehicle and change it regularly. If you do not do so, the engine oil quality will deteriorate rapidly, leading to poor engine performance.
All synthetic oils should be certified to meet the latest Ford Ford WSS-M2C961-A1 engine oil specification. API SP/GF-6 is the new bare minimum for modern oil to be used with a 3.5 Ecoboost engine. API SP/GF-6 oil standards were modeled after GM’s Dexos1 Gen 2 to address LSPI issues.
GM Dexos1 Gen 2 was the first engine oil specification introduced to deal with LSPI (Low-speed Pre-Ignition) issues in modern direct injection engines in 2015. So, when engine oil is API SP and ILSAC GF-6 certified, it basically moves closer to Dexos 1 Gen 2 requirements.
According to discussions by experts on the relevant forums, I found that the requirements of GM Dexos Gen 2 for engine oils are even tougher than all Ford engine oil requirement specs of API SP/GF-6 standards. Dexos Gen 2 oil has tougher specs for wear, volatility, and deposits. So, if a synthetic motor oil of 5w30 grade has certification of Dexos Gen 2, you can use it in Ford 3.5 Ecoboost engine.
What Are Recommended Oils for 3.5 Ecoboost?
Here is a list of oils suitable for 3.5 EcoBoost.
Motorcraft SAE 5W30 Synthetic Blend Motor Oil: Best Budget
In the owner’s manual, Ford recommends Motorcraft 5w30 as the best oil for 3.5 Ecoboost. Motorcraft is a division of the Ford Motor Company that sells different car accessories like oil filters, belts, alternators, etc. Motorcraft division of Ford gets its supplies of Motorcraft oil from ConocoPhilips Co., which is an American firm that deals with hydrocarbon exploration.
Motorcraft Synthetic Blend is well-regarded based on used oil analyses. Plus, the Ford engineers are intimately involved in the development of the engine and you know that they’ve had a say in the formulation of Motorcraft oil to suit the demands of the 3.5 Ecoboost engine.
Here is what a user says about Motorcraft Synthetic Blend Oil:
“I’ve had Motorcraft 5W-30 synthetic blend compared to a leading company’s 5W-30 “Full synthetic” with Blackstone Iabs testing and the Motorcraft blend actually had better results after 5000 miles.”
There are different versions of Motorcraft 5w30 oil on Amazon. In 2021, Ford announced new oil specs that require engine oil to be synthetic and API SP certified. These new oil specs by Ford are backward compatible. So, if you have Ford engine models before 2020, this Motorcraft 5w30 synthetic blend motor oil, having API SP certification, is still compatible.
I would suggest you avoid Motorcraft oils having API SN or SN plus certification as they are not recommended by Ford since 2021. Still, those motor oils are being sold on Amazon as you can check here.
Here’s how a back label of the latest version of Motorcraft 5w30 Synthetic Blend Motor Oil looks:
Users have said that Motorcraft synthetic blend oil is quite good for the money. You can easily run your 3.5 Ecoboost engine up to 5k miles without having a need to change the Motorcraft oil.
If you want to go for extended oil change intervals, run your car very hard, or just want to be extra careful, I would not recommend Motorcraft Synthetic Blend. You can use the synthetic blend motor oils I have recommended below.
Lastly, one point I would like to highlight is that you should also be concerned with the oil filter in your Ford engine. Usually, Motorcraft oil filters suit perfectly with Motorcraft oil.
Mobil 1 Full Synthetic 5w30: Best Overall Synthetic Motor Oil For 3.5 Ecoboost
Mobil 1 is the most inexpensive full synthetic motor oil you can use for a 3.5 Ecoboost engine if you want to achieve longer OCI. The thing I liked about Mobil 1 Full Synthetic oil is that it meets the requirements of the Dexos 1 Gen 3 standard, which was announced in Aug 2020.
Also, if you look at the back label of Mobil 1 Full Synthetic Oil, you can see that it has also mentioned the engine oil specs of Ford i.e. WSS-M2C961-A1. Even if the Ford engine oil spec wasn’t mentioned, if the motor oil met the specs of Dexos 1 Gen 2/3, it would also meet API SP/GF-6 or Ford standards.
Many users have complained that after switching to Mobil 1 full synthetic oil, the 3.5 Ecoboost engine runs quiet and smoother for long distances.
According to PQIA, the cold crank viscosity ( at -30 degrees C) of 5w30 Mobil 1 Full Synthetic oil and 5w30 Motorcraft Synthetic Blend oil is 4198 cP and 5832 cP respectively. The advantage of lower viscosity at cold temperatures gives an advantage to the engine during a cold startup.
Next, PQIA test of Motorcraft shows that Motorcraft has a calcium to magnesium ratio of 3.59:1, while Mobil 1 has calcium to magnesium ratio of 1.75:1. Mobil 1 Full synthetic contains significantly more magnesium compared to the Motorcraft Synthetic Blend.
According to the Bobstheoilguy forum, magnesium is a little bit more abrasive in an engine when compared to calcium when it is oxidized. In generic terms, Calcium means detergent while Magnesium means dispersant. More magnesium in Mobil 1 is responsible for dispersing the sludge and soot particles for the purpose of preventing agglomeration, settling, and deposits.
Also, Mobil 1 oil has a quite high TBN (Total Base Number) as compared to that of Motorcraft. Higher TBN means motor oil has a better alkaline ability to fight against organic, sulphurous, and sulphuric acids formed in the oil.
Furthermore, Mobil 1 contains more zinc and less molybdenum compared to Motorcraft oil. In oil, zinc is present in the form of ZDDP. ZDDP acts as an anti-wear agent and molybdenum acts as a friction modifier. ZDDP is activated and starts forming a coating on the top of all engine components that are under high pressure. The coating can plastically deform. This is where molybdenum comes, in and helps to reduce the deformation and spalling of the coating.
So, in conclusion, I would say Mobil-1 may be a better choice compared to Motorcraft if your drive cycles are mostly severe service. As far as NOAK % is concerned, Mobil 1 full synthetic 5w30 has NOAK % of around 10% while Motorcraft synthetic blend 5w30 has a NOAK % of around 13%. The lower NOAK %, the better is the oil condition. 10% NOAK means that 10% of oil will evaporate after one hour if its temperature is maintained at 250 degrees Celsius.
I would recommend using Wix, NAPA, or Mobil-1 filters with Mobil-1 oil.
Valvoline Maxlife 5w30: Best Synthetic Oil for Used or High-mileage 3.5 Ecoboost Engine
Valvoline Maxlife is also one of the best synthetic oils to be used in the Ford 3.5L Ecoboost engine that has covered extensive miles. Like Mobil 1, Valvoline Maxlife is also certified for API SP/GF-6, Dexos 1 Gen2, and Ford WSS-M2C961-A1 engine oil specs as you can see in the picture below:
The reason that Valvoline 5w30 synthetic motor oil is preferred for high-mileage EcoBoost engines is the better additives for high-mileage engines such as more anti-wear and some seal reconditioners
Valvoline Full Synthetic High Mileage with MaxLife Technology SAE 5W-30 Motor Oil is formulated for the performance demands of high-mileage engines, along with older engines that are more wear-prone. MaxLife Technology is a proprietary blend of anti-wear, detergent, and seal conditioners that deliver longer-lasting protection against engine deposits, sludge, leaks, and breakdown.
According to the PSQIA test of Valvoline Maxlife 5w30, Valvoline Maxlife Synthetic 5w30 oil has a higher concentration of magnesium compared to the Motorcraft 5w30 and Mobil-1 5w30 oil.
The ratio of magnesium to calcium in Valvoline 5w30 is almost 1:1. When engines become older, they do not undergo efficient combustion, due to which excessive soot particles are formed. To tackle this, higher magnesium concentration in Valvoline helps prevent the deposits and keep the engine clean.
Lastly, I would say that if your FORD 3.5 Ecoboost Engine has covered over 75000 miles, Valvoline Maxlife 5w30 is the best option for you.
Ford 3.5 Ecoboost Engine Oil Issues And Easy DIY Fixes
Here are some common engine oil issues in Ford 3.5 Ecoboost Engine.
1. Too Much Engine Oil
Too much engine oil in an Ecoboost engine can cause your engine to overheat, resulting in reduced performance and damage to the engine.
The signs of excess oil are oil leaks in the engine and blue smoke from the exhaust. Also, extra oil can spill towards the crankshaft. Due to this, oil reacts with the air and makes a foamy layer. This foamy layer will not be able to make a lubrication layer between the engine parts.
When you buy a new vehicle, you should be familiar with the recommended oil change interval. Typically, when you change the oil, you use synthetic engine oil with additives to keep the engine clean and reduce oil consumption. This ensures that you use the correct amount of oil, and that your engine runs properly.
Is your 3.5 Ecoboost engine having low pressure at idle? Here’s my guide on fixing low pressure at idle.
2. Engine Oil Leaks
Worn-out engine gaskets, cracked seals, and other engine maintenance issues are just some of the problems you might face if your 3.5 Ecoboost engine is having engine oil leaks. Use a dipstick to determine the oil level in the 3.5 Ecoboost engine.
3. Low Oil Pressure
High oil pressure is required to ensure oil flow through the engine’s lubrication system, which is responsible for protecting components from friction, wear, and heat. Oil pressure also influences the performance of your engine.
When low oil pressure is detected, the engine may suffer from decreased power output, reduced fuel economy, and increased emissions.
One simple way to fix the low-pressure issue in 3.5 Ecoboost is to use 5w30 oil instead of 5w20.
What Is The Oil Capacity of a 3.5 Ecoboost Engine?
The oil capacity of the 3.5 Ecoboost engine is 6.0 qt or 5.7 L. It also includes the capacity of oil filter. All the best oils for 3.5 Ecoboost I recommended above come in 5 quarts and 12 quarts. So, you can easily buy the desired size of the motor oil bottle.
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