Should I Buy a Ford Ranger Ute Despite the Oil Change Issue?

2015 Ford Ranger XLT

2015 Ford Ranger XLT


I am in the market for a dual cab 4x4 ute and the Ford Ranger XLT is what I have decided on after test driving other brands and models. I like to do an engine oil and filter service myself between manufacturer service intervals so my engine is always running clean.

I found out that the variable pressure oil pump in the 3.2-litre turbo diesel Rangers and the Mazda BT50 are not able to re-prime themselves and deliver oil pressure if they are left to drain for more than 10 minutes during an oil change. Obviously this will cause catastrophic engine failure, so how do the dealers overcome this problem?

Does this mean you can never let all the old oil drain out completely? Is there some way to prime the pump before starting the engine? I do not want to spend my money on a vehicle if I can't do basic service and oil change myself, especially if I am traveling and not near a dealer. Any technical advice on this issue would be greatly appreciated. 

Regards, Evan 


Click to enlarge


If you do any servicing on your vehicle (unless you’re a qualified mechanic) you will void the warranty. It’s that simple. You don’t have to use an authorised dealer, but you do have to use a qualified mechanic (according to the ACCC). Nothing you can do about that. (You also have to conform to the required service schedule and use parts that are fit for purpose - but they don't have to be genuine parts.)

Read more about servicing and warranty preservation here >>

It’s true about the Ford Ranger and Mazda BT50 oil pump/prime issue you described above. Seems stupid to me - and every independent mechanic I've spoke to as well - but I'm sure the designers had their reasons. The benefit is that the pump varies the oil delivery in response to RPM - in other words it's a variable-flow pump rather than fixed flow. Presumably this optimises the oil delivery across a range of operating revs minimises the fuel consumption related to driving the pump - additional oil flow doesn't have to be bled off through a relief valve. Whether this trade-off is reasonable in practise is something I don't know. Apparently the pump is chain-driven off the engine - which seems kind of quaint to me, if efficiency was the ultimate goal.

I'm pretty sure the dealerships servicing those vehicles simply manage to get the new oil back in, within the 10-minute window. Modern oil is quite thin, so there’s no problem draining it, whipping the new filter on, and re-filling in under 10 minutes. Even if there’s 100ml of old oil still in there (and there’s not) diluted against 5L of new oil it’s only 2% old by volume and whatever contaminants were in it are now diluted and distributed by 98%. And let's not forget the filter traps the significant particles. So if there’s 10% diluted contamination in the old oil, that’s still only one part in 500 contaminated once the new oil goes in. This is a wildly conservative estimate. After just two minutes of drainage the sump is empty from a practical viewpoint - especially if the change is done hot.


The Ford Ranger is one of the market's best utes - as measured against objective criteria. These are solid, identifiable facts - as opposed to someone's wafer-thin opinion. You can verify each fact independently - the criteria include things like driveline performance, safety, tow capacity, etc.

Watch the video (right) for the full story.

If you want to acquire your new Ford Ranger XLT cheaply, without enduring the endless face-to-face harassment at the dealership, let me get our brokerage to call you ASAP. This is a sure-fire way to help you achieve the best price on your new ute, plus help you get a good trade-in if you need that. The brokerage can also assist with competitive, low-rate finance if this helps.