3.5 Ecoboost Oil Type: How to Choose the Right Oil?

Written by

Charles Bolte


Vernon Hoppe 

3.5 ecoboost oil type

Known for delivering great torque and horsepower while boasting high fuel efficiency, the 3.5 Ecoboost engine also requires the right oil to continue running smoothly through peak performance.

As per company specifications, the Ford 3.5 Ecoboost oil type should be full synthetic or blend premium oil. Ensuring you use the right oil type makes for reliable engine protection and lubrication.

Read on to learn more about the oil requirements of a 3.5 Ecoboost engine.

Recommended Oil Types for the 3.5 Ecoboost Engine


1. A quick overview of 3.5 Ecoboost


First designed in 2009 and unveiled back in 2011, Ford’s Ecoboost engine line-up has made quite a success after some strong market years, with as early as 2015 marking the 5-Millionth Ecoboost-powered car to leave the assembly line.

Among these line’s impressive offerings is the popular 3.5 Ecoboost V6 engine that’s been powering Ford’s mid to full-size cars– from Ford Transit vans to F150s.

2. Recommendation


But what motor oil type do you really need to use for these reliable machines to continue running smoothly and efficiently?

According to Ford’s manual, a synthetic blend or full synthetic oil for 3.5 EcoBoost is to be used. Specifically, a Motorcraft SAE 5W-30 premium synthetic type of oil for Ford F150.

Motorcraft is particularly recommended as the brand of synthetic oil for EcoBoost since it’s directly under the Ford Motor Company, meaning Ford engineers, the ones that developed the EcoBoost engines, are involved in the formulation of such motor oil.

3. Alternatives


However, if you are unable to get your hands on Motorcraft, you can always opt for other leading brands like Mobil 1 oil.

What’s important is that you use oils with the correct viscosity grade that’s aligned with the API SN requirements certified with an API Mark.

The API Certification Mark guarantees that the motor oils satisfy the latest engine and emission systems and the fuel economy standards set forth by the International Lubricant Specification Advisory Committee (ILSAC).

Synthetic vs Conventional Oil


  • Conventional oil

Conventional motor oils are full mineral oils produced through crude oil refining. Such a process distills and cleans the natural crude oil to obtain higher-quality base oil without significantly altering the hydrocarbon molecules of the oil.

This oil type commonly provides enough lubrication for older cars. It is one of the most economical choices in the market. The change interval in conventional oils is more frequent, though.

While conventional oils are not re-engineered fluids, like full synthetic or synthetic blends, they still contain important additives for good protection, especially with advanced conventional oils.

  • Synthetic oil

On the other hand, the more popular synthetic oils are artificially produced by synthesizing and re-engineering petroleum chemical compounds down to the molecular level.

Synthetic lubricants are further mixed with additives that are formulated to enhance engine protection and lubrication. Hence, you’ll no longer need an oil additive for 3.5 EcoBoost.

Full synthetic lubricants use the highest quality base stock formulation while premium blends mix synthetic base and conventional crude base stocks.

  • Synthetic oil can be better than conventional oil

In general, synthetic oils are better than conventional motor oils. The advanced formulation and artificial compounds found in synthetic oils allow for better engine protection and reliable lubrication through more extreme driving conditions.

The precise re-engineering of synthetic lubricants also grants a more specific application answering to the specific needs of modern engines like the 3.5 EcoBoost.

Synthetic oils ensure peak engine protection and lubrication due to their advanced production technologies and processes that are absent in conventional oil manufacturing.

Here are the notable advantages of synthetic lubricants over conventional ones:

    • Better overall engine protection
    • Cleaner engine
    • More stable viscosity
    • Turbocharger protection
    • Longer service life (less frequent oil changes)

Importance of Using the Correct Oil Type


Engine oils ensure your engine gets protection against friction and excessive heat. However, not all oil types will generally guarantee this as every oil capacity, purpose, and specification varies, just like how engines vary.

  • The correct oil type means it has the correct viscosity and quality, and conforms to the engine specification the car manufacturer sets. Using the right oil type ensures that your engine gets the right protection, lubrication, and heat dissipation to avoid damage.
  • Oil types also contribute to your engine’s fuel economy. For example, modern downsized engines will require thinner (less viscous) oils to allow the motor components to move with less resistance without compromising protection.
  • The different types of oil have specific purposes and advantages for different driving conditions. When you drive in harsher conditions, you would want to look for premium synthetic oil for better protection and stable viscosity.
  • Mileage and engine condition will also require different oil types, like high-mileage motor oils. For older car models that drive in mild to moderate settings, conventional oil will do for as long as regular oil changes are followed.

Basically, varying engine specs and conditions will also require oil types differently. This is the reason why different oil types, brands, and classifications are sold in stores– to tend to your engine’s specific needs.

When you disregard the correct oil type, potential consequences will include poor lubrication, oil leaks, overheating, and reduced engine life.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Oil Type for the 3.5 Ecoboost Engine

The 3.5 EcoBoost engine line-up is a collection of reliable motors that still need the right oil type to maintain peak performance and engine protection, just like any other car engine.

Consider these factors in looking for the right oil type for your 3.5 EcoBoost.

1. Manufacturer recommendation/ specification


You can never go wrong in familiarizing yourself with your car owner’s manual as it specifically teaches you what oil you should feed into your machine.

These recommendations are a product of proprietary lab tests to ensure that the products they are telling you to use are well suited to their standards and engine requirements.

2. Oil type


While your car manufacturer specifies what oil type you should use in your engine, you can still decide on what’s best for your machine relative to your driving conditions and habits.

Although considering the popularity and practicality of synthetic oils nowadays, your manufacturer will likely recommend using synthetic lubricants which remain your best option.

3. Viscosity grade


Viscosity is critical in choosing the right oil type. This ensures your engine runs reliably even in extreme cold or extreme heat.

The viscosity grade of engine oil is usually denoted through two numbers printed on the front of the oil bottle. The first one denotes how viscous the oil is in cold temperatures while the second is the viscosity for normal driving.

4. Oil standards


You can’t disregard the standard certifications that lubricants bear. The oil standards show what oil requirements the engine oil meets or exceeds.

The more oil standards the lubricant is certified with, the more universally standard it is.

Frequently Asked Questions


Common Oil-Related Issues and How to Prevent Them

Like every other reliable engine, the 3.5 EcoBoost isn’t fully immune from mechanical problems. But in the oil-related section, the EcoBoost isn’t that badly plagued with issues.

Like many car engines, Ford’s EcoBoost also suffers from oil leaks and overheating. Such oil leaks are more commonly caused by failing seals and gaskets, which eventually contribute to overheating tendencies if unchecked.

To avoid such problems from recurring, make sure to always follow a regular engine maintenance check and maintain proper engine oil levels.

Be mindful how many quarts of oil you are putting in. For the 3.5 EcoBoost, a 6.0 qt is specified in the car manual.

Tips for Maintaining the 3.5 Ecoboost Engine’s Oil System

Aside from following Ford’s recommended oil type for the 3.5 EcoBoost engine, it is best to stick with the recommended oil change intervals as well.

According to the Ford manual, you can change your oil between 7,500 miles of driving in the most optimal conditions.

Consequently, the manual also allows you to change the oil and filter every 6 months or 5k miles for older models and when frequently driving in rougher conditions. But newer F150 breeds can reach up to 7,500 to 10,000 miles before an oil change.

Make sure you always have the proper oil change kit with the right filter number to make oil maintenance more effective.


While there are a great number of motor oil brands you can choose from, you cannot disregard the need to use the right 3.5 Ecoboost oil type.

Ford’s 3.5 EcoBoost line-ups are reliable machines only if you’ll give them the right maintenance measures and use the right products.

Always remember that oil types are not as simple as they sound. They spell whether or not your engine will remain in top shape and peak performance or they break down in a short time.

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