How to check engine oil level on Ford F-150

The oil level on your Ford F-150 should be checked regularly – both too little and too much oil can damage the engine!

Ford F-150 14th generation – (photo by Ford)

For the engine to run smoothly, it needs engine oil. It ensures that all moving parts can run smoothly, serves as a fine seal between the piston and cylinder, lowers the temperature in the engine and cleans it of combustion residues.

Low oil level warning

Ford F-150 is equipped with an electronic sensor that monitors oil level in the engine. If the oil level gets too low you will get a warning message in information display: “Oil Level Low Add Oil”.

Engine oil level low warning message on 14th generation F-150

If you’re driving when this message pops up, you should park your vehicle as soon as its safe to do so and check the engine oil level. Driving your vehicle with low oil level can damage you engine.

Checking engine oil level

  1. Make sure that your Ford F-150 is parked on level ground.
  2. Check the oil level before starting the engine, or switch the engine off after warming up and wait 10 minutes for the oil to drain into the oil pan.
  3. Remove the dipstick and wipe it with a clean, lint-free cloth.
  4. Reinstall the dipstick and make sure it is fully seated.
  5. Remove the dipstick again to check the oil level.
  6. If the oil level is between the maximum and minimum marks, the oil level is acceptable. Do not add oil.
  7. If the oil level is at the minimum mark, immediately add oil.
  8. Reinstall the dipstick. Make sure it is fully seated.
Dipstick location on Ford F-150, 14th generation

Note: The oil consumption of new engines reaches its normal level after approximately 3,000 mi (5,000 km).

Gasoline engine dipstick

Oil level engraving on dipstick for gasoline engine on Ford F-150 looks like this:

Reading minimum, maximum and nominal levels on gasoline engine dipstick – (illustration by Ford)

Diesel engine dipstick

Oil level engraving on dipstick for diesel engine on Ford F-150 looks like this:

Reading minimum, maximum and nominal levels on diesel engine dipstick – (illustration by Ford)

Adding engine oil

  1. Clean the area surrounding the engine oil filler cap before you remove it.
  2. Remove the engine oil filler cap.
  3. Add engine oil that meets Ford’s specifications.
  4. Reinstall the engine oil filler cap. Turn it clockwise until you feel a strong resistance.
Engine oil filler cap location on 14th gen F-150 (2021+)


  • Do not remove the filler cap when the engine is running.
  • Do not add engine oil when the engine is hot. Failure to follow this instruction could result in personal injury.
  • Do not use supplemental engine oil additives because they are unnecessary and could lead to engine damage that the vehicle warranty may not cover.
  • Do not add oil further than the maximum mark. Oil levels above the maximum mark may cause engine damage.
  • Immediately soak up any oil spillage with an absorbent cloth.

Frequently asked questions

What happens if there is too little oil?

If there is not enough oil in the engine, there is a risk of serious damage. Above all, the so-called piston seizure: Without sufficient lubrication of the running surfaces of pistons and cylinders, friction and heat arise. As a result, the inside of the cylinder can get so warm that the piston is literally “welded” to the cylinder wall. As a result, the engine immediately comes to a standstill, the connecting rod can tear off and the crankshaft and shaft bearings can deform. Such damage is almost always irreparable!

Is Too Much Oil Harmful?

Too much oil can also damage the engine: If the maximum amount is exceeded, the oil can be whipped and the necessary lubricating performance is lost. In addition, if there is too much oil there is a risk that the lubricant will get into the intake tract and cause damage.

Which engine oil is the right one?

Which engine needs which oil is specified in the operating instructions. When refilling, you should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions, otherwise there is a risk of damage – and the guarantee claim may expire under certain circumstances. The corresponding codes, which indicate the approval by the manufacturer, can also be found on the containers of branded oils. The oils are divided primarily according to their flow properties: Two numbers are given in stores, for example 10W-40 or 5W-30. The number before the W indicates the viscosity of the oil when it is cold, the number after the W at 100 degrees Celsius. The smaller the number, the more fluid the oil. Motor oils are also divided into relatively simple and inexpensive mineral oils (obtained from petroleum distillates) and more expensive synthetic oils (chemically produced from petroleum). Most oils are factory-fitted with various additives that influence the viscosity. It is not advisable to use separately available additives to mix in yourself.

Can you mix different oils?

Basically nothing speaks against mixing oils of the same quality, but oils for different engine concepts should never be mixed together. For example, diesel engines require special oils that are particularly low in phosphorus, sulfur and sulphate ash – these additives, which are abundant in oils for gasoline vehicles, can clog the diesel particulate filter.

Why does it make sense to change the oil regularly?

Engine oil also ages and wears out. The additives degrade over time, and the oil is contaminated by abrasion, combustion residues and dust. Frequent cold starts can also lead to a dilution of the oil in gasoline engines due to unburned gasoline components. On short journeys, water often forms in the oil circuit. This reduces the lubricity. Oil in diesel engines thickens due to the ingestion of soot.

How often do I need to check the oil level?

When it comes to engine oil, it is better to check too much than too little. If you plan to check the oil level every third fuel stop, you are on the safe side. Only in older cars with high oil consumption should you check the oil level as a precaution every time you visit a petrol station. Important: It is advisable to check the oil even before long car journeys.

Why do you have to check the oil level?

Lubricating, sealing, cooling, cleaning – the oil has many tasks. But it can only do this if there is enough of it in the engine. Over time, however, the oil supply dwindles because parts of the oil burn or evaporate. The amount of wear depends primarily on the size of the engine. Most cars now have a warning light that sounds an alarm if the oil level is too low, like the one in 14th gen Ford F-150. When the signal light comes on, however, it may be too late. You should therefore regularly check whether there is still enough oil left.

Author: Nabeel K


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