Late last week, stories began to surface about a rather odd procedure for servicing the 2019 Ford Ranger. Allegedly, techs would have to remove the new midsize pickup truck's left front wheel to replace the oil filter on the 2.3-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder. But this morning saw Ford PR man Mike Levine tweeting at journalists (and presumably emailing outlets that made the report) to tell them the story was incorrect.
Because of the Ranger's larger oil cooler, the oil filter sticks out the left side of the engine at a 90-degree angle to the cylinders, rather than near the oil pan. That meant, according to the report, owners had to pluck an entire wheel off, remove an unspecified number of the nine fasteners that holds the wheel well liner on, and then use an “end cap tool” to remove the filter. Sounds like a pain in the ass.
But in a tweet to our friends at Autoblog (and instigated by Motor Authority's Joel Feder), Levine talked through the actual procedure for replacing the Ranger's oil filter. Techs will simply need to remove three of nine fasteners in the wheel well. They'll then peel back the liner and gain access to the oil filter. Voila.
There is a small rubber flap in the wheel arch that's held in place with 9 fasteners. Use a screw driver to remove three of the fasteners. Peel back flap. Remove oil filter. Easy. pic.twitter.com/YoDHtobkZJ— Mike Levine (@mrlevine) January 7, 2019
Dawn McKenzie, product communications manager for Ford's pickups and commercial vehicles, confirmed the correct information, telling Motor1, "The wheel does not need to be removed to change the oil or the oil filter in the 2019 Ford Ranger."
The furor over this process is easy to understand, particularly among enthusiasts. Over the decades, cars have become increasingly difficult for shade-tree mechanics to work on. Whether it be specialized tools and computers or something more absurd, like the deletion of the dipstick entirely (we're looking at you, Germany), performing a simple service at home sometimes isn't easy, let alone possible. But at least in the Ranger's case, all five people that will do their own oil changes can rest easy in the knowledge that the wheels can stay on their truck.