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Oil drain plugs are nearly always on the backside of the oil pan...

That means if you are lying on the ground with your feet sticking out the front of the car, you're most likely NOTgoing to be able to see it!

Identify the oil pan and scooch up a little further underneath the car so you can see the back edge of the pan - then look/feel just up the backside of the pan and there is the plug!

I've done 5 Spring oil changes this week on my mini-fleet of Ford products - and it's always the same - once you know where to look.

15mm box wrenches work on most of the plugs - not always room for a socket wrench to fit up there.

The oil filter is in the front corner, about underneath the passenger side headlight - requires a 'grab-the-bottom' type of filter wrench.NOTES:
  • See "Related Questions" below for information regarding what type of oil to use
  • BE SAFE! Use jack stands and wheel chocks to keep the car in the air when your head is underneath it! Car jacks can, and DO fail, and cars can roll backwards when lifted in the air - not always, but you don't need to chance it.

    Ramps & wheel chocks are another good way to make room.

  • Have plenty of rags handy for when removing the oil filter - most of them will spill oil onto parts of the frame (Windstar), or pipes below (Sable, Taurus, Contour).
  • Most v6 engines have the oil filter in such a place as to require a filter wrench that grabs the bottom of the filter - using a socket wrench and some extensions.
  • Filters on v6 engines are not always easy to spot - use a flashlight and look every where! It's gotta be there somewhere...
  • Most auto parts stores & quick oil change locations will take your old oil for recycling for free.
  • Refer to the Owners Manual for how much oil your specific year of car and engine holds - See "Related Questions" below for more
AnswerWhen standing looking at the engine. The oil filter is on the left hand side on the bottom right above a bar connected to the frame. You will have to have van jacked up to see it right away. Not really hard to get to, just tight area. Answerit is located in the oil pan faceing the rear ofd the van it will be 13 or 15 mm bolt I can never remember which. The oil pan is located on the passager side. Answer15mm

From underneath, look in the area below the passenger-side headlight. It is tucked up into that corner.

take it to jiffy lube and tell them you need to check something as the oil is draining. They will take you beneath the car and you will see exactly where it is.

Down on the lower front side of the engine.

passanger side front of engine if it a 3.8 engine

Ways to describe the filter location
  • get under the right front corner of the vehicle and look up past the right front corner of the engine support cradle, near the motor mount and the lower radiator hose that is on that corner.
  • look under the RF corner of the vehicle close to the RF motor mount. Up just inside the engine cradle, you will see the oil filter.
  • One more way to describe it: from underneath, look up towards the passenger side headlight.
Notes:
  • this is a messy job- oil leaks onto the framing underneath - have a few rags handy
  • You won't be able to put a 'strap' oil wrench onto the filter, unless the handle pivots. Plan on the appropriate end-cap style filter wrench (vary by filter manufacturer / brand)
Answeri have a 1998 windstar and it is close to the front passenger tire above the frame.. kinda hard to get to... AnswerYup, it's still in that location on the 2001. Makes for a messy change :( Answeron the 3.0 it right front corner. just in front of the wheel. only accessable from bottom. use filter wrench that slides over the end of filter. be careful exhaust pipe is hot!!! good luck

On the passenger side front of the engine, in front of the oil pan.

Drain the oil into an appropriate container from the drain plug on the bottom of the oil pan. Replace the oil filter located on the underneath / left side of engine, then refill

See "Related Questions" below for more information before starting your oil change.

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Q: What is the location of the oil drain plug and filter on a Ford Windstar?
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