2005-2014 Ford Mustang Maintenance Guide
• Air Filters—Stock filters are paper, and replacing it with an aftermarket panel filter can allow your engine to breathe better
• Engine Oil & Oil Filters—Synthetic oils go further than conventional oils, and if you race your Mustang, you should consider premium brand oils to reduce wear and friction
• Brakes—Brakes should be checked yearly, in addition to rotors and brake fluid
• Tires—Do not buy cheap tires, and maintain proper inflation levels to insure maximum performance
• Spark Plugs—For hard driving Mustang owners, spark plugs should be checked every 30,000 miles, and if your Mustang is supercharged, they should be checked yearly
• Cooling System—At 30,000 miles the levels and integrity should be checked
• Shocks & Struts—For hard drivers, shocks and struts should be checked at 80,000 miles at the very latest
When it comes to routine maintenance on your Mustang, you can either work on the car yourself, or take it to a mechanic to get things done. If you choose to do things yourself and save money, this guide will give you a brief rundown of the types of routine maintenance work you'll need to keep up on. Regular Maintenance is very important to keep your Mustang operating smoothly as well as performing well. Most of us drive a Mustang because we like a car that performs above your average daily driver, but to keep things that way, maintenance to essential operating parts is required.
There are several things to consider when maintaining your Mustang. First, you should not only keep up on it regularly so it doesn't break down or cause serious issues down the road, but you might also find way of improving your Mustang's overall performance at the same time. This article covers all the things you need to be mindful of as you put miles on your Mustang.
Mustang Air Filters
First let’s look at the Mustang's air filter. Your Mustang most likely came from Ford with a paper filter. This filter will get dirty depending on the environment you drive it in. This is the same for your cabin filter as well. Changing this filter when it’s dirty will allow your engine to breath better and maintain its level of fuel efficiency. Two performance enhancements you here are: 1. to get an aftermarket panel filter or 2. replace the whole air box with an open air element filter. They each will allow your engine to breathe easier and increase throttle response and efficiency, leading to better gas mileage and the addition of a few rear wheel horsepower.
Engine Oil & Oil Filters
Next let’s look at the oil and oil filter. Most synthetic oils go a lot further than conventional oils. They will last five to ten thousand miles. If you drive your car hard or take it to the track then you will want to change them sooner. Premium brands have shown to reduce wear and reduce friction. If you have the budget and drive your Mustang hard you may want to consider them.
Then there are the windshield wipers. These are easy to do and are important for safety. It’s no fun when you are in a heavy rain and your wiper blades are not working clearly. You most likely want to change them once a year if not more often. Harsh winters can be rough on them. The More expensive wipers may have some more benefits but they usually do not last much longer then the regular quality blades.
Your Mustang's Brakes
The importance of the brakes goes unsaid. When you hear the squeal then you are way past due and now need to turn your rotors. So check them every year. More often if you ever put your car on the race track. The same goes for your rotors and brake fluid. You would be surprised at the difference a set of aggressive pads and rotors make in your braking distance and feel. If you hear the dreaded brake squeal, then you have gone too far and may be damaging your rotors. Change the pads ASAP and now you have to turn the rotors.
Pay Attention to The Tires
You can use the famous coin test to check your tire's tread depth. Most people do not attribute enough credit to the tires when it comes to their Mustang's overall performance. Tires are really what is in contact with the ground when you are stopping. Plus, their performance in the rain varies from brand to brand. Do yourself a favor and do not buy cheap tires.
Tires need to be properly inflated. Under-inflated tires will use more gas, as well as build up heat. This could lead to a blowout at sustained highway speeds. Also tires will wear unevenly so be sure to rotate them. Many people rotate with every oil change.
Tune-ups are becoming a thing of the past. Ignition timing is computer controlled and there are no carburetors to fiddle with, but the spark plugs do need changing. If you drive your Mustang like your grandmother then they will last sixty thousand miles. If you drive your car hard then you might want to look at them every thirty thousand miles. If your Mustang is supercharged then you should check them every year. If you're wondering what are the best spark plugs for a Mustang, or your Mustang is modified and needs more juice than the stock plugs can provide, an aftermarket set f spark plugs will have many performance benefits that the stock plugs do not.
A Mustang's Cooling System
At 30K you need to check the levels and do an integrity test. With a simple tool you can get at the auto parts store you can check to make sure the coolant is good enough for how cold it gets in your area. Also check your hoses at the clamps. This is the where they will tend to start cracking. Your fuel filter should be changed at sixty thousand Miles. If your car is running fine then you may not need to change it exactly at 60K but it’s a good idea. It will eventually slow down the flow of fuel and you will see your Mustang start to hesitate or hard to start.
Mustang Shocks & Struts
Between 80K and 100K you will want to check your shocks and struts. Again, if you drive like your grandmother then they will make it this long or maybe even longer. If on the other hand you like tossing your car around corners then you will be lucky to make eighty thousand miles. If you have ever driven a car with worn out shocks you will know how it feels. The handing will be very sloppy and in extreme cases when you come to a stop the car will still rock back and forth a little.
Lastly, at 100K miles you will want to change your automatic transmission fluid. Even if you drive a manual transmission changing the fluid is also a good idea. While you’re at it you should also change the rear end fluid. Going with high quality synthetic oil can actually increase your overall efficiency.
All along the way you should keep an eye on all your various lights. Headlights, fog lights, brake lights, side markers etc. This is neither a comprehensive list nor a substitute for a detailed maintenance log but this gives you a good idea of what to keep in mind and the opportunities exist for upgrading your Mustang.