How to take care of my '12 Mustang to make it last the long haul? - Mustang Evolution

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Old 04-07-2016, 10:51 PM   #1
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How to take care of my '12 Mustang to make it last the long haul?

So my new-to-me Mustang is a 2012 V6 manual, and any tips and advice on how to keep up with maintenance on this car would be appreciated! Besides the $15k, plus interest, and 5 years of payments... this car is really an investment for me. I really want it to last into my 40s at least, and I am almost 25 now. And while it may not be a daily driver a decade down the road, for the foreseeable future it is, and I drive around 12,000 miles a year.

I know I need to get the oil changed every 3-4,000 miles, but what else do I need to know? What do I need to check, and how often? What can I look for on my own and what do I need to have a professional look for instead? I'd love to learn more about my car and learn how to do basic mechanics on it, and my dad being a mechanic can help me out some, too (though he is entirely unfamiliar with 2010+ vehicles and unfamiliar with any type of Mustangs). What kind of yearly or biannual maintenance do I need done?

I would also mention I am still under power train warranty until the end of August or 60k miles (but I'm only at 42.5k), and will be going to Ford right before it runs out for a good look over.

I just want to make sure I do everything in my power to take care of my pony like she deserves, so me and her can be running the roads for many years to come! Thanks!!
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Old 04-07-2016, 11:03 PM   #2
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How many miles are on her now?
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Old 04-07-2016, 11:09 PM   #3
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How many miles are on her now?
42.5k currently, and I got her a week and a half ago with 41.9k.
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Old 04-07-2016, 11:27 PM   #4
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FIRST thing I would do is switch her to Royal Purple oil. Use only Ford oil filters as they are rated for the higher oil pressure our engines have. Change it every 5-6k. That stuff is the real deal and worth every penny, my friend.

Other than that, as a general rule keep your fluids and filters clean and use quality stuff and she will treat you right for a very long time.

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Old 04-08-2016, 01:21 AM   #5
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This may be controversial but you don't need to change your oil every 5-6k.
Go get your oil tested by Blackstone labs. Generally stock semi synthetic oil will be fine 8k+ but probably wouldn't go any longer than that depending on the wear of your engine.
But upgrading to a better oil will help too such as a full synthetic such as royal purple /amsoil. The better the oil generally the less you'll have to change it. But get the current oil in it tested. Run some new oil for around 5-8k then get that tested. They break down everything in the oil from how the engine is running, if anything is prematurely aging, oil life, to even if you ran the car long enough before extracting the oil.
Other than that you might consider getting fresh spark plugs in there and keeping fluids topped off.

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Old 04-08-2016, 08:18 AM   #6
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Go to your Ford Dealer and purchase the extended warranty if your going to be keeping the car for a long time.
Do"NOT" tune the car,
Find a good shop that can be trusted ( I personally just go to my dealer) to have the maintenance done and have the same guy do it every time ( If he is busy -I wait for him)
Motorcraft oil is fine ( Semi or full synthetic ) I use "FULL " synthetic and change it at about 7,500 miles.( Oil still looks clean at 7,500 miles) Motorcraft filters are some of the best made.
I have a 2012 3.7 V6 automatic that I love and plan to keep for at least 20 years or more so I know where your coming from.
I get the tires rotated front to back (SAME SIDE) at every oil change.

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Old 04-08-2016, 09:00 AM   #7
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my .02

go by the OLM for when to change oil....do it when it says 25-30% it is a good compromise between too often and getting every bit of life out of oil. Find someone local that is willing to help you learn (buy lunch) you'll make a friend and learning to fix stuff rocks. I but whatever full synthetic that's on sale and I buy my filters from the dealer that would do my wtty work. Say hi to sales/service each time you go in to p/up a filter so they know you and become your friend too. if you have not replaced your coolant overflow hosw with one with a check valve do it...search updated overflow hose 3.7 Stang although there is a link on this or the previous page as of today.

all fluid change (rad/tranny/rear end at 60-70K)

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Old 04-08-2016, 01:22 PM   #8
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Looks like you're doing all the right things, juju. As you've read above, there are slightly differing opinions on oil and changes, but they essentially offer the same basic advice. Try to avoid lots of small "around town" trips. Don't give in to the temptation to trick out your car, especially mechanically. You're making payments for five years, so don't waste money on toys and presents for it. Even though she's a Mustang, she's still just a car! Follow the manual's maintenance guide. Keep the finish in good shape. Keep it clean inside and out, and use a good paste wax at least once a year, more often if your climate and conditions require it. Don't overlook safety - check tire pressure often and brakes regularly. From your inquiry it seems you're pretty much on top of all this. Enjoy your ride - she'll be a near-classic if you do keep her for fiftteen years!
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Old 04-08-2016, 02:28 PM   #9
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Just a car?? Blasphemy!!!
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Old 04-09-2016, 11:27 AM   #10
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haynes just came out with their repair manual for the mustangs up to 2014 finally...so i suggest getting that so you can learn about the car yourself if/when you need to do your own repairs.

got mine for 18 bucks with shipping here 2005 - 2014 Ford Mustang, Haynes Repair Manual
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Old 04-09-2016, 11:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juju View Post
So my new-to-me Mustang is a 2012 V6 manual, and any tips and advice on how to keep up with maintenance on this car would be appreciated! Besides the $15k, plus interest, and 5 years of payments... this car is really an investment for me. I really want it to last into my 40s at least, and I am almost 25 now. And while it may not be a daily driver a decade down the road, for the foreseeable future it is, and I drive around 12,000 miles a year.

I know I need to get the oil changed every 3-4,000 miles, but what else do I need to know? What do I need to check, and how often? What can I look for on my own and what do I need to have a professional look for instead? I'd love to learn more about my car and learn how to do basic mechanics on it, and my dad being a mechanic can help me out some, too (though he is entirely unfamiliar with 2010+ vehicles and unfamiliar with any type of Mustangs). What kind of yearly or biannual maintenance do I need done?

I would also mention I am still under power train warranty until the end of August or 60k miles (but I'm only at 42.5k), and will be going to Ford right before it runs out for a good look over.

I just want to make sure I do everything in my power to take care of my pony like she deserves, so me and her can be running the roads for many years to come! Thanks!!
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Old 04-09-2016, 11:50 PM   #12
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Oil change at anything below 8k, you're just wasting resources. Seriously. If you don't believe me, get your oil tested at certain intervals, and go from there.

I change mine every 10k, full synthetic, and the oil still looks great. I change it anyways because the oil breaks down regardless of its color, plus it's what the manual recommends. These are modern cars, with modern engines, not the 2v from yesteryear.

Unless you track it often, and I mean actually track it. Not go to the drag strip/auto x once or twice a year.

Keep up with tire rotations if you can, especially if you get a nice set, and get your alignment checked every other oil change.

Other than that, just follow the manual on the recommended flushes and changes. Don't forget you now have a timing chain, not a belt!


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Old 04-10-2016, 12:15 AM   #13
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Oil might look good and still be lubricating, but your filter can only clean so much.

I don't see $100 a year as a very big "waste of money", especially when it comes to protecting the most expensive part of your vehicle. Personally I think the 10k crowd are the cheap-o's. My dad goes by that theory and their 2012 camry already sounds like garbage. Lol
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Old 04-10-2016, 12:41 AM   #14
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My Camry does sound pretty bad, loud as hell, probably due to the 8 pistons just doing whatever they want.

Most people, myself included drive around 10-12k a year, which would almost equal the $100 from a full synthetic service if you don't change your own oil. So there's that.

The Ford manual says 10k miles with semi synthetic, and you know who warranties these cars? Ford.

But it's your money of course.


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Old 04-10-2016, 08:05 AM   #15
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I change my own oil, it's super easy on these Stangs you should give it a go, you might find that you enjoy it.

As far as the recommended service goes, I dont ever go by that. It's hard to trust a guide that tells you to change your cabin air filter at 20k, but is okay with you waiting until 150k to change your transmission fluid and filter. Especially on a Mustang where people are more than likely driving aggressive on a daily basis.

If I drove like a granny on her way to church I might be comfortable with changing my oil every 10k, but that's not how I drive.
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Old 04-10-2016, 09:20 AM   #16
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OK,
Changing oil, Changing Filter, Keeping it clean, Regular maintenance,
These are all good - Yes _ Every one
*******************************BUT**********************************************
The very best thing you can do to keep your Mustang from falling apart is:::
NEVER LEND IT TO ANYBODY
Not even your best friend or your own Mother, ( NOBODY) EVER
This is still the best method of keeping any car a long trouble free time.
Ronnie
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Old 04-10-2016, 09:33 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronnie948 View Post
OK,
Changing oil, Changing Filter, Keeping it clean, Regular maintenance,
These are all good - Yes _ Every one
*******************************BUT**********************************************
The very best thing you can do to keep your Mustang from falling apart is:::
NEVER LEND IT TO ANYBODY
Not even your best friend or your own Mother, ( NOBODY) EVER
This is still the best method of keeping any car a long trouble free time.
Ronnie

Agree with you Ronnie.

I wonder how his used Mustang was treated the first 40,000+ miles of its life
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Old 04-10-2016, 09:54 AM   #18
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Agree with you Ronnie.

I wonder how his used Mustang was treated the first 40,000+ miles of its life
Good point. Luckily at 40k, even if it was somewhat neglected he should be able to turn it around.

One tip for a new used car... Check the oil weekly and see if it's eating oil. Mine only had 9k but was eating oil at first. Once I switched it to some good stuff it hasnt ate a drop.

Pop your air filter out and shake it clean. I do this every oil change.
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Old 04-10-2016, 12:42 PM   #19
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lol i still change my oil around 5-6 even at full synthetic. i don't care. i don't drive a lot of miles so i do it maybe twice a year, if that. doesn't bother me, and it's like 40 bucks for everything.
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Old 04-10-2016, 03:38 PM   #20
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The best way to go is full synthetic oil

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Old 04-22-2016, 09:18 PM   #21
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THANK YOU for all the replies!! So what I've gathered from web/forum search and y'all's replies is this:

Maintenance wise, I should oil change every 8k miles, use Royal Purple oil and Motorcraft filters. I should shake out my air filter when I do this, which will only be like twice a year or less. I should change the rear, radiator, and transmission fluids when I hit around 60k miles or so. Should I also change all the filters every 60k miles? I should regularly keep fluids topped off and checked. My question is - what are these fluids? How often should I check? Additionally, is there a specific place underneath my vehicle that is best to use to raise it up when I do things like change the oil?

What stuff should I do myself vs having someone else do? My dad is a mechanic and I want to learn how to do some basic stuff with this car, but I also got the Master Tech Vehicle Protection Program when I got my Mustang, for the next 4 years. It covers absolutely everything except brake pads, clutch, and various trimming and cosmetic things. So since I have this protection, should I even do any work on my own at all?? Even though I'd like to learn how and get to know my car better.

I should replace the coolant overflow hose (a degas hose?) when I can, as well as replace my rear axle vent (whatever that is) because there is an updated and better version of both of these. Would anyone rate these changes as "beginner friendly"?

I have found that I want to swap out of the stock shift bushing, though I worry if this will affect any of my insurance. On American Muscle, an article says, "The latest gen, the S550, features a changed shifter bushing and bracket for a firmer, more accurate shift over the 2014 model. Furthermore, the skip-shift feature (a feature that forced a 1-4 shift at low speed versus a traditional 1-2 shift) was eliminated in 2013, and should remain this way for the S550." Can someone explain what the skip-shift thing is all about? I don't quite get it.

But I definitely want to replace the shifter bushing and bracket, because sometimes I find it really difficult to get into first or second gear and I am sometimes locked out of first and it panics me as a new manual driver.

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We do want to see a picture of your new baby
I attached my favorite one! Within a few days after I got her, and the lighting was perfect to show what I love about the Kona Blue - it has a sort of color changing aspect to it! Kona Blue can be a bright metallic blue, or in other lighting a deep blue or even purple!

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haynes just came out with their repair manual for the mustangs up to 2014 finally...so i suggest getting that so you can learn about the car yourself if/when you need to do your own repairs.

got mine for 18 bucks with shipping here 2005 - 2014 Ford Mustang, Haynes Repair Manual
I saw that this book is based on a complete tear down and rebuild. Will I be able to follow it if I am just using it to learn about the basics of self Mustang care?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ronnie948 View Post
OK,
Changing oil, Changing Filter, Keeping it clean, Regular maintenance,
These are all good - Yes _ Every one
*******************************BUT**********************************************
The very best thing you can do to keep your Mustang from falling apart is:::
NEVER LEND IT TO ANYBODY
Not even your best friend or your own Mother, ( NOBODY) EVER
This is still the best method of keeping any car a long trouble free time.
Ronnie
AMEN!

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Young View Post
I wonder how his used Mustang was treated the first 40,000+ miles of its life
She seems to be in pretty good condition! The only reason the woman traded is because she had kids. Her loss, my gain!
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Old 04-23-2016, 07:09 AM   #22
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When i change my oil i just drive the front tires onto ramps. Plenty of room and don't have to do all that jacking
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Old 04-23-2016, 11:12 AM   #23
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juju, before my mustang, i was always into cars, but more like, i knew cars, not i knew how to build cars or fix things.

i still don't, and i'm still completely new at it with my stang, but the book definitely helps. my dad always bought haynes manuals for every car we've ever had, and he always used them whenever he was doing anything on the car, and he's extremely good at fixing things on cars. so i trust the book will be able to help if you ever have to do any repairs.
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Old 04-23-2016, 11:26 AM   #24
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juju, before my mustang, i was always into cars, but more like, i knew cars, not i knew how to build cars or fix things.



i still don't, and i'm still completely new at it with my stang, but the book definitely helps. my dad always bought haynes manuals for every car we've ever had, and he always used them whenever he was doing anything on the car, and he's extremely good at fixing things on cars. so i trust the book will be able to help if you ever have to do any repairs.

I 2nd for the haynes book. I have it for my 05 it's a great for learning about the car and seeing what I can do myself.


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Old 04-23-2016, 02:11 PM   #25
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The skip shift was a terrible idea. Starting in 1st and slowly cruising up to 3k or so, would show "Skip Shift" or something similar on the dash and lock you out of 2nd or 3rd, forcing you to shift to 4th.

This is of course something that you should decide for yourself, since it's a manual. 13 and up it was removed.

You'd have to tune it to get rid of it.


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Old 04-23-2016, 02:30 PM   #26
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The skip shift was a terrible idea. Starting in 1st and slowly cruising up to 3k or so, would show "Skip Shift" or something similar on the dash and lock you out of 2nd or 3rd, forcing you to shift to 4th.

This is of course something that you should decide for yourself, since it's a manual. 13 and up it was removed.

You'd have to tune it to get rid of it.


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Old 04-23-2016, 04:02 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by king_13 View Post
The skip shift was a terrible idea. Starting in 1st and slowly cruising up to 3k or so, would show "Skip Shift" or something similar on the dash and lock you out of 2nd or 3rd, forcing you to shift to 4th.

This is of course something that you should decide for yourself, since it's a manual. 13 and up it was removed.

You'd have to tune it to get rid of it.
Okay ya that sounds terrible. Does it work in reverse? Is that why I'm sometimes locked out of first or second gear when I'm slowing down, because the car registers me as going to fast? I've never noticed it when up shifting though. Sometimes I've been in both 1st and 2nd before and the bass and music was so loud and I zoned out and forgot to shift (I'm a new manual driver) and would be doing 4k plus RPM and it's never locked me out of the next gear.

EDIT: nevermind. It seems like it's specifically for a 1-4 shift.
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Old 04-23-2016, 04:23 PM   #28
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Quote:
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The skip shift was a terrible idea. Starting in 1st and slowly cruising up to 3k or so, would show "Skip Shift" or something similar on the dash and lock you out of 2nd or 3rd, forcing you to shift to 4th.

This is of course something that you should decide for yourself, since it's a manual. 13 and up it was removed.

You'd have to tune it to get rid of it.


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You can actually disable it without a tune. There is a solenoid on the transmission that controls the skip shift. If you unplug the cable to the solenoid, it disables it. I unplugged mine a couple of weeks after I got it. No problems, no lights.

The skip shift solenoid is located on the right side of the transmission, close to the back and on top. It is difficult to see it but you will see a black connector leading into a round black housing. Reach your hand up between the transmission and the tunnel and disconnect the cable. There is a small latch on the cable connector that you need to depress. It pulls off very easily once the latch is depressed so if you have to pull hard, you have not released the latch.

It is probably a good idea to cover both the cable connector and the solenoid connector. I used a piece of 3/4" diameter shrink tubing. On the cable connector, I simply slipped it over the connector, folded the shrink tubing back over the cable and tie wrapped it to another nearby cable. On the solenoid, I used the same shrink tubing about 3 inches long and tied one end closed with a tie wrap. I then slipped the open end over the solenoid connector and used my heat gun to shrink it around the connector.

The entire process took less than 15 minutes after I got the car on jack stands.

Below is diagram of the solenoid location.

https://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a...D720/ry%3D480/
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Old 04-23-2016, 04:51 PM   #29
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No, you can't definitely downshift to whatever gear you want, just let off the clutch slowly.

@Robostang, ah that's good, I had an 11 Auto to a 14 MT now so I never stumbled across that problem.

Good to know that it's an easy fix though.


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