7.3 Powerstroke Oil Capacity – Change Your Oil Like a Pro

7.3 Powerstroke oil capacity and other vital specs can be challenging to find if you don’t have the vehicle’s owner’s manual where the information is contained. Generally, the engine holds 15 quarts of oil, about 14.2 liters.

Powerstroke Oil Capacity

See more in full detail in the next section, including a step-by-step guide to changing the engine oil like a pro. We’ve also covered the type and quality of oil, which are equally crucial for the proper running of your 7.3 Powerstroke.

What is the 7.3L Powerstroke’s Oil Capacity?

The 7.3L Powerstroke’s oil capacity is 15 quarts, which equals about 14.2 liters. Technically speaking, the 7.3 Powerstroke takes about 13 quarts in the crankcase and nearly 2 quarts in the oil filter (for pre-filling). Please consult your owner’s manual, if accessible, to be sure.

The 7.3L Power Stroke engine on Ford F-Series is no longer being produced. Nevertheless, it remains a popular choice for a powerful and reliable diesel engine. One crucial thing to note about this type of engine is that its well-being depends heavily on oil. You must give it the best oil quality, ensure proper oil change interval, and always put the right amount of oil.

Overfilling the 7.3 engine will cause the diesel and oil to mix up, creating a mess within the combustion chamber. That diesel oil mess can cause your engine to produce a clicking noise and unpleasantly dark smoke. The worst part is that overfilling can severely damage the engine, leading to a sudden breakdown that requires a costly repair. So, getting the 7.3 Powerstroke oil type and capacity right is critical for the smooth running of your Ford engine.

A well-done oil swap can help prolong the life of your 7.3 Powerstroke engine by a significant margin. As mentioned, the correct 7.3 Powerstroke oil capacity is 15 quarts (about 14.2L) of motor oil.

7.3 Powerstroke Predecessors

If you’re curious, the 6.0 Powerstroke oil capacity also holds 15 quarts. You can choose 10W-30, 5W-40, and 15W-40 synthetic oils for the engine. The same applies to the 6.7 Powerstroke oil capacity, but you’ll be better off using 10W-30 oil for everyday usage and driving. However, if you often drive in colder climates and frequently tow heavy loads, consider using 5W-40 oil.

Oil Capacity of A Car

Why is the 7.3L Powerstroke known for oil starving? Some issues in the pressure regulator and fuel filter cause the starving problem. It surfaces when the fuel pump, filter, and pressure regulator fail to work correctly. A clogged filter reduces the oil flow, denying the engine the oil it needs to run efficiently.

The same happens when a fault develops in the fuel pipe and pump. Poor oil can also cause the engine to starve before hitting the desired mileage.

What Is the Best Type of Oil for a 7.3L Powerstroke?

The best type of oil for a 7.3L Powerstroke is synthetic 5W-30 for everyday use and driving conditions. Consider a more viscous oil, SAE 0W-30, if you drive in freezing weather and tow heavy items. Ensure your oil’s quality and viscosity grade meets the API SP specifications.

Note that the 7.3 Powerstroke requires synthetic motor oil due to the high temperatures it operates at. As mentioned, the oil you buy should have a viscosity grade that meets the API SP recommendations to prevent damage to your 7.3L Powerstroke diesel engine. Your best choice should display the API certification symbol for gasoline machines.

Using the wrong oil type can trigger severe engine performance issues. These include increased emission levels, longer cranking periods, reduced engine power, and increased fuel consumption. You also must avoid supplemental engine oil additives as they could lead to engine damage not covered in your vehicle’s warranty. The good thing about the 7.3L Powerstroke oil is that there’s a little flexibility.

If available, you can choose something other than the Motorcraft 5W-30, WSS-M2C946-B1 (which Ford recommends). There are numerous 5W-30 oils explicitly formulated for diesel engines. For example, you could go for the Rotella T Triple Protection 5W-30.

7.3L Transmission Fluid

What is the 7.3 Powerstroke transmission fluid type? Look for automatic transmission fluid with specification WSS-M2C949-A and use Mercon ULV for automatic transmission that requires only that. The SAE 75W-90 or 75W-85 are ideal for manual transmissions. The 7.3 Powerstroke transmission fluid capacity is 15.9-17.7 quarts for an automatic and 3.4-5.8 quarts for a manual transmission engine.

The exact amount will depend on your particular engine specifications. Remember, like the oil, the best transmission fluid for 7.3 Powerstroke is OEM or one that meets the API recommendations. You can find these oils at your local auto parts store or order online.

What Is the Procedure for Changing Oil on a 7.3 Powerstroke?

The procedure for changing oil on a 7.3 Powerstroke begins with warming up the engine. Next, you remove the oil drain plug to get all the oil evacuated into an oil drain pan. Reinstall the plug and finish by filling the crankcase with the new oil.

Before getting into the details on how to change oil for a 7.3 Powerstroke, it’s essential to discuss the cost briefly. It will cost about $80 to buy 15 quarts of oil (at about $20 per gallon). You may also need an oil crush washer at roughly $2 to $5. If you change the oil filter, a new one will cost anywhere from $10 to $20, depending on the brand.

You should invest in a quality filter brand, such as the Motorcraft Fuel Filter FD4596 or Racor PFF4595 Parfit Fuel Filter. After that, a mechanic requires at least an hour’s labor, costing from $60 to $125. You can expect to pay a range of $160 to $225. However, you can buy the materials and get it done yourself to bring this cost down to around $100 at most.

Luckily, you don’t need fancy lifts or tools. You can do it right in your driveway but must take precautions to avoid too much oil spillage.

Warm up the Engine

Warming up the engine helps loosen the oil so it drains out more quickly. All you need is to drive the vehicle around for about 15 minutes. After that, park it on level ground if possible. If you are doing it on a cemented spot, consider laying down a tarp under your 7.3 Powerstroke, then an oil catch pan, and finally, an oil evacuation pan to help to minimize splashes.

Before you begin, gather and position the tools and parts within easy grasp. It will save you time and effort during the procedure. The most crucial tool you’ll need is a 19mm socket-size oil filter wrench and oil-pouring funnel. You’ll also need a few clean towels for cleanup.

Warming up Car Engine

Remember safety; remember, you’ll be lying under a vehicle weighing over 10,000 pounds. So, apply the emergency brake and set some blocks against the wheels to prevent the vehicle from rolling, particularly if you’re not blessed with level ground. In addition, it would be best to wear a pair of latex gloves and safety glasses to protect yourself from falling dirt and splashing oil.

Drain the Old Oil Out

Find the oil drain plug under your 7.3 Powerstroke. The plug is typically located toward the back of the engine block. Once you locate it, put the drain pan underneath the plug and loosen and remove it (plug) using your 19mm socket wrench. Be careful to avoid direct contact with the hot oil.

You also want to avoid dropping the oil cap into the drain pan. Be patient to allow all the old oil to drain into your pan, which can take up to two minutes.

If you plan to swap oil frequently the DIY way, getting yourself a Fumoto plug would be best. It’s easy to install; you only need to screw the plug into the oil pan to replace the stock 7.3 plug. The next time you want to swap oil, you’ll only require rotating the level. It also has a nipple on the end where you can slip a clear hose on it to drain the oil into a smaller container without any mess.

Besides, you can even control the oil flow if you need to swap containers. The only drawback of this plug is that it will take a few minutes longer to drain the oil entirely.

Replace the Old Filter

You can skip this step if you don’t need to change the filter. A 7.3 Powerstroke oil filter should be changed every third oil change or 15,000 miles, whichever comes first. Remember, the 7.3 Powerstroke oil change interval is 5,000 miles. Some people change their oil at 7,500 miles, but it’s better to stick to the 5000-mile maintenance schedule for a more efficient running engine.

Replacing the Old Filter

Once all the oil has drained, reinstall the plug (remember a crush washer) and tighten it with the socket wrench. Next, remove the old filter to replace it with the new one. Before that, you can put your old oil filter into the drain pan and clean up any mess on the filter housing’s mating surface. Your filter gasket needs a clean and smooth surface to mate to.

Also, clean the mess on your hands, tarp, and oil drip pan before touching the new filter. You may need a new set of latex gloves to avoid creating unnecessary mess around. Lubricate the seal (rubber gasket) on your new filter with some fresh oil before it’s installed. The oil around the gasket will help to facilitate a proper seal by resisting the effect of the heat.

Once you put in the new filter and replace the plug – don’t over-tighten it to prevent stripping the threads on the pan. The last thing you want is to replace the pan. Please follow its installation instructions carefully.

Add the New Oil

Go to the engine bay, remove the loose oil filler cap, and fill up the crankcase with the new oil. Use a suitable funnel that fits snuggly into the oil filler tube and can hold up to a quart of oil. A funnel will help you finish it quickly and avoid spilling oil around. Ensure you pour 13 quarts of oil or less than that, plus about 2 quarts for pre-filling the filter.

Check the dipstick to ensure there’s enough in your engine. Once satisfied, replace the oil cap and start the engine. Allow it to run for at least 5 minutes to enable the new oil to circulate across the engine and lubricate all the moving parts. After that, turn the engine off, recheck the dipstick, and add more oil if necessary.

What is the Recommended Oil Capacity for a 7.3 Powerstroke Engine?

When it comes to a 7.3 Powerstroke engine, it is crucial to choose the right oil for your vehicle to ensure optimal performance. The recommended oil capacity for this engine is typically around 14 quarts. Properly maintaining and replenishing the oil helps protect the engine and maximize its lifespan, ensuring smooth operation and improved fuel efficiency.


As discussed in the article above, getting your 7.3 Powerstroke oil capacity right is critical to proper vehicle maintenance.

Here’s a recap:

  • A 7.3 Powerstroke holds 15 quarts or about 14.2L of engine oil.
  • While buying oil for your 7.3 Powerstroke, ensure you only choose API approved options.
  • Using the wrong type of oil can cause increased emission levels, reduced engine power, and more extended cranking periods, among other performance issues.
  • The 7.3 Powerstroke has a recommended oil-filter changing interval of every third oil change or 15,000 miles, whichever comes first.

You’re now informed about the right amount and type of oil ideal for your 7.3L Power Stroke diesel machine. We leave you to change the oil like a pro by implementing the simple steps discussed.


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