20101213

Oil Change


Oil Change
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar

It is embarrassing for me to say this, but I've never changed my own vehicles oil. I've always paid mechanics to do it. Only in recent years have I even learned to swap out a flat tire. Today I picked up some hose adapter and proceeded to fail sucking out the old oil. I had a drill pump that was not self priming so I had to order a new one which will take a few days to arrive. Once the new pump arrives and is working wendy and I will change the oil both of our diesels (her VW and my Mercedes). I also picked up the oil filters which I'm not at all looking forward to replacing since I have a coolant line running right over my filter canister. Working on our own cars has already proven to be a massive cost savings. Sometimes it can even be fun.

12 comments:

brobry said...

your car should have a screw in oil drain plug at the bottom of the oil pan. makes draining oil FAR easier than attempting to syphon it out.

Christopher said...

I should probably assume that you simply like using powertools, and already know that there is a drain plug in the oil pan of your vehicles. Unscrew it and gravity removes the old oil for you.

Mikey Sklar said...

Yep, there is a screw, but I don't want deal with it. Then I have get myself, a pan, a funnel and a container dirty. I'd rather just have a dirty hose and a permanent container for this setup. Plus I'd like to quickly change both Wendy and my own oil. If the syphons don't work out I'll use the screw.

Mikey Sklar said...

Yep, there is a screw, but I don't want deal with it. Then I have get myself, a pan, a funnel and a container dirty. I'd rather just have a dirty hose and a permanent container for this setup. Plus I'd like to quickly change both Wendy and my own oil. If the syphons don't work out I'll use the screw.

Clint said...

You hit the nail on the head! Oil filters are the bane of all who venture under the hood. They're consistently in the least convenient place possible. One word of advice is to spend the extra dollar on filters with textured "grip" exteriors, they're worth it. (and if you're using an oil filter wrench (i don't) be sure you don't accidentally tighten instead of loosen, its easy to do once you're all turned around trying to get to the filter)

Also, if the drill pump doesn't work out for you, there are convenient containers you can get at autoparts stores with big openings on the top and screw off caps on the front that simplify draining and pouring off used oil.

Well there's my advice, take it or leave it =)

-clint

Killbox said...

I am lazy and am willing to pay a parson with a pit to drain my oil and such, but i have done it myself many times.

I'd say from a "know your machine" way that pulling the drainplug and draining a (run to the point of being warm) engine gets you a superior flush. In an older engine that has just been siphoned out you get a fair bit of grit and grime out the oil pan, all of that mostly just settles down thee but has the risk of getting caught in the filter, or worse making it back up into the oiler ports.

Some drainplugs have little magnets in them too, where you can check for steel/iron filings, which can give you early warning of impending mechanical failure.

Ragnar said...

If you decide to release the oil via the screws after all (to get rid of the residue completely) make sure you have a new sealing ring for the screw, don't use the old one. About the oil filter, if you have problems getting the old one out, jank a screwdriver right through it, that gives you a good handle. Make sure to cover for any leakage. I did this a couple of times myself (VW), never got to like it very much...

wexzone said...

Just dig a hole, place your container in the hole,pull the car over the container, drop in a paper funnel, and pull the plug. Easy as pie, takes all of 5 minutes.

jhitesma said...

I'd agree with using the screw on the bottom and doing it with the oil warm. With the siphon method you can potentially leave a lot of crud in there which kind of defeats the purpose of changing the oil in the first place. If you're going to do the job may as well do it right and get as much dirty oil and dirt out as possible.

As for the stuck filter. The one time I had a filter stuck bad enough that a filter wrench wasn't working and I tried the screwdriver thorugh the side...well that just made a bad situation way worse for me. The screwdriver just ripped big gouges into the filter making a big mess and leaving nice sharp edges on a broken filter to try and get off. A good filter wrench down as close to the point where the filter attaches is the best bet since that's usually the strongest part of the filter so you can get the strongest grip on it.

For me the hardest part of changing my own oil is to remember the date our city does hazardous waste collections that make it easy and safe to dispose of the used oil.

Sydeburn said...

I always drain my oil via the drain plug in the bottom. My oil filter wrench is a vise-grip like unit that works better than some of the band clamp style in my opinion.

Simple ramps can be made from 2x10 lumber (Google mustangworld ramp plans)

You could filter the used oil and use it a fuel. There was some topics on that on the diesel truck forums, using centrifuges or filter bags (or bluejeans) to remove contaminants.

I donate mine to the local garage that has a waste oil furnace to heat their shop.

Frustrated Farmer Rick said...

Mikey,

Listen to the wise folks here. Remove the plug it will get most of the bits of grit and metal that are in the oil out of your engine. A pump will leave that heavy gritty stuff behind. That stuff is part of what damages the engine. Getting that stuff out is the main reason to even change the oil (along with the oil becoming more acidic over time).
Save the pump for transferring biodiesel.

Jay Dedman said...

next time you have a get together, we'll have to do a class on changing car oil. I also have never changed my own oil. Probably save $40 a pop if I just figured it out.