oil change: drain vs vacuum

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3 years 10 months ago #131258 by hikerguy
oil change: drain vs vacuum was created by hikerguy
What are your opinions, pro's and con's?

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3 years 10 months ago #131273 by SacTownTuner
Replied by SacTownTuner on topic oil change: drain vs vacuum
Without getting too caught up in the details, I prefer draining. My first and foremost reason is that I'm a home mechanic who can't afford to buy specialty tools to do things I can do by simpler and cheaper means (oil extractor, various impact guns, brake piston compressors). Even though the average oil extractor setup is only about $50-$80, purchases like that build up over time, for me at least.

Secondly, I find that it doesn't exactly save much time. Granted, it takes a period of time to jack up the car and get under and crack the drain plug versus simply popping a hose through the top of the engine, but it takes warm oil about as much time to drain out as it does to pump the oil out, at least in my experience. In terms of cleanliness, that's a different story. You're definitely more prone to spillages and dripping when draining than you are when using a pump.

Finally, I will ultimately favor the dirtier, more hands-on method over the clean and easy way. I think we can all agree that while using a C-clamp and an old brake pad to compress a caliper is more trouble than simply breaking out your piston compressor and screwing it down, you feel a greater sense of fulfillment when you finish. Same goes for oil changes. It's much more satisfying to crawl under a car and drain your oil with a wrench and a pan than it is to do so with a tank a plastic hose and a bike pump handle, even if it is as basic a job as this.

Now, I'm just a home mechanic. I only work on my own car as well as those of friends and family, so I don't necessarily find myself looking to save time and mess everywhere I can. Ultimately, I have no problem cleaning up a spill with a towel and kitty litter and letting it sit for a couple days. But for those who work on cars on a professional level and need to be able to get things done quickly and easily, they might prefer using a vacuum, and understandably so. This is just my own opinion as someone who doesn't have things like a job and a paycheck to worry about when it comes to cars.

Chrome don't make it fast.
Sacramento, CA

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3 years 10 months ago #131327 by EricTheCarGuy
Replied by EricTheCarGuy on topic oil change: drain vs vacuum
I've never used the vacuum method so I really couldn't say. Besides, my new lift makes draining oil pretty easy. I think the only reason to vacuum out the oil is when draining is difficult, otherwise I think draining is perfectly acceptable.

Stay dirty

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3 years 10 months ago #131581 by Rhynorock
Replied by Rhynorock on topic oil change: drain vs vacuum
I say drain. Although I guess it wouldn't make much difference aside from buying a specific tool for the vacuum job, and avoiding having to crawl under a lifted vehicle. Sounds like a semi-convenient waste of time to me. Ya gotta remove the filter anyway.

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3 years 10 months ago #133240 by Irish
Replied by Irish on topic oil change: drain vs vacuum

SacTownTuner wrote: Without getting too caught up in the details, I prefer draining. My first and foremost reason is that I'm a home mechanic who can't afford to buy specialty tools to do things I can do by simpler and cheaper means (oil extractor, various impact guns, brake piston compressors). Even though the average oil extractor setup is only about $50-$80, purchases like that build up over time, for me at least.

Secondly, I find that it doesn't exactly save much time. Granted, it takes a period of time to jack up the car and get under and crack the drain plug versus simply popping a hose through the top of the engine, but it takes warm oil about as much time to drain out as it does to pump the oil out, at least in my experience. In terms of cleanliness, that's a different story. You're definitely more prone to spillages and dripping when draining than you are when using a pump.

Finally, I will ultimately favor the dirtier, more hands-on method over the clean and easy way. I think we can all agree that while using a C-clamp and an old brake pad to compress a caliper is more trouble than simply breaking out your piston compressor and screwing it down, you feel a greater sense of fulfillment when you finish. Same goes for oil changes. It's much more satisfying to crawl under a car and drain your oil with a wrench and a pan than it is to do so with a tank a plastic hose and a bike pump handle, even if it is as basic a job as this.

Now, I'm just a home mechanic. I only work on my own car as well as those of friends and family, so I don't necessarily find myself looking to save time and mess everywhere I can. Ultimately, I have no problem cleaning up a spill with a towel and kitty litter and letting it sit for a couple days. But for those who work on cars on a professional level and need to be able to get things done quickly and easily, they might prefer using a vacuum, and understandably so. This is just my own opinion as someone who doesn't have things like a job and a paycheck to worry about when it comes to cars.

I agree! Plus it also gives you a chance to look over everything else! (condition of) Irish
P.S. My wife went to one of those oil change places once. I checked after & the oil was low! They don't allow for the oil in the oil filter.

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3 years 10 months ago #133246 by nickwarner
Replied by nickwarner on topic oil change: drain vs vacuum
Service time is also a time you need to be inspecting for other issues on the car to head them off before they become an issue. Also most drain plugs have a small magnet on them and you should be looking at that to see if something very bad is coming your way. As was already pointed out, you have to get under the thing to change the filter anyhow.

If this was something perhaps in a marine application, maybe I could see the vacuum method as getting into engine bilges can be a pain. The tugs I've worked on before had hoses with quick-connect ends coming from the drain plug port of the pan. You drained them by hooking in a pneumatic diaphragm pump and it worked great. No place in the bilges to get a pan in there anyway, especially one that can hold 10 gallons. But it still drained through the drain plug fitting.

I've seen those little suction changers at Hazard Freight before. I could maybe see using them with a small engine or a boat. Perhaps handy to suction an overfilled automatic trans through the dipstick tube. But for changing the oil on a car, no.

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1 month 1 week ago - 2 weeks 2 days ago #200880 by jhonnikolson
Replied by jhonnikolson on topic oil change: drain vs vacuum
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Last edit: 2 weeks 2 days ago by jhonnikolson.

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