Oil Extractor Pump

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Oct 30, 2002
Great Lakes
Just wondering what's everyone's opinion on these oil extractor pumps, such as the one from Griot's Garage for oil change purposes?

Assuming you can get to your oil filter from the top as well, this would mean you can do the whole oil change without having to get under the car.

Are these things as effective at removing the oil and all dirt from the engine as the classic drain method from the bottom?

What happens to the drain plug if it is left untouched for tens of thousands of miles and many years? Will it get stuck in there for good?

As an added bonus, such pump could also be used to extract oil samples (for analysis) without having to drain the whole oil, assuming you can keep the environment contaminant-free.
i think if the extractor is on the bottom where the drain plug is it is more affective...that only gets the oil out but not the dirt that gets on the bottom....id rather spend an hr to do my oil change to get most of it out
If you use an extractor remember to still get under your car every now and then to inspect.

One of the online boat supply houses "Overton's maybe" sells this same pump for around $49.00.
I have one of those pumps (got it for Christmas a couple years ago). It is very useful, and I've used it for differential and power steering changes. It also works good for changing ATF fluid, when you don't want or need to drop the pan.

I use the Fumoto oil drain valves, so I don't use the pump for changing crankcase oil. It should work very well for that too, though. I would still remove the drain plug every 2-3 changes, to keep any sediment from accumulating.
Didn't Austin Powers have one of those? "honestly, it's not mine!"

It would be good for drawing samples, but for full oil changes, I'd recommend draining from below for gettng more of the oil out.
I've been using an extractor pump called (appropriately) 'Suck-Up' for years. I use it for easy and quick maintenane on our 5 vehicles.

To change the oil on 4 of our 5 vehicles, I use the conventional method of dropping the plug.

I use it primarily to remove other fluids. For example : every time I change my oil, I suck out 2.5 qts of trans fluid (the capacity of the trans pan) and add fresh make-up. This way I'm continually removing a portion of the old fluids and adding new. I've used it to do the same with the power steering fluid, Manual Trans. fluid changes, differenctial gear lube changes, brake fluid and coolant. And, on one car (we bought used) that had a rounded off oil pan plug, I've changed the oil with it. It gets out as close to the capacity of the pan as I can calculate.

I firmly beleive it has it's place in my garage. I would not give it up. It has paid for itself many times over in the amount of time I've had it, saving much time and making the changing of certain fluids incredibly painless and clean.
if you have a rounded off nut you use vise-grips and then buy a new drain plug.

[ March 06, 2003, 08:29 PM: Message edited by: Greg ]
I know of somebody that lost part of the suction wand down the dipstick hole, had to drop the oil pan to retrieve it!

(no it wasn't me)

[ March 06, 2003, 08:46 PM: Message edited by: S2000driver ]

Originally posted by Al:
The extractor pump makes no sense to me.

Just to clarify in light what you guys said.. It does make sense in applications that were discussed
I just think it is a bad idea with respect to engine oil changes.
Just thought I'd throw out a little info based on the reading I have done on these pumps for my application.

I have a newer Mercedes Benz and from what I have read on the Mercedes Shop forum, Mercedes actually recommends changing the oil with the extraction pump method and many Mercedes dealers use this method. Some people on that forum like this method and some do not. Interesting to note is that several people who have used an extraction pump have then taken out the drain plug just to see how much oil was not "suctioned up" and nothing came out, or just a few drops.

As for me, I change the oil in the Mercedes with a suction pump and change the oil in my Jeep by removing the drain plug. I do this because the Mercedes is hard to get under to get access to the drain plug (I don't want to mess with ramps) and the Jeep is easy to crawl under. To each their own I guess, but I certainly do not think that the extractor pump method would be any less successful at removing all of the oil. Either way works.
we have a very expensive one at my work... it sucks out just about all the fluid, i used it and opened the plug and some drops came out... its also very convenient for the trans on my car since the pan is held on by like 25 10mm bolts......i think i will use it more often since its a lot easier than putting it up on the rack. i suppose every 5 oil changes i will drain the plug just for the heck of it...
Oooh yeah I have one of those. I bought it because I had a car with a 12-quart oil capacity and I didn't have a drain pan that big.

As others have noted, there isn't much oil left in the drain pan, assuming your car hasn't got baffles or something to prevent the tube from getting all the way to the bottom of the pan. It is also indispensible for doing auto trans filter changes, transforming a horribly messy and stinky job into no big deal.

You will not be able to use it for analysis sample extraction, as it is a closed system with no way to maintain pressure if you remove the tube from the holding cylinder. The cylinder itself is very difficult to clean so samples from that would be contaminated for sure.

Cheers, 3MP
I think the effectiveness of the oil sucker depends on the design of the dipstick tube.

I have a oil sucker because that's the only way I can change the oil on my boat. There is no drain plug.

Last year I got nervous about that Volkswagen 5000 mile first oil change on my brand new Passat (only the second car I've purchased new!) So I went to change it around 1500 miles. At that point I wasn't aware of the removable belly pan and I so I couldn't find the drain plug. So I decided to use the sucker. Despite using all the tricks I learned on my boat, I only removed about 2 quarts, and the probe ended up with some kinks in it as I tried to work it past bends and so on. A real drain will get over 3 quarts.

I do like using it on rear differentials and power steering reservoirs.
For the small jobs like sucking fluid from a ps reservoir or brake fluid reservoir I've made a device similar to a hookah from a glass jar, lid, copper tubes, and clear tubing. Simple to use, easy to drain.

Simpler yet is a turkey baster, but my intention was to vacuum bleed my brakes with this device.
Call me old fashion, but I much prefer putting my car up on stands to drain the oil. It takes maybe two minutes (at most) to lift the car and get it on the stands. Plus, since all my vehicles have greasable front ends, I lube them every oil change. While I have the car up on the stands, I also give it a good inspection.

I could see it being more useful for P/S, trannys and differentials, but I think I still prefer the traditional methods of fluid changes. I like to drop the tranny pan to clean the magnet and give the pan a good scrubbing. I also like to pull my diff covers so that I can ensure all fluid is removed, while inspecting for wear and contamination.
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