Oil Extractor vs. Drain Plug

Joined
Jul 17, 2003
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880
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New York
I'd love to hear your opinion on Oil Extractors vs. draining from the oil pan. I have a BMW X5 and the filter is on top, like most BMW's. I did my first oil change at 3500 miles via drain pan. I plan to do all my other oil changes via my oil extractor. FWIW, my dealer will be giving me at least 1 oil change for the next year, and those are usually done via the drain plug.
 
Joined
Apr 1, 2003
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San Jose area, CA
I have always (INXS of 1 m miles) done oil changes through the oil drain plug. And will continue with this method on certain vehicles I have in my fleet. However I have to tell you that on a 2003 VW Jetta TDI, I use an extractor system and have nothing but good things to say about it! Some advantages: 1. FAST FAST FAST!! did I say FAST? 2. You don't have to jack up the car. This in and of itself saves 15-20 min depending on how you do it. 3. You can quite literally complete an oil change ANYWHERE! AT any time!! So if you don't have garage space you dont need a garage! I am not sure about the X5 but the TDI Jetta as well as a Corvette Z06 actually drain more oil to the sump after it as been sitting for a while, so really you can drain oil whether it is cold or hot. Total oil change time on a TDI took 10 min and 5 of those 10 mins were spent marveling how fast this oil and filter change went! [ August 02, 2003, 10:49 AM: Message edited by: ruking77 ]
 
Joined
Jun 18, 2002
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394
Location
Greenville, SC
My wife has an X5 and I used a Pela oil extractor when I changed the oil last month. It seems to have taken out the full 8 quarts. At the end of the extraction, it sounded like my 6 year old finishing up a milkshake. With the oil filter at the top, it's a breeze. Only downside, oil extractor only holds 6.5 quarts, so I had to empty it and go back for more. Good extractors like the Pela have an automatic shut off when hitting the capacity. Happy Motoring, Jack
 
Joined
Feb 9, 2003
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High Up in the Rockies
I use a oil extractor ("Suck-Up") on one of our cars that has a stuck and rounded over drain plug. I've been using it since we bout the car (since I couldn't get the plug out) and it's worked fine for the last 41,000 miles. I can extract all but a few ounces from the pan (based on the the volume I put in and the marks on the diptstick). The few ounces that remain don't bother me, and don't seem to bother the engine either. DEWFPO
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2005
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Location
Minneapolis, MN
Lets bring this topic back to life. I want to hear current thoughts on this. My VW Passat takes about 2 hours to do it "right" thru the drain plug. About 20 min via the extractor. Anyone have a good reason why I should NOT use the extractor? Thanks!!
 
Joined
Sep 29, 2005
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5
Location
Folsom, CA
What types of extractors do you use? The seem to run the gamut from inexpensive hand pump types to powered units. I have always done the drain plug approach, but I am interested in the extractor approach to minimize crawling around under the car.
 
Joined
Oct 12, 2005
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5,762
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Da Swamp
I'm all for the extractor method. One of the last times I changed the oil on my late lamented Mercedes 420SEL, I was still using the drain method. The black stuff was pouring merrily into the plastic drain pan/collector from Autozone . . . . . . and then I noticed the leak. Not a small drip, but a steady leak from the screw-on cap of the pan. Thank *** it began to leak *before* I put it in my trunk to take it to recycling! It was a mess as it was. Of course I could have taken the pan back for a refund -- but I'd have had to get rid of the oil first! I disposed of the oil, never mind how, and ordered the Topsider the next day. The Topsider isn't electric. It's a sturdy metal 8-quart can, a bicycle pump, and the tubing that goes down the dipstick. You don't pump all the time; you get a vacuum going and the oil flows right out. It costs about 50.00. The can seals up so you can take it to recycling, and you can also use it to drain other fluids. What's not to like?
 

Win

Joined
Feb 5, 2003
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4,704
Location
Arkansas
I have the "Central Pnuematics" brand from Harbor Freight that works great. It holds about 6.5 litre of fluid, and instead of being hand pumped, it hooks to your air compressor to pull a vacuum in the extractor. I've had it about two months now. I really like the extractpr for doing tranny drains. Before, if the car didn't have a tranny drain plug, I had to put one in - a real PIA. Now, just stick the hose down the dipstick tube and go. For draining engine block sumps, as to whether an extractor is superior to draining depends on the car. On my Jag V12, draining the oil gets about 10 qts out; the extractor can pull out 11. On the new Xj8, the extractor can get 6 qts which should be all that is in the sump - I haven't tried to drain this one yet. On my old AJ6 powered Jags, I can drain about 8 qts, but the extractor can only get about 5. On the GTO, the pan must be baffled, as I can drain 6 qts, but the extractor can only get about 1.5 qts out. It can drain the B&S on the John Deere lawn tractor, the generators, etc., power steering, brakes, etc., and is great for sucking out old gas from equipment so it can be burned. They are pretty handy devices, and while I normally avoid Harbor Freight stuff, this product works real well.
 
Joined
Jul 15, 2005
Messages
52
Location
South Carolina
I have a Pela extractor too and I must be doing something wrong. I can only get 3 quarts out of my Chrysler Sebring and my 95 Ford Explorer....both hold 5. Now I figure half a quart is in the filter, but what about the other 1.5 quarts? Are there any tricks you all know?
 
Joined
May 25, 2005
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Calgary Canada
I use the pela 8L extractor for my BMW 330ci. I can get more oil out with the extractor than by draining through the drain plug. Plus, I can suck all the dirty oil out of the oil filter cannister while I'm at it. Cut a 2L coke bottle in half making a funnel for the new oil with the top, and a receptacle for your oil filter cartridge on the bottom.
 
Joined
Sep 9, 2004
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San Gabriel Valley
Another extractor user here. I use a 5qt Tempo($36)oil boy a little over 3yrs now for the Passat 1.8T & 190E(both with pita bellypans)..fast, clean and efficient are all of my oil changes. Depending on the outside temp, I let the the cars sit 15-35min after a drive to cool down the engine a bit(a necessity [Roll Eyes] )..but not too cool and warm->hot enough for every quart to flow/siphon easily. [ October 31, 2005, 03:28 PM: Message edited by: vwoom ]
 
Joined
Jun 29, 2005
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E. Texas
If you get under there to change the filter why not install a Fumoto valve? Next time you change oil all you have to do is push the spring lever and out comes the oil - easy as can be (I hope!). I say that because I bought one but have not used it yet so all I'm going by is what I've heard from others. People who have this contraption say it is a great, easy way to change oil and that is why I bougt it (also makes UOA samples easy to take). It is indeed well made and seems fool-proof. Once installed it is there forever. It costs about $30 shipped.
 
Joined
Sep 24, 2005
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Indiana
quote:
Originally posted by JasonVW: ....Anyone have a good reason why I should NOT use the extractor? Thanks!!
I have a mityvac extractor that seems to work pretty well with my 528i. On a '87 Buick with 3.8L, it was a total PITA! I had to use the smallest diameter hose because the dipstick tube is pretty narrow, then the hose got stuck because of a sharp edge somewhere between the end of the tube and the oil pan - for a while I thought I would never get the hose out. Nothing but the drain plug technique on that vehicle. I've read many people's opinion, and it seems that the extractor method is an acceptable way to drain.
 
Joined
Oct 12, 2005
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Da Swamp
Touring5 said: >> I've read many people's opinion, and it seems that the extractor method is an acceptable way to drain. << Yes. You should, naturally, take into account whether the mfr. engineered your car to permit the extraction method. Benz has been doing it since at least the '80s, and I think BMW has too. But if your car won't allow you to slide the tube down all the way, or you're not getting all the oil out, the drain method would have to be your best bet.
 
Joined
May 25, 2005
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Calgary Canada
An interesting note. One of the guys on e46fanatics.com works at a bmw dealership, and they do oil changes with topsiders routinely. Again, I think the test is how much you can get out. Some Mercedes cars actually have a factory installed fitting for oil extraction. That would be sweet. However, for my purposes, the dipstick tube method works really well.
 
Joined
Sep 11, 2005
Messages
187
Location
Central Texas
quote:
Originally posted by martyi: If you get under there to change the filter why not install a Fumoto valve? Next time you change oil all you have to do is push the spring lever and out comes the oil - easy as can be (I hope!). I say that because I bought one but have not used it yet so all I'm going by is what I've heard from others. People who have this contraption say it is a great, easy way to change oil and that is why I bougt it (also makes UOA samples easy to take). It is indeed well made and seems fool-proof. Once installed it is there forever. It costs about $30 shipped.
Best thing since sliced bread. If I have to get under the car anyway to pull/replace the filter...might as well push a tube on the Fumoto and turn the valve handle. No extraction pump to clean.
 
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