UOA Pump Best Practices

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Oct 13, 2013
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I just got a UOA pump (Amsoil model, pretty much identical to Blackstone's) and am a bit confused as to the best practices when using it. My understanding is that I should measure the length of the dipstick for the tubing, mark it with a magic marker, then add about 6-8 inches to that length to reach from the dipstick tube to the pump. Then cut the end going into the engine at a 45 degree angle. Insert the angled end into the dipstick tube up to the mark, thread the other 6-8 inch end into the pump, attach the sample jar, and carefully pump up to the sample line. But how many inches to the dipstick length measurement should I add to ensure I draw from the middle of the sump and not the bottom or the top? Any other tips or suggestions on proper UOA pump techniques would be greatly appreciated! Thank you! smile
 
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I have the same pump, a few years old. I do not think most people worry too much about where exactly in the sump the end of the tube ends up. But you need to pump a bottle full and pour that back into the engine oil fill cap. You need to worry about the tube scraping crud off the dipstick tube as its inserted and the crud getting into the sample. I have a spare sample bottle I pump the first bottle full into, swap the bottles and fill the one to be used and then pour the first bottle into the oil fill. Also the tubing should be inserted into the pump enough such that no oil touches any part of the pump. It goes from the tube into the bottle and the pump only produces a vacuum.
 

SwedishRider

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Originally Posted By: Donald
I have the same pump, a few years old. I do not think most people worry too much about where exactly in the sump the end of the tube ends up. But you need to pump a bottle full and pour that back into the engine oil fill cap. You need to worry about the tube scraping crud off the dipstick tube as its inserted and the crud getting into the sample. I have a spare sample bottle I pump the first bottle full into, swap the bottles and fill the one to be used and then pour the first bottle into the oil fill. Also the tubing should be inserted into the pump enough such that no oil touches any part of the pump. It goes from the tube into the bottle and the pump only produces a vacuum.
That's interesting. I haven't ever seen anyone fill a first container and then take the sample in a second container. Interesting reasoning. I also hadn't ever seen anyone cut the tubing at a 45 degree angle until I read Amsoil's directions on how to use the pump.
 
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Aug 18, 2014
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Having just done this for the first time, here are my thoughts: - I like the idea of drawing some oil out first, but I suppose you could introduce (minor) contamination in subsequent samples / different vehicles if you reuse that bottle - When I pulled out my tubing that had been inserted all the way until it hit the pan, the outside had oil covering it up to x inches. So you could take a measure of that length, then mark the tube at the top of the dipstick, and then pull it out x/2 inches from that mark. - I have the same pump (it's made by some company that resells to Amsoil and the others), but if you don't have it, I would instead recommend the gun trigger type extractor meant for brake fluid extraction, making sure you get one that has removable parts to avoid contamination. The reason that type would be better is that it allows one handed operation which makes it more versatile for other uses. I used the oil extractor pump for a power steering drain and fill and it was awkward holding the tubing in place in the short reservoir while 2 hands were operating the pump. And of course a brake fluid type extractor will come with connectors for brake fluid as well as tell you what vacuum you have. At a similar cost, I think it's a better buy.
 
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Nov 2, 2014
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I am getting ready to send my oil to Blackstone for analysis. This is first time i am doing a UOA. Here in SF bay area, i had to go to few different shops, before i could find a pump. Both Home depots near me, Lowes and another hardware store, were all not carrying the type i wanted. Finally found this Powerbuilt fluid transfer pump at local Pepboys. The linked picture shows all the parts after i took it apart, because i had to completely dry it out without water traces before i could use it on oil. When i took it apart, i realized that it is sturdy, well built and looks like something that will work good and last. It has a top that is meant to be screwed onto gallon/half gallon containers, but i think the top will sit well on top of the dipstick tube as well. It was only $10, and will rate it a 5 star. I pumped water with it to test it out, and it worked as expected. My only concern is that i have to use both my hands, to pump this thing. It looks like i have to enlist the help of my wife, even though she is reluctant to participate in my little projects. I have the following questions, before i can pump out the oil.......
  • [1] Couple of parts (the small plastic cap u see at the bottom of the hand pump piece & the little piece near the spring with vertical holes in it), have been coated with minor grease. It feels and looks like silicone grease, for lubrication. Should i be concerned that traces of this will get into the oil ? Should i go nuts and throughly clean the whole thing with some chemical to remove all traces of this lubricant, before i can pump oil ?
  • [2] Soon, i will go and purchase a long sturdy type tube to send into the engine dipstick area and hook upto the pump. In the picture, you see the 2 small sturdy ones that came with the pump (which hook upto the intake). The flexible 1/2" diameter one that you see in the picture is the outlet side. Am i ok getting the sturdy type, or, would i be better off with a flexible kind to send into the dipstick ?
  • [3] I will be collecting oil from my 2 cars. I measured the dipstick of both cars. The civic has a dipstick length of 20" (measuring only the relevant, stick part, not the holder area that sits outside dipstick tube). It is marked at 19" as hot (high-oil mark). The altima has dipstick length of 14.5" and has the high mark (hot) at 13.75". Both cars have oil upto the top of HOT mark, when the engine is at operating temperature, after some driving. So, the question is, how far inside my sturdy tubes have to be inserted to draw oil from these two cars ? I plan to buy 2 seperate tubes (one for each car, because the lengths are different).
  • [4] If i push a sturdy tube deep enough, will i feel the bottom of oil pan or the pump, as discussed in the above posts ? If i can feel that, then i plan to withdraw couple of inches, so that i can draw the sample 2 or 3 inches away from the bottom sediment area.
  • [5] Do i have to clean out the entire pump system, before i can collect the sample from the second car ? Currently, I am planning to simply drain and clean the output tubing as well as the pump with some disassembly. But, i am not going to wash all parts throughly, to remove the traces that will be sticking to the walls of pump or tubing. Is that also necessary ? A chemical cleaning of the entire pump system, would consume time, before i can use it again, because the entire system has to be air dried again to remove the water trace, after rising.
  • [6] As suggested, i would be driving the car in freeway for 20 mins, to reach engine operating temperature, before i come home and draw the sample. The oil temperature would be around 200 degrees or above. Should i be concerned that the outlet tube will melt a bit and send traces of plastic into the sample oil ? This is the standard type plastic tubing that i saw in home depot plumbing section today.
  • [7] Any other tips from the experienced ones here, before i start the process ??
 
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Joined
Oct 20, 2005
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seekingbuddha, I would not use that pump for collecting samples: 1) Yes, any substance in the pump could contaminate the sample. 2) No answer 3) No answer 4) No answer 5) Yes if you use this pump you will have to clean it completely between samples. 6) No answer 7) The pumps designed for this purpose simply draw a vacuum on the sample container and have no contact with the used oil. The pump itself does not fill with oil thus preventing cross contamination. Get the right tool for the job. IMO
 
Joined
Nov 2, 2014
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SF bay area, CA
Thanks guys. I don't know where i will find a pump like Blackstone/Amsoil pump locally. I am in a hurry to do this, and have to source it locally somewhere tomorrow. So far my search in home depot/Lowes/Pep boys turned up nothing like what i need. Perhaps i need to try some other type of stores - and get this done fast. It took 10 days for something to arrive from Blackstone to my home.
 
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