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Changing the oil

I was considering purchasing an compressed air oil extractor, do you think this a good way to change the oil in my car?

It depends on what kind of car you have.


Extractors, at least those that I’m familiar with, remove the oil through the dipstick tube. You have no way of knowing of that tube points to the low spot in the oil pan. It may not. And if it doesn’t, you’ll be leaving the crud in the bottom of the pan.

The best way is to remove the drain plug. Spend the money on a good set of ramps instead.

thanks, I think I will get the ramps

…and remember that the rear wheels should be chocked once the car is on the ramps.
Don’t depend on just the e-brake and the park mechanism.

I am considering some kind of “extractor” to change the oil in my boat. In a car it is best to pull the plug in the pan to drain the oil.

On a boat you should drill a hole in the hull under the engine to let the oil drain out.

Just kidding guys, just kidding.

MB - I know you were kidding…but unfortunately far too many people do that…It was so common 20 years ago…but many still haven’t learned.

I used a extractor on my boat. It has a 350 chevy motor. There was no drain plug in the oil pan. I had to pull the motor do to a broken piston, not oil related. I was surprised not to find any crud in the pan. But on a car or truck I would use the drain plug.
But when I change my trans fluid I use it before I take the pan off. Saves on mess.

I used a TopSider (about $50) to remove oil from my 2001 Mercedes because I couldn’t get the plug out and the shape of the MB pan requires that it be level to drain properly. It worked OK for 10 years, though it’s a slow process and one has to measure the extracted oil (warm and dirty) to be sure one gets it all. The Mercedes dealerships extract the oil that way too (as does Audi) though they have a more sophisticated extractor. That said, I think that the proper way to drain oil is out through the bottom of the pan. I’m trading the Mercedes for a new Acura and ease of draining the oil was near the top of my spec list.

I have a Pella extractor, just finished an oil change. I do a top extraction. It works for me and I have checked a couple of times and each time after extracting it from the top, I pulled the drain plug and got only a drop or two. Cars differ, so you might leave a little more in or the extractor might even drain more.