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Has this happened to anyone changing oil?

So I thought I had everything thought out and then it happens…a gust of frigid air blows the draining oil all over the place :sob:

Glad I had cardboard on the ground to catch most of it. Ending up using a piece of cardboard under the car to block the wind.

Also I drained the old oil back in the 5qt bottle from the new oil and filled the rest up in a pitcher that measured 48oz or 1.5 qts. So I had 6.5 qts? The manual says only 5.5 qts. I did remove the topside oil filter first (read it helps remove more oil because it releases suction or vacuum), does that drain out more oil?

Well 6 hours later I have a new 02 sensor installed and an oil change.

SONATA 3.3 V6 2006

I think everyone who does their own oil changes occasionally has spill incidents, either b/c of lack of att’n or foresight or just something unexpected happening. In my case it is usually the former. The most common reason for me is that I’ll situate the drain pan so it catches the oil at first, and forget I need to change its position as the oil drains more toward the end. My solution to oil spills is to expect them and place a big piece of cardboard down first, then on top of that a piece of vinyl flooring material. It’s very easy to clean oil off the vinyl.

Another trick I do is to use a plastic garbage bag to cover the drain pan. That leaves you with a clean drain pan after the job is done. That cleaning the drain pan job isn’t a fun one.


Been there, done that. Cardboard and a handy bag of kitty litter help a bunch.

6.5 qts vs 5.5 qts I cannot explain. Just check it a couple times, add if needed, and get on with your life. Maybe a good future puzzler.

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Yes, been there under the car when things turn out windier than expected. Makes one appreciate garages even more.

As for the amount of oil you got out, is the 5.5 qt in the manual WITH a filter change or without? I’ve seem multiple manuals that give different capacities depending on whether the filter is changed (larger amount of oil to add back) or not (less oil to add back).

And I’ve used a pan like this one for years (for me, it can hold more than two oil changes worth of old oil before I have to transfer to containers to take to recycling):


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Can’t explain the volumetric variation, but I’ve had an unexpected gust of wind blow draining oil before. It’s a risk every DIYer runs that does oil changes in his driveway. I too use large sheets of corrugated cardboard just in case… and have in the past been glad I do.

Rather than the pan Waterbuff uses, I use aluminum turkey pans. They work great, I can form a good spout in the corner, and I can crumple them in on themselves and discard them when I’m done. It adds a buck to the cost, but it’s worth it.

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Great ideas. Will try the bag on the next one. I have all the funnels, pitchers and pan in a plastic tub for now.

5.5 in Chilton, no mention of oil filter. The actual manual states 6.02 with oil filter. So not too far off. Need to pay more attention the owners manual.Thanks

Good idea, though the winds would have flipped that pan everywhere on me :rofl:

Sounds like your old oil might have been more than “full” when you started the oil change.

Drain oil - replace drain plug and filter - pour in new oil and have it at the full mark on dip stick. Don’t worry about the difference between what came out what went in and check oil level at least once a week.

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That’s why I like to replace drain plugs with valves to which you can attach a hose.

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No one ever said working on cars was a clean and tidy business.

Sometimes you can find empty TV boxes near a Best Buy or Costco because slobs buy a new TV, unbox it in the parking lot so it will fit in the car, and then just abandon the box in the parking lot. That cardboard is perfect to protect the floor of your garage, if you have one, or to put under the car on the ground if you are working outside. It’s easy to slide around on, it’s much warmer than the cold earth or pavement and much lighter color so you can find things you drop. If you splatter it with oil, just recycle it.

Not sure about the particulars of your recycler, but cardboard splattered with motor oil (just like oily pizza boxes) is likely NOT to be recycled.

Every time I change the oil in my Subaru, it makes a mess. I use a pan like @Waterbuff shows and I put a steel 2x3’ catch tray under it. All of that is on top of a mattress box. The 16mm drain bolt is the problem, as soon as it comes out, 5 qts of oil follow it very quickly and shoot out over two feet from the drip pan.

I imagine it was much harder when Subaru used 20mm bolts. I have been considering drilling out a 16mm drain bolt and tapping it for a normal 12mm bolt.

it used to be OK-ish with a couple of Subaru generations back, but when a friend of mine showed the effect of bigger plug on his last-gen XV, that looks terrible: splashes all around.

he told me recently he installed a drain valve and get it directly to a catch jug now

you might want to go that route too

I like some of the older Fords at work, because the drain plug is facing straight down

i think we have all had the problem of the wind blowing the oil stream away from your pan.

I usually close the garage door to keep this from happening.

I also bought one of these to put my drain pan onto.

30" X 32" is hard to miss!!!


I like that idea. I’m gonna go get me one too. Or perhaps a cookie sheet? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I actually bought it, not because I missed the pan (though I have had small spills), but for the son of the man I rent the shop from.
He could miss the pan if you had to drive the entire car onto the pan!!!
Thern he is usually too busy to stick around and do the clean up.


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I click a 3/8 " hose onto my Fumotovalve, the other end of the hose goes into a 5 quart jug, Doesn’t get any simpler or cleaner than this

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