Rhino Ramps and Oil Change Questions

honda
fit

#1

My 2016 Honda Fit, because of a plastic shield underneath covering the oil pan and more, has a ground clearance in the front of only 4 inches. When I changed the oil for the first time I used a wood ramp that I’ve been using for my Toyota Tundra and the Yaris that I previously owned. I had 2 extra boards and added them to increase the height and it was okay but still a struggle I don’t want to go through again (and I don’t want to modify the wood ramp).

That plastic cover is worth a thread on its own, but anyway I was looking at ramps and found this one at Amazon.

I have three questions about these ramps…

  1. Do you trust ramps made of polymer?
  2. How will the incline affect oil drainage?
  3. How will the incline affect the dipstick reading after refill?

I probably won’t get a chance to respond tonight but will check back tomorrow morning (3/11). Thanks in advance for any thoughts you have on the subject.


#2

Amazon’s page says that they’re rated for 12,000 lbs GVW. I don’t know off-hand how much the Fit weighs (I would imagine 2500-2800 lb range), but I think they would be safe if they’re rated to 12,000 lbs. As for the incline, the ramps level off at the top so the incline shouldn’t be an issue at all…


#3
  1. Yes.
  2. The angle shouldn’t be enough to make a difference.
  3. Put the specified amount of oil in, then drive off the ramps to a level spot. Shut off the engine, wait about a minute, then check the oil level.

The car will still be nose-up a bit.


#4

Excellent questions.

The ramps pictured are extremely safe for your application, as long as they’re used on a level surface.

I trust polymer ramps much more than steel ramps. Molded polymer ramps support all the weight using compression on the support structure. Metal ramps have been known to collapse.

In my vehicle the drain plug is toward the rear of the pan, so it actually drains a bit more completely.

My ramps, almost just like the ones pictured, make the reading on the dipstick about 1/2 qt lower than it actually is. So I put the number of quarts recommended in the engine, back the car off, shut the engine down for a few minutes, and do my final measurement/adjustment then.

The angle of the car has no effect on the safety to the engine when you restart it. Your pump draws oil through a pickup tube (with a screen) that draws from typically about 1/4" from the oil pan’s bottom. As long as the pickup tube is immersed in the oil, the pool’s surface level being 1/2 qt below what it would be on level ground is irrelevant to the engine. It’s the pool’s surface that the dipstick shows you, not the immersion level of the pickup tube.


#5

I have had a set of Rhino ramps for about 10 years, after I used them a few times I set my old metal ones out to the curb.


#6

I have a set of plastic ramps from Walmart. They are rated for far more than the weight of either of my cars and they work very nicely. The car will be nose-up, but on every car I have owned, the drain is at the rear of the oil pan, probably for this very reason. If anything, it will drain better. Just be careful to have the ramps lined up properly so the wheels are roughly centered on them and not halfway off the side when you get to the top of them, and don’t drive off the end of the ramps…Be careful to stop when you are on the top. Why worry about the dipstick reading? Just put the required amount of oil in according to the capacities chart (make sure you put the drain plug back in!). If you want, you can check the dipstick later on a level spot. It usually takes a while for the oil to drain down and give you an accurate reading anyway.


#7

That should read ( you should check oil level on a level spot after the oil change. )


#8

I’ve been using Rhino Ramps for many years with my cars and my mini-van. They are extremely sturdy and safe and rated to many more pounds then I ever put on them.


#9

Yes, I have some rhino ramps similar to those. I’ve had no issues at all.

I guess is would depend on where the oil drain is located on the pan, but for the most part; a negligible amount.

Not even an issue. You simply fill it back up with the prescribed amount of oil, back the car down the ramp, and then check the oil level.


#10

Thanks to each of you for your replies. I should have asked the question a long time ago. It would have made things easier for the Yaris also.

Regarding the ‘trust’ question, the fact that the price seems low at $33.99 had me concerned about the quality. But RhinoRamps would probably be out of business if their ramps didn’t work.

Thanks again…


#11

Good advice above. Just curious tho, how do you know the Rhino ramps would prevent the ground interference problem you had w/the wood ramps you used the first time?


#12

The wood ramp I made only brought the car up high enough to where I could barely slide under the car. I could reach the screws on the plastic cover and reach the drain plug but couldn’t slide far enough to actually get under them. I know I could have added even more boards than I did (which I would have to go and buy) so I was looking for something better when I found the Rhino ramps.

The biggest problem is the plastic cover. It’s like Honda designed it to discourage anyone from changing the oil and filter.

Anyway, I’m sure this will add plenty of room compared to my makeshift ramp.


#13

Ah yes that’s true, I hadn’t thought about that…I haven’t had my focus up on the ramps for just an oil change in awhile, I usually have something else that needs to be done so I’ll use jacks and jack stands


#14

I was wondering the same thing. I had a set of polymer ramps. My present and previous two vehicles with 4" frontal ground clearance could not be driven onto the ramps. I solved the problem by giving my ramps to a neighbor and from 2001 to present I have paid for oil/filter changes.


#15

The ability to drive up the ramps was also a concern of mine. The description of the ramps at Amazon says they have a 17 degree incline for low clearance vehicles. I think that will work. I haven’t done the math because I have no idea what the math would be… :slight_smile:


#16

Make a rectangle 21 1/4" long and 6 1/2" wide and fold it along a diagonal. That’s a full-scale side view of the ramp. It looks like the air dam on my Insight would hit these ramps.


#17

1990 Mazda RX7 and 2002 Mitsubishi Eclipse air dams would hit the ramp with tires still 1" away. I gave the ramps away prior to my 2010 Kia Forte SX which has a 3/4" chin spoiler under the air dam. I’m confident it would be worse.