Wheel ramps or jack stands to change oil?


#1

Wal-Mart is no longer doing $8.54 oil change filter install when you buy oil and filter in the store.
Do wheel ramps elevate enough, or am I Back in the gutter, again?


#2

Ramps should give you enough clearance. Be sure to observe all safety rules before crawling under the car: transmission in Park (or in first gear if a manual), parking brake on, chock the rear wheels if there is any slope, wear eye protection, be careful of hot exhaust and engine components.


#3

If this is for the Camry, yes ramps should be enough but I still prefer a Jack with stands. I always find aligning and getting on the ramps a bit of PITA (as a disclosure, these were self made wood ramps because I am too cheap). Also, I definitely need the jack and the stands for the other stuff I do, and I have limited space for my tools, so I see adding ramps to my tools a bit of a problem.


#4

I’ve always used ramps (chock the rear wheels & set the parking brake).


#5

I like the plastic ramps, don’t trust ther metal ones. I have floor jacks and stands but prefer doing things on ramps the don;t need tje wheels off or hanging.


#6

I can’t imagine wheel ramps wouldn’t be fine. I change oil in my small SUVs with no lift at all.


#7

I make sure I keep my weight down so that I’m thin enough to slither under the car without having to lift it.


#8

to change the oil with no ramps we use the “reservation” ( or ,insert any ethnic name here ) creeper.
A mechanic’s creeper with wheels adds two inches and will not roll well in the red dirt here.
slithering under scrpes your shirt and gets it dirty . .
So you just grab any old cardboard box and open it up flat and you can slip easily in and out, dirt, rocks and all.


#9

I’ve always used sturdy metal ramps with the rear wheels blocked anf the handbrake on. I use jack stands to mount my winter tires.


#10

I had a set of ramps I used when I did my own oil changes and they worked just fine. I would put each ramp against a heavy, large screwdriver that I pushed into the seam between the two concrete slabs in my driveway. Once I had the car up on the ramps, I chocked the rear wheels. I would then roll under the car on a creeper and do the oil change and chassis lube. These days, I’ll pay to have the work done. I gave away the ramps and creeper.


#11

I’ve had ramps shoot out while I’ve been trying to drive the car on them. I’ve NEVER had an issue with 2 jack stands under the pinch weld, ever. My ramps went to the recyclers long, long ago. Many here use them successfully but I won’t use them.

Floor jack and 2 jack stands is my preference.


#12

I use ramps. I take a yardstick and set it against the tire and adjust the ramp so it is straight out from the wheel so I never have a problem driving up and the wheels stay centered on the ramps. I like tri-wall boxes that appliances come in to lay on. Mattress boxes (twin size) are even better.


#13

I have black plastic ramps and they work fine. I’ve never had problems aligning them. I park the car about 4-ft outside the garage and lay the ramps down in front and touching the tires. I back up (me, not the car) far enough to make sure the ramps are straight, and then drive slowly onto them. I ask the wife to spot for me so that I don’t drive off the end of the ramps. A 2x4 provides a decent wheel block.


#14

I feel plastic ramps are much safer than stands. My car has a relatively low clearance (5.4") and it’s enough, but much depends on the individual vehicle. On my '91 Camry I could remove and reinstall the drain plug by just reaching under the front end and change the filter from above, so I needed nothing.


#15

Get an oil extractor. You pump it up and stick a tube down the dipstick tube and it sucks the oil out. I find it’s a lot quicker and cleaner then draining it and you never run the risk of stripping the drain plug. The oil is then contained inside the reservoir which you can pour back into the oil container. Never really have to deal with oil spills or any mess doing it this way. Well other then the filter anyways…


#16

You also never wash the gump out from the bottom of the pan.
And consider this; the oil dipstick tube is not designed to aim at the lowest point in the pan, and it rarely if ever does. It only needs to get the dipstick one quart below the oil pool’s highest point, and to be convenient for the driver. Ergo, by using an oil extractor you are not draining all the oil.

No disrespect intended, but I recommend against using an extractor. Draining the oil via the drain hole is a much more effective way of doing it.


#17

Extractors are often used on boat motors- inboards and sterndrives- due to the inaccessibility of the drain plugs in many installations. Better than nothing, but not ideal for the reason TSM stated.


#18

There’s a thread here from a few years ago all about oil change tips. Lots of good ideas, suggest you see if you can find it using the forum search feature.

I prefer ramps myself, but floor jack w/jack stands or just parking across a gutter can work too.


#19

I may be biased since I’m a mechanic by trade but I recommend a good local independent garage for your oil change services. Sure beats the hassle of buying your parts and doing it yourself and disposing of your filter and waste oil.


#20

Neither One!
I Get Very Homesick When I’m Under A Jacked Up Car Or One On Ramps In My Driveway.

That’s why I made “steps” for changing oil, several years ago. I cut 2 X 12s about 3 feet long and screwed 2 X 12s about 2 feet long, attached flat, on top, even with each other on one end. That extra 3" lift when I drive up the steps (to a chock) allows plenty of clearance (on my cars, anyhow) to slide under and back out on a plastic tarp. I use chocks and my car is not going to fall off or through those 2-bys. Now I don’t get homesick.

I supposed you could have 3 steps if needed by adding a longer 2 X 12 under the stack.

Don’t forget, cars will soon be made with a changeable tank cartridge that holds the motor oil. You’ll just buy a loaded one and snap in a new one under the hood.

@jmcarc
"I make sure I keep my weight down so that I’m thin enough to slither under the car without having to lift it."

Hahaha… I maintain my ideal weight and workout everyday, too, but not for changing oil!
I can just picture that diet along with all the other fad diets, the Oil Change Diet Plan.
“Change oil on a low-rider in just six weeks!” :wink:
CSA