PDA

View Full Version : Oil change rigmarole?


Valentine One Radar Detector

Eric
02-12-2008, 08:43 AM
It's time to change my Nissan Frontier's oil again; draining the pan is easy, but to access the filter, it's necessary (or at least, it makes it a lot easier) to jack up the passenger side just enough so that the passenger side front wheel hangs free - which allows me to duck under the fenderwell with an extension bar and filter wrench, slip 'em past the frame rails and onto the filter. Removing the filter without jacking up the body would be a real PITAS.

I'm just curious how many of you have to do a similar "trick" to get at your vehicle's oil filter?

grouch
02-12-2008, 10:23 PM
On my '93 Lincoln Town Car and my previous '98 Ford Crown Victoria you have to turn the wheels to the right to be able to access the filter. I don't know about Mustangs with the 4.6 but I wouldn't be surprised.

MikeHalloran
02-12-2008, 11:37 PM
2002 Ford Explorer 4.6 V8 has the filter in a place where you can see, and touch, the end of the filter straight on, but you can't get a good grip on it or really see it from any side. Because it's angled, it's guaranteed to spill oil when you disengage it, and there's no way to put a bucket directly under it to catch what comes out; it spills all over the crossmember and just generally makes a mess no matter what you do to prevent it.

Eric
02-13-2008, 07:18 AM
2002 Ford Explorer 4.6 V8 has the filter in a place where you can see, and touch, the end of the filter straight on, but you can't get a good grip on it or really see it from any side. Because it's angled, it's guaranteed to spill oil when you disengage it, and there's no way to put a bucket directly under it to catch what comes out; it spills all over the crossmember and just generally makes a mess no matter what you do to prevent it.



Hate that...

I'm pretty fastidious and having oil just spill all over the hot engine/frame and in a way that is next to impossibel to clean up is a real turn off.

This is also an issue with bikes these days; or at least a lot of 'em!

DonTom
02-13-2008, 08:56 AM
"I'm just curious how many of you have to do a similar "trick" to get at your vehicle's oil filter?"

I own a half dozen cars (includes a SUV and pickup truck) from the late 1990's and early 2000's. All of them are not as easy to change the oil in as older vehicles. Most of today's vehicles are low to the ground and even the few that are not, such as our Jeep, but the oil filter in about the hardest place to get to.

At least you cannot blame that on the EFI or computer. ;D

-Don-

Eric
02-13-2008, 09:07 AM
"I'm just curious how many of you have to do a similar "trick" to get at your vehicle's oil filter?"

I own a half dozen cars (includes a SUV and pickup truck) from the late 1990's and early 2000's. All of them are not as easy to change the oil in as older vehicles. Most of today's vehicles are low to the ground and even the few that are not, such as our Jeep, but the oil filter in about the hardest place to get to.

At least you cannot blame that on the EFI or computer. ;D

-Don-


Nope!

One of the easiest to change vehicles I ever owned was my '74 Super Beetle. It could be done in 5 minutes with a crescent wrench.

Another easy car was my '78 Camaro. On Chevy small blocks, the filter is "straight down" and so doesn't spill everywhere when you remove it; plus it is easy to get to. I was skinny enough to be able to reach it without jacking the car up, though I did that anyway because I couldn't fit a drain pan underneath the frame rails otherwise!

Dave Brand
02-13-2008, 10:06 AM
The last car I did an oil change on, my recently-departed Alfa 145, was too low to drive onto my ramps, but I could just manage without jacking it up. I had to buy a very low-profile drain tray to be able to do the job - after a couple of messy oil changes I found it better to drive the car out of the way rather than trying to slide the drain tray out from under the car! Fat guys would probably have problems...at 135lb I can get into very small spaces!

Easiest oil changes I ever did were on 1980s Fords with CVH engine & carb. The filter was on the back of the block, accessible from above & the drain plug was on the back face of the sump, again accessible from above. There was therefore no need to get under the car to do an oil change; wasn't possible on CVH's with fuel injection, as the inlet manifold & plenum blocked access.

MikeHalloran
02-13-2008, 06:28 PM
... On Chevy small blocks, the filter is "straight down...

Still true, but not as useful as it used to be.

My Z28's filter is nearly half surrounded by the die cast pan... with not even a finger's clearance between them.

You have to use a strap wrench or squeaky clean and very strong hands to get it tight enough.

Eric
02-18-2008, 06:09 AM
... On Chevy small blocks, the filter is "straight down...

Still true, but not as useful as it used to be.

My Z28's filter is nearly half surrounded by the die cast pan... with not even a finger's clearance between them.

You have to use a strap wrench or squeaky clean and very strong hands to get it tight enough.



Ah, progress! ;)

My ancient Pontiac's pretty easy. The filter is on the passenger side, pointing down. It screws onto an aluminum adaptor that bolts to the engine. Easy enough to get to, but with the Ram Air cast iron headers and 2.5 inch duals, the passenger side pipe runs almost directly under the filter, with not much clearance. I have a special "wiggle" extender bar that lets me use the cup-style filter removal tool. I loosen it enough so that I can spin it off by hand; when it is ready to drop I very carefully take it past that last thread and then slowly and gently guide it to the side and down - hopefully without spilling oil all over the pipe!

basketballmail2
05-19-2008, 02:43 AM
My 2000 Blazer has the filter up front under a compartment that can be opende (truck style) but of course there isn't a lot of room, barely enough for me to grab the oil filter, but no way to get my filter wrench on it, so each time I do an oil change I end up taking off the bottom front plastic crap underneath the truck so that it exposes the filter and all the lines so I can easily change it.

misterdecibel
05-19-2008, 03:10 AM
To me the most annoying thing about oil changes is dealing with disposal of the spent oil.

Luckily my present car's warranty includes the first seven oil changes.

Ken
05-19-2008, 05:23 AM
It's time to change my Nissan Frontier's oil again; draining the pan is easy, but to access the filter, it's necessary (or at least, it makes it a lot easier) to jack up the passenger side just enough so that the passenger side front wheel hangs free - which allows me to duck under the fenderwell with an extension bar and filter wrench, slip 'em past the frame rails and onto the filter. Removing the filter without jacking up the body would be a real PITAS.

I'm just curious how many of you have to do a similar "trick" to get at your vehicle's oil filter?


One has a very simple trick that enables one to change the oil, filter and even facilitate a complete service without even a teensy drop of oil sullying the pristine floor of one's garage. One merely drives to one's mechanic's workshop and says 'Ah, S***n old chap, could you do the, Er, whatever it is you do?' Lo and behold, a few hours later it is all magically done and the car is returned, gleaming, at most modest cost. ;D

The days when I ran a very lucrative car servicing/tuning sideline, and did all my own servicing, modding and maintenance, are long gone. I must admit I got a lot of pleasure out of returning a vehicle to a customer and seeing the smile on his/her face after a test run. Back in those heady days access (to any part of a car) was rarely a problem and a in most cases filters were retained by a central bolt (with a 'Dowty' sealing washer) compressing an 'O' ring in the block/housing - rather than by the modern screw on by hand and tighten lightly method - where all that was needed when removal was due was a ratchet wrench. Our local Council Waste Disposal centres all had facilities for disposing of used oil, my centre was a four or five minute drive away and I used to dispose in bulk.

Ken.

grouch
05-19-2008, 06:20 PM
It's time to change my Nissan Frontier's oil again; draining the pan is easy, but to access the filter, it's necessary (or at least, it makes it a lot easier) to jack up the passenger side just enough so that the passenger side front wheel hangs free - which allows me to duck under the fenderwell with an extension bar and filter wrench, slip 'em past the frame rails and onto the filter. Removing the filter without jacking up the body would be a real PITAS.

I'm just curious how many of you have to do a similar "trick" to get at your vehicle's oil filter?


One has a very simple trick that enables one to change the oil, filter and even facilitate a complete service without even a teensy drop of oil sullying the pristine floor of one's garage. One merely drives to one's mechanic's workshop and says 'Ah, S***n old chap, could you do the, Er, whatever it is you do?' Lo and behold, a few hours later it is all magically done and the car is returned, gleaming, at most modest cost. ;D

The days when I ran a very lucrative car servicing/tuning sideline, and did all my own servicing, modding and maintenance, are long gone. I must admit I got a lot of pleasure out of returning a vehicle to a customer and seeing the smile on his/her face after a test run. Back in those heady days access (to any part of a car) was rarely a problem and a in most cases filters were retained by a central bolt (with a 'Dowty' sealing washer) compressing an 'O' ring in the block/housing - rather than by the modern screw on by hand and tighten lightly method - where all that was needed when removal was due was a ratchet wrench. Our local Council Waste Disposal centres all had facilities for disposing of used oil, my centre was a four or five minute drive away and I used to dispose in bulk.

Ken.



A friend has an oi change specialty shop. I'll swap out an engine but I haven't changed my own oil in 25-30 years. He lets me walk around underneath to check the undercarriage, I don't have to get rid of the old oil and I get a full chassis lube. I had a truck once that had over 40 zerk fittings on the frame and spring assemblies. These usually don't get greased but my old stuff doesn't squeek and rattle like a lot of them on the road.

robmcg
05-20-2008, 01:21 AM
A friend has an oi change specialty shop. I'll swap out an engine but I haven't changed my own oil in 25-30 years. He lets me walk around underneath to check the undercarriage, I don't have to get rid of the old oil and I get a full chassis lube. I had a truck once that had over 40 zerk fittings on the frame and spring assemblies. These usually don't get greased but my old stuff doesn't squeek and rattle like a lot of them on the road.


This has to be a joke.

"I'll swap out an engne"...

Sorry, I don't get this. At all.

Nor to I get this implication that a chassis lubes are a social event. America oh America.

grouch
05-20-2008, 07:38 PM
This has to be a joke.

"I'll swap out an engne"...

Sorry, I don't get this. At all.

Nor to I get this implication that a chassis lubes are a social event. America oh America.





I always have several vehicles at any one time. If an engine fails, it sits until I can get to it. Usually in a few days. When time for an oil change comes up, I roll in, give him some money and roll out. Also, the large lift he uses is much preferable for my arthritic joints over crawling underneath (I also need glasses to see things close up) and trying to look at the entire vehicle underneath.

MikeHalloran
05-20-2008, 07:58 PM
I get it. Arthritis is a bitch.

robmcg
05-20-2008, 08:25 PM
I always have several vehicles at any one time. If an engine fails, it sits until I can get to it. Usually in a few days. When time for an oil change comes up, I roll in, give him some money and roll out. Also, the large lift he uses is much preferable for my arthritic joints over crawling underneath (I also need glasses to see things close up) and trying to look at the entire vehicle underneath.


I get young guys to service my car, too.

And it's much the same. Is the oil clean? Does the drainplug get wiped and cleaned? Where was the jug holding the new oil stored? How much torque was put on the drain-plug?
Fast-lube places use kids who don't even know how to wipe their ass.

I'd prefer to do it myself. Best when, in having someone else do it, you trust them.

Ken
05-24-2008, 02:49 PM
I always have several vehicles at any one time. If an engine fails, it sits until I can get to it. Usually in a few days. When time for an oil change comes up, I roll in, give him some money and roll out. Also, the large lift he uses is much preferable for my arthritic joints over crawling underneath (I also need glasses to see things close up) and trying to look at the entire vehicle underneath.


I get young guys to service my car, too.

And it's much the same. Is the oil clean? Does the drainplug get wiped and cleaned? Where was the jug holding the new oil stored? How much torque was put on the drain-plug?
Fast-lube places use kids who don't even know how to wipe their ass.

I'd prefer to do it myself. Best when, in having someone else do it, you trust them.



My spannerman was recommended to me. I started with him by having a straightforward job done - straightforward but requiring a disciplined approach. I stayed and watched, talking with him, whilst he did the job. I watched the way he used his fingers to explore the parts he was removing to get a feel for the way they had behaved on the car. I watched as he checked the replacement items (Brake discs) for rough edges and burrs and I watched the way he carefully cleaned them before doing the initial fit. I watched the way he checked the run out then removed the discs, carefully cleaned all mating surfaces again and fitted the discs, checked the run out and cleaned them again. I had deliberately opted (to see what he would do) not to have new pads fitted as the ones on the car were only a couple of hundred miles old. I was pleased to note that he was not too happy about this and took the old pads out, checked them, cleaned the friction surfaces off on a surface plate using Wet & Dry, cleaned them with brake cleaner and then carefully applied heat resistant grease to the metal backing pads and completed the installation in the same careful manner. He then spent a few minutes checking the suspension, chassis, steering and exhaust 'As I've got it up on the lift.' Everything he did gave me confidence that this was a mechanic I could trust to work in the same manner as I used to. His bill was roughly 20% of that quoted by my main dealer. Nothing he has done since has changed my confidence in him.

Ken.

Eric
05-24-2008, 03:08 PM
I like to do my own oil changes for several reasons:

* It's at my convenience; I hate waiting in line/dealing with hassles.

* I know it's done right. I take the time to fully drain the crankcase (Quick Lube places are in a hurry); I make sure the filter boss is wiped clean; I know the new filter is not just installed right - but partially filled with fresh oil so that upon start-up, the oil pump is not sucking air; I know the oil drain bolt has been tightened properly and is not cross-threaded. And I know the right amount of oil has been added; not too much, not too little. And I am 100 percent sure of the brand/weight and so on of the oil going in .... no paying for top-of-the-line synthetics and getting the cheapest shit they have on hand...

* Finally, changing oil prompts me to give a once-over to areas of the vehicle I might not normally look at - for evidence of wear, leaks and other potential problems.