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Oil change/fiascos



  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Thanks. I didn't know quite how to respond to the previous poster who doesn't believe me that there is a whole lot of oil pan bolt stripping going on out there, and that it is due to aggressive overtightening, and that the bolt is designed only to make a good seal with the gasket (Ford, Chevy) or one crush washer (Honda) and NOT to hold things together. There are a lot of strong people out there who overtighten drain plug bolts when not required. Ther are a lot of oil change shops that don't carry, or run out of, Honda one crush washers and reuse them or, as happened to me, use loctite etc. to hold the bolt in (that happened after I specifically asked the service writer if they carried Honda washers).

    That's why I only go to dealers now, and try to use the same dealer consistently. They still make mistakes, but they will replace the oil pan if the thing gets stripped.
  • sunilbsunilb Posts: 407
    - the mityvac worked like a charm... quick and clean!
    - the filter was easily accessible from above (didn't have to get under the car)... had to use a cap-type filter wrench to get the old filter off.
    - switched over to synthetic (cost a bit more, but I'll be using 1/2 as much of the stuff over time due to less frequent changes)
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,240
    Many years ago as a young pup I did oil changes among other duties in an Oldsmobile shop. The Olds engines used a crush washer that had to be replaced with each change. At some point, they switched to a solid copper washer which worked equally well. I always thought it funny that folks would over-tighten the drain plug, but follow the directions on the oil filter to tighten 2/3 turn after gasket contact. We always found that if you didn't go one full turn after contact, many would leak a bit. And with one full turn, never had a problem with them leaking, or being stuck when it came time to replace.

    I actually saw a Toyota where the filter had be put on so tight that the canister twisted in half when I tried to remove it. Took about an hour, but finally got the thing off without losing the threads or damaging the gasket seat. Would like to have spoken to the gorilla that put that one on!
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    I tried everything to get the filter off when I got back to doing my own changes, no go. put a screwdriver through the oil filter, and twisted it promptly into two jagged and sharp halves. I finally upgraded to a big enough vice-grip with curved jaws, clamped right on the base, and pulling alternately in both directions (because by this time I was so, uh, redfaced that I forget which way to turn it, finally cracked the washer loose, and in another quarter turn I was able to spin it off by hand. I don't know what they tightened it with, and never went back to find out.
  • In every oil change i do, i always had trouble with my oil filter. I always tighten my oil filter 2/3 turn after contact. Whenever it's time to change filter, I tried using the cup and clamp wrench. The clamp wrench would "squeeze" the oil filter bending it inwards. The cut and the clamp type oil filter wrenches are always no help for me. The cup type wrench which was made of plastic, made the oil filter slide past the twisting of the wrench. Basically there's no traction between the filter and the cup wrench. And yes, i got the correct size wrench. The oil filter was always slick/oily if touch by bare hand. Even if i try to wipe it with a clean towel, that's never a help to get the slickness on the oil filter off. So to get my oil filter off, I would wait for about an hr or two (when the engine & oil finally COOLED down). By then, it was extremely easily to twist the oil filter off by hand. The oil filter's seal was hard to twist off because it was sealed tight probably due to the oil being still hot.
    It's time consuming i know, but i rather change my own oil than letting anybody else do it. Plus, it's much cheaper doing it yourself yes?
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Way back when I was swinging wrenches full time I ran into more than one Chev with the filter so tight that the threaded neck of the filter adapter, which is bolted to the block and which the filter spins onto, snapped off. The Chev-Olds store I worked at kept them in stock.
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,240
    Yep, we kept those at the parts house I worked at in college. We called those type of mechies "Gorilla-Boys". Funny thing that the two best mechanics I ever worked with were both around 5'8" and 150lbs soaking wet. One was a soft-mannered Alabama boy, the other a hot-tempered bohemian from Texas. But if you ever had a really tough problem they were the go-to guys in the shop.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    I own a 2000 Intrigue and a 2004 Quest minivan and I want to start changing the oil myself. I already know what filters and oil to use for both vehilces but not sure if I should use a ramp or a jack and stands? Any suggestions.
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,240
    Either well placed jack stands or ramps will do the trick. Personally, I prefer jack stands as some ramps are difficult to clear with the air dam under the bumper. Also, the ramps will make it difficult to slide in from the side.

    For my Elantra, I use a floor jack to raise the whole front end, lifting on the crossmember. Then I lower the car onto jackstands on each side rail of the engine cradle. This gives very solid support and balance when working underneath.
  • rowlandjrowlandj Posts: 254
    I find that ramps make the job go a bit faster and are somewhat easier to use. A few caveats for ramps. Make sure you get ones that won't 'slide' as you drive up them, some of the older 'bent metal' rams can do this. Also, be sure that the wheels are dry when using the ramps to avoid potential wheel spin while driving on the ramps.

    Jacks and stands are fine too and are better in some ways as already noted above. This combo will also serve you better if you get into brake work and tire rotations as part of your maintenance routine.

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,702
    I made my own ramps out of treated 2 x 10 pieces. I cut the ends at an angle. and nailed them together. Works great. It's 4 layers tall.

    This message has been approved.

  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Belts and suspenders...ramps AND jackstands...if you pants fall down, you'll laugh, if your vehicle falls on you (or slides down the ramp, or shoves the ramp out from under the wheels), your local lube shop will have the last laugh...
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,350
    For years I changed my own oil. What a PITA!

    Dirty job, taking a risk of getting under my car, have to dispose of the old oil etc..

    And, for what? Save 20.00...maybe?

    No thanks!
  • I've changed my oil for years without raising the vehicle. I just slide under the the car a little bit. The last car I was forced to raise was a 95 Escort. Jim
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,702
    That's what I'd done since my 67 Mustang. But the two LeSabres have gotten too hard to get the filter wrench on and have room to pull without raising at least the right wheel up on a ramp or jack.

    This message has been approved.

  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    Thanks for all your input everyone. I'll take a look at what Advanced Autoparts has available. It looks like I am leanign toward the jack and stands.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    On my 318ti and 528i I use a 3 ton floor jack at the LF jacking point. I riase the car until the LF wheel is @4" off the ground. I then stick a 4x6 block of wood under the tire. Next I pull the plug, remove the 4x6, and lower the car to allow the oil to drain completely. After the sump has drained I repeat the lift procedure to reinstall the plug(the oil filter elements are accessed topside-quite simply, I might add). My Wrangler OTOH, sits high enough that I only have to slide underneath to pull the plug and filter. I have a local shop that accepts the used oil. I may be only saving a few dollars, but at least I know for certain that the proper oil and filter are used.
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 869
    It’s obvious you have never used ramps, safest way to raise a vehicle.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,702
    I have used the jack under only one side of the car after I drained the oil. I lifted just enough that I could get the oil filter wrench on underneath more easily. If the jack failed, the car wouldn't fall far enough on the bounce to injure me.

    I had a bumper jack on a Cutlass long ago that dropped one time while I was jacking up the car. The dealer never asked a question when I showed up and asked how to handle it... He had that thing out of my hand quick and had a new one from the parts department and said thanks for bringing it in right away.

    Jacks scare me; the screw jacks do it less, but they could break too.

    This message has been approved.

  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I know one person crushed (survived) when a ramp collapsed (weld failure) and one that died when a jackstand collapsed (failure of the cotter pin). Sad but true, there are product defects out there which is why its best to have two methods of support.
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