How to change engine oil using an extractor fluid pump
Updated 1 month 2 weeks ago
In this guide, you will find step-by-step instructions (with pictures and video clips) on how to change engine oil using an oil extraction pump. Car owners who would like to change engine oil themselves, love this method becasue is easy and efficient.
You no longer need to get your hands dirty or spill oil over the garage floor. This method is quick, easy and safer way to change the engine oil. If you have stripped the oil drain plug in the past or had a hard time removing it, you will appreciate the method of using an extractor to change the oil. Often this is referred to as the top-down or topside oil change method.
In this tutorial, we use a 12V electrical oil extractor pump (you can also use an oil vacuum extraction pump) to remove the oil from the engine. The procedure is the same. We do this by inserting a small tube into the oil dipstick tube which allows us to siphon oil from the engine.
Is your oil filter located on top of the engine? If so, consider yourself lucky. You don't even need to get under the car at all. Even if the oil filter can only be accessed from under the engine, you don't need to struggle to remove the oil drain plug or even worse strip it.
While people have their opinions about using an extractor, this method works perfectly fine and is often used at quick oil change oil shops and by many auto mechanics. On a few cars extracting the oil is the only way to do an oil change.
Benefits of changing engine oil using an oil extraction pump:
- Fewer tools required to change the oil
- Easier and safer method to change the oil
- You don't have to struggle with removing the drain plug. No need to replace the drain bolt washer either.
- No chance of an oil leak due to an improper torque of the drain plug.
The only drawback of changing the engine oil with an extraction pump is that a minimal amount of old oil may remain in the pan. It is insignificant since typically less than 5% of old oil remains. If you do regular oil changes, then an oil extractor is perfectly an acceptable way to change the oil. In a neglected engine, debris and sludge sit at the bottom of the oil pan and may not be picked up by the oil extractor.
What you will need
- Oil Fluid Extractor Pump
There are two main designs to consider.
- Oil Vacuum Extractor
These oil extractors come with a container and a manual pump that you will have to pump to get the oil out. The oil vacuum extractors have been around for a long time. Not only do they require manual labor but they also are large and require space to store them.
- Recommended: Mityvac Oil Extractor
- Recommended: Mityvac Oil Extractor
- Electrical Oil Extractor
An electrical oil extractor is a lot easier to use. Connect it to a 12-volt battery source such as your car battery and let it do its job. You will need a container to collect the old oil, but that's not an issue. The other advantage of the using an electrical oil extractor is that they are very easy to store and put away.
- Recommended: 12V Oil Fluid Transfer Pump for Car, Boat, Motorbike
- Oil Vacuum Extractor
If your oil filter has to be accessed from the bottom of the engine, you will need to use ramps to raise the car and get to the filter. If your oil filter is on top of the engine, you don't need ramps.
- Oil filter removal tool
Regardless if your oil filter is on top of the engine or the bottom, you will need oil removal tool. There are many oil filter tools on the market such as three-prong oil tool, strap oil filter tool, and chain oil filter tool. Ideally, our favorite tool that works better than any of the ones we mentioned is, oil filter pliers as they work on almost any oil filter.
Before you get started
Check if your car has Oil dipstick tube
- This may sound like a strange requirement, but it is important to point out. Many modern cars do not have an oil dipstick and tube. This was common among European cars between 2005 and 2010, especially with BMW and Mercedes. Newer car models typically have a dipstick, even the European ones. Just double check before you get started.
Rember to replace oil filter
It is important to always replace the oil filter as well. Old oil filter may get clogged collapse, break apart if they are used more than the recommended interval. If the oil filter created a restriction in the oil flow, the oil would bypass the oil filter. It is better for the engine to get any oil than not get any oil at all. You don't want the unfiltered oil to lubricate your engine
Instructions on how to change engine oil using an vacuum pump
Follow these steps to change the oil using a vacuum extraction pump or electrical pump.
Get the engine oil warm
Turn off the engine and let it cool down for at least 15 min. If the engine is cold, start it up and run it for a couple of minutes. You want the oil to be warm but not hot.
Open the hood and remove the oil dipstick.
Insert the tube into the oil dipstick.
Push the tube until it stops. Typically it should go into the dipstick about two to three feet. Note that some extraction pumps have two piece tube.
Ensure that the two tubes are tight together. Otherwise, one of the tubes can fall out and get stuck in the oil dipstick.
Connect the oil extraction pump
If you are using a 12V Motor Oil Extractor, insert the other side of the tube (discharge side) into an empty container. Ideally, a clear container or one that you can measure the amount of oil that you are extracting.
Connect the extraction pump to your car battery.
- Positive: Red clamp on (+) battery post (note red battery cable).
- Negative: Black clamp on (-) battery post (note black battery cable).
Extract oil from the engine
Turn on the extraction pump.
If you are using a vacuum extraction pump, there is no need to connect it to the battery, because you can't. Instead, start pumping the oil and be ready to get a good workout.
Suck out all of the engine oil
Let the oil extractor pump run for about 10 to 20 minutes. You will know when it is finished extracting the oil, as you will see air bubbles on your oil container. If you pay close attention, you will notice that the sound of the electrical oil extractor will change when it is finished extracting the oil as at this point it will run dry.
When you think all the oil is extracted, move the tube into the dipstick by pushing it down or twisting it slightly. This will ensure you are sucking all the oil at the bottom of the oil pan/sump.
Remove the oil tube from the engine. Make sure to have a rag ready as a small amount of oil will drip out of the tube.
Replace engine oil filter
If your oil filter is on top of the engine, consider yourself lucky. Replace the oil filter which in most cases is cartridge oil filter type usually found on BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
On Japanese and American cars, you may need to get under the car to access the engine oil filter.
Roll the car up on ramps. Make sure to set the parking brake and block the rear tires.
Add engine oil
Check your owner's manual the amount of engine oil you need to add.
Add the recommended quantity minus half a quart. If your car requires 4.5 quarts add only four as a starting point. Let the oil make its way to the oil pan and check the engine oil.
Check the oil level and add more oil if necessary to bring the level between the Min and Max mark.
- Don't force the suction tube in the dipstick if it is too large. Otherwise, you risk getting the tube stuck in the dipstick.
- Make sure the tube is pushed in all the way, and it is at the lowest point of the pan.
- On some car engines that have the oil filter installed on top. It is possible to remove the oil filter and use this channel to insert the tube and extract oil.
- Note that by changing the oil yourself you may void your warranty. Unfortunately, some car manufacturers require that you pay a technician to change your oil.
What is the best oil extractor for changing engine oil?
Two of the most popular oil extractors pumps which you can buy from the major online retailer are:
- EWK Oil Vacuum Fluid Extractor Allows you to store up to 6.5 liters of oil. Comes with several size hoses that can be easily changed. Has great user reviews. Easy to drain.
- 12v Motor Oil and Diesel Extractor Easy to store anywhere. Just turn it on and let it do its job. Perfect for DIY oil changes. Can be used on differentials and transmission to extract or even transfer fluids.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, there may be a small amount of oil left in the oil pan, but the same is usually true when you drain via drain bolt. In many, cases, the bolt isn't always at the lowest point of the oil pan. If you have a well-maintained vehicle the is no reason to worry about using the oil extraction method. Make sure to change the oil filter as well.
- Make sure the oil extractor has a large capacity to hold all your oil.
- Consider an electrical oil extractor
- If you are buying a vacuum oil extractor, look for one that allows you to easily discharge the old oil.
Two of the most used oil extractor are the vacuum type and electric oil extractors. Both these methods are great for alternatives if you are looking to use for DIY oil changes.
- Mityvac Fluid Evacuator
- Airpower America
- Hydro-Turf Oil Extractor
- Briggs & Stratton Oil Extractor Pump
- OEMTOOLS Fluid Evacuator
- Koehler Multi-Use Siphon Fuel Transfer Pump Kit
- XtremepowerUS 12v Fluid Oil Diesel Extractor
- EWK Pneumatic / Manual 6.5 Liter Oil Changer Vacuum Fluid Extractor Pump Tank Remover
- Pela 650 Oil Extractor
- Astro 7351 Air Operated Oil Evacuator - 8 Gallon
- Yamaha engine oil extractor
If you change the oil regularly using an oil extraction pump is acceptable. Note that the benefit of removing the drain plug and draining the oil is that you get out almost all of the old oil. When using an oil extraction pump a little bit of old oil will remain. If there are any small amounts of metal debris or particular matter in the old oil, it shouldn't be a problem as the oil filter will trap them. Make sure to replace the oil filter even if you extract the oil.
If you have an engine that thus engines sludge, it is better to drain the oil than extract it. Don't neglect your car. Change your oil at the recommended intervals, and you shouldn't have this problem.
Using an oil extractor is a great way to change the engine oil as long as your car has a dipstick. If your oil filter is mounted on top of the engine and you don't want to invest in a lot of tools to do basic car maintenance such as an oil change, this method will save you money, time and headaches.
Did you know that in some cases such as (Smart car) the only way to change the oil is using the oil extraction method? If you insist in draining the oil but are looking for an easy and fast way to change the engine oil, consider installing an oil drain valve such as the Fumoto Engine Oil Drain Valve. It will make changing the oil quick and easy and allow you to actually drain the oil.
Changing the engine oil with an oil extraction pump is easy and less messy than removing the drain plug and draining the oil. Changing the motor oil with an oil extraction pump is the perfect method if you are just starting out with DIY auto repair or are tired of making a mess every time you change the oil.
Make sure to recycle your old oil. All auto parts stores that sell oil including AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts, PepBoy even Walmart collect old oil free of charge.