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Old 01-06-2003
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Oil Change experience - Lessons Learned

REMOVING THE OLD OIL

I just changed the engine oil on my diesel this weekend. After having read several reviews and pros/cons of using a hand pump that withdraws the oil through the dipstick hole - versus using an electric pump through an attached hose at the drain-plug, I opted for the cheaper alternative: hand-pump.

I was very careful in laying out pads to absorb oil - and kept a rag wrapped around the pump handle to catch any dribbles.

The hand-pump was an inexpensive model from West Marine (about $26).

The hoses were correctly sized - and assembly was quick and easy.

I did notice that the pump leaked more than I expected along the plunger handle...causing a minor mess as oil dripped in places I didn''t cover. It took approx. 30 minutes to transfer the old oil out.

Realizing that there was probably still oil in the lower portion of the engine oil pan, I decided to attempt further draining by placing a plastic cup in the bilge and letting gravity do a little work. About 1.5 cups were extracted...hopefully it was the worst of the lot...to compensate for the additional mess and effort getting it out.


REPLACING THE FILTERS

Next I removed the PH16 oil filter - luckily I had a nice wide oil catch pad already prepared, as about a 1/2 cup of oil spilled out as I removed it...and I quickly installed the new oil filter [remembering to lightly coat the new rubber seal first!!!]

Then I examined the old filter...

Oops.

No rubber seal.

Off comes the new oil filter - and I removed the old rubber seal from the engine block...re-install new oil filter.


ADDING NEW OIL


The previous owner told me he was using simple 30-W engine oil...I opted for a 15-40W blend that should provide extra protection during higher engine operating temperatures.



CONCLUSION

Overall, I would give the hand-pump a grade of a "C" - it was messy - and took longer than I wanted to spend on the task.

Storing the now-messy oil pump and associated hoses is problematic - and would be a contributing factor to creating new messes whenever it is needed again.

My next oil change will include a project to add an electric pump connected to a hose that is fitted into the drain plug of the engine.

Making engine oil changes simple, clean, and easy will help ensure that maintenance isn''t delayed due to inconvenience...and thus hopefully prolonging the life of vital equipment.
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