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Old 10-18-2005, 02:33 PM
126 Guy
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Queens, NY
Posts: 523
Change oil from top better than conventional way??

Most of my benz buddies who do their own work to their car have this little pump or device where they can suck oil from the oil dipstick tube and not have to put the car up everytime on an oil change. Is there any downside doing this expecially with an old car like mine- 89 560?? Sounds like a greta idea but I want to know before I go out buying one. Most of my buddies all have newer Mercedes models.
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Old 10-18-2005, 02:42 PM
Gary Ganaway's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 367
do a search on "topsider" and you will probably get more posts than you could read in a week.
95 E420 ( 76K) SOLD
85 380SE(125k)
95 SL500(72k)
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Old 10-18-2005, 02:46 PM
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Location: NJ
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You get more oil (very little) by draining. This was a no brainer w/ filters down under. Now that my filter is up top, I suck. Lazy method.
82 300D....went to MB heaven
90 350 SDL....excercising con rods
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Old 10-18-2005, 02:58 PM
sixto's Avatar
smoke gets in your eyes
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: SF Bay Area
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Check the archives for everything that's been said on the matter.

The downsides of extracting include:

- you don't get to inspect the bottom of the engine bay

- typical extraction devices can't handle oil at operating temperature. The ability of oil to retain contaminants and particles in suspension diminishes as oil cools so supposedly you're not extracting as much of that stuff as you could with hot oil.

- you don't get as much oil out as if you pull the drain plug when you get home and let it drain overnight. I've heard the difference reported to be a teaspoonful to a half cupful.

- cost of the extraction device

If you're looking for a show of hands, I use a Topsider.

87 300SDL
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Old 10-18-2005, 03:30 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: RI shore
Posts: 2,937
I use the drain plug. I've changed oil many times on many different vehicles and never seen the need to raise the vehicle even 1 inch. I practically worship anything that is very simple and always works great. I didn't always, but I've sort of had it beaten into me.
'82 300SD - 361K mi - "Blue"

"Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement."

listen, look, .........and duck.
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Old 10-18-2005, 05:33 PM
Benzadmiral's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: New Orleans, LA
Posts: 340
Cool Upside of Topsider

I used to drain the oil from below until a little more than a year ago on my '86 420SEL.

The drain pan/collector -- you know the plastic pan Autozone sells, with the screw-on cap at one end so you can pour the used oil out -- was in place, with the black stuff spouting out and down . . .

. . . and suddenly I saw that the drain pan was leaking from the cap. Not a drop or two, but a steady drip. Aaagh!

Once the car was buttoned up, I stuffed the oil drain pan into a pair of garbage bags. I don't have a garage, so I couldn't get the old hot oil into the jugs I also didn't have to take it in for collection. Not to mention the mess I already had. Of course I could have taken the pan back for a refund or exchange -- but I had to get rid of the oil first, since I wasn't about to put a leaking pan into my trunk! Thank God it began to leak *before* I put it in my car!

I ditched the oil, never mind how, and ordered a Topsider the next day.

If nothing else, the metal can makes a great oil transportation device. It becomes very easy to change your oil in an hour without straining your neck or back. The cost of the thing, about $50.00, will be paid for within 2 or 3 changes in the money you save over going to a shop. You can also use it to extract any fluid, not just oil.

You can always crawl under to inspect the car.
* *
-- Paul W. (The Benzadmiral)
('03 Buick Park Avenue, charcoal/cream)
'97 C230, smoke silver/parchment; '86 420SEL, anthracite/light grey; '84 280CE (W123), dark blue/palomino
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Old 10-18-2005, 05:44 PM
Posts: n/a
I've never spent a bunch of money for a topsider, but I've had a wrench that would fit my drain plug as far back as I can remember.

For those who can't stand getting hot oil on their hands, the topsider is a good solution. Of course, then the hot oil melts their investment.

The most important thing is that it gets changed.

Have a great day,

Change oil hot and change oil often,
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Old 10-18-2005, 06:06 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: So. Cal
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"The cost of the thing, about $50.00, will be paid for within 2 or 3 changes in the money you save over going to a shop".
So, if someone changes oil via drain plug, you're up $50.00 to boot.
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Old 10-18-2005, 06:13 PM
Pete Geither's Avatar
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Location: Western Pa.
Posts: 2,417
Put me in the drain plug category. The advantage is having a shop with a lift so it's kind of a no brainer. But as one poster said, doing it topside only, never lets you see the bottom of the car. On the rack I always go over the car from front to rear and have on occasion found an issue or two that needed attention. Just my way.
95 SL500 Smoke Silver, Parchment 64K
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Old 10-18-2005, 10:06 PM
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Posts: 540
i prefer the sump plug method.
bmw 2002.
long live the legend
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Old 10-18-2005, 10:14 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Baton Rouge La
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I like to suck it out from the top for now. I bought one of the devices that is plastic. It has started to collapse a bit while sucking it out.

There is very little mess and you can drink coffee while it is draining. I am underneath the cars enough, so the inspection thing doesn't apply to me.

If the filter was underneath, I would drain. That said, I suck the fluid out of the Expedition as well. There is enough clearance in the truck that I don't have to jack it up to get to the filter. Nice.

I have had too many instances of hot oil running down my arm...that's why I like to suck it out. I would guess that an ounce or two is left when I am done. No scientific proof just a hunch. I guess I should pull a drain plug sometime and report those results. I would never be so anal as to let it drain all night.
1989 300ce 129k
( facelifted front,updated tail lights, lowered suspension,bilstein sports, lorinser front spoiler, MOMO steering wheel, remus exhaust,stainless steel brake lines). (Gone)

1997 s320 154k (what a ride)

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Old 10-18-2005, 10:33 PM
t walgamuth's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Lafayette Indiana
Posts: 34,220
if you are

careful you can change the oil in a benz in good clothes. experience helps, but i have done it many times. the best part is the filter change from the top. i keep a few plastic shopping bags around and put the old filter in one and back into the box the new one came in. no fuss no muss. i always get a little on my hands but then i just do the simple orange thing and am done. i buy the new oil in the gallon containers and put the old in them when done. my oil pan has a spout and i funnel it into the gallon container. i sit the gallon over my driveway surface water drain so if i spill a little it goes down the drain. there is usually not much.

i have never found a car as easy to change the oil on as a benz diesel (123 and newer). the older ones are beastly! well... just like most cars.

tom w
[SIGPIC] Diesel loving autocrossing grandpa Architect. 08 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins & six speed; I have had about 35 benzes. I have a 39 Studebaker Coupe Express pickup in which I have had installed a 617 turbo and a five speed manual.[SIGPIC]

..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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Old 10-19-2005, 12:12 AM
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Location: Minnesota
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Originally Posted by t walgamuth
careful you can change the oil in a benz in good clothes
I'd like to see anyone change the oil in a 00 ML320 in "good clothes" We have always used the drain plug method around our house (in fact until a year or so ago we didn't know what a 'topsider' was) anyway - the ML320 - when you pull the drain plug oil shoots ALL over the place, on the suspension components, into the wheel well, ect, is a HUGE mess. I can understand why someone would want a top sider for this. Granted you can use a piece of metal or something to "deflect" the oil, but thats ridiculous.
Daily Driver: 02 E430 4MATIC
In the family: '03 E500 // '04 ML500 // 64 220SE
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