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Old 01-23-2002, 02:14 PM
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Oil Change Gizmo

I see that in 'The Star' club magazine they offer the 'Liquivac' topside oil change pump for about $50. Has anyone tried this one in particular and if so how did it perform?
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Old 01-23-2002, 02:31 PM
Van Helden
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I've used one for the past two years and find that it works fine. It sure beats crawling underneath and everything that goes with that. The only thing they could improve on is strengthening the rubber hose. When hot oil runs through it it tends to collapse the hose thus slowing the process. It also sucks out more oil than draing it through the plug. The dealer I go to also uses the same system albeit much more sophisticated. I'd recommend it!
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Old 01-23-2002, 02:48 PM
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Van Helden,

"It also sucks out more oil than draing it through the plug. "

Can you please explain how that's possible?

You're saying that after you use your topsider that if you crawled underneath and removed the drain plug, nothing would come out - not a drop?

I disagree. I drain my oil using the drain plug. It gives me a good opportunity to look around for worn items, oil leaks, and other potential hazards.

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Old 01-23-2002, 04:28 PM
Ali Al-Chalabi's Avatar
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This is one of the most dicussed topics on this board.

Do a search and you will find plenty of lengthy discussions on it.

Dennis, I believe the argument that stems from the topsider pulling more oil is that Mercedes designs the dipstick to be the lowest part of the pan and the drain plug may not be completely flush with the bottom.
Ali Al-Chalabi

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Old 01-23-2002, 05:24 PM
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I'm sure this has been beat to death but it seems to me that doing a top side change would remove less crud sitting in the pan.

I picture in my head the crud flowing out the drain plug hole but not being removed from a topside suction device....

...then again, if there's no crud, this is a moot point.
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Old 01-23-2002, 06:27 PM
Van Helden
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There is something to be said about crawling underneath to "check things out." I haven't looked at prior discussions on this and I'll do that now.
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Old 01-23-2002, 06:27 PM
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I use a similiar suction system. I have found that the oil should not be cold and not too hot. Too cold and it is reluctant to go up the tube and too hot it allows the tube to collapse.
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Old 01-23-2002, 09:50 PM
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draining the oil through the drain plug while the oil is hot removes A LOT of crud that pumping it out the top when it's luke warm doesn't.

I picture the bottom of the oil pan coated in crud that the oil left behind because it was either to heavy to get sucked out or the oil didn't have suspended cause it was cold.
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Old 01-24-2002, 07:09 AM
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IMHO, if you use a suction type oil change device it REALLY needs to be one that allows you to draw out the oil while it is as hot as you can get it. When the oil is hot, many more contaminants are churned up in the oil and will come out rather than clinging to everything inside the engine.

After all, the main reason you're changing the oil is that it is the only method you have to properly clean the inside of the engine.

The other important part of an oil change is looking around underneath to see what might be leaking or falling off.

Good luck,
Change oil hot and change oil often,
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Old 01-24-2002, 10:07 AM
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I have thought about buying one of those Liquvac systems, but can't get away from the thought of not getting all the oil out. Also I would imagine it would be faster to drain the oil than to draw it out through a tube. I have used a siphon pump to change the power steering fluid and that took about 2 or so minutes. However that was only about a quart, imagine how long it would take to suck out 2 gallons of oil, especially if the hose does collapses on you, slowing things down. I think I'll stick with the hot drain method. This will give me a chance to do a look around.
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Old 01-28-2002, 09:12 AM
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I've never used one but how do know the tube is at the lowest point. When I drain my oil I use ramps to elevate the car thus tilting the engine to drain ALL oil.
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Old 01-28-2002, 09:23 AM
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Here we all go again.

I use LiquiVac. Larry doesn't. Some do. Some don't.

If you choose to change your oil by using a suction device, I would recommend it. I put up with the tube collapse and slow drain and change my oil hot. No dire consequences yet to the tube.

The real thing to remember is change your oil and filter and do it often. If having the LiquiVac makes that possible for you where pulling the drain plug will not, buy the LiquiVac. It works well...
John Shellenberg
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Old 01-28-2002, 09:57 AM
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I have to get under the car to change the filter anyway. Also my oil cooler has a drain plug. I just put on my diesel shirt (not even oxy-clean will get out diesel stain) and go at it. I also elevate the front slightly as my diveway slopes. There's just something about warm oil running down your arm!
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Old 01-28-2002, 11:18 AM
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I used a "Topsider" rig I got from Griot's Gararge about 6 years or more ago until, when I changed the oil really hot a few times, it started to collapse. This gizmo is really a hemishperical gas can, modified to take a vacuum pump. The little tubes that come with it and suck the oil out are hard plastic and never came close to collapsing (the can did that instead).

I am a believer in the "change it hot and change it often" mantra, so I researched the available devices. I found a boating accessory,(getting to a sump drain plug on some boats is likely something you have to be bred for) that was designed to work on hot fluids, a Sureflow WaterWolf or something like that. This thing is electrically powered (from the car battery) and can hold at least 5 gallons of waste oil. It pumps the stuff back out if you want into more manageable containers to take to the recycling place (highly advised).

Anyway, I change the oil after a 20 to 30 minute ride when it is at full operating temperature now, and other than having to watch the gadget so it does not pump oil all over the driveway again when transferring the load to something I can empty at the recycling center, I find the device worth the heavy price tag ($150 plus). In my gas cars the oil is never full of junk (Mobil 1 0W-40 or , 15W-50) and in my Diesels, which also only use synthetic oils (Mobil Delvac 1 5W-40 or Mobil 1 15W-50) I do not think there is anything of significance left in the pan. I typically run the pump until it is sucking air, then let it sit and the oil drain for another half hour to an hour and try again. I keep doing this until there is no significant additional oil getting sucked up and then go to finish the job.

I have done this for years both ways, and recall the dread of changing the filter on my 1974 240D. I never liked hot Diesel oil on my arms or hands either and that car's filter location was a nightmare, especially getting it back into position without getting any dirt on the "O"-ring.
The best thing going for the devices that suck the oil out of the dipstick tube is they are more convenient, and therefore you are more likely to change the oil. Good Luck, Jim
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Old 01-28-2002, 01:23 PM
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Wink More wood to the fire!

Why would Mercedes allow to use the suction method in their MB dealerships if it did not work as well as the "old fashion way"?
I use the suction method and the answer to the question above convinced me of changing the method I used in my car. Afterall, they designed the cars and I am sure there was some testing by MB BEFORE they authorized dealerships to use the suction method.
Bottom line, use whatever work better for you. It is your car.:p
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