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Pricey

Mitivac for oil change?

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Will be doing an oil change on my 540i Touring shortly, which in theory is one of the most straightforward jobs you can do maintenance wise. When I first got the car earlier in the year, I remember the mechanic  I use told me the sump plug threads were stretched, and also the sump threads themselves aren't the best. Obviously he replaced the sump plug and it's been fine since as far as I'm aware. I'm just a bit dubious about taking the sump plug out now, in case I run into issues with stripped/damaged threads, etc. I have a spare oem sump plug on hand, but I really don't want to be dealing with not being able to get the sump plug in tight whilst on my back on the garage floor and having an immobilised car until its sorted. I've been reading a lot about the mitivac extractors, mainly on the US forums and they seem to get good feedback. They're expensive, but could potentially save me a lot of potential ballache with the sump plug. Has anyone used one or a similar extractor before? Do they get as much oil out as a traditional drain? Obviously I'll need to get the sump plug thread looked at eventually, but would rather it be on a lift in a garage where a mechanic can i helicoil it if needed, etc, than in my garage at home. I'm thinking the mitivac would useful for say maybe every four or five oil changes, then do a traditional change say every fifth oil change? Any feedback/experience welcome.

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Edited by Pricey

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Not on my e39, but on previous passat I had striped thread in aluminium sump. I just ordered 1mm bigger diameter repair plugs of eBay, comes in kit of 5 plugs and thread cutter. No drilling was needed, just cut in new thread, vacuum clean hole, just in case any debris are inside, but most of them fall on outside anyway. Job done.

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2 hours ago, d_a_n1979 said:

Thanks for the info. 

 

With regards to the filter lid, do you loosen it slightly as oil begins to get sucked out by pump, then remove filter once a decent amount of oil is in extractor container. Obviously don't want oil pouring out of the filter housing lol. 

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43 minutes ago, Ray112 said:

Not on my e39, but on previous passat I had striped thread in aluminium sump. I just ordered 1mm bigger diameter repair plugs of eBay, comes in kit of 5 plugs and thread cutter. No drilling was needed, just cut in new thread, vacuum clean hole, just in case any debris are inside, but most of them fall on outside anyway. Job done.

 

Good info, thanks.

 

Will look at getting the sump sorted at some point, but for now I just want a fairly full proof way to change the oil and really don't want to be messing with re tapping, etc. 

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18 minutes ago, Pricey said:

 

Good info, thanks.

 

Will look at getting the sump sorted at some point, but for now I just want a fairly full proof way to change the oil and really don't want to be messing with re tapping, etc. 

Then oil extractor will do it. Haven't tried any of them myself, so no suggestions which are good. Only I have heard it helps if engine is hot, oil is thinner when hot, so easier to extract.

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1 hour ago, Pricey said:

Thanks for the info. 

 

With regards to the filter lid, do you loosen it slightly as oil begins to get sucked out by pump, then remove filter once a decent amount of oil is in extractor container. Obviously don't want oil pouring out of the filter housing lol. 

 

I undo it and then just leave it loose in the housing once the oil has started to drain fully.

Once that's done; it's filter off and binned, oil sucked out of the housing and then a bit of fresh oil poured in; new filter in place and torque the lid down and then fill the engine with fresh oil :) 

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I have a 6.5 litre Pela oil extractor pump, this one (which is pretty well priced at the moment from this retailer):

 

 https://www.force4.co.uk/item/Pela/650-Heavy-Duty-Cylindrical-65Ltr-Oil-Extractor/EK7?utm_source=google&utm_medium=base&utm_campaign=base&stock=18871&gclid=Cj0KCQjw2or8BRCNARIsAC_ppyadrg0xYdux8BzANYQomu6INKTgoYfSyGOl-pOUYnZ7iseO5zUqwvgaAuOAEALw_wcB

 

There are many others that look exactly the same - and may well be the same but branded differently - so you're spoilt for choice.

 

It's worked really well for me on all my cars.

 

Top tip is to warm up the engine a little before extracting the oil otherwise you'll find it a long-winded process.  I learnt this the hard way when attempting (and sort of failing) to remove 6.5 litres of 10W60 from my stone-cold M5 for the first time!

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9 hours ago, DepthHoar said:

I have a 6.5 litre Pela oil extractor pump, this one (which is pretty well priced at the moment from this retailer):

 

 https://www.force4.co.uk/item/Pela/650-Heavy-Duty-Cylindrical-65Ltr-Oil-Extractor/EK7?utm_source=google&utm_medium=base&utm_campaign=base&stock=18871&gclid=Cj0KCQjw2or8BRCNARIsAC_ppyadrg0xYdux8BzANYQomu6INKTgoYfSyGOl-pOUYnZ7iseO5zUqwvgaAuOAEALw_wcB

 

There are many others that look exactly the same - and may well be the same but branded differently - so you're spoilt for choice.

 

It's worked really well for me on all my cars.

 

Top tip is to warm up the engine a little before extracting the oil otherwise you'll find it a long-winded process.  I learnt this the hard way when attempting (and sort of failing) to remove 6.5 litres of 10W60 from my stone-cold M5 for the first time!

Would you say running engine for about 10 minutes or so would be sufficient to warm the oil enough? 

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27 minutes ago, Pricey said:

Would you say running engine for about 10 minutes or so would be sufficient to warm the oil enough? 

 

It wasn't for me... I took it for a 10min drive (needed fuel anyways) and that was much better - so I'd say letting it idle for 20mins would be better (or do it after you've been out in the car) :) 

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43 minutes ago, d_a_n1979 said:

 

It wasn't for me... I took it for a 10min drive (needed fuel anyways) and that was much better - so I'd say letting it idle for 20mins would be better (or do it after you've been out in the car) :) 

 

Sounds good. 

 

Mityvac state for the oil not to exceed 80 degrees, and I was a bit concerned about melting the plastic tubing, etc, but I'd imagine that would take some doing. 

Edited by Pricey

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I use a Pela and it works great.. the only problem being I bought it when I had a smaller car and, now with the E39's, it doesn't have enough capacity to drain an E39 in one go and I have to syphon some out so it ends up being a bit of a mess / pain. But otherwise it's an excellent product.. warm the car up, assemble the pela and shove it down the dipstick tube, build up some pressure and drink a cuppa whilst it's sucking the oil out. Seems to work just great from what I can tell and I'm fairly confident it's draining the vast majority of the oil as an oil change subsequently ends up looking perfectly golden and new.

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25 minutes ago, Pricey said:

 

Sounds good. 

 

Mityvac state for the oil not to exceed 80 degrees, and I was a bit concerned about melting the plastic tubing, etc, but I'd imagine that would take some doing. 

 

Yeah; you'll struggle to get it to temps to melt the plastic :) 

 

Unless you really want that specific pump; I'd save a few £££ and buy a cheaper one; they're all very much of the same and even though mines a smaller capacity than the engine oil amount; it makes no mess when you drain it into that Sealy oil can for dispensing at the local recycling centre etc. It's all about being careful and having brake cleaner to hand ;) 

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Just buy a sump plug repair kit from the well known auction site and fix the problem, I don’t rate the vac oil recovery pumps, take forever in comparison to a bowl and a Jack, the repair kits are about £20 and come with many replacement plugs 

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1 minute ago, TerryTibbs said:

Just buy a sump plug repair kit from the well known auction site and fix the problem, I don’t rate the vac oil recovery pumps, take forever in comparison to a bowl and a Jack, the repair kits are about £20 and come with many replacement plugs 

 

Maybe for you, but the pump doesn't take that long in my experience.

 

Draws out just over 6l of oil from my engine easy enough and takes as long as it does for me to get the trolley jack, axle stands & tools out if the garage and then get the car up to height, safely onto the axle stands, faff about crawling underneath to get to the sump plug and the rest from there...

 

Plus I'm clean & dry and with a lot less faff, all by using an oil extraction pump ;)

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I have just one question, because I never used an oil extractor. Does it really takes out absolutely all old oil? With drain plug you know that everything has come out, but with extractor I believe little bit will be left at bottom of sump. 

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39 minutes ago, Ray112 said:

I have just one question, because I never used an oil extractor. Does it really takes out absolutely all old oil? With drain plug you know that everything has come out, but with extractor I believe little bit will be left at bottom of sump. 

 

No; but neither does it all drain out using the sump plug. There's still old oil in there, you never ever get it all out

 

The little bit that's left doesn't cause any issues unless you're doing very long interval changes etc

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19 minutes ago, d_a_n1979 said:

 

No; but neither does it all drain out using the sump plug. There's still old oil in there, you never ever get it all out

 

The little bit that's left doesn't cause any issues unless you're doing very long interval changes etc

I'm not worried about any issues, I just like to get out as much as possible. Key to success always is hot oil, even with drain plug. Of course always some oil will stay in cylinder head around tappets, oil pump, oiling ports etc, but at least nothing is left in sump.

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I too wondered if the vacuum method of oil extraction would leave some oil in the sump. It probably does leave a little in but not a significant amount on my cars. The handy markings on the side of the 6.5 litre capacity Pela pump means I can gauge pretty accurately how much has been extracted. Normally it shows about 6.3l taken from the sump of my 530d (oil capacity including filter is 6.5 litres), plus a bit from the oil filter holder. Total extracted is circa 6.4 litres. I'm happy with that. Actually, I'm delighted since I can do an oil and filter change standing up in front of the engine bay and not have to furk around crawling about under the car! That's a big win in my book!

 

As far as I can tell my Pela pump more or less takes all the oil from my M5 but only if the oil is warm/hot. (If the M5 engine oil is cold the pump has real problems taking the last 250ml). The M5 will have a different oil pan to the 530d meaning that the dipstick bottoms out at a lower point compared to the 530d. So I don't think there's a universal rule about the effectiveness of vacuum pumps over a sump plug drain oil change. A lot depends on the individual characteristics of each engine/oil pan.

 

There are many videos on YouTube documenting the success or otherwise of vacuum oil extractors. Conclusion seems to be that vacuum pumps work well on some engines but not all. One guy found that the pump left over 1litre in a VW sump but most conclude that 100ml or less is left.

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As I say, whenever I've done a change with the extraction pump, checking the oil on the dipstick it's perfectly clean / golden so it must be getting the vast majority of the old stuff out. If you think the line is going down right to the bottom of the sump... like bottoming out on it... so why wouldn't it extract just as much as draining it out of the oil pan, especially if the oil is warm and thin? Same as if you stuck a straw into the bottom of the glass and sucked, presumably you'd get most of the drink out, right?

Edited by chicaneuk

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I was tempted by this method for the our 2  BMWs but the other 2 family cars that I have to service have spin off oil filters and so it is necessary to jack them up to remove the filter and catch the oil which spills when the filters are undone so I decided to stick to the old fashoned method. I have to say that some of the vacuum pumps look pretty expensive for what they are.

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4 hours ago, chicaneuk said:

As I say, whenever I've done a change with the extraction pump, checking the oil on the dipstick it's perfectly clean / golden so it must be getting the vast majority of the old stuff out. If you think the line is going down right to the bottom of the sump... like bottoming out on it... so why wouldn't it extract just as much as draining it out of the oil pan, especially if the oil is warm and thin? Same as if you stuck a straw into the bottom of the glass and sucked, presumably you'd get most of the drink out, right?

You just answered your own question. To get everything out of glass you usually need to pull it to one side, put straw in lowest point and then you will get everything out. From flat bottom glass you won't get all out. The same applies to sump. Every single sump on this planet has made with drain plug area being the lowest point. This fact should be enough to explain why draining oil out will be more successful than extracting. On one car it might be 100ml on another 600ml.

Actually someone with oil extractor could make a little experiment about how much oil is left in sump. All you need to do is to get everything done with extractor and then open drain plug and see if anything comes out. No guessing, just clear facts.

Edited by Ray112

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