Draining Oil Through the Engine Dipstick Tube
How to use a siphon to pull extra oil out of my 1999 Hyundai Elantra
By Rob Cockerham |
The other day I changed my oil and ended up putting way too much new oil into the car.
I was using the dipstick to check the oil level, but the new oil was so lightly colored that I couldn't see it on the stick. I just kept adding more and more oil until I realized my error.
I let some oil out while I had it up on jack stands, but it wasn't enough. I was about two quarts over-filled.
I decided to drain the extra oil out through the dipstick tube.
I had heard that some quick-change oil places, like Jiffy Lube, might use this method to get the oil out without removing the oil-drain bolt. This was supposed to release them from liability if your drain bolt fell out and a lack of oil ruined your engine.
This wasn't true. If you've got any kind of room under the car, such as with a service pit, it's simply much faster to drain the oil out through the bottom than to use a small tube from the top.
But I was interested to see how hard it was to get the oil out of the top of the car, so I tried it anyway.
The first step was to remove the dipstick and set it aside. Next I located some 1/4th inch diameter vinyl tubing and fed it down into the dipstick tube. Twisting the tube past any rough spots, I was able to feed two feet of tubing down into the depths of the engine.
I struck oil.
The secret to a good siphon is to get all the air out of the tube, so I sucked the oil up, filling the tube and quickly dropped this end down into a waiting bucket.
The viscosity of engine oil is pretty high, so the oil didn't drain very fast, but it did drain, and it was lot easier than crawling back under the car, removing the bolt and dodging the hot oil shower.