Picture of Oil Changing Accessories
Some accessories make changing the oil in your automobile easier.

The opening in the top of my engine ('99 Olds Alero) will hold a quart oil container, but it is not easy to pour without spilling, at least until the oil is able to drain from the container as shown in the photo.
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Step 1: A funnel helps

Picture of A funnel helps
The natural solution is to use a funnel But, the funnel cannot go far enough into the opening on the engine to be stable and support the oil container well. The container in the photo appears to be well supported, but it is also empty. In practice, the container and the funnel fall off of the engine.

Step 2: Support the funnel and the container

Picture of Support the funnel and the container
With a piece of metal tube or pipe and some steel rod I welded a fixture that would support the funnel very well. The exact configuration for your car depends on where things are under the hood. Later I improved it a bit by bending and extending one of the rods.

Step 3: Oil container and funnel on support

Picture of Oil container and funnel on support
It may not appear that the funnel and the container are better supported here than before; but, they really are. With this arrangement you can walk off while a container is draining and know it will not fall off of the engine and make a big mess before you return.

Step 4: No welder?

Picture of No welder?
For many years I did not have a welder and had to improvise with wood and screws or glue.

Get a suitable piece of pipe or tubing. Drill or saw a hole in a piece of wood so that the hole fits the circumference of the tubing closely. Make a saw kerf so the wood can be clamped tightly around the tubing with a screw from the front side of the wood. Screw or glue two pieces of 1 x 1 inch wood to the main piece. These will support the fixture in the engine compartment.

Step 5: When finished with the funnel support

Picture of When finished with the funnel support
The finished funnel support will look like this when viewed from above.
drgabler3 years ago
Its a caltrop! Love the reuse of a ancient weapon. Still does not drain the filter all the way for me though.
gr33ko4 years ago
Good stuff but an easy trick i've learned is to take that oil bottle that fits oh-so-perfectly in your valve cover and cut the bottom off. Put that in there next time you change your oil and stick the new bottle right inside of it!
TinKicker4 years ago
You suggest some handy timesaving devices. They fall into the simple and elegant category. I recycle a lot of filters for the scrap steel, and I can see having rows of those filter stands doing their jobs. Thanks.
Phil B (author)  TinKicker4 years ago
Thank you for your comment. Assuming you have access to a welder, you could make a few filter stands designed to hold several filters each. 3/8 inch concrete rebar is cheap at Home Depot. Cut four pieces about 4 inches long each. Weld them in pairs to make two inverted "V"s for the legs. Weld a piece 15 to 20 inches long between the inverted "V"s. Cut as many pieces as will fit about 5 inches long each and weld them so they rise vertically from the long piece between the two inverted "V"s for legs. Stick an old filter on each vertical piece. Put the whole thing over a large enough pan.