Introduction: Oil Changing Accessories

About: I miss the days when magazines like Popular Mechanics had all sorts of DIY projects for making and repairing just about everything. I am enjoying posting things I have learned and done since I got my first to…
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.

Step 1: 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

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

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?

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

The finished funnel support will look like this when viewed from above.

Step 6: Dealing With a Dripping Oil Filter

The old oil filter is a problem. It drips old oil onto everything. I like to let the oil drain out of it before I set it aside. If the filter simply sets in a pan of old oil, it is still a dripping mess.

In the photo you see a pan made for me by a friend with a sheet metal shop. It is really for changing the oil in my car's automatic transmission. I wanted a pan that is wide enough to catch all of the oil dripping from all corners of the transmission cover when I begin to remove it. This pan is 20 x 20 inches and 2 inches high. There are sites on the Internet that will tell you how many cubic inches are needed to contain a given number of quarts. If you know how long and how wide the pan must be, you know the area. Divide cubic inches by the area to determine the minimum height required. Make the pan an inch or so higher so oil does not slop over the sides when you move the pan.

Step 7: A Stand for the Oil Filter

It helps if you can elevate old oil filter to hold it above the level of the old oil in the pan. Shown below is a simple welded stand from two steel rods.

Step 8: The Two Pieces for the Filter Stand

This graphic shows the bends you make in the steel rods. Place the "L" piece over the other at the 135 degree bend and weld. If you are "off" a little, it has three legs and will be stable, anyway. You can bend a little after welding, too.

Step 9: If You Do Not Have a Welder

Use a longer piece of rod and make several bends, if you do not have access to a welder.

See the "A" tag in both the perspective and the side view so you understand how that leg is bent.

Step 10: The Filter on the Stand

Here you see the filter resting on top of the stand. I slide the pan off to a corner and wait a day or two for the filter to finish draining and dripping. Then I pour the old oil into a container and dispose of it with someone who recycles old oil.