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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I did a topside oil change on my Cruze today using my trusty MityVac 7201. The little dipstick tube was used. In under 40 minutes including rummaging for tools, the listed capacity of 4 liters of oil was siphoned up, the old cartridge filter replaced with a new Delco PF2257G, and the car buttoned back up with 4 liters of Quaker State Ultimate Durability 5w-30 dexos1/SN.

Pictures:


During the first part of the change:




The dipstick tube did need some fiddling to get into the drain pan at first. Everything went smoothly aside from that. This oil change was the easiest/least messy oil change I've ever done on a car.

Not having to get under the car to change oil is nice! A guy could get used to this!
 

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Nice! I've wondered about the topside oil extractors, but never have heard an honest opinion on one...I may be considering one now!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Does the suction tube reach the bottom of the pan ?
If it didn't, less than 4 liters of oil would have been extracted. Since 4 liters were extracted, yes, the suction tube does indeed reach the bottom of the pan.
 

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...for those who are curious about that MityVac 7201:

 

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Very cool, but seems like alot of work compared to taking out the drain plug. You also won't know if any or how much metal is on the drain plug magnet. I'll stick with working from the bottom
 

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I haven't did any in depth looking yet, but I read a review on another website that the MityVac is not for use with synthetic oils, as they will degrade the seals, causing the unit to leak. This review was a couple years old, and said MityVac's own tech support line issued this information...

I'll see what I can find out and post back here unless anyone else can clarify...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Very cool, but seems like alot of work compared to taking out the drain plug. You also won't know if any or how much metal is on the drain plug magnet. I'll stick with working from the bottom
A lot of work? Taking out the dipstick, fishing the hose down to the bottom of the sump, and then giving the MityVac 5-10 pumps every few minutes? Hardly.

It's much easier than getting the car onto ramps, finding my drain pan, finding my wrench, wrestling with a stuck drain bolt, getting oil everywhere, being at an awful angle to get the filter out thanks to the ramps, and being all achy from laying on the ground changing my own oil. Then having to put all that listed equipment away again. Much simpler my way.

I've used my MityVac with synthetic ATF for a year or so without issue. I've heard of it in the older models, not the more recent one I have.
 

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I've used my MityVac with synthetic ATF for a year or so without issue. I've heard of it in the older models, not the more recent one I have.
Thanks SciPhi,
The review that mentioned the problems with synthetics was from 2007, so I figured the manufacturer would have addressed the issue by now. This product has my interest peaked...and may be a near future purchase since 2 vehicles will make it pay for itself twice as fast...:).
 

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A lot of work? Taking out the dipstick, fishing the hose down to the bottom of the sump, and then giving the MityVac 5-10 pumps every few minutes? Hardly.

It's much easier than getting the car onto ramps, finding my drain pan, finding my wrench, wrestling with a stuck drain bolt, getting oil everywhere, being at an awful angle to get the filter out thanks to the ramps, and being all achy from laying on the ground changing my own oil. Then having to put all that listed equipment away again. Much simpler my way.

I've used my MityVac with synthetic ATF for a year or so without issue. I've heard of it in the older models, not the more recent one I have.
Gotcha, didn't know you had such a bad experience. I normally just slide the pan under and pull the bolt out. I also still prefer to get a look at that drain plug, I feel that is a pretty important part of the oil change. def like your idea, just not the way I prefer to do it.
 

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Gotcha, didn't know you had such a bad experience. I normally just slide the pan under and pull the bolt out. I also still prefer to get a look at that drain plug, I feel that is a pretty important part of the oil change. def like your idea, just not the way I prefer to do it.
+1 To just jack up one side of the car enough to get under and remove the plug (which is not stuck) because I remove and install it myself which insures it is done right, drain the oil and refill in 10 minutes is the way I've been doing it for 40 years. And with the filter on top it just makes it that much easier.
 

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I agree w/ ya Nick & Vet. I like to see my drain plug and seal and i would often wonder did i get all of the old oil out. I know, I may be a little paranoid, but i like wallowing under my ride, lookng at everything, but hey, i'm not bashing you.
I'll borrow a famous quote: "more power to ya" - Briscoe Darling, per the Andy Griffith show - Dan
 

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Sciphi- Thanks for the post on this. I just bought a Cruze and have owned a similar Mityvac for years. Mine uses compressed air to create the vacuum instead of the hand pump. From what I've read both tools work well.

I agree that you don't get to see the plug, but boy is it convenient, especially when it's 20F outside in winter in the midwest.

Definately worth it for around $100 from Amazon or ebay. Replacement hoses can be ordered from McMaster-Carr in up to 100 ft rolls.

Thanks again for being a pioneer on this. I look forward to doing some of the changes myself. Possibly every other oil change done from the top, with a new filter of course!

One note it's a little faster if you remove the oil filter fill cap, and do this with the engine oil warm. Coolant temperature about 125-150F.
 

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...now as low a ~$81.
 

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Sciphi-
I agree that you don't get to see the plug, but boy is it convenient, especially when it's 20F outside in winter in the midwest.
I agree that if you do not have a garage to work in this would probably be the best way to go and I'm not knocking it. Fortunately I have a garage and am kinda a touchy feely type of guy and I just like to get down and dirty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I got down and dirty rust-proofing and installing an oil pan heater earlier this year. I'm also the guy eyeballing everything when swapping to snow tires, so the undersides get eyeballed at least once a year, and critical brake/suspension items twice a year or more.

Now that my weekly mileage has shot up thanks to work, spending less downtime and more driving time is critical. And one less bolt removed is one less bolt I forget to re-install.

No problem on being the guinea pig! I figured it would work, considering this Ecotec's European roots. MB and BMW have specified topside oil changes for years, and those are significantly more complicated engines than the Ecotec 1.4T.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Listed capacity of the 1.4's sump is 4 liters. Look at how much oil I pulled out. 4 liters. I think I got all the oil out of the engine.

Follow a reasonable change interval using name-brand dexos1 oil, and one won't have a lubrication-related issue absent a mechanical failure.

If particles are big enough to settle into the pan, then they're likely to stay there regardless of drain method. And if they're small enough to be circulating, they're either going to be caught on the oil pickup screen or lodged into the oil filter.

For further reading, go read some MB or BMW forums or search "topside oil change". If it's good enough for an N54 or N55, it's good enough for my LUJ.
 

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They're a pretty nice piece of equipment to have around the garage. I had to use one while getting my TA tuned switching to E85 to get my gas tank empty. Worked off an air compressor. That being said, really? You can be a "car guy" on the computer or be a "car guy" on your car. I think it explains itself which method this is.
 

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Worked well using the air compressor powered Mityvac. Pulled the oil in about 2-3 minutes.

I did notice that the service manual on alldata suggests removal of the filter before draining the oil. I could hear oil draining down when removing the filter.

Nice method to remove 4L of oil.

Does anyone know if the clamps on the sensor within air intake can be rotated to be less of an obstruction to the filter? It's not crazy difficult to replace the filter element, but would be easier if that air intake sensor was slightly rotated. I may have to try that on the next change.
 
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