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Quick Oil Change Service

Get a 2-minute oil change when filling tank.
  (+5, -3)
(+5, -3)
  [vote for,

Ok, we've all seen those fast oil change places. They seem to be pretty profitable. Their market edge is the speed of service, with no need for scheduling.

But I think we can do better. There are oil filter relocator kits on the market now. What I propose is that a gas station can install the filter relocator kit on a customer's car. Then they install a little pump thingy for removing the oil from the oil pan. This way, the entire oil change can be done in 2 minutes or less, all from under the hood (no need to get under the car).

A customer will pay about $100 (USD) or so for the kit (maybe they can be done cheaper, in the manner of razor/razor blades scheme).

But imagine the convenience! You pull up to the pumps, start your gas flowing, then pop the hood. Turn on your pump, drain the oil into the station's reservoir, change the filter, add new oil, and you're done before the gas tank is filled.

You could pay an attendant a couple of bucks to do it for you, if you wish.

Regular oil changes are the single most important automotive service. This helps ensure that you perform this valuable maintenance.

1. Fast
2. Cheaper (do-it-yourself option)
3. Can be done with any fill-up.
4. Relocator kits often use commodity-level filters, which can be considerably cheaper than odd-sized, low-market-volume filters
5. Convenient

[I thought about this when I changed the oil on my recently-purchased used vehicle. I have to remove a skid plate under the front end to have access to the oil pan and filter. Since I'll be changing oil about once a month, this just seems like too much work.]

The only other 1/2 bakery idea I found regarding oil change is snowfox's idea for oil change service at parking garages (see link). That idea received 5 croissants and 0 fishbones, so I have high hopes of pastrification.
quarterbaker, Nov 13 2001

snowfox's idea http://www.halfbake...tune_20up_202_20you
[quarterbaker, Nov 13 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Engine Oil Extractor http://www.oilchang...ution.com/tt28.php3
The service station could use this to extract oil. Note that it requires a simple hose to be installed (which could be part of the whole speedychange kit). [quarterbaker, Nov 13 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Hand Pump http://www.pelaproducts.com/HowToUse2.htm
Hand pump for extraction of oil through dipstick tube. [quarterbaker, Nov 13 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Electric Pump http://www.tatpumps...il_change_unit.html
Electric pump for dipstick tube extraction [quarterbaker, Nov 13 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Hand Pump Oil / Liquid Extractor http://www.griotsga...alog.jsp?&SKU=10122
Useful for oil & other automotive liquids [MrJustin, Oct 04 2004]

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       What's up with your car that you need to change the oil every month?
angel, Nov 13 2001

       Trust it? Yes! Speed does not indicate quality. Besides, the time saved is due to proper location of the filter and draining system (i.e., under the hood). Changing the oil in my vehicle is not a 5-minute operation, it's more like 1/2 hour (due to the damned skid plate, as I mentioned).

I put 3,000 miles a month on the vehicle, so a monthly oil change is appropriate.

A few years ago, Toyota (I think) made a minivan that had an unusual feature. All vital fluids had a reservoir right up front under the hood. You could check/add fluids much more easily than on any other vehicle. And the oil filter was right up there, too, for ease of access. Guess that just made too much sense, since that feature is not in any current designs.

What's not to like about this? Nothing has changed about the quality of service, just the speed (due to ease of access).
quarterbaker, Nov 13 2001

       << That idea received 5 croissants and 0 fishbones, so I have high hopes of pastrification. >>   

       Never heard of tempting fate? I know laughably little about car maintenance, so I'm not voting.
pottedstu, Nov 13 2001

       Is remoting the oil filter safe?
bristolz, Nov 13 2001

       The idea isn't bad [quarterbaker], but I question the speed factor. If you've just driven to the gas station, most of the oil in your engine isn't in the oil pan and will take more than 2 minutes to flow all the way back down. If you threw in one of those Bilstein pumps, you might pull it off, but the service would be more expensive and certainly not DIY.
phoenix, Nov 13 2001

       Oil filter relocation kits are perfectly safe, and widely available. You can order them online or from any auto parts store. Some of them are available with 2 filters, for extra filtering (and extra capacity).

The pump would be installed on the car, so would be a one-time cost.

While installing the kits might not be a DIY for most people, the end result is that (a) DIY oil changes would be much faster and easier, and (b) service stations could actually change the oil in the time it takes to fill up.

Have any of you actually changed oil in a vehicle before?

It was the "high hopes of pastrification" comment, wasn't it? Or am I just missing something here?
quarterbaker, Nov 13 2001

       I didn't realize there you had a pump on the car, but my original objection stands: I can't pump the oil out if the oil isn't in the oil pan.   

       The filter relocation kit doesn't enter into it.   

       And I dismissed the DIY aspect on my supposition of using the Bilstein system. So your idea is to have oil pumps at the islands as well? One hose to pump out the old oil and one to pump in new? How do I activate the engine-mounted pump? How do I know when all the oil's out of the engine? I'll assume the oil inflow is regulated so I only get the amount I need, but I'd better be sure I have a 4 quart capacity and not 5. Or vice-versa. Etc, etc.
phoenix, Nov 13 2001

       //Have any of you actually changed oil in a vehicle before?//

Well, as a matter of fact, that's about 75% of my job. I do like the idea, but getting croissants isn't exactly the goal here.

My suggestion is that the pump could easily run through or even BE the dipstick shaft, but you'd probably have to pay the station for disposal of the oil. Maybe the fee could just be tacked on to your gas price?

[PeterSealy] - the longest part of an oil change is draining the oil, which can take several minutes if the car isn't warm.

AfroAssault, Nov 14 2001

       AfroAssault - thanks for your input. Dipstick tube for the pump location is a good idea.

Around here, most service stations will take used oil for no charge. They usually sell it for recycling.

Just to reiterate: this idea is to take the quick oil change service that has become so popular and, by modifying the consumer's car a little bit, performing that service at the gas pump.

I've been trying to find out (with objective data) what the time for oil to drain to the oil pan really is, but I'm not having much luck yet.
quarterbaker, Nov 14 2001

       There are too many variables for you to get a reliable figure. It depends on temperature, oil viscosity rating, age of oil, amount of carbon gunk suspended in it, amount of gunk clogging up the oilways, oilway design. I would think that the closest you would get is 'somewhere between three and twenty minutes'.
angel, Nov 14 2001

       As a member of the 3,000 miles a month club and as someone who also lacks time (I even resent having to stop for gas), you have a croissant from me. However, I just want it to be a car/truck/SUV design that makes it faster to do here at the farm....not at a service station....since we use most of the used oil for "painting" the wood in the manure spreader to protect it.
Susen, Nov 14 2001

       angel - yes, you're right. Time is hard to generalize. From what I've gathered, it is best to drain/extract the oil from a warm engine (thinner oil and more sludge in suspension).

Susen - nice to read from you again. Haven't seen you post in a while. See my latest 2 links for oil extraction pumps. With an extraction pump, and a relocated filter, changing the oil should be a lot easier for a DIY.

BTW - there is a business/franchise available, that is nothing but providing on-site oil changes, that uses the dipstick extraction method, but doesn't have the filter relocation as part of the model. I'll provide the link if anybody wants it.
quarterbaker, Nov 14 2001

       You would trust one of those poorly-trained monkeys to change your oil for you? Last time I trusted a quick-change business, I ended up having to replace my entire brake system due to oil being added into the brake fluid reservoir.
mazo, Nov 15 2001

       You've GOT to be kidding. Grease Monkey added oil to a Master Brake Cylinder? Only reason I don't change oil myself anymore is because I live on an incline. CA charges fees for anything 'dirty' - I used to just leave used oil outside Gas Station beside locked oil recycling container. I don't have time to sign sworn affidavits.
thumbwax, Nov 15 2001

       Changing oil while the engine is hot and it hasn't had time to drain back down is bad. Run your engine for a while, then shut it off and take the dipstick out. It'll be down near the 'empty' mark. If you then fill it with oil to bring it up to the full mark, you'll blow lots of oil seals and James Bond will have nothing on you for a smoke screen.   

       There are already remote oil plug switches that you can install...replace the plain bolt with a small valve that is operated by a cable.   

       I do my own oil changes since Meineke changed the oil by removing it and replacing the plug. They didn't put any oil back in, and my engine had a meltdown in a week. <The oil pressure gauge has electronic problems and always says 'low oil' so I ignored it.>
StarChaser, Nov 16 2001

       Ive been toying with this Idea for a while now. Your discussion is quite enlighting and has given me leads to research this more. Thanks
jafo, Apr 17 2003

       Check out www.smartoilchange.com
easy, May 02 2003


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