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Old 02-28-2009, 12:00 AM   #1
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Exclamation Plastic tube broke off inside engine

Hi all,

If an auto mechanic can chime in on this one, it'd be greatly appreciated. Seriously posts only please.

I was doing an oil change by sucking it out with a plastic tube through the dipstick hole. (standard method for many European cars). Got all the oil out, but then the tube got stuck this time for some reason. Twisted and pulled unsuccessfully to get it unstuck. Ended up breaking off a piece of hose (flexible plastic, possibly nylon or polyethlyene) maybe 20-30cm long inside. (about the size + thickness of a drinking straw from McDs)

Pump was a Mityvac 7400 if that helps.

My questions:

1. Would such a piece cause any damage if this is left inside the engine? My understanding is that this vehicle has a strainer before anything leaves the pan, so there's a chance this tube may not even melt, and sit in there harmlessly forever.

2. The tube may melt though I am not sure (if it's polyethylene, Wiki shows the melting point is around 125C). Would something like this get caught in the oil filter (harmless), or is there a chance it'll gunk up the oil pump + a ton of internals (bad)?

3. Am I best off getting this thing towed and coughing up the $$$$? Or is a better idea to run the engine hard + hot and try to get it all caught in the filter? Then I can simply change the filter.

Thanks in advance.
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Last edited by slammer111; 02-28-2009 at 02:46 AM.
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Old 02-28-2009, 02:38 AM   #2
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Drop the oil pan and get it?

1. Yes.. what if it gunks up and block the pan return? then your engine will not have enough oil and might cause oil starvation.
2. Yes, but limited to where it melts.
3. No. DO NOT START THE CAR get a new pan gasket, raise the car, drop the pan.. put in a neodymium screw plug while you are at it.
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Old 02-28-2009, 08:13 AM   #3
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The best thing to do is to take the pan on and remove that tube. And yes, while it's off, get a shop to weld a drain bung onto the pan, so you don't have to do this anymore. The only instance where I wouldn't remove the pan, would be if I had to pull the motor or drop the subframe to get the pan off. Then I'd probably just risk it.
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Old 02-28-2009, 09:43 AM   #4
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You would be an idiot to leave it in there.

TAKE

IT

OUT.
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Old 02-28-2009, 09:48 AM   #5
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LOL the heat from the engine will melt it into some unrecognizable goo if you drive it....

and then jam all your crank bearings and cam bearings for good. Either that or it films up your oil filter and sudden oil starvation could happen.

can you make out how long of a tube went into the engine? if it's like 2-3 inches maybe you can get away with it if it's any more than that......nah.

Can't you remove the dipstick to oil pan assy like Japanese engines? (*run away*)

Also I don't think the Euro engines have no drain plugs yes it is a European way to suck oil out but it's also not the North American way to do it LOL. Japanese does that too at their express oil change places....Just nobody would try that at home.
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Old 02-28-2009, 11:15 AM   #6
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what car is this that u need to suck the oil out from the dip stick?
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Old 02-28-2009, 01:08 PM   #7
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Old 02-28-2009, 01:38 PM   #8
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Just leave it in there
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Old 02-28-2009, 01:57 PM   #9
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turn it on and see what happens
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Old 02-28-2009, 02:01 PM   #10
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if the straw melts it will end up costing you alot of money. i wouldnt risk it take it out b4 you drive it
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Old 02-28-2009, 02:53 PM   #11
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whats wrong with draining the oil from the drain plug?
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Old 02-28-2009, 03:15 PM   #12
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Nothing really.. just not as convenient for cars with oil filters where they are accessible from the engine bay.

I think all post 2003 engines from Mercedes don't have a pan plug release.

Honestly, it saves hoist time. Instead of having the car on a hoist, the service station can change oil, just by having the car on a level surface... (since the oil filter is facing up).

Princess Auto sells a pneumatic version (with plugs into the compressor).. for about $200.. it is all metal.. takes 2 minutes to suck out 12+L of oil from my X5. The other argument is unless you drop the oil pan, there might be varnish etc hanging about on the pan. A vacuum just gets those things out too.

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whats wrong with draining the oil from the drain plug?
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Old 02-28-2009, 05:44 PM   #13
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I can't even start to imagine how some of you guys are saying to leave it inside. Under no circumstance would I ever do that. Do what you have to do to take it out whether it be dropping the pan, taking off the valve cover, or towing it to a mechanic.
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Old 02-28-2009, 06:06 PM   #14
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ya man dont leave it in there u WILL fuck up the engine.. no question about that.. even if it melts you could possibly have it flow through your engine through the oil lines and fuck up even more shit.. take it to a mechanic or do it yourself..
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Old 02-28-2009, 07:14 PM   #15
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try taking off the dip stick holder. it might just be lodged in there.
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Old 02-28-2009, 08:33 PM   #16
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Quote:
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I think all post 2003 engines from Mercedes don't have a pan plug release.
http://autoparts.cardomain.com/auto-...oil-drain-plug

you can't fool us.....you can't.

and the OP who decide to do the no plug oil change at home on a Mercedes - you are a cheap bastard who just performed epic self ownage. Replacing your oil at a local Mercedes dealer is under $80 CDN....
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Old 02-28-2009, 10:04 PM   #17
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Quote:
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Nothing really.. just not as convenient for cars with oil filters where they are accessible from the engine bay.

I think all post 2003 engines from Mercedes don't have a pan plug release.

Honestly, it saves hoist time. Instead of having the car on a hoist, the service station can change oil, just by having the car on a level surface... (since the oil filter is facing up).

Princess Auto sells a pneumatic version (with plugs into the compressor).. for about $200.. it is all metal.. takes 2 minutes to suck out 12+L of oil from my X5. The other argument is unless you drop the oil pan, there might be varnish etc hanging about on the pan. A vacuum just gets those things out too.

Good god... Is that how Mercedes and BMW can get away with charging $300 for an oil change ? Something that a 14 year old in highschool can do the conventional way ?
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Old 02-28-2009, 10:48 PM   #18
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Are you sure that it is under $80 (I assume synthetic?)?? I mean 6 litres of Mobil1 0W40 is about $40 cost already.. then you add up the filter.. what about labour? taxes, environmental levy etc?

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and the OP who decide to do the no plug oil change at home on a Mercedes - you are a cheap bastard who just performed epic self ownage. Replacing your oil at a local Mercedes dealer is under $80 CDN....
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Old 02-28-2009, 10:49 PM   #19
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Or would you prefer BMW's method, delete the dipstick (n54) replace it with an oil level sensor (vs a switch) but have a drain plug?

It is not getting away or anything special.. marine engines have been using dipstick to change oil like forever.

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Good god... Is that how Mercedes and BMW can get away with charging $300 for an oil change ? Something that a 14 year old in highschool can do the conventional way ?

Last edited by godwin; 02-28-2009 at 11:02 PM.
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Old 02-28-2009, 10:51 PM   #20
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I assumed all M272 is drain plugless but apparently only cars with tight clearance don't have them... I always forget Mercedes is slightly different from BMW, where it is the same engine / features across all model lines.. Mercedes slightly modify feature list depending on requirement of the specific models.
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Old 02-28-2009, 11:47 PM   #21
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Mercedes oil changes are really reasonably priced man.

That is, if you don't let them sell you up for "service plan" or other odd plans.... they always get a way to do it if you aren't careful. Talk to the service advisor like you know your cars, and then ask them to give you a "straight change, no other BS. Don't even inspect the belts or anything around there" then it's about $80.
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Old 03-01-2009, 04:26 AM   #22
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Hey guys, thanks for the info! Found a place that will open up the pan and remove it without digging too much of a hole in one's wallet. They even said they can even save/reuse the brand-new oil too! w00t!

Contrary to what many of you Jap owners think, MB does NOT recommend using the drain plug (oldschool) method on the W203 C-class (or probably their entire lineup). I'll try to find the link to the bulletin. I forget why but from an engineering standpoint I'd imagine it has something to do with potential stripping of the aluminum engine block threads. Some guy on one of the forums also claims the hose method removes MORE oil compared to the drain (who knows if this is true). Surely the dealership technicians aren't avoiding the hoist to save 30s. The engine actually has a tube specifically for sucking up oil. It doesn't even have a dipstick. Just a lid you pull off and stick a hose into. Our oil is measured electronically through the instrument cluster. And my understanding is that the drain pan bolt was just put in to keep the oldschool people happy until they die off.

German cars are rather peculiar. The SA had to argue with my (oldschool) parents who at the time didn't believe my car had a 15000km service interval (aka oil/filter change) and thought MB was trying to blow up my engine so they could sell another car. The newest MBs were at 20000km per oil change last time I checked, and it may be even higher now. From what I read in the forums, the synthetic oils in modern MBs (and most likely other many other cars) can actually easily go 30000km per change, but people are just so used to 5000 that they can't just suddenly crank it up 6x in one shot. Hence this "phasing-in" period over the years. The only things that changed for MB so far (as far as I can tell) is the oil filter material and the oil itself. In theory, there's no reason why these changes can't be applied to any other car.

Looking back, my mistake this time was feeding in TOO much hose, such that it developed a kink somewhere which then caught somewhere where the hose was not supposed to go. I've done this change before, without a problem. Marked the hose so it won't happen again

hk20000, please show me where you can get the oil for an MB changed for $80. My invoice from the dealer shows $52 for the oil and $15 for the filter, before taxes. I'd be VERY interested.

And for those of you who haven't doing a top-down oil change, try it once (if your engine allows for it) and see how much freaking EASIER it is than the oldschool way. No more crawling under your car with a pan or mopping up a big puddle of engine oil.

Last edited by slammer111; 03-01-2009 at 05:09 AM.
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Old 03-01-2009, 09:43 AM   #23
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^ i do a lot of oil changes. and for the most part you can't get as much oil out, sometimes it's just easier to take off the plug. hard to believe that sucking it out, gets as much crap out.

as for filters, for the most part, only BMW AUDI and some GM's have filters you can access upstairs without making a huge mess.
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Old 03-01-2009, 11:19 AM   #24
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as for filters, for the most part, only BMW AUDI and some GM's have filters you can access upstairs without making a huge mess.
Cartridge filters on W202s are the bomb it's just a lid on top, pull out filter and put a new one in. No spill no drama.

I'll stick to my dipstick and drainplug if that translates to my $80 stealership oil change.
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Old 03-01-2009, 11:33 AM   #25
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ugh good luck changing ur engine oil every 30,000km guyz

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