Monday, October 21, 2013

Review: Fumoto Oil Drain Valve

Fumoto Oil Drain Valve
If you do your own oil changes, which you should, the biggest hassle is usually dealing with the old oil. And I don't mean simply disposing of the spent lubricant, I mean the whole drain process. You get your oil drain can, you put it under the car, you loosen the drain plug, and hope not to spill when it drains into the pain.

After you've got your oil in your drain/catch can, then you've got to do something with it. For me, that means transferring it into a milk jug for recycling. This can be a messy endeavor, too. My city will pick up used oil once its into the milk jug, which is great. But I hate transferring that old oil into the jug. I often thought it'd be so nice if I could just do directly into the milk jug, getting rid of a couple of potentially very messy steps.

Until recently, that's just the way it went. However, I recently got a Fumoto valve, and it makes the task of doing an oil change just that much easier.

Fumoto oil drain valve with hose adapterA Fumoto oil drain valve is a brass ball valve that replaces a regular old drain plug. They make them in a bunch of sizes to fit your specific model. I got one for my 2007 Toyota Yaris and one for my 1995 Suzuki Sidekick. They were invented in 1976 by Japanese company Fumoto Giken, Co., and have been tested and granted as "Genuine Parts" by Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Subaru, and Isuzu. In the U.S., they're distributed through QwikValve, which is Fumoto Giken's North American branch.

Fumoto oil drain valve with hose
My Fumoto setup came with the brass valve with a rubber washer, a plastic hose attachment, and some clear rubber hose. Simply remove your old drain plug, let the oil drain out as you normally would, then install the Fumoto valve in its place with a wrench.

The key to the valve is its lever. Simply give the lever a quarter turn, and it will open up and let the oil drain out. The lever is easy to use, but is very durable and locks into place. No worry about it accidentally opening up on the road.

To drain the oil, put the plastic nipple on the end of the valve, hook up your tubing, and drain into your container of choice, in my case, a milk jug. It's far less messy than dealing with a drain plug, and since you don't have to remove it every time, you won't have to worry about the plug getting stripped or freezing up.

The Fumoto valve for my Yaris costs about $27, but you'll likely never have to buy another one again, so I'd say that's a very fair price. I have the short nipple version, since my Yaris is lowered.

So if you change your own oil, a Fumoto valve can help speed up the process and keep the mess down. It's a simple, well-made, and functional accessory that's great on any car.


Unknown said...

Great news!

Ducati Scotty said...

I've had something similar on my Civic for a few years now. It's nice. I don't have to deal with the initial hot gush of oil and trying to contain it, the resulting fishing expedition for the drain plug in said hot oil, or trying to remember what size washer I need for the plug when I'm buying the filter.

Now if only there was a way to get the filter off its vertical mount without half a pint of oil running down my arm and all over the exhaust...