Monday, October 21, 2013
Review: Fumoto Oil Drain Valve
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.
A 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.
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.