The Ol’ Rag Trick.

Posted on Posted in Oil tricks

I decided to expose a few tricks of the trade so-to-speak. When it comes to getting your oil changed you can at times be uncertain about whether or not it is being done right. I thought thought the best way would be to expose a few of the ol’ tricks so you would and will know what to look for at your next oil change.

First up the ol’ rag stuffing trick. So under your car there is an oil pan. What that is is a reservoir for all of your oil to sit in, the engine sucks the oil up from the reservoir while you drive to lubricate the engine components. On the bottom of the oil pan is a port plug. If you unscrew the port you are able to drain the oil from the pan. This is how the oil change process starts.

The problem with the oil port plug is that if you wreck it when you pull it out of the oil pan you have a situation on your hands. Number one you will not be able to change the oil because it could leak out if it doesn’t seal properly. Number two if you messed up the threads on the oil pan and not just the post you might end up having to re-tap the treads and getting a different size port plug. Re-taping is when you ether chase the existing treads or make new treads of a bigger opening.

With each car manufacturer there are many different size port plugs, and you can imagine how many there might just be out there.  So naturally quick oil change type places do not carry the extra parts. Ordering them is there only option wen the mess up. problem is you came to get you oil changed quick right?

This is where the ol’ rag trick started. Here is how it goes. You go to get you oil changed. They mess up the port plug some how, probably just in a hurry, and now they have no way of adding new oil. Most mechanics would get laughed at if someone found out they did this, and the get scared. The manager is on them constantly, they need to move volumes of cars to meet there quota. So the mechanic takes a rag and stuff’s it hard into the port hold creating a temporary seal. Next he completes the oil change and your good to go. So you think.

Usually you can drive quite awhile on a rag, surprisingly! Eventually though what usually happens is the rag fails and you loose your oil pressure. This will cause engine failure. Your engine can become seized up extremely quick when this happens. You want to blame the guy responsible, but how could you prove it wasn’t a the port that just fell out on it’s own? You can’t.

So what to look for and how to avoid the scam. This on can be a bit difficult to see. What you are going to have to do is get down flat on the grown and locate the oil pan. Once you see it you will notice it is all smooth except where the port is located. Shine a flash light on that making sure the port is in place.

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