When my buddy Bruce said he had a like-new Jabsco Porta Quick oil changer he’d give me for free, I was happy. When I discovered the unit sells for $209.99, I was ecstatic.
The Porta Quick is a 14-quart plastic container/reservoir with a 12-volt electric impeller-type pump on top. A cord with alligator clips supplies battery power, and a toggle switch offers three modes: off, pump-out, and pump-in. To extract oil, you slip a 1⁄4" plastic probe down your engine’s dipstick tube (after removing the dipstick) and switch to pump-in mode. If your engine has male threads on the dipstick tube, you can make a direct connection by substituting a female, garden-hose-type fitting for the probe. Before using my Porta Quick, I installed a new impeller since I didn’t know the old one’s age.
Trouble arose, though. While making noises like a straw sucking air, the unit stalled at half my Lehman diesel’s capacity. Indeed, I extracted seven more gallons with the motor’s manual pump!
The problem? According to the Lehman folks, baffles in my engine’s oil pan prevent dipstick probes from reaching all of the oil. “Suction’s gotta come from the pan’s drain plug,” a rep told me. “Like with your hand pump.”
So? While the Porta Quick functions nicely, it has limited applications so consult your engine manufacturer before buying one. But since there’s a good chance the device will work on my transmission, I’m still a happy guy.
ITT Jabsco (978) 281-0440.
This article originally appeared in the August 2009 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.