Oil Drain Valve – Oil Change Wonder Review
The Oil Change Wonder from Ranger Design is a permanent replacement for your oil change plug which lets you drain waste oil at operating temperature without burns, spills, stripped threads or clean up. It performs the same function as the Fumoto Oil Drain Valve which has also been reviewed and is recommended on this site - it just does it in a bit different manner.
Oil Change Wonder No Longer Available
Sorry to say that the Oil Change Wonder reviewed on this page is no longer available. The company website address now belongs to a different company, and I cannot find anyone who's taken over sales of the product.
So, my best recommendation as a substitute is the Fumoto Oil Drain Valve, which I've also reviewed on this site and have had great results with.
According to the Ranger Design website, their Oil Change Wonder is an oil drain valve made of corrosion resistant brass and installs effortlessly by hand followed with a twist of a wrench. Fits most cars, trucks, buses, RV's, motorcycles and stationary equipment.
What Does This Oil Drain Valve Cost?
The Oil Change Wonder is not cheap at about $50.00, including shipping, but, if it accomplishes all that its makers say it does, the price would be well worth it for the oil change DIYer. Creating a "homemade" version is not an option so the only real question is whether the unit does what it's supposed to, and, if so, whether it's worth the price.
Testing the Unit
Oil Drain Valve Durability:
First appearances are that this is a quality unit. It doesn't appear that there has been any skimping on the construction. The valve seems well made and the flexible tubing is high quality. In the few years that I've used the unit, I've never had any problems with it - no leaking whatsoever. Functions just as it should.
Ok, so how easy is it to install? VERY! Just unscrew your oil drain plug and allow your oil to drain out of the pan. Once the oil has fully drained, instead of reinstalling the oil drain plug, screw in the Oil Change Wonder oil drain valve. Hand tighten until you can't tighten any further and then torque it down just a bit with a wrench.
During the time between oil changes there is a cap included which is screwed over the valve to keep it clean. It is not really possible for the valve to open unless you want it to, so the cap really isn't to prevent leaking as much as it is to keep the valve clean. The cap is designed to be HAND tightened.
When it comes time for your next oil change you won't have to worry about getting your oil drain plug unscrewed. Just loosen the cap by hand. Once the cap is removed, you'll simply need to screw in the valve release mechanism with the tubing attached. As you screw in the valve release the oil will begin to drain from the pan out through the clear tubing, so be sure it's pointing into a drain pan.
The valve doesn't actually release any oil until the release mechanism is screwed on enough to prevent any leaking around the threading. So, there will be no oil leaking where you don't want it.
The only downfall to this oil drain valve that I could see was that it takes longer for the oil to actually drain from the pan than with no valve installed. However, that seems like a small price to pay considering the benefits. Just get the oil flowing and go have a cold root beer.
Come back after a bit and the oil has all drained, nice and neat. No spills, leaks, errant drips, etc. All nice and tidy with no hot oil all over your hands or running down your arm. And, no drain plug to lose in your oil drain pan (which we've all had happen at least once or twice).
All in all, I really like the Oil Change Wonder. It was very easy to install, seems very durable and does exactly what Ranger Design says that it will do - it makes oil changes a very quick, easy and clean procedure.
"Wonder" vs. Fumoto
Cost-wise, if you want to have an apples to apples comparison, you'll want to configure the Fumoto with a drain hose, since this is built-in to the Oil Change Wonder and comes as part of the standard package.
So, with the Fumoto, in order to have a drain hose, you'll need the oil drain valve with the "nipple". This costs a few bucks more - through Amazon, it's $26 plus $5 shipping for the nippled version of the Fumoto Valve, and then you've still got to purchase your drain tubing. So, when it's all said and done, you'll probably be sitting at $35 for the Fumoto, if you want a drain tube.
The Oil Change Wonder will run you $50 once you've paid for shipping on the unit. Thus, the cost is a bit more, but it's not an astronomical difference, by any means. Of course, the question still remains, "If the Oil Change Wonder oil drain valve costs $15 more for similar functionality, why not purchase the Fumoto?"
There is one primary reason that you might consider going with the Oil Change Wonder over the Fumoto Valve, and it has to do with how the valve is opened and closed, and the integrity of this mechanism. On the Fumoto Quick Drain Valve, there is actually a swing lever that is used to open the valve, which might concern some folks due to the possibility that this lever might somehow shift into the "open" position at an inopportune moment, draining your oil all over the pavement.
However, there is a pretty heavy duty spring action on the Fumoto's swing lever, and, when it is in the "closed" position, there is a deep grove that this swing lever "drops" into, with the spring action holding it in place. It takes considerable upward pressure to release this swing lever from this grove in order to push it forward and open the oil drain valve. So, chances of this valve opening accidentally are slim.
Nevertheless, if you have any concern over this issue, you'll either need to get the add-on clip from Fumoto that is designed to prevent this possibility or you may want to consider the Oil Change Wonder instead.
You see, on the Oil Change Wonder, the valve is actually "pushed" open from the inside, as you screw the drain tube onto the stationary valve. The valve will not open unless the release mechanism attached to the drain tube is screwed all of the way into the valve. Thus, since there are no outside "levers" to get flipped, inadvertently opening the valve.
In addition, with the extra "cap" that is included, even if the oil drain valve were to somehow fail and open unexpectedly, the valve cap would be in place to keep the oil from draining from the pan. The Fumoto Valve doesn't have any additional security measure in place, in case the valve were to somehow fail.
Thus, the Oil Change Wonder is a relatively foolproof way to make sure that your oil is never accidentally drained from the pan. Depending upon your concern over this issue, you may decide it's worth the extra cost for the additional piece of mind.
All in all, I find the Oil Change Wonder oil drain valve to be extremely well made, it does exactly what the manufacturer claims that it does, it holds up well, and it makes oil changes an absolute snap. Whether you go with the Oil Change Wonder or the Fumoto Valve, I believe that you'll be extremely happy with your purchase EVERY time you do an oil change.
Check Out My Other Product Reviews
I've reviewed a number of other motor oil, filtration and general automotive products, many of which are true time and money savers (and some, not so much). It might be worth your time to check them out as well.