The Weekly Oil Change

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Most cars only need their oil changed after many thousands of miles of driving. My lawn mower gets its oil changed every time I “drive” – actually, push – it.

Not changed, actually.


It burns almost exactly as much oil as gas – which is wonderfully convenient. When it runs out of fuel, I know it’s time to add oil. Usually the full quart – the little loose-ringed beast’s total capacity.

I am at a perfect Yin-Yang balance point.

If it used any more oil than gas, it would probably run out of oil before it ran out of gas – which would lead very quickly to no more mowing. At least, not with this mower. And if it burned any less oil, I’d have to be more thoughtful – and remember to check the dipstick more often – to avoid the same engine-seized outcome.

Also, the oil is always fresh. It doesn’t have time to get dirty.

Amazingly, it does not visibly smoke.

One of my other oil-burners – this one on purpose – trails blue haze. It is blatant about its assault upon the environment. This is my ’75 Kawasaki two-stroke “triple” (three cylinder), a neat old bike of a type that no one makes anymore – precisely because of its audacious – and deliberate – indifference to air quality.

It has an oil injection system rather than worn out rings. Still, it uses considerably less oil than my push mower – which has only one (very tired) cylinder.

I generally only need to add a quart to the Kawasaki’s tank once every few hundred miles.

The truly amazing thing about my mower, though, is that it runs at all. That there is still compression sufficient for combustion. That it makes enough power to turn the blade that cuts the grass. Briggs & Stratton makes one hell of an engine.

It runs reliably, too – so long as I keep the oil topped off in time with it going down.

The time will, of course, inevitably come when the oil-burning Yin outpaces the gas-burning Yang . . . for the same reason that running on a knee with worn cartilage will inevitably lead to no cartilage.

And then no more running.

I will keep on mowing – because it has to get done  – perhaps unaware of the gradual shift in balance occurring within; that while there’s still gas in the tank, there’s no more oil in the poor thing’s sump. But there will be warning. The pitch of the engine will begin to change as the lubrication dries up. These are the these sounds of mechanical distress; of friction and heat increasing.

Of bearings shaving.

If I am attentive – and lucky – I will turn the engine off in time, before friction and heat turn the engine off for me.


The fusion of piston to cylinder – a marriage not made in heaven. That defeating feeling which attends pulling the rope and meeting new resistance.

Or, perhaps, The End will be heralded by a hole punched through the side of the engine case as the reciprocating assembly locks up mid-stoke. This is the engine committing seppuku.

And it has happened to me before – my just reward for abuse of machinery. No one who appreciates all that internal combustion has done to lift our burdens should ever allow this to occur.

Besides which, this is a life worth saving – because this old push-mower is largely free of the saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety “features” which have made starting and using a new lawn mower the toughest – the most insufferable – part about mowing the yard.

The one such “feature” it had I disabled the day after I brought it home, years ago, new from the store.

This being the “feature” that automatically kills the engine if the pushee isn’t grasping a flex handle thing which spring releases when he takes his hands off the main handle. It is idiot-proofing meant to keep idiots from putting their hands under the deck of the running mower. But it makes it impossible to adjust the engine of the running mower – something non-idiots sometimes need to do – and also makes it necessary to pull the damned rope again to restart an engine you didn’t want to stop because all you wanted to do was pause for a moment to grab a sip from the garden hose.

My ancient mower is mostly made of metal, too – not plastic. So it can be welded and otherwise fixed rather than thrown away.

Finally, there’s economics to consider.

A quart of oil once a week is about $4 (no need to burn the good stuff) while a new mower – saddled with all the saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety stuff – costs easily $200 and probably more.

I can cut the grass all summer for about $64 in oil ($4 per week for about four months out of the year, give or take).

Of course, the smart thing to do would be to re-ring the thing, which would eliminate the need to “change” the oil once a week.

I probably ought to look into that.

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

If you like what you’ve found here please consider supporting EPautos. 

We depend on you to keep the wheels turning! 

Our donate button is here.

 If you prefer not to use PayPal, our mailing address is:

721 Hummingbird Lane SE
Copper Hill, VA 24079

PS: Get an EPautos magnet (pictured below) in return for a $20 or more one-time donation or a $10 or more monthly recurring donation. (Please be sure to tell us you want a sticker – and also, provide an address, so we know where to mail the thing!)

My latest eBook is also available for your favorite price – free! Click here.  


Share Button


  1. Sounds like you’re all noticing what I’ve been noticing: Just like cars and bikes, appliances and tools in general have changed in similar ways: Greater reliability, but increased cost and complexity, and decreased durability and serviceability.

    Yeah, the newer ones need less in the way of routine maintenance, and have fewer problems, but when they do have problems, you throw them away. And instead of having a slew of little nuisance problems, but running for years, even decades, on end, and said problems being easily fixable by you, or quickly and cheaply when you need the pros, they run flawlessly for a few years, then totally conk out, and if you can fix them, the cost to do so is high enough that it makes sense to just buy a new one.

    The fridge, stove,
    washer, and dryer that my folks bought for their house in 1977 were still going strong into the mid-1990s. Most “modern” and “efficient” appliances don’t make it past 10 years.

    I mean, if you’re concerned about pollution and energy efficiency, wouldn’t it make more sense to build stuff that lasts and that can be easily fixed?

    • Hi Bryce,

      Huxley wrote about this – purposeful disposability – in his best-known book, Brave New World. It keeps the system of consumption going, you see. Which also keeps the debt going.

      There is no technical reason why we could not have simplicity and durability and low cost. But then, people would not have to work all the time to be able to afford replacing all the stuff they throw away.

      • Exactly! That’s one reason Studebaker is no more: The cars they made were too simple and reliable, and they didn’t change the design every year.

        Just as making crappy products will do you in, making product that are too good will do the same.

        • Well, there is that, but more importantly Studebaker squandered most of the money they made during the war on bringing out new models a few years before they really had to due to the seller’s market, costing them $$$, paying out dividends rather than reinvesting in their business, and giving the union pretty much everything it wanted. (Studebaker had the highest labor costs in the business.)

          By the time Packard bought them in 1954, Studebaker was practically at death’s door financially – a fact that was not apparent since Packard failed to do sufficient due diligence and did not take a close look at Studebaker’s books.

          The last chassis the company engineered was the ’53, which served as the underpinnings of all Studebakers until the end, including the Avanti. The company had a temporary reprieve due to the popularity of the ’59 Lark which was built on a shoestring using the center section of the former full-sized Studebaker.

          The Lark profits were invested into non-automotive businesses and the board decided it would be more profitable to exist the car market, which it did in 1966. The company lived on long after that, however. As I recall the last iteration of it was Studebaker-Worthington leasing which lived into the mid-2000s.

      • The wonderful nut-job Thomas Pinchon (author of The crying of Lot 49) documented the most obvious example that we’ve lived our entire lives with is light bulbs: Philips, GE and Sylvania all agreed to standardize light bub life at 1000 hours,
        we’re living through a re-run, remember just a few years ago when LED bulbs promised anywhere from 20-50 thousand hours?
        They’re now all settling @5,000 hours.

        Orange- Man could do his re-election hopes a lot of good by noisily (how else?) telling his Justice department to get the Taft Act out.

        “People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.”

        ― Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations

        • Bill, I recall when things were made for longevity. It’s throwaway crap now. I have an ancient, probably 1950 drill. It has a huge motor and a half in chuck. It was rebuilt brushes and bearings about 1980. I forget I have it since it’s such a huge, heavy thing. But bygod, that old sumbitch will drill like you never saw. Drill into solid steel and if you get it in a bind it will literally take you for a ride if you hold on. Best so just let the thing unplug itself since losing a grip is one of those things that can’t be done again till it’s off.

          I have an old Wildcat 7″ sidegrinder too. Wear all the protective stuff you have and never let it get away from you.

          Back in the day Frigidaire made the ultimate washing machine. It was a vertical agitator and nearly everyone had one at some time. They’d wash a million loads and you needed to use “gentle” cycle on most things. Everyone in these parts had one outside on the back porch so you could strip those nasty, oily, dirty, greasy clothes and throw them in and they’d come out clean. Of course this was before washing detergent had been neutered.

          • Hello Eight,
            Your comment about the detergent being neutered reminds me of the industrial strength restaurant safe de-greaser that I used to get from Smart and Final. That stuff would make an old crusty VW engine case look brand new. Spray it on, let it sit a little then hose it off, done. The new crap, barely gets it done, you need to do it a couple of times and scrub with a brush.

            • I remember sometime in the early 70’s as a kid on Lawn Guyland when the ‘good’ detergents were being banned from selected areas…then entire states, before just being banned everywhere.

              We had a family friend who who come from NYC (Where the detergents hadn’t been banned yet- or if they had, she got them in Jersey- not sure which was the case) and bring my mother ‘the good stuff’.

              When I’d come in the house and see a few new jugs of Biz, I’d always say “Patsy was here?!”. (I hated to miss a visit by Patsy- not only was she fun, and very indulgent to kids, but she’d always give me money or something good 🙂 and we’d sit and eat the donuts or cake she’d bring, while she told interesting stories about her friends and relatives…. “Rose missed the bus back from Atlantic City, so went in the casino and played a few more slots and won 80 grand!”)

              Darn…the memories just mentioning ‘real detergent’ can bring back!

  2. Or Eric, you could do the Patented Anti-PC-Anti-Big-Brother Thing ™ and find an old 2-stroke push mower to go with Stinker! A Lawn Boy, or a Tecumseh/Lawson/Power Products, or a West Bend, or a Jacobsen…think of the enviro-greenie brains going ‘splodey on you with that one! All premix, all the time! And, if you REALLY want to cheese them off, run castor oil and watch the olfactory reaction!

    • Hi Crusty!

      I like this very much! And around here, it’s no problem… for now. I live in a rural area; no zoning… for now.

      Probably I will rehab the poor thing, if I can just make it through the summer. Time is the problem for me. I find I have very little to spare once the absolutely necessary things get done.

      I will confess that one of the things I miss about being married was having help.

  3. Until this spring, I ran a mower from the late 1970s that was built before the mandated safety handle. It even had a real throttle on it. Most push mowers today only run at one rpm setting. If I can fix the old girl, the new one will get kicked to the curb.

  4. Eric: CL or the local scrap metal area of the dump has lotsa push mowers for the taking. Perhaps you could piece together a working mower from those sources. Also, you could save off the dirty oil from your cars and use that in the lawnmower. (I used dirty car oil as bar-and-chain oil for my chainsaw.) Finally, Harbor Freight sells replacement engines cheeeeaaaaap. I have a riding mower that uses a B&S Vanguard twin cylinder. HF has a drop in replacement engine. (e.g. Same mounting bolt pattern and keyway pattern as the Vanguard.) YMMV

    • I had my 140 year old Lawn Boy finally give up the ghost. The rear drive went first, no big deal since it was easy to push. Several years later the engine gave up. I loved that mower and it made short work of those places a riding mower can’t get. Has a bagger too and areas replete with grassburrs it made short work collecting the seed which I put in a big pile and let them rot. Good mulch at the bottom too.

  5. Why not a new B & S I/C motor? Get the paper filter and a snorkel with 2 oil rings, and a lot more compression. Did this to my mower several years ago and 12 years later still running great. The snorkel saves a lot of cost on air filters, which now last months rather than weeks.

    • I know, T05… I know!

      The issue is finding the time. Post-divorce, I seem to be just able to keep the house up, the cats fed – and the articles written and radio appearances done. Time for anything else continues to be kind of like the mirage of an oasis in the desert . . . I keep walking toward it, but it keeps getting farther and farther away.

      I keep hoping the Japanese Sex Robot will also be able to cut grass!


    Speaking of push mowers, have ya’s noticed that they no loner seem to make just plain old simple mowers anymore? They all have baggers and self-propulsion, and automatic chokes, and no throttle control, and all kinds of bells and whistles. There are a few cheesy low-end plain-old mowers out there…but none with the big rear wheels.

    So I picked up a Honda mower on CL for $15 that the owner couldn’t get to start (Carb bowl just needed cleaning out), and I’m going to [Hopefully…if it fits] put the Honda motor on my good ol’ Huskee High-wheel, which I bought new when I first moved here 18 years ago, and which has seen better days and years of abuse. (I just use a push mower these days to get a few spots that I can’t get in with my big mower).

    I have no intentions of using the donor Honda mower, ’cause it’s self-propelled…and so it weighs a ton, which makes turns and pulling it backward much more work than just pushing a light mower, like my Huskee high-wheel! (Not to mention the saaaaaaaaaaafety crap- including a blade clutch!)

    There’s just something about old mowers…. They’re like classic cars to me. I always hearken back to 30+ years ago, when I lived in a house on Lawn Guyland, and had a third of an acre to mow….and an old 20″ push mower an elderly friend had rescued from a scrap metal place. I freaking used to enjoy mowing that third of an acre with that old push mower more than anything! [Amazingly, the darn thing didn’t even burn any oil!].

    I’m spoiled now though; these days, I mow off about 6 or 7 acres with my diesel Grasshopper zero-turn with a 61″ deck [purchased well-used, of course] and enjoy that more than ANYTHING- seriously- it’s like my favorite thing to do!

    There’s just something about mowers though! The sights; the sounds; the smells; the fresh air, and the finished product!

    I guess I’m a mower guy!

    Oh, and get this: Last year, I had bought a brand new Honda push mower, with all the bells and whistles- figuring it would give me an excuse to do more push mowing- $400. I used the darn thing twice and HATED it! Sold it a few weeks later on CL for $300. Stupid thing must’ve weighed 100 lbs- when ya had to turn or pull it backwards, it was like wheeling around a refrigerator on a hand-truck! And with the self-propulsion (I had never owned one before that, so I didn’t know) it was more like i was following the mower, than pushing it!

    • I’m with you on the heavy and complicated thing. Give me a 70’s Western Auto cheapie with a Tecumseh 2-stroke, and I’m happy!

  7. I chickened out and got an electric mower for my rather small yard. I wrestled with electric vs gas and what turned me to electric was the fact that gas motors are pretty gimped these days. In addition, the ethanol in gas makes it so that unless you empty the gas tank on each run, you will end up screwing the motor up, having to rebuild the carburetor every year. I’m not skilled at that, so I take it to a shop. It’s not costly, but it is a pain in the ass. I beat the crap out of the electric mower. It will be interesting to see how it behaves. Do you think there is good business in bypassing the safety bullcrap that hey put on in the 1980s? Is it my imagination or do the gas mowers operate at a much lower rpm than they did 40 or 50 years ago?

    • I’ve been thinking of doing that with the weed whacker. Haven’t had too much problems with the mower, but the little 2-stroke engine on the weedeater really struggles with ethanol-laden gas. Constant problems. Wally-mart has some light duty electric ones for pretty cheap. I just hate giving in that way and love the in-your-face smoke-laden exhaust of that 2-stroke engine – it feels like I’m giving the finger to the EPA every time I fire it up!

      • Hmmm, I hear everyone say that about the ethanol [And just wait till Trump-gas with 15% eth. kicks in!!]- but I find that if I just drain my gas tanks (2 and 4 strokers) in the fall [Weedeaters I run dry] I don’t have a problem. Only piece of equipment that was an issue, was a 14 year-old Crapsman chainsaw…just had to replace the fuel lines on it.

        • Yup, my old truck runs blue for a while in the fall. All the crap from the drainings from the chain saw, weedwhacker, pressure washer etc get thrown into it.

          • I couldn’t tell you how many gallons of two stroke fuel I’ve poured into the pickups over the years. Every time the boat needed to be run or the fuel used, and I had no time to fish, I would just drained 30 gallons of fuel and used it in pickups. Since it was premium with a bit of oil , it was ideal for not causing a ping and the old 454 and 350’s just gobbled it up and asked for more. Even the wife’s 95 Cutlass seemed to get better mileage with it.

    • So far I have not had any trouble with 4-stroke mowers and ethanol gas.

      But I had to have my chainsaw fuel system rebuilt, and the gas trimmer won’t run either. We can get ethanol free premium at a local (well, 25 miles!) gas station and that is what I run in my chainsaw now.

      Someday I will get the trimmer/clearing saw rebuilt …

      • Dread, those carbs are super easy to rebuild; or you can usually get a whole new carb on Amazon for not much more than the cost of a rebuild kit. It’s likely just the fuel lines though…they develop little cracks or pinholes and cuk air. Just make sure it really is a fuel issue; make sure you’re getting spark, before condemning the fuel system.

        • When fuel is just pouring out, there is definitely something wrong with the fuel system! With my chainsaw, the pickup line in the tank just broke in half when I tried to pull off the filter to see why it wouldn’t run any more. You have to dismantle nearly the entire saw to replace it, and the Stihl parts store is 60 miles away one way for whatever else it might need.

          I used to rebuild the carbs on my old 045’s back when Amazon was still just a river in South America.

  8. You’re late to the party big guy 🙁 B&S now makes mowers designed to do exactly what yours does,,, although not as badly,,, and calls it a Oil Change Free Mower. To insure you get the point they eliminated the Drain Plug. 🙂 I figure they’ll sell quite a few more mowers as most slugs today are too lazy to even check the oil.

    My push mower is 20 years old and burns very little oil as I change it once a year and use a high quality oil. Cost is about $9 per year per quart. (Amsoil) Same for my 1991 6 speed Crapsman Riding Mower. 12hp IC engine is so old its getting hard to find air filters. Doesn’t burn oil. Did pull the transaxle down to clean and relube. The engine just keeps on truckin.

    I have a 10 year old Toro zero turn with a 20hp Kawasaki. Took me a few days to bypass all the Saaaaafety crap it had. Now it’s pretty nice to use.

    Biggest cost for me are new blades every year…. Florida is sandy and eats up blades. No sharpening possible,,, eats holes right through them. About $75 per year

    I see some people buying EM’s (Electric Mowers). Maybe you could get one and tell us how it works out 🙂

    • That could be E-loon Musk[rat]’s next project: Produce a Tesla Electric Mower! It’ll follow you around the yard and dispense Crappuccino on demand. The mower will cost $3K, after tax credit, and blades will cost $275 and require you send the mower to the Tesla factory for replacement when they need changing. It will be assembled by a team of blind hermaphrodites, in a facility that was carved out of a tree by beavers. It also doubles as a razor when set on autopilot.

      • Hi Nunz,

        This is no joke, actually. They are already applying emissions regs to power equipment and it is only a matter of time before lawn mowers have FI and catalytic converters and computers … and cost $1,200 for a push mower. It will “encourage” people to live in the city, you see.

        • Hey Eric!

          I know 😮 The big mowers (Commercial zero-turns, etc.) already have emission controls and fuel injection 🙁 (And it’s not OBD II- when it breaks, it’s ‘off to the dealer’). They push the FI as a ‘benefit’ (Oh, it’s ever so slightly more fuel efficient…but yet the mowers have bigger engines- I guess to cough through the emission controls) so they actually use MORE fuel than the old ones! (I’ll never give up my ’07 Grasshopper! …till I vamoose..)

          Skag- which was one of the top manufacturers of commercial mowers, has lost a LOT of customers, because they were having so many problems caused by the emission controls- they freaking have charcoal canisters, and all! It’s insanity!

          In CA. for 30 years now, even the li’l push mowers and weedeaters have to be “CARB-compliant” and have essentially emission controls- so half the stuff on the market, ya can’t even buy in CA.- and what ya can buy there, is naturally more expensive.

        • Oh, I know. I’ve got a Yard-Man self-propelled from 2006 or so with a leaky carburetor and while writing down all the model numbers & etc. so I could figure out how to fix it, I found a sticker stating that it is illegal to adjust the carburetor, RPM, etc. in a way that is not stock without the written preapproval of the EPA, CARB (note: I don’t live in California), AND the manufacturer all at once. All this, for a frickin’ lawn mower! Seriously?

    • I used electric mowers nearly my entire life up to 18. Those things will cut circles around an IC. You learn to set up your cord and move away from the outlet. It sounds like a hassle but really wasn’t. They’d plow through the bad stuff that would stall an IC. We only had 2 the entire time and the first one lasted forever seems like. With mowers of any sort, older is better from my lifetime experience.

      I can’t get my Troybilt to run because something went haywire in the electrics. It has a relay with 8 wires that control backing up with the blade on(different position on the start switch), of course the seat thing and the blades. I knew it would be a nightmare when I bought it but I had to have a new one(old one dropped a cylinder). They are all nanny machines that drive you nuts.

  9. You could probably fix the oil burning for less than one season’s cost in oil.

    My ancient lawn mower I just add oil every now and then. It needs new front wheels though.

        • Hi Ken,

          Yeah, but I can’t do that! The TA is part of me. When I do take her out of drydock, I remember why I keep her. It’s also am emotional time machine for me. The door closes and I am 25 again – which I was when I bought her.

          • eric, everybody should have something similar. I surely miss the old El Camino. It was a lead sled but it was fast and handled well with the tow package and wide wheels(7.5×15) and the TA WS6 bushings in front. Just the bushings increased the steering to the point I ran it up on a curb the first time I drove it with them.

            I had intended to install a TA steering box but after the other parts was satisfied with it. It cornered flat and at 4300 lbs it was no lightweight.

  10. Worst “saaaaaafety” feature on my old riding mower would kill the engine when shifting into reverse unless you stopped the blades. Made the thing almost impossible to use around obstacles and I quickly disabled it. Surprisingly after nearly 25 years of use it only uses a little oil, I just top it up once in a while. (It has a Briggs one-lung engine.)

    I have a weed whacker that burns oil by design (2-stroke) but keeping it running on ethanol-contaminated gas is a challenge.

    • The reverse lock out cable was the first thing I disconnected on my riding lawn mower.

      It was a great day several years later when I realized (duh!) that the keyed and electric start engine was simply a ground kill magneto rather than energized from the battery. So I disconnected all the ground wires except the one to the key switch. Now I can put it in neutral and leave it running while I open/close a gate, or lean uphill on a sidehill without my butt leaving the seat killing the engine.

      The battery finally went dead after six or seven years but I can easily start it with the rope, except I do have to get off to pull the rope. That old 12.5 hp one banger B&S just keeps on going with an oil and filter change once in a while.

      • Mine will keep running in neutral when you get off the seat as long as the blades are stopped and parking brake engaged, so I never disabled that. Yeah the engine cutout is based on grounding out the ignition.

        No oil filter on my 14hp Briggs & Stratton engine, but I change the oil, gas and air filters, plus spark plug every season. Keep the oil topped up and its given little trouble over the years. Early on a rocker arm on one of the valves failed, shutting down the engine. An upgraded part from Briggs fixed that. Later the automatic fuel shutoff failed (probably due to ethanol), resulting in the cylinder filling with gas. Fresh engine oil and a manual fuel shutoff fixed that problem. (Surprisingly I have not had to mess with the carb.)

        This mower is old enough that just about everything on it is made in the USA. I would not expect a new China-made replacement to give the same kind of service. (Of course I’m not likely to last another 25 years either!)

        • Yeah, but it’s a pain to set the parking brake (at least on mine!) when you’re sitting on level grass. Those little tires don’t roll all that easily anyway.

          To set the brake, you have to hold the clutch/brake all the way down, and then kick over this sliding bar so it holds the pedal down. The blade stops just as soon as you let off the pedal that you have to hold down the entire time that you are mowing in order to keep the blade engaged.

        • Hell, Jason, have you seen the new Chinky ones (last few years) at the big box stores? The freaking transmission cases are made of PLASTIC! I can’t imagine anyone ever buying such mowers….

          By contrast, a few years ago, I picked up a 1970 Cub Cadet rider for $600- the darn thing was sturdier than the farm tractors they build today- seriously! (Didn’t really have space for it though- nor the need- as much as I liked it- so I sold it to my neighbor, who was always drooling over it- for what I had paid for it!)

          • Morning, Nunz!

            I will never let go of my old Sears riding mower – or my ancient diesel 4WD Mitsubishi tractor – both of them simple, rugged things and well worth rebuilding.

            I hope my little guy – the pusher – lasts the summer because I can probably find time this winter to rebuild the engine…

            • Amen to that, Eric!

              My li’l Case-IH tractor has a Mitsubishit engine too! I’ve been using that tractor, mostly at max capacity (and it’s a ’91) for 9 years now…and it never has a problem. It sips fuel, too! No electronics; no BS. Like ya say, when it does wear-out or break….well worth rebuilding!

              How many other tractors can run a 5′ bushhog in tall grass on less than a gallon per hour?! Most’a my neighbors are using tractors that use 3gallons per hour, or close to it!

  11. Sounds like our ’70 VW bus, just before it dropped a valve for the 3rd time, taking the cylinder off the block with it, lol! My father wasn’t too keen on the VW oil change fuss, so he just added oil as it burned out. That worked most of the time, unless he forgot, or unless he or my mother ran it to red-line in every gear, which was rather often, I’m afraid.