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Changing the oil on a smart isn’t like most other cars. You can’t just undo the sump plug and let it all drain out, the main reason is because it doesn’t have a sump plug.You have to adopt the same service technique as used in boats, the oil is sucked out through the dip stick tube.
I opted for the Pela 6000 or Sealey TP696 which, for about £40, is well worth the outlay.
It comes with its own graduated catch tank and doesn’t require constant pumping unlike the smaller hand pumps. The box is compact on delivery.
Inside the box you get everything you need to start straight away. First it needs assembling. Screw the T handle onto the piston, push the piston onto the top of the catch tank and push the tube connection onto the remaining connection.
This is what the completed pump looks like.
The tube that sucks the oil out is a 2 stage pipe. The interference fit connection joins to a standard PVC hose which then connects to the sprung pipe.
The metal reinforcement gives the pipe enough rigidity to be pushed down the dip stick tube and maintain straightness when it enters the engine.
Once the oil has been removed from the engine it is stored in the main tank. The tube connection can be removed and a spout connection can be added. This makes it a lot easier to put the old oil into a container. Do not put it it down the drain as it poisons the waterways even more than the industries do already.
The neat touch on the Pela 6000 is the graduated tank. This shows how much oil you have removed from the car so it’s immediately obvious if there is any left in the engine.
Before You Start
Go for a drive to warm the car up to 3 blobs, park on a level surface and check the oil level. This will just give you a good indication of how much oil you have to remove.
Check with your owners manual for 600cc, 800cc and Roadster engines. 700cc For2 engines require about 3 litres of oil which is halfway between min and max on the dipstick. How much you put in is obviously affected by the amount you get out. You won’t get all of the old oil out so go for 3 litres and adjust from there.
Changing The Oil
Remove the dipstick and the oil filler cap.
Construct the pump and push the tube into the dipstick hole (circled red). When it touches the bottom of the engine you will feel resistance.
Pump the handle on the Pela 6000 twenty times and leave it. The vacuum in the catch tank automatically draws the oil from the engine, keep an eye on the graduations on the side of the tank. If it stops sucking oil, pump it another twenty times.
Eventually you will hear a slurping sound as the oil in the engine comes down to its minimum level. Check the graduations on the tank and see if you are close to the amount you should be removing. If not, jiggle the hose in the engine and try again.
It is possible to get out almost all of the oil but expect to leave about 0.1 of a litre in the engine due to the shape of the sump and the site of the pump hose.
Thanks to Shay for this info. Jacking up the front near-side of the car makes the engine oil pool at the base of the dipstick allowing more oil to be removed. The dipstick actually protrudes all the way into the sump so the oil can be removed by placing a tube over the dipstick tube instead of down it. A very good pump is required if you decide to do it this way though.
If you crouch down and look under the back of the car you will see a black dome with a hexagon head just behind the exhaust in the centre.
You will need something to catch a small amount of oil. I have used a paint tray but a take away container or your Mum’s wedding dress will be fine. Get the 27mm socket and ratchet and undo it (anticlockwise) until it comes off.
Pull the filter out and you should see this.
As you can see not much oil comes out when the cover is removed, probably 3 shot glasses worth at most.
The original filter can be pulled from the dome and a new one slotted in. The dome can then be replaced and tightened until it is fully in place. Smart recommend 25Nm (it’s imprinted on the cap) but this seems quite high to me.
Refilling The Engine
Look again at the graduations on the Pela pump tank, this will tell you how much oil needs to be be replaced. It’s not accurate but it is a good start. Pour in the new oil and leave it for 10 minutes to settle.Keep adding a bit at a time and waiting until the level sits between the minimum and maximum on the dip stick. When you are happy with the level, replace the oil cap and the dip stick and go for a drive to bring the car up to full operating temperature (3 blobs).
Park on a flat surface and recheck the oil level, add oil to bring up to the correct level. Check your oil level every week as part of your visual checks.
Oil Type & Capacity
Engine oil type and capacities are all listed here.
OK, I Stuck 4 Litres Of Oil In And It’s Way Over Maximum
The most important thing to do is NOT drive the car until this is sorted.
Remove the dipstick, place the Pela 6000 tube opening against the mid way point between min and max on the dipstick.
With a bit of tape or a zip tie, mark the top of the tube in line with the top of the dip stick.
Push the tube into the dipstick hole until the mark is level with the top of the hole. Hold the tube in place and pump the handle on the Pela 6000.
This will bring the level down to the base of the suction hose and because you have marked it out against the dipstick, the level should be between min and max.