How to Pick an Oil Transfer Pump Kit

Oil transfer pumps have become very popular recently due to the increasingly fast-paced kind of life that almost everyone is forced to face on a daily basis.

So, whether you normally need to refuel while you’re on-the-go or you just need a permanent fuel source, we’ll teach you the right ways of choosing an oil transfer pump kit.

An oil transfer pump is a device used to put a sufficient amount of fuel in your vehicle, which comes from a solid fuel source or reservoir. Without it, you have no way of using various vehicle types from basic cars, pickups to construction-related options.

But did you know that to maximize its value in situations where it must be used in gasoline stations, it must pass the standard of the Weights and Measures Act of 1985? This is to ensure that safety remains for both customers and sellers, and that problems are kept at a minimal, if not totally prevented.

According to the Act, reselling of fuel is only allowed on the condition that the oil transfer pump must be fit enough to provide you with a full-liter fuel upon immediate purchase.

1.  Usage

Will you be needing an oil transfer pump kit for your ATVs or would you rather have it to help you last in your delivery tasks throughout the day? First and foremost, determining your purpose for it will give you an idea whether a standard or a heavy-duty type suits you.

Bear in mind that heavy-duty oil transfer pump kits are constructed specifically for hard labor, meaning their filling capabilities are greatly intended for large vehicles. Because of this, they provide refueling at a shortest possible time.

If you accidentally use it for vehicles that are only meant for moderate tasks, then you run the risk of encountering frequent oil spills.

2.  Power Outlet

Now that you’re done with the purpose, you have to identify the available power sources to make your oil transfer pump kit work as intended. Do you lack a power source? Or perhaps you only have an option between 12V Direct Current (DC) and 115V Alternating Current (AC)?

In the absence of a power source, your best option is a hand or manual oil transfer pump. It can make the refueling task easy because it can deliver adequate portions of gasoline, diesel, biodiesel and hydraulic oil to name a few.

If a DC power source is available, oil or fluid types vary according to a given oil transfer pump model. For example, you may purchase an FR1600 model if your only concern is delivering diesel or antifreeze to your engine. Whereas the FR1200 variant can give you a boost of 15 gallons per minute of flow, with the added convenience of transferring kerosene and E15 ethanol.

As for the AC power source option, you need an oil transfer pump that you can connect to a tank in a fixed location above the ground. This will help you immediately fill very large tanks that are commonly used for logging and construction activities. If you’re searching for AC pumps meant for ATVs that you’re only using when necessary, an FR600 should suffice.

3.  Fuel Tank Capacity

In terms of oil tanks, you can’t just transfer fluids to a tank of whatever size because it needs to be filled accordingly. Oil tanks come in different shapes and sizes. Others are about 5,000 gallons that are permanently above the ground but there are also those you’ll notice on truck beds that are capable of storing 35 gallons of fluid.

It all boils down to asking yourself; what tank type do I own and how big is it? By pondering on these thoughts, you can easily refuel with the help of your tank’s exact capacity and you’ll know that you’re not wasting a precious amount of oil.  

Standard Vehicle Oil Tank Capacities

Vehicle Type Tank Capacity
Small to Mid-sized Cars 12 gallons
Compact Hybrid Cars 11.9 gallons
Large Cars and SUVs More than 16 gallons
Jeeps More than 22 gallons
Trucks More than 25 gallons

4.  Oil Type

Not all oil types are meant for a single oil transfer pump kit. Believe it or not, there are other oil transfer pumps that’ll only work with viscous fluids like those of the transmission and motor.

When you say “viscous fluids,” these are substances with a thick consistency that’ll make them hard to move from one place to the next because of their stickiness.

Plus, the moment you make a mistake of putting the wrong oil in your vehicle, there’s a chance of an engine malfunction.

Here are some of the common types of fluid:

  • Gasoline – Its increased combustion energy is what keeps vehicles in running condition.
  • Ethanol The E15 or any alphanumeric designation you see before it specifies the amount of ethanol content in a gasoline compound, in percentage.
  • Diesel – It’s also intended for engines with the same name because it maintains a high-fuel efficiency level.
  • Biodiesel – Others prefer using biodiesel over the ordinary gasoline because it has minimized polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon emission, which is a cancer-causing compound.
  • Kerosene – It also goes by the names paraffin and lamp oil, which are commonly used in the aviation industry (e.g. airplanes, choppers, etc.).
  • Antifreeze – is especially helpful in maintaining a balanced temperature for internal combustion engines.

5.  Pump Design

Knowing your vehicle’s pump design also matters since it helps in effectively transferring oil into the engine. There are three types of oil pump that your vehicle may have and bear in mind that each is created according to how your vehicle should be filled with oil.

  • Mechanical Oil Pumpintended for vehicles with carburetors to feed on fuel. This type is the original design for oil pumps back in the formative years for both fuel and engine. However, it provides a slow fuel fill-up rate which proves it to be time-consuming.
  • Electric Oil Pumpintended for vehicles with a fuel injection system. And because it’s within the oil tank, it easily guides oil flow on the right path and absorbs oil faster than your typical mechanical oil pump. It’s normally found in modern and post-modern 4×4 models.
  • Turbo Oil Pumpusually meant for aviation purposes. You’ll rarely see it equipped in ordinary vehicles due to its overwhelming size and power consumption.

Aside from the kind of oil transfer pump built in your 4WD, you should also note the fact that oil transfer pumps are divided into three categories based on how they operate; piston, diaphragm and rotary. For more information regarding this matter, click here.

6.  Flow Rate

The last factor to consider in choosing the right oil transfer pump kit is the flow rate. This depends on your oil pump design. Are you using a hand or mechanical pump? If so, your expected fuel or oil flow rate is restricted but if you have an electric oil pump, oil flow rate preferences expand to a great number.

Storage tank size and vehicle type also come into play. If you’re using a semi-trailer that requires more than a 25-gallon tank often out of necessity, you obviously need an oil transfer pump that delivers a huge amount of flow rate. Be careful though because if you have many accessories on your vehicle, oil flow rate is reduced.

On the contrary, if you’re using ATVs that only need 20 gallons of oil which you seldom use, you’ll be fine with a small amount of flow rate.

D.I.Y. Oil Transfer Pump

If you’re not up for the idea of buying an oil transfer pump kit and would rather explore a possible alternative to it, you may create your own oil transfer pump, instead. Just follow the the initial steps below. For the detailed instructions, you may refer to Homemade Pressurized Fluid Dispenser.


Picking an oil transfer pump kit can be a huge effort. However, doing so saves you from the hassle of unnecessary oil draining and unintentionally ruining your engine’s performance. Checking your oil transfer pump kit’s package will also give you vital specifications on how to properly use your oil transfer pump. Share us your experiences about this topic by commenting below.