Intalling a grease pit...

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Jul 01, 1990

Dear Tom and Ray:

I'm building a new building, and would like to install a grease pit for servicing and repairing my car and pick-up. Where can I find information on the proper size, depth etc.?

TOM: Well, we have some obvious tips about the dimensions, Elmer. First, make it a little less wide than the car. That'll keep the car from falling on your head. Second, make it a little less deep than you are tall. That way, you'll be able to reach the bottom of the car. And third, make it a little longer than the car, so that after you drive the car over it, there will still be enough room to climb in--and more importantly--out!. If you make it too short, you'll have to do the "East German Barbed Wire Limbo."

RAY: But our best advice is not to bother with any of this. In fact, you should check your local building code, because grease pits are now illegal in most places. They're dangerous, and people die in them.

TOM: The carbon monoxide in the car's exhaust is heavier than air. So it all collects in the grease pit, and it can't get out. If you don't believe that prolonged exposure to carbon monoxide is harmful, just look at what it did to my brother.

RAY: Huh?

TOM: So if you're really serious about working on your car, Elmer, we suggest you get an above-ground electric lift. It's not only safer, it also allows you to do more. If you're really determined to experience a grease pit, write to us again, and we'll give you the name of our favorite local diner.

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