Sunday, August 8, 2010

Changing the Oil

I had made an appointment to have our car checked out and the wheels rotated, and figured I might was well have them change the oil, as well. We have problems with performance, and the exhaust pipe has been rattling where it connects to the catalytic converter. Our regular mechanic was talking about replacing the converter, which would cost several hundred dollars. Ouch.

We figured we'd get a second opinion, and learned recently of Meunier Towing, who not only get rave reviews about the work they do, but that they're also trustworthy, they're local, and they can get good deals on cars. What more can you ask for?

At some point, however, I decided to change the oil. This is a pain on our car because it's so small. I have to jack the thing up and then crawl underneath while it's lifted off the ground. This, needless to say, makes me a bit uneasy, because if the jack were to fail, it would literally crush me, or at the very least, hurt a lot. Another problem is that you have to use a bit of force to loosen the drain plug and the filter, which makes the car rock, and this ain't fun when it's balanced on a tiny scissor jack. Maybe I should invest in a floor jack. What would R have to say about that?

It's fairly cheap to have your oil changed, and at times not really worth it to do it yourself, but that's not how real men think, is it? Besides, you can't beat getting your clothes soaked in motor oil to feel like a real man.

I did, however, want to take the proper precautions, so I jacked the car up (with our new jack compliments of Meunier), set a jack stand under it, then placed a block of maple for extra security. I felt a little better after that.

In the past, I've had problems getting that darn drain plug off, and am still not sure what size wrench to use. I have several fixed head wrenches, but they are so small that I can't get enough torque to turn the bolt. A consequence, my Mentor (not to mention JH and my brother-in-law PR) would attribute to being exceedingly cheap in my tool selection.

I have this massive crescent wrench, but have had the problem of not tightening it enough and then stripping the bolt. What a bummer. I personally think the mechanics tightened the thing too tight so that I would have to bring it in to them. I think I need an impact wrench.

This time around, however, I managed to lift the car enough to where I could really get a good hold on that bolt, which unscrewed easily. I love when that happens.

Now to complicate matters, once the oil is drained, I have to remove the filter, which requires that I lower the car and jack it up on the other side so I can access it. You may have noticed that all we do around here is have fun.

I also replaced the air filter, which for the record, is an expensive piece of equipment, but necessary. The old one was filthy.

Now, if we can address that rattling, the car will be in good shape. Let's see what they can do.

Until then, thanks for reading.

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