Sunday, May 22, 2011

Changing of the Oil

We never got to see this firsthand, but in Istanbul, they have the changing of the guard throughout at the royal palace, though they are a democracy and not a republic. Either way, in honor of this, I decided to take the plunge and execute the changing of the oil. Now changing oil is a pretty routine and simple job, but with today’s small cars, the process can be complicated by the intricacies of Japanese motors, plus the fact that the cars are so low to the ground, you cannot get below them.

I experienced this firsthand with the Mazda, which requires a complete rigmarole just to jack the thing up. Upon first glance, it was clear that the Honda was even lower, so it was going to me much of the same.

Naturally, I put it off until the last minute. The new cars boast some new developments where you don’t have to change the oil until about 7000 miles. They even give you an indicator as to when it needs to be done. Not that I like to ignore expert advice (for the record, I do), but how exactly do they know this? Am I to take their information on blind faith?

First off, my brother in law, PR, who is the uber-expert on engines, said that he didn’t care how advanced an engine is, when it’s new, it produces particles from the moving parts, and the first oil change should occur early. I took this info to heart and changed the oil around 1500 miles. My plan is to change the oil every 3500 miles, whereas the manufacturer recommends every 7000. I figure one additional change isn’t a bad thing.

Having said all that, I felt like the time had come. We were just back from vacation, and the rain stopped for a brief moment, so I seized the opportunity. It was actually easier than changing the oil on the Mazda because the filter is much easier to get to, though I still have trouble sometimes getting that darn drain plug out. I need a wrench to use solely for that purpose, but it has to be metric, which throws me off because all of my tools are in inches.

In the end, I got it done, not so much to save money, which when you really get down to it, you’re not. More so to know that there are things that you can do in this world, and it is satisfying to do them. Plus, it saves me the hassle of burning 2 hours getting to the mechanic, sitting around reading bad magazines and drinking bad coffee, just to get something done that I can do in half an hour.

I love when that happens. Until the next time, thanks for reading.

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