the oil change

Anyone who owns a car and runs their life under DIY ethics should change their own oil. I have no problem changing my oil, until it comes down to the brute force needed to complete the task.

I buy the oil at Wally World ’cause that corporation keeps more money in my pocket by undercutting the little guys. Bless Capitalism. I go for the top notch stuff, the synthetic. I buy the filter. I look in the guide if some slow douchebag isn’t already hogging it and find the one that fits the car I’m working on. I buy the best filter. The synthetic will be running thru the vehicle for at least 5,000 miles, so I make sure to get the a durable filter.

I change my oil in my parents’ driveway. The lease contract clearly states that it is prohibited to do vehicle maintenance on their property. I pull in, jack up the car and pop open the hood. Sometimes, I let it cool off for half an hour or so ’cause the oil’s hot. I get the socket wrench and the oil drain pan together. I find the socket that fits and remove the plug to let the oil drain into the pan. After it finishes, I pour a little bit of new oil to get some of the old stuff out.

Here’s the fun part, especially for cars I haven’t changed the oil on before and most likely have had their oil changed at a shop of some sort. Removing the oil filter can be an absolute pain. The best way I’ve found in removing an oil filter without using one of those tools that grasps the filter is to use a sturdy leather belt. I keep one in my parents’ garage.

I struggled with the filter on the car I was working on today, because I couldn’t find the belt. I strained my arm a bit, got frustrated and went in search for a belt. I found one of my sister’s belts, but it must have been cheap or poorly made ’cause it broke as I tried to remove the filter. I found the belt I’ve had the most success with in the garage eventually and loosened the filter with it.

My uncle and mother showed up while I was changing the oil. I thought the filter was stuck after giving it a huge tug with all of my might. My uncle went for the twist, and it had loosened up. Again, removing the oil filter is the most frustrating part of changing oil in a car.

After removing the filter, I grease the rubber ring on the side of the new filter that twists into place. This will make it easier to remove on the next oil change. I tighten the new filter on by hand… again, to make it easier to remove the next time. I put the plug back in place and hand-tighten it, too.

I pour some of the new oil in and take a look under the car to make sure nothing is spilling out. I pour in the rest and then check the dipstick. The level should be good. I take the car off of the jack, put the jack away and start up the car. I count down from ten, turn off the car and check the dipstick again.

Once everything is done, I put the tools away. I funnel the oil from the drain pan into the container the new oil came in and worry about dropping that off at an auto shop another day.

I do not take my car to auto shops for these reasons:

  • They use air-powered tools which can crack your oil pan. This will cost you a good chunk of change to repair if this happens. It may not happen the first time, but over time of removing and replacing the plug can make the oil pan crack. The idiots that work in those places will tell you that oil is leaking, and you’ll know why.
  • The oil they use in those twenty-dollar oil changes is the bottom-of-the-barrel generic stuff. It robs your car of horsepower. Plus, they use generic oil filters which along with the crappy oil will lead to deposits in your engine which will lead to a shorter life span of your vehicle.
  • Putting synthetic oil in your car is the best thing you can do for your engine. Synthetic lasts longer ’cause it doesn’t break down as fast, maximizes your horsepower and prolongs the life of your engine. Newer, better cars are filled with synthetic oil by default. Bringing your car to an oil change place and having synthetic put in is highway robbery, and you can’t be sure if they’re really pouring synthetic in unless you watch them the entire time. You’ll save $$ doing it yourself.
  • I like to know for an absolute fact that the work done on my car is done right, and as the saying goes, “If you want it done right, do it yourself.”

Don’t be lazy and change your own oil. Protect your investment.

Continue reading “the oil change”

the shindig

Jason and Ryan’s party was a good time. I was glad to see the pasta salad was eaten instead of untouched. K$ downed his Bull’s Blood, and Mare downed her Pinot Grigio. I had myself a few Shiners, but I enjoyed the company most of all. The fact that I work with more than half the people that were in attendance makes me like where I work that much more.

After the party, K$ and I watched Smokin’ Aces which was a good movie. The style reminded me of Guy Ritchie’s work, especially the credits in the end being reminiscent of the credits at the beginning of Snatch.

In other news, I’m changing the oil in Mare’s car tomorrow before she goes to work. That means I’ll have to be awake sooner than expected. I’ve been putting it off for a couple weeks. Plus, the rent check will be dropped off on Monday before I go to work.

This weekend has been good to me, and buffalo mozzarella is tasty.

Before the party, I did the much delayed chore of dusting and vacuuming the innards of my machines.

I also admired my growing triops by taking pictures of them.

I went to the grocery store before that, and to backtrack some more, Mare & I ate at the nearby Chinese buffet.

I came to the conclusion after attending this town’s Chinese buffets numerous times each that you have to give a Chinese buffet at least three chances before you can say they’re subpar ’cause all buffets have their downtime. I was just thinking about that while I was there, but it didn’t have anything to do with the quality of the food. I’d say it had to do with the fact that it was only my second time at that particular eatery.

April’s almost over, and this year is flying by like a 747.

the comfort

Life is a treat. Although I’ve pretty much wasted a good portion of this week with sleeeeeping, working, enjoying delicious meals, drinking good coffee and watching The Sopranos, I am very content. I received my paycheck with the overtime tacked on, so I’m delighted with the extra piece of change that’ll sit soundly in my bank account.

I’m loving The Sopranos. The writing is deluxe. Once we get past the three seasons K$ owns, we’ll be hitting up the rental store for the rest. We’ll also be collecting the other half of the sixth season c/o the Torrentz.

Tomorrow is Friday which means a Bustaburger nite exclusively for Mare & me. One of the discs from BBO was delayed over three days, so I let them know and they sent another one right away. We usually get three discs a week via snail mail, but the late one arrived while the replacement was on the way so we have a total of four discs. You know that means. Four discs equal four rentals at our friendly neighborhood video rental place.

It’s bill time again. The world of renters, electric consumers, internet users and big spenders have the privilege of watching their hard-earned dollars change hands.

The PK crew has the Corpus filming complete, so Tuesday night will be a PK late night dinner extravaganza. Chicken nuggets and mac&cheese equals happy tummies to energize happy eyes which will be reviewing the happy filming to be sent off to Joe next week.

My goal later is to wake up at a decent time so I can drop off the rent check, get my gate card, tell them about the ice maker and renew my vehicle registration.

Is he capable, ladies and gents? Will our hero defy the stronghold of slumber and complete his mission? Find out next time.

(or not… depends if I’m in a posting mood or not. Have a good weekend and don’t think too hard.)

Continue reading “the comfort”

the no alarm

So I woke up late again… a little too late. Upon recovering from sleep, I took a glance at the clock and saw that it was already a quarter past three. My alarm clocks weren’t set, and I went to bed way too late.

I called work to let them know I was showing up at five and will be using PTO. Thank goodness for that, and it turns out today will not be a repeat of the last three days.

By the way, I finished The Average American Male last Saturday. That book is really good and a quick read.

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the glitch

This week has been very redundant.

I go to bed late.

I wake up late.

I have enough time after I wake up to lounge around, eat something and/or get ready for work.

I drive to work, which usually takes me less than ten minutes.

I’m already running a minute or two or three late, and I arrive to work.

I work my eight hours, and I usually cut it somewhere between two to five minutes after eleven.

I drive home from work.

I enjoy a late night meal.

I watch The Sopranos on DVD.

I stay up late wasting my time on the computer or if it’s too late, I lay in bed ’til I fall asleep.

I do the routine over again.

This is how it has been Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday.

I’m wondering if today will be the same. I’d be surprised if it wasn’t.

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the glitch reloaded

My inspection and registration stickers are both expired. I am only a little paranoid, because I’ve seen the same cop at the same three-way intersection on the same road around the same time three days in a row. My inspection sticker will be a year overdue at the end of this month, and my registration sticker expired last month. I wish I didn’t sleep so late, so I could take care of them before work. I had the opportunity on Tuesday, but I was feeling too lazy and unrested. Knock on wood I say.

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