Oil Change

I'm getting better at changing the oil on the cars. I changed out both the Alero and the Bravada today. It would have gone a lot smoother if I had done a little pre-planning, but I got both cars done. Sure, I could have taken them to an oil change place and had them both done in under an hour for $40, but why choose the path of least resistance? I was all set to get to work around 1pm when I realized that I didn't have oil filters. So I made a quick run to Pep Boys to get the filters. I also decided to pick up air filters for both cars, as both had been running for about 18,000 miles without a change. Two air filters, two oil filters, and a 3-pack of air fresheners and I was on my way home, $45 poorer.

When I got home, all the kids in the neighborhood volunteered to help me out. Corbin wanted to know why his daddy was crawling under the car. With all that help, I was successful in both removing the oil plug without dropping it, and removing the oil filter without dropping that either. Here is where the pre-planning flaw comes in again though. The Bravada took 8 quarts of oil to fill up. That was all I had leftover from my last effort. That meant another trip to Pep Boys so for 5 quarts of oil for the Alero. As I was getting into my car, I noticed that the back tires were looking really low. I got out the air gauge and saw that the rear driver's side tire was down to just 5psi. I detoured over to Tire Barn, and they said that the bead between the tire and the rim had corroded and was leaking air. They fixed it and filled up the tire, free of charge. I love that place! I bought a set of tires from them a while back, and they've really taken care of me.

Back home with five quarts and another bottle of windshield wiper fluid and I took care of the Alero. Here again, I'm bitten by the pre-planning thing. After changing out all of the oil, I had a bunch of spent oil and no place to put it. I had stored 12 quarts of spent oil from the last set of changes in barrel through the winter, intending to put it in milk jugs for return to a oil change shop for recycling. We had put away some milk jugs, but those were no where to be found. The barrel doesn't have a lid, so taking that wasn't an option. I decided to pour the spent oil back into the original containers. Using those and an empty windshield wiper fluid bottle, I managed to get it all stored. Success!

Another task I took on was to router the cabling for the Sirius receiver through the car. I pulled up the plastic runners by the passenger door and hid the antenna cable through there. I also discovered an extra lighter plug on the passenger side, and used that to keep the Sirius power cord from dangling down the center console. There are still some things I would like to fix, but this was a good day. I just need to get the hazard light button re-mounted (it fell back into the dash) and replace the low water coolant level detector (regardless of how much coolant is in the tank, the idiot light always blinks) and the car will be back to mint condition.


Jade Mason