Oil Change

Thanks to looking through MSNautos I thought my recent learning experience of changing my oil would be good to share. As completely average and normal as I am, it seems at times like the strangest things occur that wouldn’t happen to anyone else, which they probably do, but that is how it feels. I have a friend whose dad does almost everything himself (auto work, repair jobs, etc.). Their family has been one of the many reasons I am trying to learn new things since I am on the receiving end of unrelenting, comical ridicule from my friend and his father which I find entertaining.

A couple weeks ago I finally found time on my day off to change my oil which I figured would be a fairly quick job and a great learning experience. I drove over to my friend’s house, we figured out what type of filter I needed and how much oil; there was a package deal at AutoZone and we went and gathered all of our supplies. My friend’s dad had found an article online on how to change the oil on my type of car, a 2000 Oldsmobile Intrigue named Dorthy. The article mentioned a special screwdriver to get the cap of the filter off, we figured we had other tools to do the job and went to work on Dorthy.

With my car half on the driveway and half in the street to get her raised up more I crawled under and started trying to remove the canister that holds the oil filter using a very interesting “wrench” tool that only unscrews things, we added a ratchet for leverage, then a larger ratchet for even more leverage. Pinned under a steaming muffler and unable to use both hands i could not unscrew the canister. After repeated attempts to unscrew it alone, my friend finally assisted me in unscrewing it. I dont think the thing had ever been undone, or so it seemed. It was after loosening the cap that it dawned on my friend’s dad to jack the car up rather than use our makeshift driveway lift since we’re not tiny tikes anymore.

Everything was smoothe sailing from this point on, even though I recieved a healthy application of oil on my hands and arms. It took a few attempts to get the darn canister screwed back in properly, but we got it, and it was much easier than taking it out. When it was all said and done this “quick” project as I thought it was going to be took around 2 hours from research to clean-up.

The lesson I learned though was a valuable one from my friend’s dad: “Take how long you expect a project to take, and double it, if not triple it. Most times something happens that you aren’t expecting and you have to take more time to figure it out.” I’m glad I learned this lesson and I enjoyed getting my hands dirty and completing the task through my own labor. I was a little discouraged when I later found out it is cheaper to bring the car into the shop to get it changed. After all…. I’m just another Average Mid-Class Kid.