Car maintenance just got a little easier

When I started this blog I was a little hesitant about admitting what I didn't know. I was able to set aside most fears about embarrassing myself in public, but every once in awhile I come across a bit of information that I honestly can't believe I missed along the way and I have to decide whether I should blog about it or not. Sure enough, today I had one of those "duh," "a-ha," "oh. my. god.," realizations. And this post is one of those embarrassing posts.

Let me set it up for you. I have posted about my POS car before, and lately the engine has been clicking a lot more often. I stop, check the oil, add more oil and go on about my day. I took the car to the shop this morning with the hopes that they could unsuck (that's for you, D!) my car and get me out of this cycle of adding oil every two weeks.

Friendly Chad at the shop took a minute to make sure I knew how to check the oil. I step up confidently and say "Right there -- the yellow dip stick. Wipe it off, dip it all the way in and pull it out to make sure the oil is between 'low' and 'full'."

Okay. I passed that test. I know how to check the oil. So far so good.

"How much oil did you add last time?," Chad asks me.
"Ummmmm...one of those bottles I got at the gas station."

Chad, with incredible patience and professionalism, takes a moment to explain that one of those bottles is usually a quart, and my engine holds four quarts. He also points out that one quart of oil equals the distance between the 'low' spot and the 'full' spot on the dipstick. We come up with a plan for me to check the oil myself every 1,000 miles or so and bring it back up to full.

I'm feeling really good with the new plan and my new understanding of the oil in my engine.

"So, Chad, do you have any tips for adding oil? It is really difficult to get the funnel into the opening to add the oil!"
"Um...well...it gets easier with practice. Uh, let's go look."

Chad then uncovers the engine -- shown to the left here -- and says that the funnel usually fits in the opening to the left there.



Chad looks concerned for a moment -- "where have you been adding the oil?" he asks.

"I've been adding oil down the dipstick tube -- where I check it."

Well, now I know. And adding oil will be much less painful in the future.


1 comment:

Matt said...

Kat, I was sadly the same way.