Busy Day (now with pics)

April 26, 2009

Today was absolutely gorgeous! The temp was around 80 F, but there was a nice breeze so it wasn’t too warm. I had planned to change the oil in both cars this weekend, but then promptly forgot about it until about 6 pm. Tomorrow is supposed to be rainy, so today was the day. We went and got the stuff at Pep Boys. Turns out that was an excellent call since they have a great DIY deal going on until May 2nd. You get a Fram oil filter and 5 quarts of Castrol oil for 14.99 to 16.99, depending on the car. We got filters and oil for both cars and saved 15 bucks! Yeah!

As soon as we got home, I dug out the ramps, pan, tools, and the stupid filter wrench. I have 2 filter wrenches, but the good one has gone missing. The one I wound up using requires a clear shot at the filter with lots of space around it…not happening in the Alero! Silly me, I decided to do Jeff’s first. We had been driving his car for a good portion of the afternoon, so needless to say, the engine was HOT! After draining the oil I had to wait a while to pull the filter because the engine was so hot I kept burning the back of my hand and my arm trying to get the wrench to tighten. It’s one of those that has a big rubber-lined loop that when twisted back on itself tightens around the filter, allowing you to grip and turn the filter. I finally went at it from the underside and got it loose. Of course, that was only after I managed to drop the wrench in the drain pan full of hot, dirty oil! Oh, did I mention the breeze? Oil isn’t very heavy! Yes, there is oil and now kitty litter, all over my driveway.  I did manage to finish the job just as the rain started. Jeff backed the car off the ramps and then we quickly threw everything in my trunk so I will have it for my own oil change.

Erin helped me with the oil change while Jeff and Joe stood by and watched. I think Erin asked Jeff why I change the oil and not him. I think this because at one point I heard him tell her, “because she likes to do this stuff.” So true! There is definite satisfaction in a job well done. During the oil change, while waiting for the car to cool some, I installed a new air filter as well. Erin stood by and listened with seeming interst as I explained about the air intake and why a filter is necessary and the basics of engine combustion. I’m not sure she really cared, but she’s a good sport and looked interested. Once everything was done and I got cleaned up (I was covered from finger tips to elbows in oil and engine compartment mung), we took the car for a spin. Oh yeah, I installed the air conditioner we got Jeff for an early Father’s Day present. It went in his office, mostly to keep his PC cool. After that…we went for our spin and to Coldstone for some icecream. The car runs much better with it’s new air filter. Jeff was quite pleased, as was I.

When we got home I decided it was time to install R2D2. No, not a robot, the portable air conditioner in our bedroom.  Jeff calls it R2D2 because it looks somewhat robot like. Kyle helped with that one, since it vents through the skylight and I am WAY too short to reach the top of it. We got the unit last summer. In order to run it, I had to make something to go in the skylight that would allow for the two hoses to connect so it could intake air and vent air. I used a piece of plywood and cut two holes in it, for the vents, then cut the board to fit in place of the skylight screen. It works great and allows us to cool our attic bedroom, which would otherwise be intolerable in the summer. I can’t belive it isn’t even May and I am installing air conditioners! Yuck! I really need to find somewhere that is always autum-like: warm days and crisp, frosty nights.

Here is my spiffy window modification.


The “R2” unit:


And the window with the shade back in it…


I think I’ll go to bed now. For some reason I am tired!

One comment

  1. Egads! I guess you were busy! I don’t think I could ever change the oil in the truck or Explorer….I am just not so inclined! It really is great you can do it, though!

    Mark and the kids installed the A/C in the office last week. As much as I dislike A/C, I dislike boiling worse!

    If you ever find that Autumnal haven, PLEASE let me know. I will SO be there, too!!!!!

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