Wednesday, May 23, 2007

You might think that I would know better by now.....

I went out for lunch on Monday and, on a whim, got an oil change.

Aaron once used a mechanic - a Russian immigrant - whose reaction was "Jiffy Lu-be?!? Feh!!!" Now I remember why.

Ok, the '91 Civic has the oil filter on the back side of the block, pretty much inaccessible unless you get 'way under the car. I'm too big and too old to bother, so I've always paid to have somebody change the oil for me.

Similarly for the minivan - the filter is somewhat more accessible, but requires removing a shroud each time, AND crawling under the car.

The Miata, though, has the filter right on the side of the block, ready-to-hand from above.

So I need to get several oil changes per year, but I almost always do the Miata myself.

I was driving past JiffyLube on Monday, and they still had their "buy-one-get-another-free" deal.

Hmmm... my arithmetic brain immediately went to work on the problem.... let's see, Jiffy Lube is $35, NAPA is $25... doing it myself is about eight bucks, plus an hour of my time. Hmm, TWO oil changes for $35 is still a couple bucks high - and I really enjoy changing the oil on the Miata, as it's still about the most butch thing I do.

However, the Miata was Right Now, This Minute badly overdue for a change. I got it running a month ago, but it's rained so much that I hadn't yet gotten around to its vernal oil change.

While I could do it myself on Wednesday and save the out-of-pocket expense, is an hour of my time really worth the three bucks or so I would save?

I went to JiffyLube.

We did their little Kabuki ritual where they bow and show me the air filter, and I bow back and politely rebuff their advances; this time, they also tried to sell me on $15 of Special Old Car Oil, too. I made them give me the standard 10w-30.

And of course
a) they disturbed the wire from the Oil Pressure sender - which killed the OP meter reading;
b) they denied it was their fault. We played "Uh - it was like that when it came in." "No it wasn't" "Yes, it musta been. You can change out the sender pretty easily",(etc.) for a while, much like a Python routine; eventually,
c) they played with it for a minute, but had very little interest in getting it to work.

So after paying somebody to change my oil, there I was, under the hood anyway, tweaking the wire off the oil pressure sender.

Had I done it myself, I would have had the foresight to wear old clothes. As it was, there I was in a dress shirt and tie, up to the elbow in Miata. At least they let me wash up before I went back to work.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home