August 25th, 2007

#515: Jeep maintenance

I didn't get as much done as I'd wanted to, or hoped to, but at least I got the oil changed.

Whenever I buy a used vehicle, the first thing I do is give it the "Rislone Treatmant". What that entails is adding a quart of Rislone to the crankcase, starting the engine, and letting it idle until hot. Then you do an oil change.

When I had a look at the oil on the dipstick during my pre-purchase inspection, I noticed that the oil had a moderate gasoline odor, but looked clean. After the Rislone Treatment, however, the oil that came out of the crankcase drain was coffee-colored. I don't know how much was "old oil" and how much was "crud knocked loose by the Rislone", but I always change the oil after buying a used vehicle, so it was all good.

The oil filter, predictably, had been tightened with a wrench, of course. Why do people insist on doing this? What stupid disconnect exists in peoples' minds that they must use a freaking wrench to tighten the oil filters when it clearly says on the box that the oil filter should be tightened by hand about 1/2 turn past snug? I'm betting these morons tighten it by hand until it can't be tightened any more, and then use a wrench to do the "half turn".

In any event, I didn't have to destroy this one to get it off, like I did when I did the first oil change on the red Escort. It wasn't on that tight, at least. But I have never used a filter wrench to install an oil filter, ever, and I have never had a problem removing an oil filter I installed.

My only objection to where Jeep put the oil filter actually has to do with the orientation of it--it's sideways. It's a two-edged sword, though, because it is very accessible where it is, so I guess I can't complain too much about that. Getting that one off was not nearly as bad as when I changed the oil in the van in March. Hoo boy did that suck. You'd think a common front-engine-rear-drive van would have a fairly accessible oil filter, but you'd be wrong to think that, because it was in a really stupid place. And hard to get at, around the front crossmember and such.

The Jeep holds 6 quarts of oil, and the quart of Rislone made 7, which was too much for my oil drain pan. I spilled some on the driveway when I first took the drain plug out, and I slapped the plug back in when I saw how full the pan was getting; I think that pan may hold as much as six quarts. Argh etc. (I need a bigger drain pan.)

I also replaced the air filter. The one in there was dirty--and since it was dirty, I am now going to check the spark plugs: I am betting they need replacing. And I replaced the wiper blades, added coolant and washer fluid, and checked out a few things underneath. Next time I fill the gas tank, a can of SeaFoam will go in to clean out the fuel system.

The fuel filter is part of an assemly atop the fuel pump, which is in the fuel tank; it combines the filter and the pressure regulator and it must be replaced as a unit--and you have to drop the fuel tank in order to do it. So I won't be doing that bit for a while.

So spark plug inspection and replacement is on the list, as is getting a new serpentine belt for it. Floor mats. Tint the rear windows--the interior is dark grey and it gets hot pretty quickly.

But the number one sign of advancing age? I didn't check out the stereo before buying the thing. The left rear speaker sounds muddy and the left front speaker makes no sound at all. I am thinking/hoping that it is the factory head unit which is the problem; since I want a CD player I'm going to just replace it, anyway--but if that doesn't help, then I have to try to find out what's wrong with the speakers. *sigh*

Well, that's how it goes, though.

#516: Geek humor

Nearby there is a small family restaurant. I can't remember the name; all I can remember is what the sign below it says:

NOW ACCEPTING SERVER APPLICATIONS

...and I got to thinking: go in there and have a meal, and then say, "Will you take Sun Java?" And I get a chuckle out of the mental image of the waitress' expression.

But I have to wonder what kind of meal you could buy with Perl....