Change Your Own Engine Oil

Well, I know this isn't the cheapest deal out there but a sale is a sale. I got myself to blame for not stocking up when these guys were hawking a Oil+Filter package for $20 flat. Instead, I paid $10 for my oil filter so my outlay was $25.00.

That certainly beat sending the car to the mechs for servicing. I just want to get the oil change. There is nothing wrong with Mighty Khellendros otherwise. I have heard different variations when it comes to an innocent "car servicing" bill. At the minimum it would be at the low $100s, since mechanics will charge an hour of labour at $60-80/hour, depending on which one you go to. Slap another $30-50 on oil, filter, dirty oil disposal charge and GST, there you go, $100-$130. For some others who got more service than they bargained for, getting 8 points, 10 points check or whatever shit, the sky is the limit when it comes to the final bill. Remember, all you need is just to change the engine oil at this juncture. I have no problem with getting the pros do the major serving or parts change. However, every man should change his engine oil himself. Always.

So me, the pissed poor peasant of Perth, decided to do it myself. You know, you should do that too, if your car is no longer some sort of extended warranty that covers servicing for X number of years. I don't buy the idea of having an impressive logbook record for the purpose of selling your car at a higher price. Firstly, servicing records are at best, a selling point not a feature. It will most definitely not recoup you the same amount of money you invested in keeping a logbook consistently updated by a mechanic when you are selling your car. Take for example, if you are selling a 10 year old car that you had serviced for 20 times, spending say, $100 more at a workshop than doing it yourself, make a guess if you will be able to ask for 20 x $100 = $2,000 more on your asking price? Mighty Khellendros was one of those with full service history at a Honda dealer. That helped swayed my mind by giving me a bit of assurance that the car should had been well maintained but it didn't stop me to slash the buying price as low as I could and settle for $3,900. If the seller asked me to top up $2,000 more for his full service records, guess which finger I would have shown him?

Anyway, the point is - if you are getting a mech to change your engine oil with 'easy selling' in mind, you are wrong. It doesn't work that way in the used car market. If you have been getting a mech to do it because you don't know how - or think it is a hassle to do so - then perhaps it is time to change your perspective. By actually doing it to see it yourself.

It literally took me 5 minutes to jack the car, slip a tray below, remove the drain plug. I was lucky with the filter because I managed to break the torque (with some elbow grease admittedly) with one hand. It took me much longer when I tried doing it with Ugly Green, one of the most awkwardly positioned oil filter that I ever saw so far. Then I left it to drain and went to work. During my break, I came back to put on a new filter, tightened the drain plug, wipe clean and fill the engine oil I bought the day before. All done and good to go. It probably took me 0.25 manhour. If I wasn't so lucky with the oil filter, maybe 0.5. Or if I have been really unfamiliar or am a first timer, then 1 hour to do the damn thing but so what? One thing for sure, practice makes perfect and you will only end up doing it faster each time. Once you have done it, you will wonder why don't you drain the engine oil, pay for a $60/hour massage, come back and complete the work and go home with $40 more in the pocket than if you sent that car into the workshop.

No kaki doing these shit with over here. What a shame.

Meanwhile, I finally saw fuel price below $1.00/L but that wasn't good enough because it was an after-discount price. With oil price diving, I expect to see this going before $1.00 (without discount) before any possible rebound.

Perhaps due to a poor economy here, I observe more people being more price conscious at the pump. Previously, I noticed healthy queues at fuel stations even at their "high price" days and couldn't understand why. I guessed people were simply bo chup about the odd dollar or two extra to pay for convenience's sake. These days, I noted empty stations at "high price" days and longer queues on the "best price" day. Either the bad economy is hitting people's pockets or everyone has become my blog reader and agree than paying extra for fuel is the stupidest thing to do.

One advance tip for peasants trying to save a few pennies on "best price" days. If you have to queue damn long to get your tank filled, that is not time well spent and your savings may not be worth it. I have been lucky enough to fill my tanks at 5+ am in the morning on the way to work where queues have been virtually non-existent.