Don’t forget the lube – Car Maintenance

Ah, car maintenance, I remember, back in the day, when all gas stations were full-service. Meaning, you always had that awkward moment when some stranger in a coveralls would ask you “Can I check your under your hood, maam?” I’m sure when I answered him, I often stuttered. What a great job that must have been for him. Telling all of his friends how many women he propositioned on a daily basis, while on the clock. Now, everything is self-serve. Meaning, you have to check your own lubricant…which can be equally as awkward.

Car maintenance is just something you have to do and one of the most important things to consider along with keeping your tires properly inflated is checking your lubricant/oil once a month, just to see if it needs to be topped-up, or if it appears dirty or gritty and needs to be changed. Or, you could have a professional check it for you. Just make sure he doesn’t blab to his friends. I hear some mechanics kiss and tell. So, if you prefer to go it alone, here’s how to check your own oil. Or, what I like to call Car Maintenance: Oil, 1-0-1… Make sure the engine has been off for at least ten minutes. Locate the dipstick (not the one in the passenger seat…he should have offered to check it for you in the first place). Pull out the dipstick and wipe it clean with a lint-free rag. I’m sure you just happen to have one handy in your purse, next to that bottle of chloroform, right? Insert the dipstick back into the reservoir…all the way in. Pull out the dipstick and look at the film of oil on the end of it. Note how high the oil film reaches on the dipstick and the condition of the oil, and add or change the oil as needed. By the way, you don’t add oil into the tiny reservoir the dipstick sits in. If you do that, people will point and call you a dumb blond (not that I would know).  Look for a screw-off cap on top of the largest part of the engine. It could be blank or it could be labeled “Oil Cap” or something similar, and it might even indicate which grade of oil you ought to be using in your car. Unscrew that cap and add oil as needed. You owner’s manual will also indicate what grade of oil they recommend.

Yes, times have certainly changed car maintenance is getting easier and auto manufacturers and mechanics alike have agreed that changing your oil every 3,000 miles is a thing of the past. Oil chemistry and engine technology have improved to the point that most cars can go several thousand more miles before changing the oil. A better average would be 7,500 between oil changes, and sometimes up to 10,000 miles or more. Rather than picking a number, you could just follow what your owner’s manual advises. My manual says that I should get the oil changed every 5,000 miles. If I did a great deal of longer-distance highway driving, it would be every 7,500. Or, if your mechanic is really cute, get it changed every other day. But whatever you do – Don’t forget the Lube!

Until next week…

Daun Thompson
Comedienne / Artist / Writer / Lightening Rod of Reality

Don’t Forget The Lube – Car Maintenance – Comedy Defensive Driving