Code Monkey Turns Grease Monkey

This past weekend, I performed an oil change and coolant flush on my car for the first time (instead of paying someone else to do it). I learned a lot in the process:

1a) My oil drain plug requires a 15mm socket.
1b) I do not own a 15mm socket.
1c) My neighbor had a 15mm socket.
1d) My neighbor also had a couch in his garage that needed to be moved into his house.

2a) When reinserting the oil drain plug after draining the oil pan, one should move the catch basin filled with used motor oil from under the oil pan.
2b) Socket wrenches can be very slippery after handling oily drain plugs.
2c) Socket wrenches are fairly simple to clean after being dropped into a catch basin filled with used motor oil.

3a) When changing the oil filter on my particular vehicle, one should probably remove the passenger-side front wheel to have better access.
3b) If one does not remove the wheel, a magnetic light fixture can be a great help to see what one is doing.
3c) When installing the new oil filter, one should move the catch basin filled with used motor oil from under the oil filter.
3d) My little magnetic light fixture is tougher than I thought, surviving being half-way submerged into a catch basin filled with used motor oil.

4a) The coolant flows from my radiator drain plug at a fairly slow rate…at first.
4b) The rate at which coolant flows from my radiator drain plug is apparently inversely proportional to the attention being paid to it.
4c) I should really not turn my attention completely away from my radiator while it’s draining.
4d) Next time, I’m probably going to disconnect the lower radiator hose instead of messing with that stupid radiator drain plug.
4e) It takes a great number of disposable shop towels to mop up most-of-a-radiator’s-worth of coolant from my garage floor.
4f) Next time, I should probably do a coolant flush in the driveway instead of inside my garage.

5a) I should start tasks like this much earlier than I did.
5b) The nearest auto parts store is open until 10 P.M.

The rest of the eveni…well…night…went well enough for the first time. I expect to learn more (and clean less?) next time. 😀

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