Ignoring the personal pride associated with maintaining a vehicle yourself, disposing of motor oil is an annoying chore. While not terribly difficult, laziness sometimes gets the better of us. Why bother risking the wellbeing of your interior with dirty fluids when there’s a perfectly good storm drain nearby?
While I’ve never dumped my fluids illegally, I know the temptation. Ten coffee cans full of used motorcycle oil will do that to you and, for every receptacle filled and slid to the back of your garage, the urge to tip them grows ever stronger. But I eventually sacked up and took them to AutoZone for recycling, effectively ending my youthful act of torpid rebellion.
Unfortunately, AutoZone may have also had a problem with the competent disposal of used motor oil — and 5 million other environmentally hazardous waste items. Sounds like someone is about to “get in the zone” of a huge fine.
Ever swapped out the battery in a cloud-car Chrysler, or maybe an old Sebring or PT Cruiser? You’ll be reminded of that when the time comes to change your new-generation Ford Ranger’s oil, assuming you’re a proud member of the DIY crowd.
Job One for those looking to freshen the Ranger’s internal lubricant, besides heading to the store for a couple of jugs of synthetic and a filter, is to break out the jack. You’ll need to remove a wheel.
(Editor’s Note: Ford has reached out to us to inform us that the service procedure we referenced below is incorrect, and that the wheel does not need to be removed. We regret the error, and we have further addressed it here.)
I hate the upsell that happens at places like Jiffy Lube, NTB, etc., and one service they seem hell-bent on pushing on everyone is the transmission flush.
I have looked at the service intervals of various vehicles and a lot of them never specify a transmission flush. I’ve read on the internet that it can even be bad for your transmission if it isn’t needed. I don’t doubt there is a finite life for the tranny fluid, but I would just like to hear your and the B&B’s take on the matter.
It is good to have another reason to contact the great and gracious Sajeev with a question that is more vexing than choosing the wrong flavor of Crest toothpaste at Walmart. (Not. Worthy. – SM)
I recently had my 2008 Acura TSX in for a filter and oil change at my local Oregon Honda dealer.
I requested that the oil being put into the car not exceed the maximum mark on the dipstick after the car had sat long enough to get an accurate reading. This occurred during the previous oil and filter change, leading to a most amazing conversation with the Honda Service Deptartment supervisor types.
Sajeev, first let me thank you for your interesting article on Mazda rust last year. Ultimately I bought the Accord, which to me seemed to have the superior (and quite lovely) stick shift, even though the Mazda is reputed superior in that department.
I decided for kicks and giggles to get my oil tested by Blackstone, and I thought this might be a potential article for Piston Slap (not my adventure, but the practice of having it done).
Hopefully you can offer some light at the end of the tunnel for an issue that a friend has with her 2004 Jag X-type. The car is in great shape for its age and all was well until the bad news came regarding the transfer case. The car recently started acting up and the local Jag dealer diagnosed a failed transfer case with a part price of 3,600 with 6+ hours of labor.
I’m not Jagsperienced so I have to take their quote at face value.
I have terrible luck with oil drain plugs. Of the last 4 oil changes I’ve done, only one has been successfully completed in a single day, because I can never get the drain plug loose.
The culprits in these comedies of errors are a 1999 Saab 9-3 and a 2006 Honda Pilot. The first time I came across the stuck plugs, the Saab was a recent acquisition, and the Pilot had had its last oil change done at a local mechanic’s shop down the road. Therefore, I assumed that an overzealous shop jock who got trigger happy with an air gun was to blame. In the process of getting the plugs out, I managed to mangle the Saab’s bad enough to require the purchase of a new one, and should have also bought a new plug for the Pilot, too (but didn’t). When I reinstalled them, I put them in fairly snugly, but with the mindset that I didn’t want to get myself into this mess again.
TTAC Commentator 28-Cars-Later writes:
I’ve got a small conundrum for Piston Slap. Winter is fast approaching and for those of us in the mid-Atlantic states this is a serious affair. My winter beater has been my trusty (but not rusty) ’98 Saturn SL/auto/164K, which in the spring started showing its age and developed transmission issues after seven years (and roughly 80K) of ownership. I’ve let her sit most of the summer save starting her up and driving her around the parking lot every 7-12 days but I’ve been trying to put off the inevitable investment of Bennie bucks. This evening I was offered an ’00 Subaru Outback/auto/186K to replace it for $2500 inc four new cheap tires and inspection.
I have a question related to maintenance on a 2011 Kia Optima SX Turbo. It currently has 45k miles, and I have owned it for only 4 months (had 20k when I took ownership of it). As you can see, it is driven a whole lot, almost exclusively on the great interstates of the Southeastern US of A. I average 5-6k per month. I am an outside sales rep. and drive from SC to MS and everywhere in between weekly.
My question is this:
Longtime TTAC commentator mikey writes:
In the years since I last wrote to you my personal circumstances took a few turns. When the dust settled, I ended up with three cars. I decided to keep all three cars. The Cobalt is my daily/winter driver, and I will drive it to the ground. My wife loves the Mustang: we drop the top and take it on a cruise, she loves it, and it gets us out of the house.
About a year or so ago, I was feeling sorry for myself, traded the Impala in, and bought a new 2011 2SS Camaro with a six speed. It is a very cool car. If I’m having a bad day I pull it out of the garage, detail it and look at it. Once in a while, we may take it for a drive. Those drives are getting more and more rare. Less than 8000 kms on the clock, but I’m not planning on selling it. That may change, but not for a while…
I still remember them. Tall and clear eyed, their square jaws clenched tightly as a sign of their strict discipline and inherent resolve, they dressed in perfectly pressed brown shirts and marched in straight, ordered ranks before the camera. For them there was only duty and their duty was their honor. Nothing would sway them from their purpose. As they marched they sang, and their song was a call to action. “We’re the Minit Lube Minutemen, trained to do the job and do it right.” God help us, we loved them for it.
I hope you are well. I have several questions regarding my 2011 Forester (5 speed):
a) I drive 8 to 10K annually and change the 5w-20 every 6 months. Is this sufficient?
b) Subaru keeps sending me extended warranty offers. This tells me that I likely don’t need it. What do you think? My favorite moment when purchasing the Forester: The F & I rep mentioning “If people want to drive around without the extended warranty, it is not my problem.”
I have a 2008 Kia Sorento with the 3.3L, about 11k miles. The other day, I took it to my local mechanic for an oil change. Drove it all over town during the course of the following couple days. Then, last night, as I am about 3/4 mile from home, my low oil pressure light goes on. At that point, I roll down my window to listen to the car and can hear a grinding type noise (valves sticking?) on acceleration. I limp the rest of the way home and turn off the engine. This morning, I call the mechanic and they send the service manager right over. No oil on the dipstick whatsoever. He adds oil to the engine and drives it down the street to the shop. They inspect, and tell me it is a bad o-ring on the cone filter that caused all the oil to leak out over the course of 2 days, and that it is possible that they had not tightened it sufficiently when the changed the oil. They said no other damage had been done, replaced the o-ring, changed the oil and filter and sent me on my way.
So my question is this…what is the possibility that other (long term) damage could have been done? Should I have the vehicle checked out by another mechanic, or even the Kia dealership? Should I not even inform the dealership, as they may use it as a way to deny future warranty claims? The vehicle is no longer making the grinding type noise, and seems to be fine. I may drive it lightly the next few days just to be sure.
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