Thursday, October 30, 2008

Epic truck fail narrowly averted

It was a pretty day today (high in the low 70s, nyah to the rest of yall) so I decided to change my oil. Yesterday I'd found a good deal at Autozone for Quaker State and a Bosch filter for $12.99, which is not bad! So I crawled under the truck and got the pan drained, the filter off, the plug back in tight and the new filter on tight. Dumped in 5 quarts of oil, put the cap back on, and started the truck up.

I waited for the stereo to come to life, then hit pause on it, because it seems like starting the truck back up requires gravity, not Bon Jovi. Then I stared at the panel, trying to decided if the oil gauge was like the battery gauge and snapped up immediately, or like the temperature gauge and gradually rose... no, I'm pretty sure it should be up by no- ABORT ABORT OH GOD SOMETHING'S WRONG!

I snapped the engine off, leapt out of the truck, and lunged around the front of the vehicle to watch my pretty golden Quaker State all oozing away across the parking lot. I stuck my head underneath - hrm looks like it all sprayed out of the oil filter wtf? - then sprinted upstairs to get the kitty litter.

It took me 50 lbs of litter - my entire backup stash - to mop up a gallon of oil. Then I hiked a couple hundred yards down the street to the gas station. They wanted $4.50 a QUART for oil so I kept walking to the Carquest next door. I picked up 5 quarts of no-name 5-30 for only $14.

I hiked back home and slid under the truck again. Wiped the filter down really good (I usually buy Frams for the nubby grippy stuff on the filter, but the Bosch deal was too good to pass up) and carefully took it off. When it came off, so did the old seal. Shit.

Well. I will NEVER forget to make sure I get the old filter AND SEAL off again. Ever. That one stupid little mistake cost me $13 for oil and filter, $25 for kitty litter, $14 for MORE oil, and god what if I'd sat staring at that gauge for another minute and wrecked the engine. :(

I put 4.5 quarts in - thinking, correctly, that ALL the old oil hadn't spewed out - then stared at my truck for a very long time. I checked that everything was really on tight, bit my lip, and started it up.

You know what? The oil gauge DOES go up right away when you turn the engine on.


  1. You change your own oil? Colour me impressed. Glad a major fail was narrowly averted -- quick thinking. Gawd only knows what would happen to my truck if I tried to change the oil. I shudder to think...

  2. Well atleast you know to look at the gauge!!
    This reminds me of a story LOL. Once after just blowing a turbo on my car everything was fixed and I'm doing 80 down the highway at night and I usually keep an eye on all the gauges. I noticed all of a sudden my oil pressure gauge drop to NOTHING. I'm thinking "PLEASE NO." I slammed on the brakes, turned the car off and pulled over. I jumped out and started looking under the car, nothing...oil filter still never started to sound odd. THE DAMN GAUGE DIED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. My gauge died on my suburban too! and i did the same thing! I "limped" it to the closest freeway exit . . . stupid gauge!
    I used to change my own oil all the time but i got sick of always getting oil down my arm. It's a useful skill to HAVE, though. I have a friend who doesn't even know how to CHECK her oil. And she hauls horse trailer! I would NEVER haul trailer if i didn't know basic stuff like that. AAA isn't always going to be there to save you!


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