How To: Change Your Oil, Part 2
How to actually change the oil
Keep in mind that this is only a guideline for the actual procedure. This is where you should check a service manual to be sure you’re not screwing anything up. (Honestly, my Land Rover is the only vehicle I’ve had that is very specific about the operations procedure, but you never know) Failure to follow the factory instructions can result in the oil pump losing its prime and, thus, its capacity to pump oil. Remember: oil serves as a much better lubricant than air does. The same principle applies if you forget to purchase all your oil and filter prior to getting started. It is tough to drive to the store with no oil in the engine*so be sure you have ENOUGH OIL and the PROPER FILTER and the PROPER TOOLS before you proceed. Got it? Good!
Step 1: Get the oil flowing
The purpose of changing the oil is to get all the worn out oil and dirt out of the engine and replace it with clean, fresh lubricant. Draining cold oil isn’t recommended, as you will be leaving all kinds of dirt inside the engine. By driving your car a few miles before draining the oil, you’re stirring up all the sediment into suspension so it will flow out of the sump with the old oil. Plus, as an added benefit, hot oil running down your arm will warm your extremities if you are forced to service your car in sub-freezing temps. Read more
The Three (un)Wise Men, Episode 7
Well, you’ve made it to the final segment of the Israel/Palestine series. If you haven’t yet spent enough time reading nonsense, you can get the rest of the installments here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. However, if you feel that you have wasted far too much time on this already, please click on the small “X” at the top-right corner of your screen.
We spent one final night in Nazareth and headed to Mark and Andrea’s flat in Zababida, located in the northern part of the West Bank. In the morning, we met up with our quiet, but friendly taxi driver and drove up the hill one final time to collect Andrea at her flat.
We headed south from Nazareth and into the hill country. It is a far more deserted drive than what a map would lead you to believe. I can understand why people may not want to call this area home anymore, as this is also the first moment I saw signs warning of land mines along the road. As the road wound its way up over the mountain, the driver slowed his pace down a bit as he navigated the ridge. We started our descent, and about halfway down the hill, he jabbed the brakes and got a panicked look in his eyes. Then I heard it: the pop-pop-pop of automatic rifle fire. I looked out the window to my right and could see several Israeli military vehicles parked in the valley below. The driver muttered something to Andrea and, with a look of sheepish relief, started driving again. Read more
The Three (un)Wise Men, Episode 6
The journey through Israel/West Bank continues. Episodes 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 will get you the rest of the story so far.
It was late afternoon by the time we found the car again in the streets of Tiberias (it was right where we’d left it) and decided to head to the coast for dinner. Our destination would be Akka (Acre). It had several draws, the biggest being the fact that it was right on the Mediterranean and the second was that it had a high probability of containing at least one restaurant.
We climbed up the switchbacks over the mountains that separated the Sea of Galilee and the coast. It is only about a 25 mile drive, but it took some time as the progress is slow due mainly to traffic of vacationers clogging up the two-lane roads. (How dare they ruin my holiday!)
We parked along a boulevard and walked to the coastal wall. The wall that protects Akka from the Mediterranean is, like nearly every structure there, built out of tan stone blocks. The wall extends around much of the city, with the top of the wall forming a street lined with fish markets and cafes. (It should be noted that these cafes were not necessarily of the same caliber that one would find scattered about around Les Halles, in Paris. Instead, they are more in line with the type of cafe you would expect to see next to a fish market.) The wall extended down a couple of stories toward the water level, then extended out for another 30 yards to reach the sea. This floor seemed a bit of an odd extravagance, until I noticed how well it kept the waves from damaging the wall, at least for the 20 minutes I stood there watching them rolling in. Read more
Drawn to Magnetism
I was explaining the virtues of driving my 1981 Volkswagen Rabbit Diesel (aka “The Rabbi”, then later “The Whistle Pig”) and was greeted with a rather interesting response: “You’ll never get a wife in a car like that!” I found this a particularly shallow and unnecessary observation on his part. Of course I wouldn’t. I knew that. I had no plans of bird-dogging chicks at the local strip mall with this thing. No illusions of females swooning at the sharp turbine whistle emitted by the side-exit exhaust. The mismatched hatch would not make them weak in the knees. That isn’t why I found that car so appealing.
What drew me to it was it’s simplicity, the pureness of the driving experience, the excellent fuel economy (better than today’s uber-complex hybrids), and the fact that the $175 purchase price seemed relatively affordable. (Truth be told, the previous owner’s girlfriend told him to make the decision between her or the car, thus the quick sale and low, low price.) Yes, it is ugly, rough, and will mark its territory with the predictability and dedication of a terrier in a public park. I love the directness of the manual steering, the boost-induced giggles of a self-installed turbo system, and the honesty of its reluctance to get going on a cold winter morning. It has character. It is a bit special. Read more