Oil Change, Tire Swap and Lawn Mowers

April 9, 2009

A couple days ago, I spent the afternoon changing the oil and swapping tires on my car, and fixing a lawn mower. I almost felt like I was practicing the Mechanical aspect of my Mechatronics Engineering degree =P.

It turned out that removing the snow tires wasn’t such a good idea since it started to snow this week. However, it was a good learning experience… just in case, you know, I ever need to change a spare tire. Actually I got a flat last winter and I didn’t know how to change a tire, so I had to call a friend to help me out. I felt really embarrassed and hope that it doesn’t happen again.

31hcejho6jl_sl500_aa280_The tire swap went pretty smoothly except for the fact that we managed to flatten a lug nut. The nuts on the Malibu Maxx have a hollow cap, see photo. When we were removing one of the nuts, the wrench slipped and flattened the cap of the nut. Luckily, it didn’t damage the actual screw. It just doesn’t look the best.

Changing the oil was quite an interesting event. After draining the oil and changing the filter, it came time to pour in the new oil. We poured the oil in the engine, and popped the dipstick in to check the level of the oil. When we pulled it out, guess what? There was no oil markings on the dipstick! That got us really worried, I frantically checked under the car just to make sure nothing was leaking and there was nothing. I then proceeded to start the engine for a dozen seconds, just in case the oil hadn’t made its way into the pan, and still nothing. It was certainly quite a mystery. In the end, we concluded that the oil couldn’t have just mysteriously disappeared, so we just left it at that. Let’s just hope nothing bad happens.

Finally, the lawn mower. One of my neighbours and family friend was having trouble starting her lawn mower. Apparently, someone had done an oil change last summer and it couldn’t start ever since. I was reminded of my experience of changing the oil in my gas lawn mower. I remember having trouble starting the engine as well. It turned out that I put way too much oil and flooded the engine. With that experience, the first thing I checked was the oil level and boy was it high! There was definitely waaay too much oil… After pouring out some oil and making sure the level was proper, I started the engine a couple times and voila, it started like a charm!

Pretty productive day if I don’t say so myself.


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