Watch out for little rubber thingies when you change your oil

So we attempted to change Drew’s oil yesterday. I couldn’t get the up-until-now-machine-screwed-in oil plug off, but he could, so that was alright. The oil filter was located in a godawful place behind a bunch of various car innards such that I really needed a few extra joints to reach it properly. Our new wrench is also a pale comparison to the wrench I used to use. Again, Drew managed to get back to it and wrench it off. He also put the new filter on, tightening it as much as he could with his hand. I screwed the oil plug back in, it didn’t go in as smoothly as mine usually does, but seemed to tighten ok.

Drew starts the car, and there’s a “bloop” noise and gushing…then dripping. A bunch of oil slowly oozed out of the car. As it was getting on towards dusk and we had no idea what was going on, we stopped for the night. The internet mentioned a few possibilities, with a few curses thrown in the direction of Jiffy Lube and their ilk. I was able to snake my hand in from the top and grab the oil filter, and it seemed tight enough. Today, I peered under the car and tried to make out where the oil plug was. I couldn’t see it, and, reaching around amongst the oily patches, I thought I felt a hole with oil around it (neglecting to realize that the entire freaking underside of the car had oil on it at this point).

So we headed over to Advance Auto, where, along with dumping the old oil, we pick up some new oil plus an oil plug. In this fabulous overcast 30some degree weather with the parking lot still partially covered in snow (and the remainder now covered in motor oil, unfortunately), we rolled the car back onto the ramps. I get underneath, and the plug’s still there. Looking up, I can also see that the oil definitely came from the filter. However, I can’t seem to tighten it any more with my hand. So Drew gets under the car, and can’t tighten it any further, either. So then we switch tactics, and he removes the oil filter altogether. Oil filter looks fine. Then I decide to stick my hand down where the oil filter used to be, and poke around to look for any funny business. After I’d grown a few new joints in my forearm, I manage to get my hand into where the filter goes…and pull out a twisted little rubber ring, left behind from the last filter. Hooray!

Drew screws the oil filter back in, saying that it screwed in both tighter and easier then the last time. And the car is fine, now. Which is good, as that would have put a serious damper in our upcoming trip otherwise. Now all we have to go is go get a bunch of kitty litter and some newspapers to take care of the mess we left in the parking lot!

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