A word for those who care for such things.
I've been a gearhead since birth.
I can't ever remember not being interested in automobiles, their design, engineering and figuring out ways of making them go faster.
It should come as no surprise to anyone, then, that I do all of the preventative maintenance on the family vehicles, and almost all repairs, the few that ever crop up (knock on wood).
So changing the engine oil is something that I've come to do out of habit, and I do it religiously. When I bought the Subaru wagon, 5 years ago, I did a few cycles with a name branded conventional oil that I've used for longer than I can remember, and switched over to a full synthetic after I was convinced that the engine had its rings good and seated. There is probably more myth to that sequence and timing described than fact, but I've done enough reading and jawing with others I trust to not deviate from my way of thinking. I want it to survive for at least fifteen years, so that's why it's getting the royal treatment.
Synthetic oil is expensive. I've always known that and it became quite painful enough, thankyouverymuch, when my girlfriend (now wife) purchased her then new car about nine years ago and I made the promise to her that I'd look after the mechanicals for her. This included doing the same schtick as outlined earlier. Five quarts at about six bucks each plus a decent filter brought the usual costs to about forty dollars or so, and that was done about four times annually.
Then we moved to the sticks after getting married, and I started driving 315 miles, minimum, each week, to and from work, often more if I needed to avoid construction or the latest organ donor program on the highway. My trusty '96 Nissan D21 was getting the wheels driven off of her in a big way, and changing the oil every two months has been pretty much the norm now for about the last seven and a half years.
I've told you all of that so I could tell you this; I've always used the same oil in her, Quaker State™ 5W-30 oil and a Wix™ brand filter. This is hardly the most expensive combination of consumables on the market for this sort of thing, but they aren't cheap
either. I've had great luck with this combination in every vehicle that I've ever owned and not had any failures with lubrication as a result. I'll be damned if I'm going to change it now, with 210,000 miles on the odometer.
The last time I went to the auto parts store to stock up, I grabbed a case of oil. The same I've used for years. That's twelve quarts, or three gallons. That's not quite enough to do that change three times, but I know that I've got to do it those three times at about an eight week interval, so it's not going to last all that long.
The cashier rings me up.
Two filters and one case of oil.
The bill came out to about $65.
I looked at the receipt and about shat my pants. No kidding here, that case of oil was ALMOST FIFTY GOD-DAMNED DOLLARS!!!
I became determined to find a more cost effective solution about thirty minutes later.
About a week later, I found it at a place I hate going. China-Mart (you know who I'm referencing) has a five quart jug of the exact same product for about eleven dollars. That's about HALF the price
of what the auto parts stores charge for the same stuff.
I now have four jugs on the lubricant shelf in the garage.
It behooves everyone to fight the insipid inflation in this nascent depression, that's being obviously flagged now, on a daily basis over at SurvivalBlog, by doing their own post on ways they've discovered to reduce costs on similar or same items.
Labels: Automobiles, Economics, Hitting close to Home, Tech stuff, WTF?