The 3hr oil change


Lifetime VIP Supporter
I hate people who don't maintain their vehicles properly, or worse, put priority on the wrong things.

Case in point...
I got gas yesterday with Sierra #2, and decided to check the oil level. Was 3/5 qt low - and worse, I saw smoke coming out of the dipstick holder (hadn't been running her hard, either).

I then remembered that I'd never changed the oil - the truck sat while I, and then the shop, worked on the axle.

Get under the truck today for what I expect will be an easy 30min oil change. Check the oil first to see what the level is like after overnight cold. Only 2/5 qt low. I like that better, of course.

Unsure of what the size of the bolt is for the oil drain, I take my rack of 3/8" sockets with me. Try the 15mm first. Oh, happy day.

Then I see some wrenches on the creeper that's with me under the truck. First one I grab? A 15mm - and it's a 6pt, too. This is gonna be sweet. Hopefully, I don't need my small hammer to loosen the bolt.

Turns out I didn't -- because when I put the wrench on it, the bolt moved -- freely. I swallow hard, wondering what else I'm going to find.

Remove the bolt, and what do I see on the magnetic tip? A lot of fine, sludgy filings. I wipe these off, knowing that someone hasn't been meticulous about changing the oil, and worse, not cleaning the bolt at each change. How does one see this, and not clean it off?

Oil drained, I move to the filter. With my own vehicles, I tighten the filter 3/4 of a turn after contact, and I never need a wrench, as a result. But I'd forgotten -- this was someone else's (lack of) effort I was following. Could not turn the filter. Worse, I couldn't find my cap wrench, and I can't get to the back of the garage where it probably is.

Now, I could do the ghetto-style removal, where one punches a hole through the side of the filter with a screwdriver, and creates a big-ass mess. But I decide I don't want to do that. Off to HF for a cheap filter wrench. I also pick up a 5qt jug of MaxLife, b/c I realize I'm going to do a short 1000mi change interval & send for analysis -- BEFORE I spend $$$ for the cam upgrade I was planning. So now my plans have been delayed - again. Now, I'm really p!ssed.

Get back home with the oil & wrench, back into my grubbies, and find... the old-school band wrench is too big for the filter. Mo-ther-F*CKer. At this point, I'm not making a second trip to HF or anywhere else. Instead, I break out the screwdriver, punch a hole in the bottom of the filter to let it drain, then punch the one in the side & get the filter loose.

The final insult comes when I spin the filter off. I turn the filter around to see what brand...and it's a plain white unbranded one that just has "PF44" and "Oil Filter" on it. Meaning -- not only is it a cheap Fram -- but it's not even a retail branded filter. So the last oil change, whenever it was, was likely done at a quickie lube.

Starting to wonder if I'm selling the wrong truck, now. SMFH...

I also look above the oil filter, to see if the oil cooler gasket was leaking (b/c there's a lot more oil underneath than I remember when I inspected, pre-purchase, and that area is notorious for leaking). Thankfully, it's not. But I've still got a really wet pan, crossmember & adjacent areas. Will need to get under there again with some brake kleen, towels, & elbow grease. But not right now. Right now, I need to rant. LOL


Yeah, that first oil change after acquiring a used vehicle is always a mystery. My Caprice, even though it was RCMP owned, had been maintained at a shop that do a lot of oil changes for fleets. The oil filter, which looked like a unbranded Champion, was tight as a mofo. My 30 year old band type oil filter wrench, which always gets filters off, would just slip I had to pull on it so hard. I think I put some duct tape on the filter for extra traction. The TB, which was maintained by the RCMP garage, the filter was an ACDelco and came off normally. They did shit right because they knew they would likely see it again (but not this one since it was pulled from service afterwards).

Online statistics

Members online
Guests online
Total visitors

Members online

Forum statistics

Unanswered questions
Answered questions
Latest member
Top Bottom