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This month was car maintenance month for me. I was overdue an oil change, so I got that done today at Sun Devil Auto (best deal around – $14.95 for an oil change AC!!). Last weekend I had my tires rotated at Sam’s Club, for free, since it was included in the warranty of my tires. I read somewhere that you’re supposed to rotate your new tires after the first 5,000 miles, then every 15,000 after that. Oops. It’s been nearly a year since I got mine…so that was a bit overdue. The tire pressure was also low (BAD Heather!), so now my ride is much smoother. I also had been told during my last oil change that I needed to have a 60K tune-up…and that was last September-ish. Instead of pay the $300+ they were asking to do standard maintenance (change spark plugs, replace the PVC valve, replace air filter, and replace fuel filter), I went to Checker and bought the stuff myself, took it over to Eric’s and helped him install it all. (By help, I mean held the flashlight while he did the actual work — but hey, I sure learned alot!). Of all the professions I can think of, nothing beats having a mechanic for a friend! And now I actually feel empowered to change my own air filter next time. The spark plugs were a bit of a hassle…so I’ll leave it to the guy with the right set of tools :) And get this — I had no idea that all mechanics had to purchase their own set of tools! How naive of me, I thought they were provided by the shop. So Eric had to buy something like $4000 worth of tools. Crazy.

I just realized today that the auto shop was probably going off my speedometer (which reads 65,000 miles, but is really 165,000 miles), which means I technically have another 15,000 miles until my next 60,000 mile tune-up. Oh well, it can’t be bad to replace all that stuff early. And the air filter definitely needed to be replaced, anyway.

Also, I got a full service car wash (exterior wash, vacuum, dusting & windows) today at Foothills Car Wash (that was also free — woot!). And I finally installed my new sheepskin seat covers from Pep Boys (it’s been less than a month, and I already received my rebate back from them! That was quick). Boy does Mr. Tan Monkey look purty. He must be feeling spoiled. I haven’t given him this much attention in a long time. And it was long overdue, poor guy.

After all that, my January budget took a hit of roughly $120. Not bad, considering how much auto maintenance usually runs. I still need to replace the fuel filter and PVC valve, which I purchased but didn’t have time to replace. And today I was informed that I have an oil leak — not good! Strangely, I haven’t noticed any puddles underneath my car on the carport, but I’ll have to check more closely. Aha! According to this website, I may just have an oil “seep,” which could mean that I just need to watch my gaskets. The Sun Devil guys want to flush it with some flourescent leak detection dye that runs $50-$60, so I’ll ask Eric what he thinks before I go through with that. I also need to clean the corrosion off my battery and possibly replace it. Other than that, they were amazed at what good shape my car was in for 165K miles!

And now I don’t feel as bad for being such a neglectful car owner.

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