This is a simple procedure, especially since I’ve done it before on this vehicle [Kia Sedona]. The location of the oil drain plug and filter make it clear they were catering to small left handed people. I loosen the plug and the oil begins to drain flawlessly, no oil on the garage floor. Now while that’s draining, I figure I’ll check the air filter. This multitasking idea really gets me in trouble.
I back out the four screws holding the air box cover on and the last one slips out of my hand and down into the abyss that is the engine block. “Great! Where the hell did that go, I’ll never find it. It’s probably down under a belt just waiting to rip it to shreds,” I said. Now the only flashlight I have in the garage is one of these free ones that come when you sign up for a magazine subscription. So naturally, it goes out after about 30 seconds of use. I creep back into the house where Owen is sleeping, trying not to wake him while I hunt for the other flashlight.
Back outside, having successfully not woken up the child, I have devised a way to pick up the missing screw with a magnetized screwdriver. Only problem is, it’s not long enough. Solution? Tie a string around the handle and lower into position. Well this works about as well as fishing from atop a pine tree down through a hole cut in ice and trying to miss every branch on the way there. As I realize this futility, the knot I’ve tied, as well as a non-boyscout can do, has come undone leaving the driver right next to the screw and no way for me to retrieve it. Now I have to do something I was trying to avoid with this fishing expedition and remove the entire air box itself to get to the screw and now the driver too.
It comes off with much less trouble than I imagined, which only means I should have done it the first time. The screw and driver and now easily accessible by hand and come right out. Everything goes back together and I’ve given the oil more than enough time to drain.
Drain plug goes back in. Now on to the pesky filter. Now I said that Kia must think only small left handed people would be changing the oil in this vehicle, but I didn’t say they also assume one of your talents is reaching up a vending machine and grabbing just about anything you want, blindfolded. The two options here are to contort your arm around rods and walls to get to the filter or remove a large panel. You’d think I’d have learned to remove something to make the next step much easier, but I haven’t. So around I go finding the filter and twisting it off. But now that it’s off, there’s no way to get it clear. Now I’m stuck in a maze, BLIND, and trying to get the damn thing out some other way than I got my hand in. Oh, and don’t spill any oil still in the filter on the van. It’s like a real world game of OPERATION on your back, and did I mention, with my left hand. This goes on for five minutes until I pull back part of the panel mentioned earlier and pull it out. Whishoo. This time I don’t get away without leaving oil on the floor. But this was destined to happen.
Don’t ask me why, but putting the new filter in went much smoother. Perhaps it had something to do with the path being nice and lubed up from taking the old one out. Who can say? On to filling her up, which I’m sorry to say is uneventful, and I’m done.
McKinney, oil changes run somewhere between $30 and $40. I can do this for less than half that and even with all the time spent farting around, it probably takes just as long to drive down there, wait, and drive back. Plus, if I went that route, you might not be laughing right now.