Skip to main content


Free 3-IN-1 Oil DIY

This isn't really "DIY", but more like a stupid trick or lifehack. You need an oil can. There are pro ones, like those from Goldenrod. They aren't too expensive. You can also find used ones at estate sales and thrift shops. The antique ones fetch a lot of money, so you aren't likely to find those. After you do an oil change (or an ATF change), take the empty bottle, cap it, and leave it cap-down. In a month, you should find a little spoonful of oil in the cap. Pour that into the oil can. Repeat. If you want more free oil, go look at the dumpster outside an auto parts store. People do oil changes in the parking lot, or top off their engine oil to prevent a burnout. They toss the bottles into the trash, and there's usually a little leftover oil. Keep that stuff out of the landfill, and in your oil can. You can also use the used oil, but it's dirty looking. Nowadays, we have a lot of plastic things, and the motors are small, with plastic bearings or ball bear
Recent posts

Three Year Old Battery Still Working, and Other Updates

I park in the hot sun, and thought this year, the battery would die, because it was so hot. So far, I've been lucky, and it hasn't died. Maybe it's because I'm blogging so much about this car, that I check the water more often and keep the electrolyte level topped up. Maybe it's because I've been a little bit more proactive, and keep a bottle of distilled water around, to fill up fluids. I was informed that most people have sealed batteries that don't require maintenance. I'm not sure if that's good, or a mixed blessing. The battery I got was an AutoZone Duralast Gold, the 5 year battery. It's three years old, but the way I figured, it was going to die before the five years, because it's in the sun so much. Maybe it'll last the full five years. I'm nearly at 150k miles, finally (this is a 25 year old car!). It's time to change the oil. The car is an oil burner now, and I add extra oil a couple times a year. The cooling system is l

Replacing the Inside Door Handles - Don't Cheap Out

 The most popular replacement door handles (the ones on the inside) are probably Dorman brand. I have used them before, but now I'm all about buying stuff cheap on Ebay or AliExpress, so I did that. What a mess. I bought a 4-pack for around $20, and these handles just break. It really sucks. Not only that, but they're a little bit out of spec, so they end up getting pulled a lot harder than the other replacements. So, "oh well". I will go with a top seller brand next time, once I run out of these shitty door handles. I'm not going to say Dorman is as good as OEM. I've had Dorman handles break on me, but they do last a long time. I see OEM handles for sale, for around $35. The Dormans are around $15. How to Replace the Handle There's a screw holding the handle in. Unscrew that, and then push the plastic assembly forward. It'll slide, and then you can pull it out and replace it. The handle hooks onto the wire thing that pulls the latch. It's a very e

T10 Light Bulbs for the Marker Lights and Shifter

 The light in the shifter went out years ago, so I eventually got around to replacing it. It was a huge pain in the ass, but I managed to get the blown bulb out, and replaced with an LED bulb. The LED has a bit of blue cast, but I can live with it. I initially purchased a bunch of lights from an Ebay seller in China.  It was this huge 10 pack for like $6 or something. This was a big mistake. It took forever to arrive, and I had to bug them about it. The product that arrived looked cheap. (It was cheap, ok.) Since this delivery took so long, I just ordered from a local seller. They sent 4 bulbs for, I don't recall how much, maybe another $5 dollars. At this point, I didn't care. Then, I discovered I  had a T10 marker light. Arrrgh. It's so annoying. That said, I figured the LED would run cooler, and last longer, so go forward with LEDs. Getting at the light required removing the center console . That's easy. Then you remove the frame around the shifter, and then the PRND

Dollar Tree Fuel Injector Cleaner

 My engine seemed to be on the edge of stalling out more than one day. It didn't but it had that rough idling, weak feeling. When you don't drive much, and mostly do city driving at lower speeds, the car's just going to get some unburnt gunk in the engine. The best way to fix this problem is to drive at around 60mph for a couple hours.  Alternatively, get on the freeway and drive 20 to 30 minutes at high speed, and repeat it every day. This should heat up the engine and burn away the gunk. I was getting kind of desperate, and I spotted some "fuel injector cleaner." I figured it's only a buck, so why not. I think it's methanol and some other things. I put it in, and drove off. I put it into a half tank, so it was double the normal concentration. It ran a little better initially, so I figured that it's just boosting the burn a little bit. After putting 20-30 miles on it, on the freeway, things seem to be running smoother all-around. The stuff is called S

Always Regretting Paying for Someone Else to Do My Oil Changes

Once every couple years, I just get in a mood and go to get an oil change at Pep Boys or some oil change place. Normally, I do it myself, but it's such a grimy job that I really would rather just pay someone way too much money to do it for me. Often, I'll have oil, and a filter, and just not want to deal. I always regret paying, mainly because it's kind of expensive, but also because it takes so freaking long. It's a simple 15 minute job, when I do it. Somehow, at a repair shop, it ends up taking 90 minutes or more, and there's a bit of waiting around. Normally, I'm not that impatient, but with oil changes, I know they could do it in 10 minutes. ATF in the Oil? Before I do my next oil change, I'm going to look around for any old ATF, and pour it into the engine, and drive around a week or so. I heard that this can help to clean up the engine a bit. I  have my doubts, but the ATF is a lighter oil full of detergents, so maybe there's some truth to it. I ho

Hot Summers Kill Batteries

I park in the hot sun, and that really kills the battery. I used to buy the cheap battery, but lately, I've been getting the 5 year battery, so I'll get a little pro-rate when the battery craps out on me in three years. It costs a little more, but not too much more. The main advantage is that I just experience a little less battery acid leaking during the hot summer months. I also find the battery terminals are a little bit nicer. With the cheapo batteries, I had problems with the connectors falling off. If you don't run the car too much, you need to get a small battery charger, and put it on the battery. The charger will top off the battery, and then go into a trickle charge mode to keep the battery in good shape. If you don't do this, the battery will form crystals, and eventually stop working. You can't revive the battery. You'll need to buy a new one. Replacing a battery is easy. You just unscrew the old one, and put the new one in, and screw it