September 12th, 2002


It's my first day

So... I haven't told you all about the ongoing saga of the BMW oil change. It's a long, long story and I really don't feel like typing it out, so you get the digest version.

On Saturday, I woke up kind of early so I figured I'd do an oil change on the BMW... which I've been meaning to do for a while. I go to the BMW dealer and get a new filter and other stuff I need, go to the auto parts store and get oil and oil changing accessories, and head home. I get through the procedure without much drama. I start the bike up and it doesn't blow up! Great. But after it gets warmed up, the oil light comes on at idle. This baffles me, as well as other people who've been working on these bikes for a long time.

Over the course of the last couple of days, I've narrowed down the cause to one of two things: 1. The oil filter isn't seated and tightened properly. 2. Not enough oil. So today after work I go to the auto parts store and get some more oil and decide to take care of it. I tighten down the filter and add another quart. Now according to the dipstick, there is way too much oil, but I figure I can worry about that later.

I start her up and drive around for a while. No oil light! Problem solved. Leave it alone now, right? Wrong.

So I decide that the oil level is just way too high and I should drain some out and try to get it under the maximum but with the light still not coming on. Now, the cool oil drain tank that I bought doesn't fit under the drain plug because of the center stand, so I'm going to drain the oil into an empty quart container with the side cut out. People do this all the time. Keep in mind that there are 3+ quarts of oil in the bike.

I start undoing the drain plug, knowing full well that everything is super hot from me driving around. My plan is to loosen the plug just enough to let oil start draining, but not enough to let it totally out. But, in order for any oil to come out, it has to be almost all the way unscrewed. I get it to the point where oil starts running out, but of course it's not fast enough, so I loosen it just... a... tiny..... bit......... it pops out. Oil starts running out really fast on to my hands. Scratch that. Lots and lots of REALLY FREAKING HOT oil starts running out really fast on to my hands. I try desperately to get the plug back in, but the hot oil running out is making it pretty much impossible. I can get it in the way, but can't screw it in. HOT FUCKING OIL is still running out on to my hands. Finally, the plug slips out of my hand and there's just nothing I can do but watch almost a gallon of oil drain into a quart container.

The puddle was huge and everything was in it. All the tools that were on the floor near the bike are now swimming in oil. The bike is parked in a huge puddle of oil. I'm standing in oil. Oil is running towards every corner of the garage, threatening to engulf me and all of my vehicles.

The whole mess took me about three hours, two big towels, twenty shop towels, an entire roll of paper towels, and 3/4 of a container of kitty litter to get under control. And I still don't know if the garage will ever be normal again. I'm gonna let the kitty litter sit for a day or so and hope it soaks up most of the oil, so I can work in there again. I also still need to try to get the rest of the oil off the tools. But, I'm exhausted from the whole experience and just don't have the strength to deal with it any further this evening.

This sucked so bad. My advice to you home mechanics: If you ever spill a whole lot of oil in the garage, just move. It's easier than cleaning it up.

Lytha: I'm very very very sorry I didn't make it to the show. And I'm even more sorry (like times 10) for snapping at you when you called and I told you I wasn't sure if I was going. Soaking in boiling hot oil does that to me. I beg for forgiveness.
  • Current Music
    The Cramps - I Wanna Get In Your Pants.