Tuesday, 17 October 2017


A year or so ago, Jason and I were driving somewhere to hike and take some photos and he said my car sounded funny.

I have to admit that previous to this, I hadn't paid much attention to my car and how it sounded.  In part, because what would I do if I noticed a weird noise anyway?  And in part because I keep it serviced regularly. 

But, Jason seems to know vehicles and so we pulled into a gas station and he had me check my oil.

I may have written about this before, but, here's where I admit how little I knew about cars and things.

I thought when you took your oil in for an oil change they just poured out the dirty oil and put in new clean oil and that this was good for... whatever reason, but it was just something that was done.  It is ever so slightly embarassing to admit that I don't think I realized that your car used up oil over time.  Um.  Yeah.

So, my car was overdue for an oil change/service but I didn't figure it was a big deal.  Jason had me check my oil and it was low.  Not dangerously low but... well, low.  Not awesome low.

"When did you last check your oil?"

Uh... I don't check my oil?  I just take it in for service?

"Ok" he said, "that has to change."  And we bought more oil and filled up my oil... thing (reservoir?) and I made sure I kept up on my service/oil changes from then on.

But... I also put a reminder on my calendar (computer calendar... it's where everything lives!) for the 15th of the month.  The reminder says "check oil, backup computer, backup blog"  and more recently also says "check tire pressure, review first aid."

Jason was somewhat amazed that I didn't do these things regularly.  I've never checked my tire pressure... I just figure they top them up when I get my service done.  My blog and computer I back up regularly... but usually "when I remember."  Which, has left me in somewhat precarious positions when said computer got sick and I couldn't remember when I did my last backup.

So now, on the 15th, the reminder pops up.  The last few times it's been no big deal.  But last month... my car was feeling sluggish.  I checked the tire pressure.  My tires were all a couple of pounds low.  Doesn't seem like a big deal but I asked Jason and he told me to go fill them up.

Which I did.  And there was a learning curve on that (which I thought I'd written about but a quick search of the blog says I haven't, d'oh) but once I got them up to proper pressure, I swear my car was perkier.  Yep.  Perkier.  I could feel a more responsive car...feeling just from a few extra pounds of air pressure!  (And apparently it'll make my car that much more fuel efficient and that much safer.  Ok!)

Then this month (this weekend) I was checking my oil and it was low.  About halfway.  Again, not bad, but crazy how that happened in a month's time.  So... I popped in a half... uh.. quart?  Litre.  I dunno... bottle thing.  And then I went to check my tire pressure, but my gauge (what a weird word) was low battery so that'll have to wait til I get a new one.  (I tried to replace the battery but it's one of those "just throw it out" kind of cheap ones which is incredibly frustrating... the thing was soldered shut and I don't have the skills to deal with that... although I did try.  I hate just throwing things out.  Will take it to a place to be properly recycled at least.  Sigh.)

So then I went to backup my blog.  (Done) And then backup my computer.

Buzzz...... uzzzzzz. uzzzzzz.

That's the noise of the external hard drive working but not being recognized by my computer.


So yeah, those things just... up and die apparently.

Jason's going to see if he can salvage the info (I've been doing Time Machine backups) and I've ordered a new (better) drive and hopefully my computer doesn't die before it arrives.  Sigh.

But... I guess I'm just sort of saying... it's good to check these things regularly.  (It also makes me feel proud that I've learned how.)  It's not great that my external drive died.  It's not great that my car was kind of low on oil or that my tires were a little low on air, but I found out.  Nothing BAD bad happened.  I... maintained.... did maintenance.  I've got a new drive/disk on order which is way better than my computer dying and me going to access my old backups and finding out that drive had died.

It's that whole pro-active thing I guess.  And I'm glad Jason told me and I'm glad I have my monthly reminder now.

Now I just have to get better at reviewing my first aid!  (It's less easy to do than checking oil or tire pressure... le sigh)


Anonymous Elliott said...

Funny timing on your post...I had to top up the air in my tires this morning on the way to work. My vehicle has sensors that give you a warning for low pressure in a tire(s). The alarm went off last night on way home from hockey, likely because it was the first time it was below freezing and tire pressure drops.

The right tire pressure certainly does make your vehicle drive better.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017 8:11:00 am  
Blogger Jason Langlois said...

Have you read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance?

And like Elliot, my car also luckily has the low tire pressure warnings... which is good, because I keep picking up screws in my tires, somehow.

Glad you're doing regular maintenance... and backups.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017 8:25:00 am  
Blogger Victoria said...

Elliott, that's the other thing I'm learning.... air/tire pressure changes seasonally.... temperature-ly? GAH! ;)

Saturday, November 18, 2017 2:57:00 pm  
Blogger Victoria said...

Jason I have, been a while, but yes :)

And damn them screws!!!

Saturday, November 18, 2017 2:58:00 pm  

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