Monday, July 30, 2007

Test for picture upload

This isn't really a post, but I wanted to check to see if I could upload pics from Picasa to my blog. Hopefully, this will work.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Routine Maintenance

First oil change on my Mercedes. Routine stuff but I thought I would put it up here and explain any differences or special things I noticed while I did this.

Not a whole lot different than changing any other cars oil. I have always changed my own oil in my vehicles, so it wasn't a new experience, but this was my first diesel engine oil change. It was also my first cartridge type filter change (e.g. Not a spin-on type filter). I did notice that diesel oil is REALLY black.

The Oil:
I bought Mobil Delvac 15w-40. It was the same price as the Shell Rotella, and only a dollar more (per gallon) than the other diesel oils. I was surprised to see the capacity listing for my engine as 7.9 US quarts of oil. That's a lot of oil. Thankfully, its not $5 per quart like the synthetic I used to put in my Jetta. I got two gallons for $10.99 each, and the filter was a STP one (the only one AutoZone had in stock) for $10 or so. The salesman was a little disappointed that the filter cost that much (thinking maybe I would go somewhere else for it I guess), but I didn't think much of it, since I haven't used the cheaper filters ($4 Frams) in a long time. He also tried to offer me an oil change special they were having on STP filters and Valvoline oil ($13 or so for the package). I asked him if it applied to two gallons of diesel oil?, he said "No", didn't think so.
Following the directions in my Haynes manual turned out to be useful. The method it lists allowed the oil filter housing to drain completely of oil leaving the filter completely empty (no drips at least). Nice feature since you have to pull it out from the top at the back of the engine compartment. I was really dreading this part of the oil change, but is was surprisingly clean. Not nearly as messy of a filter change as my Jetta.
If I had not dropped the drain plug into the catch pan, then this would have been my cleanest oil change ever, but I did, and my entire right hand was black for the next hour.

Total Cost for this oil change: $34
Not bad considering its twice as much oil as most gasoline engines. I could probably lower the cost of this oil change if I bought a couple of filters online, but I can handle $34 a few times a year.
My Jetta cost me $35 when the oil was on sale and $45 every other time (on average).

Originally, I was going to make this a multi-topic post, but it was getting long, so I'll add the other stuff later.
Coming Soon: Steering Box adjustment, Dash Light replacement

Monday, July 9, 2007

Quick Update

Well, I thought my A/C was gone when it strangely quit on me and switched to heat mode all of a sudden. I notice that it did this shortly after I was accelerating.

Apparently the transmission was trying to kick-down into a lower gear, but it didn't. This, in turn, blew the fuse that operates the climate control valve. This fuse also operates a host of other functions in the car, and yet, it is still only an 8A fuse.

Of course, the actual A/C fuse wasn't blown, but it does get hot (its the only 25A fuse). It has obvious signs of melting on both the housing and the fuse it self.

All this fuse blowing is starting to make me suspect that my 23 year old car has a few electrical problems with it. Nah, couldn't be.

On the positive side, though, I did fix my rear passenger window that quit working. Thanks to a "how-to" on this site. Thanks Karl.