Saturday, 10 December 2011

You'll Never Find Me In The Pit Lane At The Grand Prix

Today was a bit of a learning curve for me.

In just over a  week I am driving back to Essex for Christmas, and I decided that this weekend I should check my car for oil and fill up the windscreen washer fluid reservoir etc.

The windscreen washer filling up was easy. Next came the oil - which proved much more difficult. I checked the level on the Dipstick, and found that it was at the minimum level and would need topping up. The oil filler cap was easy to find - it was bright yellow with the picture of an oil can on it. What wasn't so easy was getting the yellow cap off.
I twisted it and pulled it, but it wouldn't budge. Was I looking at the right thing? I started to doubt myself, and for a moment wondered if you topped up the oil by pouring it down the hole you pull the dipstick out of. In the end I sought clarification from a friend - by texting him a picture of the oil filler cap with the message "oil goes in here, yeah?".
Once confirmation had been given, I decided that the cap must be stuck and would need prising off. I nipped home to get a screw driver, and then returned and started working away at the cap. Infuriated, oily and no closer to topping up my oil, I was getting nowhere. In a fit of rage I grasped the whole thing in one hand and shook it violently.

Imagine my surprise as I accidentally lifted the whole cap off revealing the tube in which to pour the oil.

It turns out that the yellow cap wasn't a yellow cap after all. It was fixed to the black top that covered the oil filling tube, and only had to be lifted off (which takes no effort at all, I have discovered) to allow oil to be poured in.

I was so pleased with myself for getting the top off that I got a bit carried away and overfilled my oil. When I checked the dipstick again the oil came to about an inch above the 'Max' mark. Apparently this could be quite bad. At the very least it will make my car smoke a lot. I hope that is all that happens.

But in the end I got there, and I learnt a few things along the way.

Mainly, that there are two dipsticks in my car.

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