Monday, October 5, 2009

Heloise, part two

It's me again, Heloise:
Timely maintenance of good tools is always an important consideration so when I was changing the oil in my lovely new tractor, Myrtle, I thought of you, Heloise. It was that all important first 50 hour service and I really wanted it to be perfect. Well wouldn't you know it? I couldn't get the old oil filter off? I tried everything in the book. I've got all the tools, filter wrenches and everything but because of its location, I couldn't get it loose without resorting to the old "pound a screwdriver through it" last messy resort. I wasn't prepared to do that because I wasn't sure that my replacement filter was the right one (with new vehicles, parts don't always look the same as their replacements...) So if the filter was wrong, I might have been stuck with a lot of spilt oil and an unmovable tractor instead of a perfectly serviced one. So I tried a trick that has saved me several times before.

I wrapped a piece of rope around the filter counter clock wise about five times being sure to overlap the first few loops (I used parachute cord but any strong but slim rope will do, even a long belt in an emergency). Leaving enough cord to hold onto, I aligned myself perpendicularly to the threaded shaft of the filter and pulled firmly. The filter turned right off easily. I've used this trick on my pickup truck which has the filter in a spot where you can't get a good grip on it. So far this has never failed me no matter how stuck the filter has been. You know, I think that the dealership maintenance folks put 'em on too tight on purpose. They get to charge a $25 labor fee for twenty seconds of work that way.

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