How to change the oil in a 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Good evening ladies and gentlemen, I would like to take a few moments of your time to explain one of the easier to perform preventative maintenance operations on your car. I listed a Jeep in the title of this blog, but most of the information is universal, and can be performed on most any vehicle.

First, you will want to get the vehicle up in the air somehow. It isn’t really necessary to get it up high, as long as you can fit comfortably underneath it. Please make sure to use jack stands and set the emergency brake, so the whole vehicle doesn’t come crashing down on you while you work.

Next you will want to have all of the tools you will need close at hand so you don’t have to climb in and out from under the vehicle unnecessarily. You will want box end wrenches, a oil filter wrench, (there are several kinds, I always use the ones with a metal band and a rubber covered handle), your filter, and an oil catch pan. The pan is another piece of equipment that can vary from a pan specifically designed for this job to an 8 quart container of any type, as long as the top is open enough to contain a possible splash.

Now that we have all of our tools ready to go, lets crawl under the car. First, loosen the oil drain plug. This should be fairly simple to find as it is usually pretty close to the center of the engine compartment on any “V” type engine. Even on front wheel drive models, the plug should still be pretty close to the center. Look for a large rectangular pan on the bottom of the motor, and this will tell you where the plug is. Make sure not to take the plug all the way out until you are ready with the drain pan, the oil will drain out quickly, and is usually pretty dirty. This is definitely not something you want in your hair. While the oil is draining into the pan, locate the filter. In the Jeep the filter is on the passenger side closer to the front of the engine.

The filter should not be really difficult to get off, as it is only supposed to be hand tight on installation, however the constant heating and cooling of the engine block can make it difficult at times. Slip the filter wrench over the filter, it should fit around it like a belt and turn the filter counter clockwise. As I said, it should not be too difficult to remove. Once the filter has been taken off the vehicle, check to see that the rubber gasket is still attached to the old filter. If you do not see it, look up where you just removed the filter from and check to see whether the gasket has gotten stuck on the engine block. This is a rare occurrence, but it does happen.

Now we are ready to reinstall the new filter. Take a small amount of the oil that is probably still draining from the vehicle and rub it on the gasket of the new filter. This will help ensure a good seal and keep the new filter from leaking. re install the new filter in the same location you removed the old filter from. Remember this is only supposed to be installed hand tight, so no tools are required for this step.

By this point the draining oil should have slowed to an occasional drip. you can now reinstall the oil plug, being careful not to cross-thread it upon installation. Cross-threading will destroy the plug, and could also damage the oil pan and cause leaks. A wrench should be used to tighten the plug, but it is not  necessary to torque the plug down with a great deal of force.

The vehicle can now be lowered back to ground level. If ramps have been used to get the vehicle off the ground wait to move it at this point. Typically five quarts of oil is enough to fill both the oil pan and the filter. Once you have put the oil in the vehicle turn it on for 30 to 45 seconds. This allows the oil to be distributed throughout the engine and for the filter to get filled back up. Shut the vehicle back off and check the level of the oil on the dipstick. At this point the level should fall inside the crossed part of the lower portion of the dipstick. it is now safe to move the vehicle off of ramps.

While this seems like an easy process overall, very few people actually do their own preventative maintenance. Doing your own oil changes can save you hundreds of dollars a year depending upon your driving style.


A New Chapter: Some Observations

Hey everybody, sorry it has been so long. I really thought I was on a good run. Then came Tuesday. I really need to be more vigilant with this thing if it is to be what I planned it to be. I have some observations for you guys tonight and I wish it could be funny, but it just is not really in me tonight.

See, Tuesday, I had a little trouble at work,and decided to take myself out of the equation before it became a lot of trouble. I drive a forklift, so it seemed to be a good idea at the time. I was light headed, dizzy, disoriented, and I couldn’t judge distance right, so I went to my superiors and explained the situation (compounded with the fact that, in retrospect, I think at the time I was having an anxiety attack as well,)they immediately sent me home, which was the right choice. I went straight to the doctors office, which was the right choice. They turned me away and told me to go to the emergency room ($200 co-pay.) Now if it had been a heart attack or something I wouldn’t have left work under my own steam. They would have had to called an ambulance to get my fat rear-end out of there. Anyway, I finally got in to see the doc the next day and I am out of work again at least until Nov. 15th.

This is what lead me to the observation part of the post I guess. I have decided several things about this disorder.

Number 1: Bi-polar disorder is a thief. Merriams online dictionary describes a thief as : “one that steals especially stealthily or secretly; also : one who commits theft or larceny. ” A disease or disorder that takes you away from your friends and family, your work, your life. All the while, you look healthy and fine. No one knows there is anything wrong with you, everyone just assumes maybe you are a jerk with an attitude problem, while instead you are crippled with fears and anxiety in the back off the classroom, or the warehouse, or office,  that everyone you know hates you and is constantly judging every step you make.

Number 2: Bi-Polar hurts. Physically, mentally, and not just personally. Most people refuse to discuss their disorder because they have enough to deal with with the voices whispering in their ear. I am in pain right now. My head aches constantly, my back feels as though it’s full of broken glass. I know why some of this is, some of it is thanks to the stupid amount of weight I have gained due to the lovely side effects of some of the wonder drugs I have been prescribed. I packed on almost 60 lbs in a month on one of them and wanted to fight EVERYBODY. The latest one wasn’t a hell of a lot better.The hurt does not stop with me. Kat, (my 6 year old daughter,) wants to play since dad is not at work. I just want to sleep. Consequently, she gets snapped at, I feel like an asshole, and the depression gets worse. Joy, (my wife,) wants to try to help too, she offers help and solutions to the depression and anxiety and gets snapped at. I used to think the depression commercials were annoying but I never listened and was in denial. I am starting to understand now where they are coming from. Even the dogs are tired of my shit.

Number 3: Bi-Polar is tiring. Obviously, I don’t sleep anymore. I started a blog with this title for a reason. I hate taking sleep aids, they make me feel like crap the whole next day. Now the doc has taken me off almost all of my meds until I see the psychiatrist so the annoying little bastards in my head are running rampant. I really wonder sometimes if it is bi-polar alone or if I’m not just insane. I got the diagnosis from a reputable doc up in Syracuse, NY 8 years ago and it took DAYS of tests to figure that out. I only knew one other person then with the disorder and I love him like a little brother, but I had no idea what his turmoil was like.

Before there are any rumors, Joy and I are fine. She is really my rock. I don’t know how she handles all the things she does with her health problems and now having to deal with two mental 6 year old kids. Of course Kat is mentally 15 so maybe that helps. I hope to go back to work soon, they have FMLA so my job is safe for now. I type that as much for me as for anyone. I need to realize that I have some job security. I also have short term disability so at least there is a little bit of a check coming in. I would prefer the real thing of course, but until things are squared away it’s just not an option. Well enough for now. We will talk again soon….

Fun with Magnetism

OK, so I had every intention of making the blog thing a daily ritual, and I screwed it up on the second day. That has got to be a record of some sort. I had an awesome idea for the second post too. I can’t remember it now but it was awesome. Trust me. You’d have loved it. It had a punch line. something about Zac Brown, Snoop Dogg and me walking into a bar. that’s all I can remember of it though. Oh well. I will try to be more diligent now, I have put the app on my trusty iPhone so I can blog from wherever I roam, so no excuses! I guess I should go into a bit more about myself and why you might be interested in continuing on this odd little journey with me. I am 36, I told you before, I go to college, I work full-time. What I left out was that I am bi-polar. Well, as my wife says I have bi-polar, I try not to let it define me. Sometimes that’s not so easy. Sometimes I HAVE BIPOLAR!!! other times I’m just me. I don’t know why I have it. I know when it was diagnosed, and I know I had it a long time before that. I maintain a very respectable GPA at school (which shocks the hell out of me,) and my bosses seem to like me. Unfortunately, I don’t always like myself all that much. So, I decided to try out the blog as a journal, and an outlet, and a standup routine when I feel up to it. Keep in mind my friends, I am not for the faint of heart. I was raised in NY. I think and talk like a new yorker sometimes. (Profanity spews frequently to put it mildly.) So let’s go for a ride and see where we end up.

My very first Blog post!

So, as I lay (or is it lie) in bed staring at the ceiling I became motivated to start my new journey into the world of blogging. I am not sure what made me decide that blogging was the thing to do, it’s not like I do not have enough to do in my life already. I work full time second shift at a juice manufacturing plant, I also attend college full time at our local two-year college working towards my Associates. My wife and I have a beautiful, healthy, and extremely active little girl. My plate is pretty full; however, I decided what the hell, lets try something new, lets start a blog. I intend to stick with this as much as I am able with the crazy schedule I keep, so this should be fun.