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Discussion Starter #1
I was a nuc plant technician in the Navy. Made me a huge believer in preventive maintenance.

Not starting a oil thread here, but clean fluids that meet the spec are one of the most important things to keep a vehicle healthy. That is my experience.

Plan to drive to Florida soon to visit family. The PM will be due for oil change in just 1k miles. Rather than do it late, when I get home. I just went ahead and did it today. This weekend we're due to have an arctic blast dropping us into the 20s at night. That is real cold for this area. Today it was 70 out and cloudy. Perfect weather to do a driveway oil change on a tall van! Now my "buddy" is good to go for a long trip. I feel better and I imagine the van does too. ;)

I will say that the PM gasser has one of the easiest oil changes I have ever performed. I park it partway up a set of ramps. Drop the old oil and let it drain for an hour so it ALL gets out. Wipe the drain clean and reinstall the plug. I move the drain pan out from under and pick up my 13mm wrench. Then I climb into the van and put it in neutral and release the brake so it can roll back off the ramps. I'm only 5' 6" tall so I need it on the ground to reach in to refill it and change the filter. A short handled 24mm wrench is perfect to get the filter cap off. Pop the old filter off, Press a new one home and change the O ring. A dab of the old oil or silicone grease goes on the new O ring. Don't want to snag it as it goes in. Hand tighten the cap and use the stubby wrench to seat it and lightly torque it. Add 6 quarts of Valvoline 5w 20 synthetic and its good to go. I also tend to wipe things up well afterwards. Like a camp site, leave it cleaner than you found it. Old habits die hard.

I don't care for the van's use of lug bolts instead of lug nuts. They make a heavy job more difficult for me. Otherwise this van is a piece of cake to do regular maintenance on!

Maintenance hint. If your arthritic hands drop your stubby wrench down into the plastic fairing under the front corner, a magnet on a telescoping rod is perfect to slide it back out. Don't own a stubby wrench for the filter cap? Harbor Freight sells sets of them in mm sizes for a great price. I found my 24mm sockets and short breaker bars to be too tall to fit atop the cap. Whereas a stubby wrench is just right.
 

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Anyone else "anal" about maintenance..

Count me in as guilty ! Having driven big trucks most of my life I can appreciate ' looking ' for trouble , rather find and fix rather than let someone else fix it while I'm down for a day or a few and $pend the extra cash ( lite on the extra ) . Never wanted to be the person on the side of the road with the hood up scratching their head thinking , the hecks wrong here, changed the oil last year..should be fine . I've been accused a time or two of being a little too ambitious on maintenance . Brought up by the best in the business and it's paid off over the years ! You should be proud and a little less in debt for it 0:)
 

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Rich Maund.... dont forget the last step of your DIY oil change.
After you've cleaned up and wiped your hands....climb inside the cab with the key and reset the oil change notifidcation computer.
great write up.
good job

ps, I also bought a long 24mm wrench from Harbor Freight.
Cut it in half and now have 2 stubbies
 

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When it came time for the PM's first oil change I looked through my "wrench" drawer and found I had an old Kawasaki tool kit wrench. A stubby, boxend that I heated up and bent slightly then painted dayglo green. It lives in my jack/tire change box under the seat along with many other just-in-case items.;)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You're right. I forgot to mention resetting the oil computer. I do that before I pull out the log book to write it up.

Resetting is easy. IAW the manual, you just turn on the ignition but do not start the van, then you pat your head while rubbing your tummy and press the accelerator all the way down and let it all the way up three times in succession within ten seconds. Ignition off. Stop patting your head & tummy and you're all done. Monty Python rules in PM maintenance procedures!
 

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I guess I am semi-anal, as some things I use reason not schedules. Cabin air filter and engine air filter (and fuel filter) get extended if they are clean and clear. On the other hand going camping out El Camino del Diablo for a week usually means a new air filter in my 4Runner no matter the miles. Oil&filter every 10K on my diesel even though 18,500 is the recommendation. There is no reason to use exotic oils that exceed the specified rating, but I would never go for something that doesn’t meet it. For me it means ordering oil as few places have the Euro diesel Mopar specs.
 
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