Now who would have thought an oil dhange could be such a drama....
Well it doesnt help when mechanics like to crank the sump plug on like a head bolt, or tighten an oil filter to the point it takes superman to undo it.
Lucky for me, been there and done that and prepared an arsenal of tools to get the sump plug off and god bless alfa romeo for making their oil filter easily accessible.
It just doesnt make sense to use a hex key embedded ine the plug, firstly theres no torque, second, if its not hardened steel, it will expand as you torque it. So my first attenpt was with multigrips, I think im average in the stregth department and I almost broke the multigrips.
So then I headed back to my toy, i mean car car parts store and bought a 1/4 inched set of hex and torx heads, then bought a set of vice grips and to be sure, bought an impact drill.. now at 300 dollars just to remove a sump plug. I also ordered a new plug thats on the way, a second one online and once I get them, im switching over to a conventional plug.
So first up I tapped an old school hex key into the socket to see how snug it could get, tried gently with an alu bar and nothing. Then I took a puch to the side of the plug and hammer, no luck there either. So fitted the 1/4 inche socket to the impact driver, again nothing.... my grandmother can tap harder with a knife handle, so that went back into the box to return.
Out came the vice grips, it was my last chance, fortunately my neighbour has leant me a delightful set of ramps, so I could get right under the car while the sump was still warm. I considered freezing the plug but feared harming the sump. I positioned the vice grips pointing towards the front of car, clamped on really tight and gave it a good thump with the heal of my palm and presto, it moved...
Then onto the oil filter, there were mutterings of "which idiot..." a few grunts, a few more sighs and out came a large screw driver to try and tap it free. That didnt work, so I plunged into the filter, let it bleed out and then struck through the other side and began to lever it off. Would you believe it took me a whole turn before I could even think of getting my hands on it... I finally got it off without any dramas, id also put some cheaper oil through to rid the black crud in it and then put if all back together with castrol edge 10/60
Every mechanic that sees the car sighs and warns me of the nature of alfas, well, here's the best warning, if you dont know how to love an alfa, it wont love you back if you give it to a grease monkey without mechanical sympathy.
We race RC nitro cars, 1hp per kg, you have to love them to get to the finish line, its a mechanical work of art, not a meat grinder.
Engine light has vanished for good it seems, maybe the cats have cleared of overfuelling, maybe the injector clean has helped too. Now shes had a blood transfer with quality oil, wires inspected and taped with silicon self adhering, shes whispering soft loving purrs in my ear and her body has been massaged, loved and polished into a delicious deep european shine with Mothers polish and canuba wax... washing it now is as enjoyable as driving it.
Now to change her air filter...