Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Welcome (Oil) Change...

 Wow. Lucky me!

Just found a "lost" coupon I had bought for a discounted oil change. With tire rotation.

Yikes, I saw that it would expire this Friday.

So today I drove out Folly Road, just past the Wappoo Bridge, to Clair's EXXON station for a full-service experience.

I went inside to show the coupon and Mary Court assured me I was in the right place.

This "place" was started by her father more than 50 years ago.

I commented that gas was probably only 29.9 cents a gallon back then. We both sighed.

I saw another unusual sight from the past: pumps marked "SELF  SERVICE" and "FULL SERVICE."

Mary said they clean the windshield and check the oil while you remain seated in your car.

I remember how great that had been during some bitter Winter days when I lived a year in Minnesota.

She smiled when I mentioned that and she added "Also a good idea to establish a relationship with a nearby station so when a mechanical problem pops up, you have a friend to go to."

I was a little late for the free coffee but Mary's husband Julio got started on my oil change.

Before he raised my car on the lift, Julio checked the fluids under the hood and added whatever was low.

Not surprisingly, windshield cleaning fluid needed a glug or two.

Well, nearly half a gallon.

Yellow pollen, smashed bugs, etc. use it up. You don't think about it until it's empty and you're staring through a smeared windshield.

He loosened the lug nuts on all four wheels, then began exchanging them from the back to the front on each side.

I've watched enough NASCAR pit stops to see he had a pattern and rhythm as he placed them near each axle to make sure none was missing.

I didn't time the process but it seemed like only about 20 minutes from start to finish.

The owner, John Clair and his brother Chris, were working on some cars in the bays.

I waved and thanked them for this full service treatment.

Julio completed the rotation of the tires and brought the lift down to add the new oil.

He even reset the reminder on my odometer so I could keep track of when the next oil change would be due.

I have written about past experiences as I try to maintain my 7-year old Saturn.

It has been basically a maintenance-free automobile.

Unfortunately, Saturn no longer exists and my Ion, the four-doors-but-only-two-door-handles model
was offered for only two years.

People still gawk when I open both passenger doors wide and slide in a very large carton.

Would not work in most other cars.

So yes, when it's time to check the oil and other fluids, I'll probably come back to Clair's.

As a special treat for the car, I filled the tank with a 0 percent mid range Ethanol gas.

Still leery of that 10% stuff.

(Click on the photos for more details.)

If you're looking for a change, go see Mary and Julio down by the schoolyard, er, I mean.. at 334 Folly Road.

Enjoy a free coffee.

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At Fri Dec 06, 01:25:00 PM , Blogger Ron Campbell said...

Wow. All of that done in 20 minutes? That is some quality service right there. It’s always nice to find hidden gems like this, and I’m sure your car appreciates the early oil change and tire rotation.

Ron @ Penn Ave Exxon

At Thu Jan 02, 09:59:00 AM , Blogger Joellen Cirilo said...

Spot-on, Ron! Those guys are real pros, doing all that in such a short time. Such efficiency is rare nowadays among garages. Chuck, my car envies your car, by the way. I haven't had her oil changed for some time now, and I'm glad stumbling on your blog reminded me of that.

Joellen Cirilo @ YoungsCollision.com


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