Oil change trouble

After running through a few tanks to see the pre-change MPG of my Saturn, I changed the oil to a synthetic high MPG formulation. I had used the same oil in my Corolla and had noticed a definite increase, and wanted to verify that this increase was indeed happening. I haven’t verified the increase yet.

Unfortunately, the oil change itself was the worst I’ve ever done. It probably took me at least three hours. I had to clean some oil spilled from my leaky oil catcher pan. The biggest time consumer, though, was the filter: It was on there ridiculously tight and the Saturn has almost no space around it. I ended up stabbing it in numerous places with a screwdriver, hurting my hand, and getting soaked in oil. A filter wrench finally did it.

Details (unfinished)

Part of that was spent cleaning some spilled oil from previous changes: The oil catcher pan that I bought seems to have a leak. That took quite a while in itself.

I had no problem getting the oil out of the car, and spilled less than I have since I got this small mouthed oil catcher pan. The oil drainage bolt seems to hold in the oil very well until it is fully removed, getting rid of the small trickle straight down that I have had with other cars. I also used the pan lid to help direct the stream. If I don’t get a wider mouthed pan, I think I will have to use something better to redirect the oil.

The filter was where the big trouble was. I tried for quite some time to remove the thing by hand. I couldn’t find a filter wrench or anything else that might help, and it was on there quite tight. It was also in the worst position I’ve dealt with, surrounded fairly well on all sides, with the most space at the end (a socket type wrench would have worked well). I could only fit one hand at a time, and even using all my muscle, it wouldn’t budge.

I decided to use the stabbing trick. Because of the narrow space, I couldn’t hammer a screwdriver into it. I used a nail to start, then stabbed a screwdriver repeatedly until it finally went in. There wasn’t much room to work with in there for turning. It wouldn’t budge, and the screwdriver started cutting the metal. I hadn’t had it all the way