I am NOT a car guy.
Sadly this is one area that I will not be able to pass along my expertise down to my kids. When they get older I will teach them how to change a tire, but for the most part I will tell them to have roadside assistance on speed dial.
My dad isn't really a car guy either, but he always changed his own oil. I remember him being under the hood of the car, draining out the old oil, replacing the filter, and filling the car back up. It looked messy. There was always a piece of cardboard with a huge oil stain and a bucket with old dirty oil. I have no idea what he did with that bucket; he could have dumped it in the woods for all I know.
Changing my own oil was something that never interested me.
A lot of it comes down to time and convenience. I want to instill in my kids that their time has a value. If you change your own oil, the oil costs around $20, the filter around $5, and then you have to find a place to dump the old oil. So before you even begin the process you are $25 in. Throw in how long it is going to take you and it's well over $30. There are places like the Automotive Care Center at Walmart that change your oil for you cheaper than that.
|I've never seen my son so happy to get an oil change|
Don't tell the dealership that we leased our car through, but I have been putting off getting my oil changed for a while. I treat cars like I do my teeth. Unless something is noticeably wrong with it, I won't take it to the shop/dentist to get it fixed. Who has that kind of time to wait around? But with summer here and knowing that we had a few road trips coming up, it was time to take the car down to Walmart because I knew I could drop the car off and pick up a few essentials along the way.
|My garage doesn't have all of this|
I've taken my cars to other quick service places, but the difference here is that I could drop the car off and go get some shopping done. Everywhere else I have to sit in the waiting room and read a year old People Magazine. My son happened to be off school that day, so I let him help me figure out everything that we might need.
As we said good bye to our car we decided to hit the store to pick up a few things that we just HAD to have; or at least HE had to have.
First and foremost you have to have candy. Nothing helps a kid sit still in a six hour car ride more than a box of candy. Fortunately there was a big bin of candy right outside of the automotive center.
Second, you have to have games. You can never have enough games. I've made the mistake in the past of not bringing along any games. Just when you think your kid only wants to play on his iPod, they yell out that they are bored and want to play a game. Have you ever been on Interstate 81 north of Scranton and all of a sudden your kid wants to play a game that you don't have? Good luck finding a place to get one.
Fourth, SNACKS. I'm not sure I need to explain this one, but they always need snacks. The need for snacks is compounded the moment that you pull out of your driveway. You need every variety of snacks that they make. DON'T SKIMP ON SNACKS.
Fifth, you need highlighters. No idea why this is the case but apparently my youngest, along with everyone else in his class at school, is obsessed with highlighters.
Sixth, you need movies. My kids haven't watched a movie in our car since we bought it, but I know that the moment that we forget to bring a movie along they will want to watch one. Six hours in a car goes much faster when the kids are quiet with their headphones on.
Seventh and probably most importantly, is playing cards. I have no idea how to play this game, but I know that we have spent too much money on these things. We've all had our obsessions in life and right now my son's obsession is this game.
So you can save money for your road trip essentials, Walmart is rolling back prices all summer long. From now until September 9th, you can save four dollars off both Pennzoil High Mileage ($35.88) and Platinum Full Synthetic ($45.88) oil changes. That's quite a savings considering their already low prices.
With that savings I will be able to buy ANOTHER pack of playing cards and that deserves a thumbs up!
So where are you going this summer and what will you be taking along?