No Use Crying Over Spilt Oil!

Yesterday John changed the oil and filter on Cyan’s Isuzu engine. All was well prepared, and the job was soon finished!

John started the engine, where it jumped into life, and ran sweetly. It still ran sweetly when John revved up the engine to test it. Brilliant, ‘job done’!

At about 4:00 pm, we turned on the engine to charge the batteries. All going well…. until…. in the far distance I could hear an alarm. It was a cold day yesterday, so we’d battened down the hatches. Thought, I’d better investigate, and was horrified to find it was the engine’s alarm screaming, with its bright red oil warning light glowing. Not good!

Once John was in the engine hole, it was obvious all the 6 litres of oil had spewed out into the container under the engine! Frantic, we wondered what had happened. The filter product number was checked against the old one: and yes that was exactly the right filter. Perhaps the new filter was faulty? John had bought 3 filters, and 10 litres of oil when he was at the motor factors, so he tried another filter. The filter’s gasket was lubricated with petroleum gel before screwing on the filter. John poured in the remaining 4 litres of oil, then started up the engine, and was annoyed to find that filter was spewing out oil too (think another litre of oil was lost).

Head scratching… think we’d best put the old filter back on. At this point the problem dawned. The used oil filter didn’t have it’s gasket attached. What had happened; the old gasket was left in place, while the new gasket and filter was screwed on top of it = the filter now had 2 gaskets, where the oil had leaked out.

John spent 3 hours this morning (penance I’d say) mopping up 7 litres of new oil from under the engine. All of the disposable nappies bought for the purpose of catching oil drips while changing oil have now been used.

Luckily, today we’ve had wall-to-wall sunshine since 9:00 am., and thanks to the 3 solar panels on the roof, the batteries have been on ‘float’ for most of the day so the engine hasn’t had to be run.

Tomorrow we’ve got an appointment with Springwood Haven Marina, where we’ll buy more oil to top up the engine. At the moment we think the engine has about 3 litres of oil, half of the 6 litres it takes.

Luckily we’ve only got a short journey to go, before Cyan gets her oil!

What have we learnt today:

a) to make sure the old oil filter gasket doesn’t get left behind, best use a mirror on a stick to double check

b) buy enough oil, and pampers, just in case there’s a problem

c) it’s a good idea to do a DIY oil change midweek and within walking distance of a chandlers.

d) it doesn’t do any good to panic!

We’ve got our fingers crossed for tomorrow, hoping Cyan passes  her safety certificate inspection.

BTW environment note; not a drop of oil from Cyan reached the canal (thank goodness).

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