Every time we’ve needed to service Vanda since we left Australia we’ve had a lot of luck finding businesses willing to do the work for free for us! Unfortunately, this time we couldn’t find anybody (Mitsubishi is not very common in the U.S) and had to take matters into our own hands.

With 270,000 kms on the odometer the time was ripe for some new oil.

Diesel cars are also quite rare here, which meant we needed to go to three different auto shops before we could find the right type of oil filter for Vanda. Once we finally found it we also bought 7 litres of oil, a plastic basin for the old oil and headed straight for the closest Walmart carpark – our makeshift garage for the service.

We waited for night to fall and found a hidden corner around the side of the supermarket to make sure we didn’t get in anyone’s way before we got to work.

Changing a car’s oil is actually very simple. Normally all you’ll need is something to catch the used oil, an oil filter and one or two spanners. In Vanda’s case all we need is one single size 17mm spanner.

However, like all things in life, if something can go wrong it will. Our oil filter was so tightly installed by the last company to service Vanda that we had to improvise a rubber and rope leverage system to eventually get it off.

Eventually we managed to remove it, install the new filter and fill Vanda up with fresh, new oil.

Mission complete – our trusty van is ready to drive another 10,000 kms.

P.S – We swear those oil stains on the ground were already there before we arrived. We didn’t spill a drop and took the used oil back to the auto shop for recycling (one cool thing you can do here in the U.S that we can’t in Australia).

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