Thursday, February 11, 2010

Oil Change Glitch

On the way out of Chetumal we found a Taller Mechanico shop and stopped for an oil change. I had the oil and filter with me so all the guy had to do was crawl underneath, drain the old oil, change the filter and refill. Easy – I have done it myself dozens of times.

It was really hot and humid. 94 outside and the best the air conditioning was about 83 inside so we stayed inside while they worked. Eventually I went out to see how they were doing and they had two buckets of liquid beside the truck. One was obviously the old oil and the other was unknown. I stuck my finger in it and it was RED!!! Automatic transmission fluid! I looked at the guy and he smiled and said, “Si, transmission”.

I asked him why he drained the transmission and he said, “No problema”, the Mexican answer to almost everything. I crawled underneath and could see where he made his mistake. The transmission drain plug was out in the open while the engine oil drain plug was kind of hidden. To be fair, he had only drained about a litre of it before he noticed his error. I asked if he could get more fluid and he said, “Si, no problema”.

They finished the oil change and another mechanic arrived and took the transmission oil into the shop. He poured it out of the bucket and through a filter he made of a rag (hopefully clean) and showed me. It looked clean, at least all the leaves were gone, and he poured it back into the transmission through the dip stick tube. He had me start the truck and put it in drive, pulled the dipstick and showed me that it was reading full. “No problema”, they all said…

I paid the bill, a fairly reasonable $150 pesos and we were on our way with me making a mental note to have the transmission serviced as soon as we get back to the USA.


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