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Considering how essentially easy the task is, I always wonder why I keep putting off changing the oil on the trusty Toyota far beyond its due date. Admittedly, in today's case it has only been a year since the last change but that included a 4000 mile journey through Canada. A little worryingly, a flashing oil warning light last week insisted that care was oil thirsty, and that was enough incentive to act.

So I walked over to AutoZone – literally only 200 yards away across Olive Blvd., took advantage of a 'buy one oil filter plus 5 quarts of oil for only $12.99' offer, added an air filter to that, and walked back home.

Next came the inevitable 15 minute search for some sort of pan or tray to collect the oil, followed by rooting through the tool draw for a wrench.

Now for the fun. Squatting down underneath the front of car, then easing myself under to find the elusive oil reservoir draining bolt. Dimly and blurrily (I did not have my glasses), I felt underneath until I came across something that resembled the bolt. I felt around a bit more to make sure, then attempted to maneuver myself into a position where I could actually get the wrench around the bolt head. It was at this point that I felt the first signs of what was surely a coordinated attack of the garden's entire mosquito population, but, wedged as I was, all I could do was be bitten.

At this point my wife justified every vow ever I made to her by coming by with a bottle of insect repellant and spraying all my exposed skin. Simulataneously, I was able to loosen the bolt and a few twists led to my fingers being coated with thick black carcinogenic sludge. But at least it was coming out. Not much though – the stream barely filled the bottom of the tray before petering out into little black drops. I guess that oil warning light was not lying.

With even more slippery fumbling, I managed to reinsert the bolt, tighten it and withdraw. Three fresh quarts of oil, and I hope the car is happy now. Then I retired to the kitchen to scrub the grime off.

That was easy, wasn't it.