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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 04-26-08, 07:12 AM   #1
MrCjolsen
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Does anyone know a way I can accomplish this task on a bike?

My Honda Accord has been sitting in my driveway so long it has cobwebs on it. Really, it does.

My wife told me today I need to go and put gas in it and have it washed and get the oil changed.

I'm used to running most errands with my bike. However, I don't think this is one that will work, even if I had the mother of all extracycles.

BTW, I was getting quite proud of the cobwebs.
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Old 04-26-08, 08:10 AM   #2
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Is she telling you to do this in preparation for getting rid of it out of the driveway?

Ask her if she would like to see the driveway uncluttered completely ?

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Old 04-26-08, 08:12 AM   #3
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Lot's of people change their own oil, and you can fetch gas in a container. It may take a few trips. The hardest part will be washing the car with your bike.
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Old 04-26-08, 08:27 AM   #4
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Actually, we're taking the car to her parents tomorrow and borrowing her dad's truck. I'm anticipating a lot hauling this summer. She wants the car clean, gassed and with a recent oil change otherwise her father will feel obligated to do it.
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Old 04-26-08, 11:31 AM   #5
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Actually, we're taking the car to her parents tomorrow and borrowing her dad's truck. I'm anticipating a lot hauling this summer. She wants the car clean, gassed and with a recent oil change otherwise her father will feel obligated to do it.
I think that the need to clean up the car has little to do what is happening here. Your wife is still worried about what her father thinks after enterance into adulthood and marriage? When I became an adult, my own father would tell me to take care of my own car. He had other more pressing things to worry about.
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Old 04-26-08, 11:33 AM   #6
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My Honda Accord has been sitting in my driveway so long it has cobwebs on it. Really, it does.

My wife told me today I need to go and put gas in it and have it washed and get the oil changed.

I'm used to running most errands with my bike. However, I don't think this is one that will work, even if I had the mother of all extracycles.

BTW, I was getting quite proud of the cobwebs.
Do not do this!! Either drive the car at least once a month or sell it. To leave a vehicle
set idle without proper storage is to court huge repair bills or road failure.

I kid you not.
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Old 04-26-08, 12:19 PM   #7
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Seconding Tightwad's concern. The car might not be safe to drive at this point. IME, 2-3 months is not absolutely unsafe, but it's not recommended. If it's been more than 3 months, I'd be very concerned and would probably have it towed to a shop. I'm decent enough at car repair, but I've never done the work needed to rehab a car that was left to sit til it got damaged.

(This was in fact how we ended up carfree... the car sat unused for over a year, and when we moved it was more sensible to get rid of it than pay to have it repaired and moved.)
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Old 04-26-08, 12:38 PM   #8
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I drive it about once every two weeks. This time of year in the Ca. central valley, if you stand still more than 5 minutes, you have cobwebs on you too. In fact, I had them on my bike riding home yesterday. My average speed was 15 mph instead of the usual 18.

The car is fine. It's a 2000 Honda Accord with just over 60k miles. I'd like to sell it, but there are just enough time where we both need a car that she insists on keeping it.

Her dad is the kind of guy who if he borrows your car on empty, he returns it with a full tank and gets the oil changed. We just want to make sure he doesn't do that.
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Old 04-26-08, 01:12 PM   #9
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You know how to change the oil yourself? If you do, just go ahead & do it, and change the filter while you're at it. Before you go to where youre going, give it a quick wash, and on the way fill up the tank.

Now, _if_ theres some sort of problem (wont start etc) then you might have to have it towed, otherwise, honda's are pretty reliable cars.
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Old 04-26-08, 02:43 PM   #10
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I drive it about once every two weeks. This time of year in the Ca. central valley, if you stand still more than 5 minutes, you have cobwebs on you too. In fact, I had them on my bike riding home yesterday. My average speed was 15 mph instead of the usual 18.

The car is fine. It's a 2000 Honda Accord with just over 60k miles. I'd like to sell it, but there are just enough time where we both need a car that she insists on keeping it.

Her dad is the kind of guy who if he borrows your car on empty, he returns it with a full tank and gets the oil changed. We just want to make sure he doesn't do that.
Ahh, yeah, that's different.

Doing an oil change yourself isn't hard if you're not in an apartment (most landlords are sensible people and frown on their tenants doing car repair in the building's driveway). The Chilton's manual for your car will tell you how. Most cars are easier to do an oil change on if you have a real jack and jackstands. It can be done without. Most cars take several quarts of oil, so the quick and dirty solution is to buy a case of oil, oil filters and any other parts that should be swapped. You'll also want a reasonably large pan that can hold the dirty oil. Once you're done and have empty oil containers, refill them with the dirty oil. Most auto parts stores offer an oil disposal service. Don't just throw it away, since it can be a pretty nasty pollutant.

(Since it's an Accord the procedure really should be dirt simple. The main reason you want to check Chilton's is so that you don't have any surprises if part of the procedure is changing stuff beyond oil filters.)

Carrying home a case of oil should be easy enough on a bike. After the oil's changed, I would just as soon drive the car to fill it up. The idea of a gas can leaking on a bike scares the hell out of me.
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Old 04-26-08, 04:29 PM   #11
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Carrying home a case of oil should be easy enough on a bike. After the oil's changed, I would just as soon drive the car to fill it up. The idea of a gas can leaking on a bike scares the hell out of me.
So I'm guessing you're not one of those guys who will drink gasoline just to pee in a fire.

In all seriousness though, he should be fine carrying it on the bike, just make sure the gas can is closed tightly and well secured ofc.
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Old 04-26-08, 05:03 PM   #12
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Ya'll didn't get the joke. I was initially lamenting that there was no way I could pull my car with my bike. I just wasn't looking forward to driving.

There was more than enough gas in the tank to get to the gas station.

I haven't changed my own oil since 1994, which was also the same year that I ceased being a starving student.

I've been told that it's environmentally better to wash your car at a car wash since they recycle their water. At least the ones here do.

So now I have a clean car sitting in my driveway with full tank of gas and a car cover over it. Tomorrow it will move to my wife's parents' house, where it will sit in that driveway for an undetermined amount of time.
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Old 04-27-08, 04:15 AM   #13
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Actually, we're taking the car to her parents tomorrow...She wants the car clean, gassed and with a recent oil change otherwise her father will feel obligated to do it.
Well there you go, problem solved.
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Old 04-27-08, 06:21 AM   #14
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Let me see if I get this straight. Your father-in-law would do this for free, with his own money, and you want to do it yourself?
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Old 04-27-08, 07:03 AM   #15
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Let me see if I get this straight. Your father-in-law would do this for free, with his own money, and you want to do it yourself?
There is an interesting phenomenon where someone will do something that they consider a "favor" that "had to be done" and then hold a grudge because they were the one that had to do it. Sometimes life is easier when you avoid the grudge.
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Old 04-27-08, 08:05 AM   #16
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If you are going to own a car, you need to drive it around the block at least once a week. turn the wheels over, make sure all the parts run etc. Either make sure that the car is staying in good working order or get rid of it.
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Old 04-27-08, 08:11 AM   #17
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There is an interesting phenomenon where someone will do something that they consider a "favor" that "had to be done" and then hold a grudge because they were the one that had to do it. Sometimes life is easier when you avoid the grudge.

Ah, then that does make sense. Good luck with getting your car in shape...
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Old 04-27-08, 09:39 AM   #18
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There is an interesting phenomenon where someone will do something that they consider a "favor" that "had to be done" and then hold a grudge because they were the one that had to do it. Sometimes life is easier when you avoid the grudge.
I think you are reading too much into this. The man is just really generous. To the point that it bugs my wife. Trust me, I'll be expected to return the truck in better condition than I got it as well.
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Old 04-29-08, 01:16 PM   #19
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Let me see if I get this straight. Your father-in-law would do this for free, with his own money, and you want to do it yourself?
It's not about the oil, its about how well the OP takes care of the father-in-law's daughter. Father-in-law doing it would be definite loss of face.
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Old 04-29-08, 07:39 PM   #20
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It's actually about my neither of us wanting a 70 year old man in less than perfect health going out of his way to do stuff we should be taking care of.
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