Friday, 4 March 2011

Well Oil Be!

Old cars need more attention than modern ones. I am sure that will not a a revelation to anyone, but it's true. Even just owning a car used to be more complicated: we would go to buy fuel, and at the same time ask the man who worked the pump for us (remember those days?) to "fill her up" and at the same time "check the oil".

There would be a rack of oil sitting by the office door, and after checking your oil level he would check what sort of oil you were using (by reading the paper piece stuck near - but not TOO near - the oil cap), and if any oil was needed he would select the correct type (and bottle size) from the rack to fill the oil to the right level.

Something that will stir memories in
all Australian of a certain age
Modern cars now tell you when (if ever) they need oil by flashing a lamp at you, or some other form of indication, but you rarely need to check under the bonnet (or hood) as in days gone by.

Célestine isn't a modern car, and oil levels need to be checked. Not that she uses oil, but it's wise to check just in case - no flashing lamps here! In order that you need never to buy oil when you "fill 'er up", and to make sure you always have oil with you, there is an oil can holder under the bonnet, appropiately close to the dipstick. This takes a standard two litre oil tin.

The holder for the oil can is the square
metal piece on the centre right
Until recently we didn't have one of these tins, but on a recent trip to the dechetterie we spied one sitting by the oil recycling container. After asking if we could have it, the old oil was emptied into the container and the can duly presented (with some ceremony, it must be said). We know it doesn't leak, because the can wasn't sitting in a pool of oil, so now Célestine carries her own supply of oil wherever she goes.

Oil in place, ready to roll!
It's an Esso tin of indeterminate age, and I may have a go at some of the surface rust, but in a way it kind of works the way it is. At the moment it is filled wih Castrol Classic (the old olive green cans) but I have some Halfords Classic as well.

Old cars need more attention than modern ones. But they are so much more fun!



Diane said...

What a find and just a bit more originality. We sadly sold our old cars when we left S.Africa but they are just so much more fun than the new fangled ones LOL. Diane

Abbeysmum said...

When I was growing up my uncle who was a bit of a "wag" and drove a right old bomb, would say to the attendant "fill up the oil and check the petrol, thanks"

What a shame you didn't post this last week as the big Toowoomba "swap meet" was on last weekend, maybe I could have found a spare in case this one ever leaks.
If you send me the dimentions in email I can keep an eye out, as Hilary and I are heading to the Mulumbimbi markets in a few weeks and will go to the big second hand shed that has everything but the proverbial.
Good find Simon !

Niall & Antoinette said...

I'm sure Célestine will sip small amounts of oil in a very refined manner being the lady she is :-)

GaynorB said...

We had a 'old' Landrover Discovery (not old in Celestine terms) which for about 6 years dripped oil on to our drive - and wherever it was parked. We had three attempts at paying garages to fix the leak but without any real success. It was losing quite a bit of oil but rarely needed 'topping up'.
How do you explain that?
When we sold the car it had done 400,000Km -nearly as far as the moon!

Simon said...

Abbeysmum - there are plenty of cans available here, but also plenty of people who collect them. It was never a case of not being able to find one, more a case of not wanting to spend any money!

Antoinette, very little. She is a car of moderate vices when it comes to oil.

Gaynor. It's what they do. Like Triumph motorbikes, the only way to stop them dripping oil is not to put any oil in there in the first place.

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