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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Doug's Domain

Doug Vetter, ATP/CFI

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

It's been pretty quiet on the BMW front lately...and that's no surprise given the money I've thrown at the car in the last couple years. I expect the lull in scheduled maintenance to continue until the struts are due later this year. That's not to say I don't have a good share of cosmetic work still in the pipeline, but it's non-essential so it will get done when I have the time and money to spend on it.

Oil Service

The oil service indicator illuminated this week within a couple hundred miles of my estimated oil change interval, so I bought the supplies this week and changed the oil today after 4405 miles. Since Blackstone sent me a couple of sample kits shortly after my last analysis and I continue to save considerable money doing the work myself, I decided to do another oil sample. I found the oil in the drain pan pitch black as ever, but I should know the true state of the oil later in the week when the analysis results come in.

Carpet Cleaning

As surprising as it may sound, I've never cleaned my carpet. I have simply used floor mats to keep a bulk of the grunge off of them and used the vacuum on a regular basis. And truth be told, the carpets still look new. A few weeks ago, however, I discovered a Bissel carpet extraction machine in my brother's basement so I grabbed it to see if I could breathe some life into my old carpet.

I've become a fan of 303 Aerospace Protectant as a replacement for Armor All, so I bought a container of their concentrated carpet cleaning solution for this job. The recommended dilution is 10:1 but I diluted it to about 20:1 because extractor machines can cause foaming. I filled up the machine and within about 30 minutes had cleaned the entire carpet as well as my carpeted floor mats..

The general technique is to apply the solution with the extractor's wand, scrub it with a brush and then use the vacuum suction to pull the moisture back out of the carpet along with the dirt. However, under the best of circumstances, this process puts far more moisture into the carpet than it extracts, so I left the car out in direct sun on a hot day with the windows open.. When I came back a few hours later the carpets were perfectly dry as well as perceptably cleaner and fresher smelling -- so much so, in fact, that I've decided not to replace the carpet after all.

The extracted liquid was dark gray and disgusting enough that I felt the job was worth the effort, but I am planning to do this only on an as-needed basis rather than some set interval.

Mileage: 146440, Parts & Shipping: $65, Labor Saved: $80.