Monday: (08/29) Oatmeal for breakfast. One important task that needed to be completed was to get the oil changed in the Jeep and motorhome (MH). We had the MH oil changed in Grand Prairie, Alberta and we’re just right on mileage to have it done here and not have to worry again until we get back home. The poor Jeep though has been ignored. I didn’t realize we had so many miles on it but it was last changed down in Yuma more than 6000 miles ago. Naughty me! So I was off after breakfast to get the Jeep oil changed. I had located a nearby Jiffy Lube so I took it there. Even though Alaska is supposedly where much of our oil is coming from oil changes here aren’t cheap. Even at Jiffy Lube which is one of the lower cost locations, it was still twice as much as at home. I gave them the keys and waited, and waited, and waited. Where was the jiffy? I looked outside and the Jeep had gone through the building and was parked outside but still no call to get it. Then finally I was called to the register and told that it passed the smog test nicely. That’s good but I came for an oil change. I now have a nice Alaska vehicle inspection decal on my windshield and still no oil change. They rushed the oil change and gave me a little discount for the delay. One thing I like about Jiffy Lube is their thoroughness. They do check everything and explain all the test and check results. Before I left I checked to see if they could do the MH and they said no problem. I drove on back to the park to get the MH. It’s about four miles back. When I’m driving down the park road another driver rudely cut me off and ordered me out of the car. What’s going on, I wondered.

Oil Fire Under jeep
“Your cars on fire.” he finally explained. I popped the hood latch and grabbed my fire extinguisher and looked under the car to see flames boiling on top of the skid plate around the exhaust pipe lapping the oil pan right by the oil drain plug. A short squirt was all it took to put out the fire. Fortunately, just after we started North I finally got a fire extinguisher into the Jeep, actually two, one below and to the outside of each front seat. Good thing! The one I pulled out broke when I tried to take the cap off and was not usable. I grabbed the other to do the job. It turns out an oil rag was left on the skid plate. Evidently these nice skid plates that protect the engine so well are a problem for oil changes. The last oil change also spilled some oil on the plate but fortunately there wasn’t an oily rag left that time. I’m not sure what the best answer is but, at a minimum I’ll check for spillage and oil rags in the future. With that excitement over, I cleaned up the skidplate after it cooled off and parked the Jeep in our new campsite. While I was off with the Jeep Lou re-registered us for another day here and mentioned we could use more sun. This campground is well covered with trees, all but two sites, both of which were empty so she registered us in the most sunny one. Now it was time to get the motorhome oil changed. Even with all the mixups this morning I still think Jiffy Lube did a good job, better than most oil and lube services. We put everything it it’s place and rolled on over. They got me in right away. I think that they planned on doing the oil change in the lot. They seemed to be worried about my height. Me, I was more worried about my width. I usually fit through the doors by loosening my mirrors and rotating them to get a couple of more inches of clearance giving me about two inches of clearance on each side. Plenty of room. Their door was 12 feet high and I’m only 10.5 feet high so height wasn’t a problem. I slipped in and slipped out with a nice oil change. I got to use a $5 coupon form this mornings oil change and I also mentioned the fire and they gave me another $10 off so I was even more pleased. That and I didn’t even have to wait to get the smog test as well. While I was getting the oil changed Lou popped in to Costco, next door, for some V-8 juice which we forgot on the visit yesterday. She picked up lunch as well, a chicken wrap for me and Polish dog for herself. On our way back we stopped at a thrift store Lou hadn’t been to yet. We settled in to our new campsite. Lou’s been busy cleaning and packing and repacking. I ran the Jeep up on blocks and checked underneath to be sure there was no damage. Nothing damaged and not even much oil on the plate. The oil rag collected most of it like they probably thought it would. They just forgot the last step, remove the rag. I took the opportunity to clean off a bunch of gravel and cement like dust caked on the skid plate as well. We should be ready to leave tomorrow morning.

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