Grease monkey

If you've perused much of my blog, esp. the DIY posts, you know that I like to work on cars. No, I'm not a technician and I didn't go to school to be a mechanic. I am an Iowa farm kid, so I learned how to work on cars out of necessity and from watching and helping my Dad.
Anyway, tomorrow (Dec. 4) I will be spending some time under a couple of cars. First, my son and I will do the rather simple but necessary task of changing the oil in his 2005 Nissan Altima. Most likely, he will be the one doing the lion's share of the work on that. After that, I'll be working on my nephew's Volvo again. This time, I'll be replacing the rear shock absorbers. That should be a relatively simple job, too. If I have time, I may move on to replacing the outer tie rods on his car, too. We'll see how it goes.
Probably in the next couple of weeks, I will do some work on my 2008 Saturn Astra. It's developed a leak, and it appears to me to be coming from the oil cooler. So, I will be replacing the those seals. It's not too challenging a task (in theory🙂), but it's kind of "steppy" as my wife would say (see the video below). In terms of cost, not counting the value of my time, I should be able to get it repaired for under $100. If I took it to the shop, I suspect labor alone would be at least $150. Of course, if I find that the oil cooler itself or the oil filter assembly (of which the oil cooler is a part) are damaged, then . . . well . . . that would put it well up over $100 because I would buy OEM parts--but doing it myself would still save me a ton of moola. But for me, it's not just about saving money, this sort of work is "therapy" for me because it gives me a break from my normal work.
Also, next weekend I'll be replacing the passenger side mirror on my sister's Nissan Frontier. She and her hubs bought a new house, which means that she can park her pickup in a garage. She's not used to that, so she had a little mishap backing out one morning, as I understand it. Don't worry Sis, we've all been there. Have you seen the dent in the front driver's side fender of our Santa Fe?🙂

UPDATE (Dec. 4): I ended up doing the outer tie rods on my nephew's car after completing the shocks. I must say that (but probably shouldn't because I will jinx the next tie rod job), those were the easiest tie rod ends to remove and replace that I have ever done, despite needing to use a little heat persuasion (= torch) on the driver's side).