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If you have been reading this blog or following us on social media for any amount of time, you know that our family has la pata caliente, as my grandparents used to say. Whether it’s a trip North to Disney or South to the Florida Keys, a birthday party, visiting family, or attending an event, we are always on the road. Case in point: this weekend we had a birthday party in Broward in the morning, my nail appointment near our house in the early afternoon, and Eric and I were invited to an event near downtown Miami in the evening. We probably put 200 miles on the car on Saturday alone. All that traveling around South Florida would be so much more tedious if we didn’t have our reliable car to get us there.
With a few trips scheduled in the coming months, my husband and I have added routine maintenance for Kristen, our trusty Kia Sorento, to our to-do list. With over 120,000 miles, we need to stay on top of any service she needs. On the list currently are things like: rotate and balance all four tires, get a detailed cleaning, get an oil change, and deal with that pesky “Check Engine” light.
We normally take Kristen in for an oil change every 3,000 to 4,000 miles, but the sticker on my dash showed the last one was 4,600 miles ago, so an oil change was immediately bumped to the top of the list. Since we had that event on Saturday night, the boys spent the night at their grandparents’ house. Before picking them up on Sunday, Eric and I decided that we’d head over to the Walmart SuperCenter in Florida City, just 10 minutes from my suegros’ house, and have our care serviced at the Auto Center while we took care of some shopping needs inside the store.
As we drove up to the service bay, I was thrilled to see the sign indicating that the Pit Crew Service Oil Change Service starts at just $19.88. (More money for shopping, err, I mean, necessities! Score!!)
Eric got a call from work that he had to answer as we’re walking into the service center, so I ended up being the one to tell the service advisor what we needed. Fortunately, I know enough car lingo to explain that we needed a standard oil change, and we’d like to use the Quaker State Advanced Durability 10W-40 motor oil, ideal for our car since she has a very slow leak, please! Our information was put into their computer, we gave them the keys, and off we went to do our shopping.
Since it was a Sunday, there were several other cars in front of us, but by the time we finished our shopping our car was next in line, which provided the perfect opportunity to watch as they serviced our dear Kristen.
At Walmart Auto Centers, they don’t raise the cars, there are these cool cage-looking things in the floor of the shop. One technician goes down by a set of stairs, closes the cage, and works on the car from the bottom, draining the oil and changing the filter, while another technician checks the battery, checks and adjusts tire pressure as needed, adds the new oil, and tops off the other fluids. The second technician even vacuumed the inside of the car for us!
The oil change process took less than 20 minutes, and I like to imagine Kristen felt refreshed and renewed when we drove away, kind of like how I feel after a manicure.
That wasn’t the only item crossed off our to-do list that day, though. My father-in-law, who knows a bit about mechanics, realized why the check engine light was on. The place we took her to for a tune up a few months ago plugged in some cables the wrong way, and one of them was loose. Hubby said he’d take the car to be detailed this week, so that leaves just balancing and rotating the tires before the first of our upcoming road trips, our drive to Cocoa Beach in late-October for the half marathon I’ll be participating in. As much as I enjoy running, I do it for fun: my preferred mode of transportation, whether 2 miles to work or 200 miles on a weekend, is definitely my girl Kristen!