Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you. -- Carl Sandburg
There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

June 27, 2012

Rv'ing and the New Immigration Laws

What do the new immigration laws in the west mean for those who wander about in a vehicle?  The Supreme Court just upheld the portion of the AZ law that requires the police to check for papers proving that a person is legally in the US.  They noted that police must not racially profile to determine this and they must have some reasonable suspicion that a person is possibly an illegal alien.  It seems like the two are pretty much inconsistent.  How do you suspect that someone is illegal if you don't racially profile?  If they have an accent?  Would a cop in AZ consider a heavy New England accent to be foreign?  I've heard some so thick I could barely understand them.  Same for some southern accents.  Even particular places in Maryland have very different accents.

June 17, 2012

Fuel Filter Replacement

The last thing on my maintenance list was changing the fuel filter.  Old diesels require bleeding the air out of the fuel lines whenever the filter is changed but that isn't necessary with my Sprinter.  Mercedes-Benz says I should change the fuel filter with every oil change at 10K miles.  Many don't think that is really necessary and change them every other oil change.  Since I have no idea when it was last changed, if ever, I thought it prudent to put in a new one.

June 15, 2012

Oil Change

Sears adjustable oil filter wrench
I got the oil changed and the new filter put into the van today.  Had to go get a special filter wrench from Sears to get it off ($13).  No room at the side for the usual wrenches.  Now, I don't need any of the other wrenches.  My 2005 Sprinter takes 9.5 qts of synthetic oil.  I loosened the filler cap on top of the engine but couldn't budge the filter cap with any of my tools.  I got the oil pan bolt out with quite a bit of effort.  Thought I had failed when I saw a bit of black oil seeping out.  Then I knew I had it and unscrewed it the rest of the way.  I ended up leaving it overnight because I couldn't get the filter cap off.

June 14, 2012

Air Filters

I got all the parts I need to do the regular maintenance on my van.  Clockwise: Air filter, fuel injection clamps for the fuel filter hoses, fuel filter, cabin filter, oil filter, Fumoto valve to replace the drain plug, 10 qts synthetic oil.  I got all but the clamps and oil from Amazon.com.  The clamps were from Advanced Auto and the oil from Walmart.  All this set me back $162.57.  The Fumoto is a one time expense so that won't need to be spent again ($26.40).

June 12, 2012

Van Maintenance

I've been reading a lot of Sprinter-source in the last couple of weeks to get the details on what maintenance my van needs.  I have put on a little over 9,000 miles since I bought it and it was supposed to have had it's maintenance done just before I bought it.  I probably shouldn't have trusted that it was done, but I did.  I checked the oil level and it still looks good.  I had it in my mind that the oil was good for 10K miles and didn't think about the time.