Sunday, March 30, 2008

Wrestling the Beast

Last night, late in the evening as I was getting set for a long trek home, it was brought to my attention (thanks False Prophet) that my passenger side headlight had blown out. Dang. It was much too late to do anything about it then, so I drove home by well lit routes, and dealt with the problem today. The only other time I have had a light go out on this car it was the driver's side, and after reading a horrifying account of how I would be required to remove power steering this, and fluid chamber that in order to reach the bulb in question, I decided: "Egads! This is a job for professionals!". The passenger side though, so the book said, only required the shifting of the battery to access the bulbs. This, I decided, was doable.

So, I trundled off to Canadian Tire, and discovered that they have a handy dandy little guide in the headlight section that tells you which type of bulb you need for your model of car. After weighing the options of high end 20% extra light, over low to mid-range get the job done, likely just as well, bulbs, I went with a mid-range. Feeling, by this time, pretty proud that I'd been able to figure the business out without the assistance of any of the usually patronizing car section workers.

Back home, I dug out my beloved and oft ignored C-wrench, and hit the garage to wage war against the battery and light sockets. Moving the battery was easy, I found the light wiring no problem, but for the life of me I couldn't get it unplugged. There was much pacing. Much muttering of very unladylike words indeed. I threw up my hands in disgust and retreated indoors. Perhaps, I thought, if I call my dad he'll have a suggestion. Dads know about these things, right? Not home. The internet then. Success! A site that gave alternate instructions to those in the blasted book.

Back outside, I tried the new method. The bulb came out of the socket, but I still couldn't get it unplugged. More pacing. More cursing. More huffing. Then. Lightbulb moment! (heh...) Needle nose pliers is what I need to get a better grip on the bulb and help to pull it out of the plug. Back inside, back outside, and finally! It is out!

The putting of the new bulb into the socket was much easier than the getting out of the old one. It was but the work of a moment. Turn on the car to test. Yes! Success! After only about 45 more minutes than it ought to take I had changed my first car headlight!

So. The answer to that age old question of how many librarians it takes to change a lightbulb is 1. But you might have to wait awhile as she figures it out, and a bit longer as she wrestles with the equipment, and even longer while she tells you about her process.

I'm a little proud. I like to think of myself as a fairly handy. I install my own curtains and blinds, build my Ikea furniture easily, fix stuff around the house, build a secure housing system for my window A/C unit that I install myself, etc. But I've always been fairly terrified of the car. I can add washer fluid and check my oil levels, but that's basically been the extent of it before now. There's something fairly satisfying about having conquered the beast, and about being completely covered in sticky black crap from inside the hood of the car. Altogether, a pretty nice little Sunday.

1 comment:

False Prophet said...

Awesome! I'm proud of you!

Next week on Mad Jenny's Garage, we'll look at changing the windshield wipers... ;-)