Sunday, January 20, 2008

Shade tree Piper...

Boy, i've done it now... Friday, i bought a battery for our car since i had to get jumped twice just to get to the store to get it. I got home, unloaded groceries and the Royals who proceeded to scatter about the yard like little puppies released from a shoebox, i suppose the only thing lacking was watching a couple of them squat for a pee.

Computerization has made for a fine running, more comfortable vehicle, but man they're hard to work on under the shade tree. I will make the disclaimer that, i can usually diagnose the problem correctly, actually FIXING it can be a completely different dog.

Case in point...I start the process of replacing the Diehard. Now...for the most part, i can hold my own underneath the hood. But, when it comes to electricity i'll admit...i'm a little shaky. The new battery had the posts set just a little too far forward on the battery top for the leads on the vehicle to reach the posts. In my mind, its just a problem of logistics...if i turn the battery around, the posts will be closer to the limit of the reach of the leads. Problem being, that puts the red, positive lead connecting to the negative post and vice versa on the other side. But hey, we're just talking about a battery and current outflow, why should it matter which post it comes out of? Right? Yeah, duh...its as simple as that...Wrong...Dead Wrong.

I made the connections and the horn immediately began droning until i could detach the positive lead. Crap. Well, i guess i'll try to do this the right way. I finally succeeded by tilting the battery about 45*, connecting the leads and working it back and forth and conclusively wedged it into proper position, correct leads on their corresponding posts...oh that i had done it that way initially.

Keys in hand, I opened the door, sat my extremely intelligent, fat...as luck would have it...the car started. Whew, you are one lucky son of a...but...where... are... the... panel lights? Why can't i get it in gear?...Wait a minute...why isn't ANYTHING electrical working? Oh...my...good...gawd...what have i done?

I make a call to D2D's eldest, who knows a considerable amount more concerning electricity than most, he says "Well, generally current is meant to flow in only ONE direction in vehicles, when you reverse that...bad things happen. The good thing is, IF your fuses did what they are supposed to do you've probably just burnt a few of those up and replacement is in order. Check out every fuse and see what happens." Well, he was right about that. I smoked a few fuses. One of them being the 140 amp alternator fuse. Its just the biggest, baddest most unavailable fuse in the known world. On top of that, its not just a matter of simply pulling it out and sticking a new one in there. Apparently, (after trying to yank it out like dentist on an unwilling wisdom tooth, thinking it had probably fused itself in the socket, leaving a nasty looking hole of twisted metal shavings), its a little more elaborate than that. In fact, i read this on a website regarding replacing this little imp. "You'll need a 8mm wrench and a phone to call me." This coming from a mechanic. Sweet.

So, the Lexus sits in the garage, yeah i got it off the driveway by finding a manual override button to engage the gear shift, waiting for Monday to make the call to the dealership in OKC to get my options at this point. Because on Tuesday, the Princesses have dental appointments and Wednesday The Queen and i are peeking in the oven to see if its a pig-in-the-blanket or a Strawberry scone.

Great...what lovely freaking timing!

7 comments:

Dawn said...

ouch! call us if we can help :)

Doc said...

"Ouch" is exactly what I was going to say. In return for your bravery in posting such a story, I can only say, "There, but for the grace of God . . ." Good luck.

Bag Blog said...

Doc is right. Ouch! And I will drink a pint of Stella to your "bravery".

I love the puppy simile.

Holder said...

Thanks for stopping by my place. Hope your car only needs a few fuses...

Buck said...

Ummm...this sounds kinda expensive. I hope not.

And people laugh at me for outsourcing seemingly simple tasks. But not shooting yourself in the foot is ultimately cheaper, methinks.

Bou said...

Wait. Is that last sentence inferring what I think it is? Did I miss that post?

The Friendly Neighborhood Piper said...

Thanks for all the non abusive sentiment...i wouldn't necessarily call it bravery, but i certainly concede the point. Expensive? ...well, not as of yet...lets hope.

Bou, yes, yes it does...and yes, yes you did.