Tool Time Nightmare Stories

Over the years, I’ve spent a great deal of time doing basic maintenance on my vehicles. Enough so that there should be a huge pile of money somewhere representing the repair costs I’ve avoided. I keep looking for it but can never find it.

Recently, Volvo brake light goes out. Take a look and see no way to access bulb from the back. It must require removing the assembly. Need deep socket (which I don’t have) to access retaining nut. Go to repair shop and pay $40 and avoid ticket. Cursing lightly under my breath.

While cruising Home Depot one day, spot a metric deep socket set for $7 and purchase same. Just in case….

The OTHER rear brake lamp fails 3 weeks later. Merrily skip downstairs to the tool dungeon and then, cheerily remove retaining nut with deep socket, 10mm, guessed right first time.

Drop nut down into the bowels of the interior. Curse mightily. Sigh. After 10 minutes of pushing and pulling gently (at first), come to the realization that access is NOT by removing the housing unit. Curse anew. Retreat to the Internet and discover access is through the speaker unit, with a simple tab closure. Test this theory. Bazinga. Hear the faint lilt of angels singing from somewhere in the vast distance. Huzzah. Access the offending bulb and note the distressed filament. Good sign. Note that the replacement bulb has 2 filaments. Mentally prepare a chorus of new cursing to be held in abeyance until required, when the new bulb is the wrong part. Replace bulb

Wrestle with that GD!!! Bulb socket until FINALLY getting it re-seated. Practice cursing at the same time. Call for assistant to step on the brake. The angels again break into song. The light works just fine.

One last gremlin left. The lost nut. It will work without the errant nut, but……I may just be able to see the recalcitrant imp down in a crevasse. No tool at hand. However, there is always DUCT TAPE, and it proves worthy yet again.

God in his heaven, all is right with the world. Until NEXT time!!!

Here’s the next time – 6/2013

I volunteered to “help” a friend repair/replace the front disc brakes on his 1996 Camry. How hard could it be?

First off, there was little left beyond a hunk of rust. The old brake pads literally fell apart when we opened up the caliper. We had new rotors and pads but struggled in vain for 2 hours Friday to get the new pads into the old calipers. Oh, SO much fun!

Saturday, Bill had to work, and I had the go-ahead to buy new calipers. Well, that should make things easy!

Between the pads being a little too wide (rasp file to the nub ends, for several iterations) and the clips being recalcitrant, and those 2 little wire spring things designed personally by Satan to vex me into a fatal seizure, it took 6 hours to get both assemblies bolted back in. The bleeding seemed to go well, but on the final test drive, the pedal went almost to the floor and barely stopped the car. Failure. Ugh.

The litany of cursing and high blood pressure should have led to some manner of award or punishment for me. It did cause me to vow to never again offer to do any favor for anyone ever.

But this afternoon, one last go at bleeding the brake lines led to a successful conclusion. Bill saved at least $150, and I shortened my life by at least several months.

But Billy Stewart sings, it’s “Summertime, and the living is easy!”


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This entry was posted on April 30, 2013 and is filed under Extra Curricular Activities. Written by: . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.