Friday, August 01, 2008

Mechanically Challenged

Everybody that knows me knows that I am mechanically challenged. I am much more comfortable with a wand in hand than a wrench or screw driver. (and about as effective!) But even I should be able to change a headlight on a car with no problems, right?

Wrong.

The geniuses the designed my 1997 Chrysler LHS (now totaled from hail damage) make it so that you have to have an engineering degree to change the headlamps. To simply change the headlights, one has to remove a large rubber cover that spans the width of the car (eight screws), the head lamp assemblies (two bolts each) and then you can finally get at the light bulbs ($19/pair for the medium quality) to replace them. Then, of course, the entire process is reversed to re-assemble the car into the pre-tragedy condition. I'm glad that I had the owner's manual to help figure it all out. It would have been much easier if my friend CW was close by to help with auto repair stuff.

I grew up working at a gas station and know that it is somebody's job to hide the hood release from owners and mechanics. Today's gas tanks are relatively easy to find (you just have to remember which side of the vehicle it's on). I remember them behind license plates and tail light assemblies! But hiding the hood release or gas tank is a harmless prank compared to making something so complicated that you have to take your car to the shop (at about $65/hr) for a simple maintenance item. That's just plain mean. Whatever happened to simplicity?

I'm definitely becoming more curmudgeonly, aren't I?

Where is the kind hearted fellow from the last post? See what a little bit of auto repair can do. It can make mumbling idiots and mean guys out of otherwise sane and stable people. (that's an opening for Mike)

John

5 comments:

Bilbo said...

There are definitely people out there in automotive design land who are making six-figure salaries figuring out how to make simple things impossible for real people to do. It's all part of the full employment plan for auto mechanics.

Anonymous said...

come on now, cars now are a zillion times better than they were when a socket wrench and a phillips head screwdriver was all you needed for 90 percent of car repairs. your headlight assembly is all about aerodynamics, bro.

besides, you have a job. or three. go ahead and pay someone to fix the car. in turn, they will pay you to give some mumbling instructions to their flight overhead.

Steve

John said...

Yeah, Steve.
I primarily live by the philosophy that I get paid well to do the job that I know how to do, I ought to be willing to pay somebody else to do the job that they know how to do. But come on, a headlight?! It kind ticks me off.

Mike said...

Sometimes I will tackle something that I should let somebody else do just because. I used to change my own oil but not anymore. It's to much trouble to get rid of.

Oh, and, no comment.

CW said...

You could've called and I would have walked you through it.....and then we could have gone to get a few whopper