Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Blood, broken nails and greasy fingers.

Let me start by reminding you that I will be writing here from now on. I didn't like the other blog very much, so I am moving it back here. One of these days I will move those posts from the "other site" here.

I was very proud of myself today. I did something that many women fear and loathe...I did a repair to my car. I know what you're thinking...Christa is a klutz, spills things, gets bruises all the time from walking into solid objects, etc. HOW is she going to do car work? Well, she will tell you!

I was on my way home from Sabrina's yesterday and my old man neighbor was taking his trash out and politely told me that my left headlight was burned out. I told him thank you and my first thought was "What do I do! Is it too late to call my dad?" I then pulled myself together. I am a woman and if my own personal car needs a small repair, why can't I just do it? I don't need my Dad or another man to talk me through it! I can do it! I am fantastic and can fix my car! I am a genius! Now...where to start...

Owner's manual, of course! I open the owners manual and skim through the "Replacing Head Lamp" section, then off to my local, friendly AutoZone.

$15.35 later, I am standing in front of my car, hood up, owners manual in hand. The instructions say to remove the rubber stopper looking thing. Easy Peasy. I stick my hand in to feel around, because of course, I hadn't thought about bringing a flashlight out and couldn't see a thing. I pull slightly...hmmm. Not working. I can feel the "rubber thing" and try pushing it...hmmm. Nada. I then decide maybe I need to pull harder...and it works. Unfortunately as I pulled, my hand smashed into a large metal box-like mechanism and when I looked, there was a large scratch across my hand. No surprise, right? At least I got the "rubber thing" out! Moving on...

Step 2. Move the guide wire to the side - Now I would just like to preface this my saying my owners manual had a very informative diagram of how to pull the wire aside, with arrows showing the direction to slide it! Of course, since I am a college educated woman, I follow the words, sliding the wire out of its home and what do you know? It comes off in my hand. I am thinking it wasn't supposed to be detached though...I set it aside.

Step 3. Remove old bulb - Easiest step. It slid right out!

Step 4. Grease the new bulb - The friendly cashier at AutoZone gave me a small packet of some sort of grease. I didn't ask her about it because I am a college-educated woman who is fantastic and I don't need instructions on grease, but the truth is, of course, is I had no idea what this grease was for. Do you put it on the bulb? The "rubber thing"? Maybe it goes on the wire that is now sitting in the grass? None of the above, my friends! Referring to my owners manual, I found that the grease goes right on the bottom of the bulb where it fits in the "rubber thing"! I greased it up well, wiping my hands on my jeans of course, without thinking and readied myself to insert the bulb. It was then I noticed my thumb...and the lack of long nail that was there last night when I spent $30 on my manicure. In place of the long nail was a jagged, rough fingernail piece. Swearing under my breath and rethinking my mechanical ability, I slide the bulb into the hole.

Step 5. Slide guide wire into place. Moving is still laying in the grass.

Step 6. Push "rubber thing" back into place. I reach for the "rubber thing" which I had placed on the metal box-like mechanism and notice it missing. Damn. I start looking all over for it and after a few minutes of looking at wires, greasy metal pieces and hoses, I bend down to pick up the owner's manual and notice a black blob under my car. Hurrah! The "rubber thing"! I pushed that sucker back in like it was my job!

Step 7. Bask in the thrill of victory. - I did it! I changed my headlight! I am just as good as any man!

I was so proud of myself, in fact, that I called my sister and updated my Facebook page with the good news. The call to my sister set me back a bit though...she said AutoZone does it for free if you buy the bulb and it only takes a minute.

Here is the damage - 1 bloody cut on my hand, 2 broken finger nails, $15.35 for the bulb, $30 for the manicure I have to get redone, panic when I lost the "rubber thing", an hour wasted of my day, but the pride I felt was worth it all! So ladies, if you need a boost in the self esteem department, change your headlight!

PS...If anyone knows what I should do with the random wire, please let me know! :)