Monday, July 30, 2012

Automotive Repair? Me?

You know that moment when your turn your turn signal on and it blinks at a double the normal pace?  You know what that means, right?  It means one of your blinker bulbs has died.   Ugh!  What an annoyance.  I know it is not a big deal, but I've never done replaced a blinker bulb...front or rear...on any car I've ever owned.  Seriously...I've always had a dad, a boyfriend, or a husband to take care of these little nuisances for me.  (I know, very disgrace to women everywhere...I'll deal with the shame.)

This is the tail end of my car...not exciting, I know.
 Still, I mentioned to Superman that I had a blinker bulb out and he suggested I could take it to our local mechanic and have him change it out for $20 or so.  $20!  to change a lightbulb?  Seriously.  I had to be able to do it hard could it be?  I'm smart, I'm capable, I do know how to change a lightbulb.  And I certainly don't want to pay $20 for someone to change a lightbulb for me.

I determined that it was the rear blinker bulb that was dead.  Then I went to my local Napa Auto Parts and had them look up what kind of bulb I needed.  (There is a book for that...did you know?)

This is what lurks behind the colored lense.  Three little lightbulbs.
After that, all I needed to do was actually change the bulb...still, I didn't really know how to do that.  So, I did what every modern person does these days when they want to know how to do anything...I searched YouTube for instructions:  How to change the bulb on a Suburban Tail Light...  And, of course, I found a video.

See how the socket is blackened?  It has gone bad...had a short
or something...the bulb didn't light up.

Easy, peasy, right?  Wrong.  The new lightbulb didn't light up.  Turned out that my tail light socket had actually burned out and I needed to replace the socket.  Another quick trip to Napa (I love those guys...they are all guys who worked on cars as kids) and I had a new socket. 

There you have it...the burned out socket.

It was simple work to switch out the socket, I had already disconnected everything that needed to be disconnected.  After that, it was short work to unhook the connector and switch out the sockets.

New sockets...the package came with both driver's side and passenger
side sockets for $3 more than just one.  You never know...
Back home again, I switched out the socket, put in all the bulbs, and tested my turn signal.  Ta da!  It worked!

Let there be light!!  Woot!  I did it correctly and my lightbulb lit up!
There you have foray into the world of automotive repair.  Have I mentioned I'm ready for Superman to come home?

Best part?  I got it all back together correctly.  Looks just
like a normal, unremarkable tail light.  Success!
I'll be this would have cost even more than $20 if I'd paid someone to do it.  I am pretty darned proud of myself.  Have you ever changed a tail light?  Is this one of those things that everyone has done and I just never knew it?

Still, I'd say this counts as productive, wouldn't you?

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