Sunday, December 11, 2005

ShadeTree Mechanic

One of those little chores in life I despise is repairing automobiles.

I have had too much opportunity in the past to do so.

To minimize the angst generated I troubleshoot issues based on "fix the cheapest first".

Replacing the least expensive link in the chain is the best way to start.

Unfortunately in this last case it worked to the extent that I spent an additional $200 in parts.

Of course that is still $250 less, at the minimum, then I would have been charged to have it fixed by an automotive repair shop.

All it cost me was time, a little flesh from fingers and an additional ten points in blood pressure.

The "it" by the way was a power car window.

The common wisdom was this would be a power window motor aka regulator.

Tearing the door apart and replacing the window regulator did not produce the desire result.

The next step was to remove and tear down the power window switch assembly. Sure enough it had a burnt contact in the "up" position.

I used sand paper to clean the contact and what do I get? Sparks, that's right the precursor to fire, rather than a window rolling up.

Okay, I thought, time to get a new door/window switch.

I checked the parts stores and they didn't carry it.

I called the appropriate dealership and they have them but there are several possible models. I check the part numbers on min and am informed the item is $180. Gah!

I checked ebay and the item is $70 not including shipping or that the item will work.

Best to buy the appropriate one that is "known good".

I purchase it, put it into place and voila power windows work again.

It could have been much worse.

Luckily this time I had help. Help amouonted to someone yelling a Tourtette's laden screech whenever I said, "Now please". Not having to do my own swearing took a bit of the work off my mind.

It all could have been far worse. I could have been troubleshooting electrical systems on a British car.

British cars are without doubt the very proof of the existence of a malevolent evil force in life. Or perhaps it is just grandiose, indifferent, ineptitude.

Luckily the British are far better at beer than they are engineering.

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