Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Adventures in do-it-myself

I've been in a do-it-myself mood lately. There are times when I wish I could just do stuff myself. It's easier, I can get it done quickly and in a way that makes sense to me, and I can get it done right.

At home, I can absolutely do that. I am, after all, in charge at home. So, that's what I've been doing.

Over the weekend, I changed out some of the hardware in my bathroom. I've had towel bars in there that I've hated ever since I moved into the house. Now, they are gone. And I am very, very happy about that.

Of course, sometimes I have to get creative with these projects. I went from towel bars to towel hooks (actually robe hooks, but I am super pleased with how they turned out as towel hooks). And in one place I rearranged some decorations to cover the non-painted wallpaper that was hiding underneath where the towel bar once was.

Easier than trying to paint the blue loo again, that's for sure.

Tonight's project was to replace another speaker in my car. My dad helped me with the last one. But I watched closely during that whole surgical procedure and I felt confident that I could do it myself this time.

Because conveniently, another speaker decided to start rattling and has been ruining my car-music-listening experience again.

I bought the ridiculously expensive speaker on my way home tonight. Although to be fair, when I called to make sure they had a speaker for me, the guy agreed that the speaker was ridiculously overpriced and he knocked about $30 off the price when I told him what I paid for the other one I bought a few months ago.

Anyway, got the speaker home, got into some speaker-changing clothes, got some tools. Good to go.

Then I realized that I was about to take the cover off of my car door and I had a moment of thinking that maybe I shouldn't do this myself . . .

Nah. I watched my dad do it. What could go wrong?

Taking the cover off really isn't that hard. And actually, it's a little scary to think how easy the cover comes off. Is that safe???

I pulled out the busted speaker from the guts of the door and I put in the new one. I even turned on the radio to check and make sure it worked before I put the door back together. You know, like a professional would do.

Speaker worked. Check!

Then I plugged things in (door lock switch thingy, electric mirror mover thingy, door handle opener thingy), and I put the cover back on the door. But before I put in the two screws that hold the whole thing together (yes, only TWO screws), I decided to check and make sure everything was working as well as my new speaker was working.

Yes, I was totally rocking out to my new speaker while I put the door back together.

Mirrors? Check.
Door unlock? Check.
Door lock? Uh..... not so much.

Funny, the switcher thingy would unlock the doors, but not so much lock the doors. Which, in case you were wondering, was not the case before I took the door apart.

Not good.

So, I took the door apart again. I unhooked everything. I re-hooked everything.

Still no-go on the door locking.

I tried the other door to make sure that the locking thingy was at least working somewhere in the car. Um . . . now that one isn't working either. How is that even possible??? I didn't touch that door.

Ok. There is only one thing that hooks into the door unlocking mechanism. One would think that since there is only one hook-up, if the unlocking was working, the locking would also work. So . . . what do I do now? The extent of my knowledge of how cars work is limited to . . . pretty much taking the door apart just now.

Oh, and changing out windshield wiper blades. I'm really good at that.

Then it hit me: OWNER'S MANUAL

I grabbed the owner's manual to troubleshoot the following: automatic door locker mechanism thingy not working after taking door apart, even though automatic UNlocking seems to work just fine.

I found the answer in the book under . . . Locks.

Apparently when the key is in the ignition and the car door is open, you can't lock the car. As I looked around, I realized that was my situation.

Keys were in the ignition so that I could rock out to my new speaker, and the door was open because you can't really take it apart with it closed.

Ok, so . . . all is well. And I proceeded to put the door back together again.

Then, one more time before putting the two screws back in the door, I checked everything to make sure it was working.

Door unlock? Check.
Door LOCK? Check. (I took the keys out of the ignition)
Mirrors? Uh . . . . nope.

Ok, now the electric mirrors aren't doing what they are supposed to do. I turned the car back on. Still nothing.

I took the door apart again. I unplugged and replugged everything again. I tested everything. Everything worked.

I put the door together again.


New speaker. Everything works. I only scratched the very bottom of the door where no one can see.

And I only have two bloody fingers.

Totally worth it. And I'm pretty much an expert now on taking my car doors off.



el mol said...

hey T !

Roberta S said...

All I can say, CT, is that you are utterly amazing!

A licensed mechanic would have never figured all that out.

Big-Daddy said...

Ahh. I know that I have trained you well if blood comes into the picture! Always keep band-aids in the tool box.

Love ya,