Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Beetle Bits

The battery in my car croaked yesterday. Went out to start the car and...nothing. Well, not exactly nothing, the fan actually came on, but the radio, lights, etc were dead. Didn't even turn over -- I got a pathetic whine out of the starter and...nada. I didn't leave anything on, as far as I know., it just died.

Now, normally this isn't a big deal. Buy a new battery, disconnect the old one and plop the new, shiny battery in place. When we opened the hood, I was forceably reminded that my car has a teeny, weeny engine compartment. The battery is velcroed in and we coudln't see how we were supposed to get it out. We wondered for a moment if the front quarter panel had to come off!

So we dropped it off at the local import garage..where they charged me 172 bucks to replace the battery. I apparently can't buy just any battery for my car -- it's a special munchkin size and requires and hour and a half of labor at the shop to get in place. Yikes! Maybe they did have to take off the body panel.

New cars are more efficient, better designed, safer, and all that -- but does anyone actually work on their own cars anymore? YOu used to be able to practically stand in the engine compartment to replace parts and change the oil. Nowadays, things are packed in there like some jigsaw puzzle and you cant even find some of the parts, much less fix them. Plus, cars have complex brains that simply defy normal humans to fix them. They should just put stickers on them that say, "no user-maintainable parts inside".

It's probably a good thing. I remember people changing their own oil and discarding the used oil down drains or in buckets in the garbage. Definitely not something we ought to be doing.

1 comment:

The Tiger said...

If'n y'all got a real-size car instead of a toy one, you could change th' bat-try your own self. I did on our Passat... No munchkin size required, neither!