Farewell, Buick

Today I sold off my Buick Regal to Carmax.

I’ve only had the car as my own vehicle for a few years, but man, did this guy have its share of issues.  Looking back now, I should have stuck with the Ford Escort.  It’s still plugging away just fine for my uncle.  And the Escort is two years older!

Oh well.  At least I got a thousand dollars out of it.  It looks like the Volt is my car now.

Mirror, Mirror on the Windshield

Apparently, my car isn’t quite done trolling me just yet.  Monday night I noticed that something was off with my windshield.  The glue holding the rearview mirror in place failed, and the mirror was hanging by its electrical cables.  Our family has a terrible history of fixing these ourselves, but I figured I would give it go.  Well, the first attempt with a improvised solution had less than stellar results.  In fact, it was pretty much a failure.  I can’t seem to get the metal mount out of the mirror itself, even after unscrewing the screw, and that weight plus the adhesive I was using didn’t seem to work.  So I bought a kit with its own adhesives, and I’ll try once again tomorrow.  First I need to figure out how to get that metal mount out of the mirror!

Mirror, mirror on the car

Mom noticed that my driver-side mirror was turning orange. Turns out that there’s water between the laminate and the glass, and I have no idea how to get it out. Mom initially thought we should replace the whole mirror, but that’s a $90 option which still requires reprinting. We found we could just buy the glass and stick it over the old mirror for just $10.

Unfortunately, I found out the glass isn’t exactly a perfect fit. It’s properly sized for the mirror, but the seal around the mirror is a bit thick, meaning the new mirror doesn’t actually touch the existing glass. Back to the drawing board!

Light Bulb!

Two of the rear lights on my car burned out a few weeks ago.  Since they weren’t any of the turn indicators, I didn’t have the constant hyper-blinking reminding me to change them out.  But I finally remembered to change them out today.  Unfortunately, those lights are part of the light panel attached to my trunk’s lid.  If you’ve seen my car, you would know the light cover is one solid piece that stretches the length of the lid.  I was hoping this meant that the light bulbs just twisted out from behind, but I wasn’t so lucky.  No, I had to pull the entire panel off and then unswivel the lights from beneath that.  It’s not that difficult, but it isn’t very convenient, either.  Who wants to pull off a three foot long panel to switch out two half-inch bulbs?  The weirdest thing of all, though, was that one of the burned out bulbs had a big crack in the glass.  How did that happen?

Here we go again

Car issues persist!  Last week, my car needed a jump to get going, but was fine the next few days.  Unfortunately, yesterday it failed to start again.  New battery time!  Unfortunately, my car isn’t set up to just easily pull out the battery and swap in a new one.  No, you have to unscrew a crossbar first!  Not terribly difficult, I know, but it just seems like they could have thought that one out a bit better.   And oh yeah, I might be leaking coolant.  At least the battery thing I could fix on my own.

Stupid Car

My car finally passed the smog check yesterday, after six (!) attempts.  To say it was getting a little annoying is an understatement.  But with that restriction finally out of the way, I was able to complete my registration and get my 2013 sticker.  I’m trying not to think about the cost of repairs that went into making sure the car passed, though.  And the cherry on top: now the gas gauge is acting up, thinking the tank is empty when it’s nearly full.  Let’s just hope that that is something that’s covered by the previous repairs.


The Alleged Car

The car had more problems, so it’s back in the shop again.  And the worst part?  The instrument panel had another, unrelated problem, so it had to be fixed anyways!  Fate is mocking me, I think.  At any rate, I should get my car back on Friday.  I’m hoping that this is the last time!  We even took it to a Buick dealership to be sure.  I just need to get through this freaking smog check!  Why is this so hard??

I fixed something!

The electronic odometer on my car has been dead for a few months now.  I knew what had broken on it, and it was a relatively simple fix, but it required opening up the dashboard first.  That didn’t seem like an easy task.  But this problem was starting to irritate me, and so I looked into it.  Turns out, taking off the dashboard panel isn’t hard at all – there’s only one screw and the rest are just tabs holding it in place.  So I got in my car, took a deep breath, and started pulling.  It opened up remarkably easily!

I unscrewed the instrument panel, unplugged the cord connected to it, and brought it inside.  Opening up the panel, I knew the problem was a bunch of resistors had broken loose form their solder over the years.  Of course, I had forgotten which ones those were!  But after a brief consult on Youtube, I figured out the issue, soldered the resistors back on, and was ready to go.

After that, it was time to reassemble.  Easiest thing was placing the instrument panel housing back on – it snapped together like so many G.I. Joe vehicles I’ve had over the years.

Then I brought it back to the car, and my mess of parts.

I put the instrument panel back in place and connected the cable.  Turning on the car to see if if my fix had taken place, I was greeted with this sight:

Success!  The mileage could be read again!  I was ecstatic at this point.  Now it was time to put the screws back in and pop the dashboard panels in place.  It took a minute or two of fiddling around to get everything just right, but I think I did a pretty good job, all told.