Great Moments in (my) Car History

For as long as I’ve been able to drive, cars have been my nemesis. It’s not that I’ve had many problems with them, but they’re just a mystery to me.  No clue how they work, no clue how to fix them, no clue on what to buy. This is how a lot of people feel about computers.

Due to my complete lack of understanding, I get an insanely good feeling when I have any success with repairing a car.

Hammer Time

Months ago my car wouldn’t start.

I could put my key in, but not turn it at all. The lock cylinder needed to be replaced.

During the ride home, my lovely fiance told me to get it towed. I said something to the effect of “we’ll see”. I poked around on the Internet reading about this problem.

Google. “2004 Ford Focus key won’t turn in the ignition”. Result 1.  Hmm, it looks like I can start it by hitting the key with a hammer.

I got a ride to the car with my trusty hammer, bump the key and turn. It starts. HUZZAH! I had to have the lock cylinder replaced (~$100 locally) but I didn’t have to have it towed.  I felt invincible.  I conquered the car.

Lights Out

I was in Kansas City during August of 2006 and my old car’s driver side headlight went out.

For my Kentucky readers, this is a fairly big deal. Many other states are much more strict about driving with one headlight. I heard about this from some co-workers and I knew that I needed to fix the light myself, and soon. Two options: take it to the shop or be a man and fix it your damn self. I didn’t have any time to take it to a shop, so I stopped by an O’Reilly Auto Parts store on the way to DMac’s place and got the right part. Then I began to RTFM. The replacement was easy, but I felt like I was again, unstoppable. I conquered the car yet again.


This has all led to this week. Now my car’s driver side tail light is out.  I haven’t changed a tail light, but I need some good mojo to conquer this beast.

The game plan is on Wednesday to again RTFM. I’ll also have my trusty fiance by my side to help out, and she knows more about cars than I ever will.

I’ve also watched two videos on the subject. Any other advice?

2 Responses to Great Moments in (my) Car History

  1. Emily says:

    Ask Drew!

  2. JohnO says:

    smash out the red plastic….it’ll make access to the bulb much easier. they have red tape that you can then tape back over the smashed hole.

    the path to being a true kentuckian.

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