Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Bonehead: Headlight Replacement

Isn't pride a sin? I think so. Anyway, I take great pride in keeping my 12 year old Honda Accord in working condition. I'm gonna drive that POS until the wheels fall off. Except for a ton of dings and a few quarks, it's actually in good shape. As long as it gets me where I'm going, I'm happy.

A few days ago, my headlight burned out. Ugh. I replaced them once before (I told you, I've had this car for a long, long time) so I figured, "no problem". I went to Advanced Auto, got the right bulb, and scooted home...again proud of myself for only spending $8.

I get home, pop open the hood, move the radiator overflow tank out of the way and get to work. First off, the cap/gasket-like ring is jammed. After a half hour, I get out the serious tools: screwdriver and hammer. That's right...it's wrecking time! Even after bloodying myself, the gasket won't budge. Ok, time to call in the big guns: Lockjaw Pliers! I locked on to the old socket and just started yanking. Yeehaww!

Finally, after some dreadful sounding cracking and breaking, the gasket moves and I get the old
bulb out. Seemingly, nothing is irreparably broken. I bust out the shiny replacement bulb...ugh...not fitting. (I even consulted my owners manual...the shame.) After triple checking the part number and trying every way from Sunday to get this guy in, I give up. 1.5 hours expended--still a pidittle.

At the end of my rope, the following day, I plead mercy with Advanced Auto, "...anything you can think of?" There's a pause on the other end, "Well, sir, I hate to insult your intelligence but perhaps are you attempting to replace the high beam instead of the low beam?" Crap. I'm an idiot. I sheepishly thank him for the advice--knowing for sure that's the issue.

On the way home, I buy a second low beam (don't want to do this again for a while) and a high beam bulb to replace the one I mistakenly murdered with the Lockjaws. Sure enough, the high beam bulb drops right into the hole. All told, it takes me 5 minutes (tops) to replace three bulbs.

Moral of the story: always make sure you're working with the right beam when replacing headlights!

Props to Advanced Auto...thanks for helping me through my bonehead move. BTW, I really like this store--only auto store I'll visit. They came out to the parking lot to test and replace my wife's car battery for her--no extra charge. Nice.

No comments: