Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Minor Car Repairs

A few weeks ago, I shared the story of my car and how it was falling apart. Then, I did nothing about it whatsoever.

Yesterday I decided that just because the car was crumbling to bits didn't mean that it also had to be filthy, so I went to get it washed. Typically, I'd drive a block from my office to the Presidential Car Wash, where I'd pay for the most basic package --express value something or other.  But because of the broken rearview mirror, I was hesitant to send it through the car wash tunnel with all its spinning brushes and aggressive water streams.

Instead, I went to one of those do-it-yourself car wash places that I've never seen the point of and still don't. Like, for the same price as the express value whatever, you can do all the work yourself and come back from your lunch break redfaced and sweaty, with soaking wet soapy shoes.

But okay. After bumbling my way through the 8-step, 3 brush car-washing process, swiping my credit card for extra time twice, my car was cleanish and I drove into the vacuuming/detailing section.

While leaning over the backseat, shoving the vacuuming wand under the driver's seat and debating if throwing out spare change was bad for one's financial karma, I found myself face to face with the broken center console.

Upon closer examination, I realized that all I really needed to do was click it back into place and attach the round cap to the side and... perfection!

There was only one "extra" piece that I didn't include.

That was surprisingly easy. It begged the question: Was my car's bad condition partially a result of my own neglect? I know, it seems far fetched...

I turned my attention to the dislodged rear view mirror.  After my initial roadside repair with the help of a nearby contractor, I was driving this around:

It held up for about 3 days, until I was driving on the freeway and the tape began to unstick, little by little, until pieces of it were flapping in the breeze as I zoomed along at 70 mph. Afraid the whole thing would come undone and cause a series of catastrophic events ending in a 20-car pile up, I drove for several miles with the window down and my left hand securing the mirror.

As soon as I exited the freeway I found a Walgreens and stopped in to buy some duct tape. They only had black, not the regular gray that's the shade of pencil lead. That's weird, right? I bought it and added another layer of tape in critical areas.

The mirror looked really really stupid by this point. Even worse than before, which I didn't think was possible considering where we began.

At any rate, while at the DIY car wash place, I ripped off all of the tape and started fresh. And, call me crazy, but if you squint a little and don't look directly at it, you don't even notice the tape.

Now on a roll, I worked on the seatbelt holder thingy, which was a little tricky to click back into place, but was once again in working order.

And in a final act of car-loving desperation, I sprung for the Armor All kit ($3.00 in quarters at the vending machine) and wiped down the dashboard.

Using the phrase, "good as new" would be an overstatement here, but the car's looking better than it has in years.

From a distance.

1 comment:

  1. this is very interesting. that screw like thing in your hand, black plastic, cross pattern of the head? While cleaning my basement yesterday I came across the exact same thing, held in my hand and asked myself, "what the hell is this?"

    an odd intersection of two bloggers indeed. Have a great day, your cars looks good :)