Thursday, October 25, 2007

Musing on the CabinDwelling Life, Part VIII: Winter and the Aged Subaru

Or, Coming to Terms With the Fact that Winter is Here and You Can't Drive Without Working Lights and Heat So You Better Get Off Your Butt and Fix Some Stuff.

Well, it's back to plugging the car in at night. Better to build the habit now, lest you forget to on a nice 40 below night and end up stuck until you can manage to heat the car up with a borrowed Redi Heater and a blue tarp.

Not that that has ever happened to me or anything.

As you might have noticed so far, if you're one of those kindly, strange souls who read this odd little blog regularly, I'm not only wordy, I am something of a procrastinator.

So it will come as no big surprise that I have needed to fix a cracked headlight lens for oh, say, about a year. That, and I've been losing fan speeds one by one over the last 3 years and I only had one left.

"One speed works just fine," you're saying. "You drive a 17 year-old Loyale. Deal with it, whiner."

Ah, but what happens when you lose that last speed? Suddenly, you're driving down the road at -35 with no defroster, colder than Hell, one hand responsible for both the steering wheel and stick shift, the other frantically scraping a 5" by 5" square of windshield with your least favorite credit card so you can see the road through your otherwise completely frosted over windshield.

Trust me, you don't want this happening, particularly during morning rush hour on the Seward Highway in Anchorage in the middle of a snowstorm.

Not that that has ever happened to me or anything.

One $65 dollar blower motor resistor, 3 screws, 5 minutes of effort, and I had all four speeds again. Luxury!

The headlight lens finally gave out under the constant assault of road gravel out here. Thereafter, water got into the lens when it rained, causing light bulbs to have a tendency to explode. Frequently. Rather than fix it, I've been buying $9 dollar light bulbs. For a whole freaking year.

And, I might add, inquisitive troopers love an opportunity to pull a person over for driving with one headlight.

Not that that has ever happened to me or anything.

Above: The offending part, the blower motor resistor.


Ish said...

wow, very handy! I didn't know it was that simple to fix one of those. I would've done it years ago on my '86 Ranger (which isn't my problem any more). But the brake jobs, fan clutch, alternator, solenoid, starter and wonky lugs always took precedence....

I hope you write a book one of these days about the Cabin-Dwelling Life. There needs to be one.

CabinDweller said...

I had my coworker (who has a ridiculous amount of knowledge of all things mechanical and electrical) telling me how easy it was all summer. I didn't believe him, of course, but thought "What the Hell, why not?"

And it turned out to be just as easy as he said it was.

If only I could do the brakes as easily.

As for a book, aw shucks, thanks, but it took me five years to finish a two-year masters program.