Tuesday, January 15, 2008

rinnah plays at being a mechanic

Warning. Really air-headed, fluffy-istic, bimbo-ish post ahead. This is rinnah as you've never seen her. Lawl.

Over the weekend, my baby car gave me a shock by refusing (initially) to start. I valiantly resisted the urge to panic and start bawling call AAM or some other car rescue service but just sat there turning the key over and over again like how you see in the movies, "Start, d@mmit!" Okay, so I didn't actually swear. Lawl. Three or four false starts later, the engine finally caught on and started. Phew! Disaster averted for the moment.

Deciding that prevention is better than cure (and not wanting to wait until something worse happened), I sought several opinions from the male species, all of whom said I should check the battery water levels before doing anything more drastic - I thought that I had to immediately change my car's battery. Just a check sounds simple enough, right? Not when you're an automobile mechanically challenged female. Ahahaha. I do declare that I only know how to drive my car and fill the tank and take it for the occasional car wash / service. I don't ever touch (nor even look at!) the innards of my car. That's what mechanics are for, right? In situations like this, I first look helplessly at Dad, but this time, I had to get down and dirty with my car myself. (Where's the boyfriend when you need one? *grin*) Okay, topping up battery water didn't sound like too Herculean a task since I'm not entirely inept at the handyman game (I do know how to wield a hammer and screwdriver if I need to). How hard could it be?

I started off like a real know-it-all, eschewing to read the manual or guide on how to do it. Roadblock number one. The fluffyheaded, bimbo side of me neglected to find out that there was a catch under the hood of the car to release it. So when I gingerly popped the hood... it wouldn't open, of course. How hillbilly! *blush* A few minutes later and this time with manual in hand, I finally figured out how to get the hood open. Geez.

Then came roadblock number two. I didn't see anything remotely resembling a car battery. I mean, where were all those easy to open screw tops on that boxy-shaped thing shown in the manual? (Note: The drawings in Perodua's manual are not entirely accurate...) Furthermore, superhero me had decided to conduct this experiment... in the night evening, with only the porch light to guide me. Ish. And I wish that car manufacturers would just decide on a standard placement and layout of the engine. Like batteries should always look like this and be placed on the left side of the engine compartment. That would make life so much more simpler! But I digress. Some hemming and hawing later, I realised why I couldn't find my battery. Because it didn't have the six screw tops! Duh. Instead, I found six black plastic circles that looked like sunken in screws. Double ish.

Grabbed a screwdriver from the toolbox and attacked the screws one by one. I just learned from this experiment that there's a maximum and minimum level of battery water. Thing is, I didn't know how much to put because for the life of me, I couldn't see the levels in the dark! How very blonde of me to do so. *vacuous giggle* Unscrew, squint, squirt, squint summore, squirt a bit more, screw. Repeat x 6. I was starting to feel quite accomplished... then poof!

I dropped one of the black plastic screw thingies (the last one) into the innards of my car. Argh! Into one of those hard to reach places to boot. (Bad pun, I know. The engine's in the hood, not boot.) Poke, peer, dig, scrape, all in vain - I couldn't get the screw cap out. Triple ish. Why can't the battery makers make simple screw tops that attach to the battery so this doesn't happen? Because they're probably not female, that's why. A few efforts later, I managed to knock the screw into a position where I could force my hand into a narrow gap and filch it out. Potential tragic-comedy averted. Can you imagine how embarassing it would be to call a mechanic and go, "Uh, I was trying to top up my battery water but I went and lost the screw cap inside the car engine." THAT would have sealed my fluffyheaded female status.

Oh, but you can tell how much of a blonde at heart I am from the above and the fact that hey! I managed to injure myself yet again in this episode. Yup. I don't know whether I scraped my hand filching the screw or if I accidentally got some battery water on my right hand - it turned red (inflamed) and swelled up (minimally) in places across the back of my hand. Aiyayaiyayai! And that resulted in me spending the next 20 minutes standing in the kitchen with my hand in running cold water until the swell and redness went away.

End of adventure.

And to pre-empt your questions:
~ Yes, I did make sure that all the screws were properly tightened back on.
~ No, I didn't overfill my battery with an overdose of battery water.
~ Yes, I am going to learn more about my car, but only under great impulse (like you have to make me do it kicking and screaming all the way)
~ No, I don't intend to take up mechanics as a part-time job. LOL!

And finally...

Wheeee! I need to learn how to pump air into my car's tyres next! Anyone wanna volunteer to teach me? ROTFL. (Actually, I'm serious about this. Ahahaha.)

I'm sure you're now scratching your head and going, "Liddat also can blog about it ah? Got nothing better to do meh?" Actually, ya lor. Cannot sleep mah. Lawl.

10 spins:

L B said...

I haven't read a better written account of a fluffy-bimbo-blonde-wannabe-mechanic in such a long time! That was an awesome post! It really was so enjoyable to read, so personal, and so distinctly female! LOL!!! LOL again! Yes, this is what Monday night should always be ~ good entertainment! :-)

misha said...

hehehe .. happy tuesday jiejie rinnah!

giddy tigress said...

Lawl! I don't know if the car battery can look any different - but at least you learnt a thing or two!
*rubs sore hand*

angeles said...

Wah... I thought I'm bad... Must learn to pump air liao loh... mmmm... Narrowband can teach... Adrian oso can... mmmm... maybe ahboy also can helpchu... :D

How many years already your car batt? Maybe time to change leh?

Paris said...

Heh... that was blonde and entertaining :) I used to watch my dad tinker with his cars so I picked up quite a lot of info useful enough to work on my own ;) Not a lot but just enough. To pump air, take to petrol station air pump, check side of driver's door for sticker that tells you how much air you need, press + or - on the digital air machine accordingly (they are all digital now) and stick the air nozzle into the sticky out bit on the tire rim until it beeps to tell you its enough. Repeat x3 ;)

Adino said...

There's always a first time :) Paris beat me to listing the air pump steps, but here's a tip... make sure you use a tissue to unscrew the tyre air nozzle. It's going to be black and dirty.

Doreen said...

Well, it's a good experience and also good bonding with your car. Hehehehe. I only know how to change flat tyres.

Daniel said...

hahaha.. everything got it's very first time... mine didn't go very well too the first time.. hahaha ;p

mistipurple said...

bravo bravo clever gal!! that is impressive!

Chev said...

i have a suggestion. Why don't u use the dry cell car battery? save the trouble of having to top up the battery water every now and then. I have been using the dry cell car battery for the past few years and i'm lovin' it.

Yeah, the battery has a limited life span. ;)