Monday, 2 May 2011

Getting my hands dirty

I'm working today, it's not as busy as last Monday as we worked hard last week before the bank holiday.  I was a bit late because when I went to start the Golf it beeped and then said "Nah".  Oh.  Nothing on the ignition, nothing when I pressed the lock/unlock on the key fob.  Oh ok - battery then.  Checked that I hadn't left the lights on, and recalled that a couple of days ago it had hesitated uncharacteristically when starting.   

Thankfully, with a few years of driving classic cars behind me, I'm not the sort to shout 'help' before I need to.

Up bonnet, the connector on the negative battery terminal was loose - then I remembered that I think it has happened before on this car.   Next, search in the workshop/garage for a suitable spanner or socket. I really wanted Mr H's nice Snap-On set but he must have it in Scotland, I found a) a metric set of sockets b) a handle c) a converter because the socket was a different size to the handle.  Banged the terminal on with the end of the handle, tightened it as far as it would go and hey presto, she worked.  

It's still not as tight as it should be, and I think the problem is that the battery is too short so the outer box gets in the way of the cable and the connector won't push all the way on to the terminal.  If I'd had more time I probably would have ended up whipping out the battery and sticking a bit of wood under it to jack it up so that it fitted better!  In the meantime, the socket is now in the door pocket, in case I or Mr H are out in the middle of nowhere next time it happens.

I actually felt very good because it's a long time since a car has broken down on me, and with modern cars it's often useless even looking under the bonnet.  It made me enthusiastic to have a classic on the road again, when you carry a toolbox in the boot and the AA is a last resort.

I even enjoyed getting my hands dirty.


  1. glad you got her going :)

  2. Lovely post. I can feel your enjoyment -)

  3. Getting your hands dirty can be fun! My dad needs to show me some more stuff on the car like changing tires and what not.

  4. What a great story, with a happy ending! Best kind! As for dirty hands (what a cool photo!) and it does feel good when we get our hands dirty...for fun or usefulness! ;)

  5. Morgan - definitely! if nothing else it makes you feel less like a helpless female ;-) Get a cheap 60s or 70s car, you can learn loads about how everything works on them!

    Karen - wierdly I HATE getting my hands dirty (eg. sticky or buttery) in the kitchen but garden or car dirt is quite different somehow.

  6. Not that I drive, but I know exactly what you mean about modern vs classic, and if I had one - classic, that is - I'd fiddle with her and fix her up and take her out for a spin... I so get why people (men!) give their cars names ;)

  7. Oh yeah....I can do dirt and grunge. But get sticky syrupy stuff whilest I'm puttering in the kitchen?! Ewwww....

    Himself doesn't get that.
    Heck, I don't even bother with garden gloves until the very end when I note how much earth I'll be scrubbing from my fingernails....then I don 'em and whine about how they don't work. LOL

    Go YOU! Woooohoo!!


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