Sunday, September 16, 2012

Backyard Auto Repair

Frustration. Whenever I need to be frustrated beyond belief, all I need do is attempt auto repair.

At least the garage was clean, so I had a nice environment to work in and have my tools near me. That is something that hasn't happened in a while. Usually I'm on the asphalt in the driveway, in the sun or rain.

That was where the happy notes for this project ended.

Chris' car needs the wheel bearing replaced on the right rear. Not a seemingly big deal and I found step-by-step instructions.

But when I started the project what was the first thing I found?  The lug nuts were so tight that I couldn't budge them. Really! Mr. Tire must be using Mr Universe to tighten lug nuts. I even called Patrick over to give them a twist. No joy.

Off to Lowe's for something to motivate the lug nuts. An air hammer and a piece of pipe to use as a breaker bar came home with me.

Even with the reinforcements, the lug nuts were not easily persuaded to allow themselves to be removed from the car. I wound up using the pipe and almost standing on it to get them moving.

That entire process took almost two hours of an expected four hour repair.

Next was the removal of the caliper and the brake pad holding mechanism and the rotor. Yay, that went extremely well.

Now for the axle nut. All I needed was a 12 point 32mm socket. I knew that in advance and I had that. Oops! It needed to be a deep socket. I have a 32mm 6 point deep socket. No good.

Off to the auto store--surely they will have one. Nope. Off to Home Depot. Nope.

Off to Sears. No joy. I called Pep Boy--none there either.

Stand still. Total stop.

Total frustration.

My 32 mm, 12 point deep well socket will be here Tuesday, I ordered it from Amazon.

The car has been reassembled and can be driven for the next couple days, and then I get to do it all over again.

Did I mention that the garage is clean?

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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