I had to work on my car last weekend and it turned out well, so now I get to brag about it a little bit.
The battery in our Subaru died so I had to replace it. That wasn’t the hard part, although I have to say that the guy at Batteries Plus tried to make it as hard as he possibly could. He had to know the year, make, model, type, color, weight, size of the engine, whether or not I drove with the sunroof open, did I ever get carsick, the list went on and on. I said I had to go do some research and then I would get back to him, and I left his shop and went up the road to another shop where all the guy wanted to know was the year, make and model, and five minutes later I was waddling out the door trying not to drop a new car battery.
Swapping the dead battery for the new one was easy. Closing the hood turned out to be the hardest part. Did not see that coming.
At first I didn’t even realize the hood was not latched. I thought I was done. When I tried to turn the engine over, however, I discovered the new battery had obviously been sitting on the shelf for a while and needed some time with the battery charger. Half an hour later with the engine happily ticking over, I put all my tools away, switched off the car, slapped the hood down and that’s when I noticed I had a problem. The latch was not latching. Something inside the latch which was supposed to lock the hood in place was not, in fact, doing any locking. This is not something you can fix with a bungee cord, unless you plan to never drive any faster than walking speed. I was not making any such plans. I had to fix this.
So I did what any red-blooded America does these days: I opened a web browser on my computer, navigated to You Tube, and typed “Subaru Forester hood doesn’t latch” into the search bar. You Tube immediately rewarded me with a couple dozen videos all of which claimed to solve the problem. I only watched four or five of them because I don’t have all the time in the world, even though I will happily spend hours watching You Tube videos about building wooden boats, something I have never done and will never do. Everyone has at least one guilty pleasure. That’s mine.
The videos I watched all boiled down to a simple problem: The lock in the latch could not freely move because of dirt or ice, or maybe it just needed lubrication. Some videos went into more detail; a couple went into a lot more detail. One of them wanted me to dismantle the entire front grille of my car. I didn’t have to do that. All I had to do was undo three bolts to remove the latch, take it to my work bench where I squirted lots of 3-In-1 Oil on it, jiggle the moving parts around until they all moved freely, and finally re-install the latch on my car. Took about thirty minutes, and fifteen of those minutes were spent looking for the bolt I dropped into the depths of the engine compartment. So it was with a feeling of accomplishment that I got to pour myself a beer after I was done, stretch out on the sofa and spend the rest of the afternoon reading a book. Yay, me.