Saturday, November 11, 2006

Ratty Little Gerbil Car Saga -- Part Whatever

Yes, the Gerbil Car Saga continues!

I've mentioned before that the hood won't latch properly. There are usually two hood latches -- the main latch and then an auxiliary latch in case the main latch doesn't work. Most cars have a lever inside the car to "pop" the main latch open and then you have to manually press a lever to open the auxiliary latch to actually open the hood.

The first year I had the car (oh so long ago) I was involved in an accident where some kid cut in front of me in an intersection and the front corner of the passenger side of his car hit my poor little car smack dab in the front center -- right about where the hood latch is. Car got repaired and we went on with life, but I suspect that the main hood latch was damaged somewhat in that wreck. Still, it did fine for a lot of years after that so I can't complain.

However, a few years ago that main latch just gave up the ghost and all that was holding down the hood was the auxiliary latch. This worked, but it allowed a bit (maybe half an inch) of play and the hood would rattle up and down as I drove along, especially in windy weather. Not a great deal of fun, but hell, it's a ratty little gerbil car and it still worked so I got used to it.

So a couple of weeks ago I'm driving down the road and I notice the hood isn't bouncing in the wind. I think "Cool! The latch is working again" and go on with my life. Now my little car also uses a bit of oil -- not a great deal, it just needs a bit added every few weeks or so between oild changes. So I go out one day this week to check the oil level and add more, and I find there is a little drawback to the hood being firmly latched. I can't get the damned thing to open. The inside hood release lever isn't attached to anything anymore so is no help at all. Because I have short fingers, without the hood releasing a little bit I can't even reach the lever that releases the auxiliary latch (although I doubt that would help since it doesn't do anything for the main latch). Argh!

So I tell my brother my most recent tale of ratty little gerbil car woe. This caused him great mirth, but he did say he'd see if he could open it. If all else fails he said "we'll just cut the damned thing off and figure out how to latch it again later." Sounds like a plan to me. Guess that multipack of duct tape might come in handy after all! ;-)


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