Friday 4 October 2013

Left Well Enough Alone

Just let me vent for a little while. I suppose that I should say “Would it bother you too very much if I were to vent my opinion about something for just a little while?” I don’t really care what you want, I am going to vent.

I think I mentioned the problem that I had with a leaking radiator in a previous blog (“A Geek With a Leak” Aug 31). I am no ones idea of a mechanical wizard, so pretty much everything under the hood of a car is mysterious and wonderful at the same time. I just can’t conceive of a mind that could come up with something as complex as the internal combustion engine. While I had the hood propped up and was staring at the radiator wondering if the gunk I just poured into the rad would repair the hole or destroy the engine, I noticed that the battery terminals had a bluish white powder that had built up around them. I was pretty sure that wasn’t the best thing for the battery, but I was busy watching the radiator at the moment and couldn’t spare time to worry about something else.

It’s been a week or so now and the radiator is tight as a drum so far, with nary a drip on the floor. That’s a very good thing. I feel confident that I can clean the battery posts and get rid of that unsightly and might I say weird smelling powder. Whenever I breathe that stuff I have the feeling that I am peeling a month or two off of my life. Louise mentioned that the car I drive stunk the other day, so I figured I would pick up one of those evergreen tree car freshener things and while I was at it, why not pick up a battery terminal cleaner. I’ve seen these things before, but couldn’t imagine why I would need one, until today. It is a nifty little device, it comes apart and one side cleans the post and the other cleans the thingy that goes over the post. Should be fun!

I opened the hood when I got home, got out the trouble light and found the battery all caked in crud. I had to brush some of the crud off so that I could get to the nuts that hold the wire to the post and lost a month or two in the process. Of course the NEGATIVE post’s nut was so corroded that I couldn’t undo it without turning a simple cleaning job into a major cable replacement job. No problem, I would just clean the POSITIVE terminal and half a job is better than no job…right? The little tool that I bought worked like a charm and I cleaned both the post and the thingy, twice. It couldn’t hurt.

I re-attached the clean thingy to the clean post and wiped away any residual powder, losing another month of my life. I’m not sure if cleaning one post does any good, but it couldn’t do any worse. With the cleaning done, I went to see if the car would start any better. It wasn’t noticeably better starting, but it wasn’t worse which I take to be a win.

Unfortunately, the radio had ejected the CD for some reason, but I pushed it in, probably a little more forcefully than I should have. You should never force anything to do with radios or CD’s, as I found out today. I took about 45 minutes and finally managed to retrieve the CD which in a perfect world would have fixed the problem. We don’t live in a perfect world, and as it turns out, when you disconnect the battery on an Accura, the radio shows an ERROR code.

The people who make Accura in all of their wisdom used this as a security measure so that people couldn’t steal the radios. Kind of a good idea, but in order to get the radio working again, I have to call Accura with the VIN number, and two four digit codes that I can get by holding the 1 and 6 buttons in simultaneously and they will give me a reset code. Well, they would if I could get the two four digit codes to appear. The thing about the security aspect is that these radios are made to fit only Accuras, so the only people who would need one would be other Accura owners and they already have radios in their cars.

I’m sure it will all work out, but for now I am sans radio while I am cruising down the road. One thing that is interesting to me is that we have owned the car for just over 10 years and not once have I had to replace the battery or even disconnect it to remove that powdery gunk. When you consider the gunk has had ten years to build up, it really isn’t that much and I probably should have left well enough alone.

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