vampy battles an inanimate object: part 5256

I very rarely lock my car. I have a reasonably old, reasonably crappy car, which is nice to drive, and reliable, but it’s not something anyone in their right mind would want to steal, and it’s often full of straw and random junk, so doesn’t really look like a great target. Plus I rarely go to areas with much crime…the worst that happens around here is that one time there was some graffiti on the village noticeboard.

So car locking is reserved for occasions when I leave the car with something of value in it. Yesterday I went to my dad’s house to see if he had a couple of bits I needed for the cider press, and came away with various other things, including a huge box of dvd’s. I figured these could perhaps be stealable, so when I went to the shop on the way home, I locked the car.

I couldn’t open it again. The driver door was locked, and locked tight. Fortunately the other doors worked fine, so I could at least get in and drive home.

I got home and stuck some wd40 into the lock, and left it alone until today. Gren said he had a look at it this morning and couldn’t figure out what was wrong, so I went out to investigate. It appeared that the lock mechanism wasn’t fully disengaging, so you could turn the key or pull the knob, and it would half unlock, but wouldn’t fully click into place. Ok, simple, get inside the door and stick a screwdriver or something in to pop it back into place.

Except nothing is ever simple. It is impossible to remove the door panel while the door is closed. I tried, thinking i might be able to pull it away just enough that I could get inside to fix it. That wasn’t happening. I took it to the garage, and the guy said ‘well once we get the door open we can do blah blah blah’, so I asked how he intended to get the door open. ‘Well, we’ll have to try and remove the panel or pull it out a small way’. Yeaaaah, I wasn’t going to pay an as yet unknown amount of money for someone to spend an hour attempting and failing to do something I’d spent an hour attempting and failing to do. So I told him given that my car is probably worth less than £500, I don’t want to waste money on that, so I’d just take it home and cut a hole in the door panel, and then if i couldn’t fix it I’d bring it back.

So, I came home, removed the other door panel and looked to see how the lock mechanism worked and whether i had enough space to access it. Looked reasonably simple, so I cut a hole in the door panel with a stanley knife. At this point Gren came out and insisted on interfering, so I went inside for a bit, and when i came out he started saying ‘it’s not the lock it’s that bit that doesn’t pull on that bit and it’s all corroded and something something, we just need to put WD40 on it and leave it’. And then got annoyed with me because I actually wanted to look at my own car and try to figure it out myself, seeing as he’d come and tried to take over when I’d only been able to see it for 2 seconds. After about 5 minutes of trying to mansplain to me, he finally went indoors and left me to it. A couple of minutes after that I pulled out the spring that had corroded and broken in half, then figured out what the fuck he’d been trying to tell me was the problem. But it kinda wasn’t. Well, it was, but because of the broken spring, the thing he said needed to be done couldn’t be done, I had to implement a complicated 2 stage process whereby I made up for the broken spring by holding the naughty lock bit in place with my hand, then pushed a screwdriver in to push one bit of metal out of the way….and then the door opened…woohoooo! After taking the panel off for a closer look, I’m pretty sure that if i replace the spring, it’ll be completely back to normal, but as it is, the missing spring means that if the key is turned to lock the door, everything falls out of place and you need to hold it all in the right place to get the handle to work.

So, this essentially means that I’m never locking my car again. And also that my door panel is now held together with duct tape. But my door opens and closes properly, and I didn’t have to pay a penny!

And it also means that my ‘wooo my cider press is finished’ post that I was planning for today will not appear today, as it isn’t finished cos i wasted way too long messing around with the car and now it’s raining and I need a nap. Though it is in the garage out of the rain, so I could go work on it later. Tomorrow is more likely. I’ve varnished it and put sealant around the bottom of the base, but I need to make a frame and some sheets of muslin for building the piles of apple cakes, and need to attach some metal to the top crossbeam to protect the wood from the jack. I did give up on the idea of using the old car jack though, cos it was slooooow to lift and not especially easy, so I bought a hydraulic jack on ebay instead. I figure for £13.50 it’ll make the cider making process considerably easier, and I can also put it in my car to make the wheel changing process considerably easier, should I ever get a flat.

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