Chaos Attraction

Auto Mechanics Class, Week Six

2014-05-07, 9:37 a.m.

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So apparently the notifylist stopped working and nobody said anything about it to me and I can't find anything about it. Grrr. Have now replaced with TinyLetter.

Previous week here.

Okay, so this week was an actual open class, and he didn't really lecture so much as make a list of who was doing what on their cars. So yay for that.

I got my air filter replaced, more or less. Which is to say I got the old filter out on my own and then opened up the new filter box. I compared the old filter to the new one and the new one had some layer of...fuzzy crap, I guess...on the bottom of it. I looked at the old one and thought, "Hey, that doesn't have that. Am I supposed to remove the fuzzy crap and assume it's just packaging, or do I keep it....I should probably ask the instructor but he's busy... oh hell, I'll just scrape it off." Probably shouldn't have done that. I ended up having my classmates help me put the new filter in because finding the back clip holding it on was...fun. THEN I got to ask the teacher about it and he was all, "That stuff was to keep bugs out." OH. But was that a huge big deal that I took it off? He didn't really seem to care. So.... well, hey, it's done and the car runs, so yay.

I was planning on cleaning the headlights just so I could learn how to do that, but everyone was all, "No, yours are fine!," so I did not. They were right because I helped clean a lot of other people's headlights and then I got what they meant: there were like four people with very cloudy headlights in there. My car buddy's friend's car's headlights (try writing that out again, people) were so cloudy that the teacher was all, "This isn't working, you need to get new headlights." But enough people had foggy headlights that I think we did about three people's cars.

Now, to some degree this was an area I felt more competent in because the first step in headlight cleaning (teacher's method--according to the Internet this morning, there's plenty of others s well) is by polishing, using a drill tool that's pretty reminiscent of using the polishing wheels and compounds at the Craft Center. So I was all, "I KNOW HOW THIS GOES." Well, sorta. At first we dug the polishing stuff out of the instructor's car and started opening up the compounds and trying to put a new cleaner tool on the drill because the one on it was quite scroungy, and then the teacher was all, "No, I just got that dirtied up enough with compound! And don't use the wet, fresh one, use the one that's totally old and mostly empty and dried out!" Um, what. And then there was a lot about getting the wheel wet. So what the process boiled down to was (a) use the old wheel and old compound and (b) get the wheel wet a lot. A lot a lot a lot.

This link has a pretty good explanation of the method we were using. I would like to direct your attention to this sentence from it: "If it does get too hot it could soften the plastic and you could melt it."

For a good chunk of the class a bunch of us were working on this alone while the teacher was dealing with bigger problems on the other side of the shop. So we loaded up the wheel and everyone was taking turns on cleaning the first girl's headlights, which was fun. However, at one point the screw started coming off while we were using the drill and it started poking out where it should not have been poking out, and her headlight got scratched on the left side. We stopped using the wheel and re-tightened the screw, but the scratches were unfixable. Oh well. Then we moved on to the other headlight, where we got MORE funny marks on the plastic that could not be removed. This turned out to be because we weren't putting more water on the wheel enough and it started melting the plastic. Oops. I asked the teacher how often we were supposed to be wetting the wheel and he was all, "Forty-five seconds." OOPS. So while we were doing the other people's headlights, we were a lot more paranoid about making sure the wheel was wet, and lubed up, frequently. But in the end, most people ended up with nice clean shiny headlights, and they had a good time taking photos of their cars with one light clean and one light not, for comparison's sake.


I ended up leaving early because I had to deal with the spraying aftermath. As far as I can tell, a guy came in at 10:05, dropped a bomb and left at 10:10, leaving no other instructions behind as to what to do afterwards. Um, thanks? As far as I can tell, he moved a trashcan and left a light on so I knew he was here or something. (This morning my coworkers were all, "Why did you have to clean out everything if all they were going to do was set off a bomb?" Yeah.) The place didn't smell, but then again, my nose doesn't work so how would I know. I started in on doing the dishes...oh god, I'll be doing dishes forever and ever to deal with this. I haven't had much time to clean up or put things back. I should probably wait to restock the cabinets until I get more contact paper, since the few instructions I did get on the first paper (which they have now taken back) said I was not allowed to clean off the cabinets in any way, just countertops. Ugh. Well, I didn't die from eating off the washed dishes, so there's that.

My bedroom closet has been put back because I had to do that so I could have access to my bed, but I had a bitch of a time trying to find everything else this morning, bathroom and clothing wise. Ugh. This is going to make me crazy for a long, long time.


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