Triumph and Defeat

Wednesday, 16 March 2011
I cracked the passenger side mirror on my car a couple of weeks ago. It certainly was not a pleasant experience but I hopped on Amazon and was able to purchase another one for $40. No problem. It arrived and I priced installation in town. It was going to be approximately $100 (the same amount of money it would cost to have my piano tuned). Since I'd rather use that cash on something else and I'm not made of money, I decided to look up directions for installation and do it myself. It didn't seem that hard so on my dinner break this weekend, I went to the parking lot, found the tools I brought to work and started.

First, I removed the two visible screws on the door panel near door handle. Then, I removed the plastic cover that fits over the door handle. So far so good. The hard part was actually taking off the large door panel. The directions said to wedge a large screw driver between the panel and the door to pop the pins out. Since I couldn't see behind the panel, I wasn't sure what type of pins I was working with. After much trial and error I learned you simply have to pull as hard as you can to disengage the pins. Finally the panel was off!

Next, I had to peel back the protective waterproof barrier. That works sort of like a large sticker and was easy. I took the screws out of the speaker casing and behind the speaker I found the wires that go to the electric mirror. Score! Now for removing the mirror. Instead of waiting to use a nut driver (didn't have one with me) and take the mirror off the easy way, I pulled it from the front, breaking the plastic and then used pliers to slowly break the plastic away from the screws and nuts that were holding it in place (hard work). Finally, the mirror was off. I packed everything up to finish the next day.

On Monday, I drove home on my dinner break to pick up some food and put the mirror on. After purchasing a set of nut drivers and messing with it for about 30 minutes, I installed the mirror! I replaced the water barrier and stereo casing. Next, I popped the door panel back on and added the visible screws, putting the plastic cover on the handle compartment last. Yay! Feeling very proud of myself, I thought, I'll shut the door and see if the mirror wiggles. I shut the door and it seemed sturdy. I didn't realize while putting the door panel back on, I'd accidentally engaged the automatic door look. My keys, phone and tape for the 11 o'clock story were LOCKED IN THE CAR!

Wanting to cry, I didn't and went into the house. Thank goodness it was unlocked. It was 7:15pm. I got onto my computer and quickly emailed the evening producer at WATE. I explained the problem and included the numbers of two locksmiths, adding my address. "Please make them aware of our news deadline. Hopefully that will speed them up. If he can get here by 9pm, we'll be okay." Beth emailed me back within 10 minutes (the longest of my life) to say PopALock was on the way!

An hour and $60 later, I was on my way back to the station with a new passenger mirror. The story made the air on time and my heart rate finally slowed down around 10:30pm. What a night!


Teri's Blog said...

Good Job!

LizP said...

I am suitably impressed!!! I would have just paid the $100 to have it installed. I do not have the patience for that sort of thing.