Monday, September 26, 2011

So we fixed the car.

There was cursing involved. We had to make two trips to the auto parts store before we finally had all the pieces to the puzzle. The first day we replaced the rotors, which was pretty easy, but then we realized that the rear calipers were shot. Both of them. 

That was fun. 

I realize that most of you have no idea how the brakes on your car work, so I'll give you a run down in case this happens to you in the future. The rotors attach to the wheel, and are what the brakes grip onto when the car stops. The brake pads sit inside the calipers which crush the pads against the rotors like they are giving them the biggest hug ever. 

Placing the brake pads into the calipers was like trying to solve one of those metal puzzles, like the kind you used to be able to order of catalogs. You know where all the pieces come apart, but you're damned if you can figure out how. Like that, but with a car. One side fit together nicely, but the other side was screwed up at the factory somehow, and neither pad wanted to go in. Or, worse we would get one side in, but then it would pop out as soon as we tried to fit in the other side.

The problem was that the piston inside the caliper was too far forward and was not allowing the pads to sit inside correctly. We adjusted it (by we I mean Scott.) Remember this point, because it will haunt us later.

Finally we got all the pieces back together, and bleed out the brakes. If you are wondering, bleeding out the brakes is not fun. It's actually pretty easy with two people, but it's most definitely not fun. Scott takes it for a test drive, reports the brakes are very soggy, and that the emergency bake doesn't work at all. We bleed the brakes again. Tighten the emergency brake cable. Curse. 

We discover, by taking off the wheels yet again that the right rear tire is not braking at all. Remember that adjustment we made. We had to now adjust it back. After pretty much spending a whole day and one evening trying to make unyielding metal bits into a brake system, we finally have a working car.  

We think. 


I really hope we don't die on the way to work today. 

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