Friday, June 15, 2007

Fixing what ails me.

So, I have a 23 year old car. Somethings going to be wrong with it. Right now, that's not much. However, I do want to perform a little maintenance on a couple of things, and do a little house cleaning on some other issues. The following are some issues I have already addressed. I just want to write them down so I don't forget.

Issue #1: Wipers don't work.

Solution: They actually do work, just not right when I got home with the car. Checked the fuse, looked good, didn't touch it. A day later, changed the fuse anyway (and cleaned the contacts) and wipers started working. Washer works too thankfully.
So, after this, I changed and cleaned every fuse connection. Except the ones for the headlights, because I ran out of 8A fuses.

Issue #2: A/C blows out hot air. (and I mean HOT)

Solution: Changed a fuse made it not as hot. Charged up the freon made it blow (semi) cold. My father-in-law (who will no doubt get a lot of mention in this blog) noticed that the cap for the high-side service port. I bought one and realized why its missing.
Even though it was converted to R134a freon, this service port is not correct, I think someone cheaped out on the changeover. I may have a local guy fix this for me since I don't have the right equipment to do this change.
Do I need to fix it? Maybe not, but I do apparently have a leak, since I have already added another can of freon (after only a month). So I think I will fix it.

Issue #3: Cigarette lighter is poorly designed. It blocks most of the radio functions when I plug in a car charger for my phone.

Solution: Ok, this one wasn't as easy to solve. So I made this my first project for my car. I will detail my solution and the design decisions I made in my next post. For now, I will just state my goals for this project and what I want to achieve.

Project 1: New cigarette lighter for console.
Goals: 1)Provide a socket that is "always on" for when I want to charge something when the ignition is not on.
2)Provide at least one extra socket that is switched to the ignition.
3)Make it look as good as the original.

General: The current ashtray rotates out from below the radio and is covered by a wood face to blend in with the rest of the dash. The factory outlet is tied to the ignition but only in position two, not one. It also comes with an ashtray (useless to me), so that can go. It should also be safe and not put too much of a load on any other in car system.

Stay tuned for the results of my first project. Here's a picture of how it looked when I started.

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