“One Light Goes Out, They All Go Out” — A Tale of Two Turn Signals
I got the call yesterday -- the turn signal wasn't working on the Buick.
For a person like me, this is almost the worst news I could receive, save, ya know, a death in the family or something like that.
I hate burned out lights, and to add insult to injury, this isn't the only broken turn signal we're dealing with.
In our Jeep, a 2003 Grand Cherokee Laredo, the turn signal is also not working -- not because the bulb is burned out though, it's because of an apparent flaw in the design that causes the bulb to lose the connection between the socket as the air temperature warms and cools. So, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I've replaced bulbs, I've replaced the socket -- it seems I may now need to replace the entire fixture. However, I was told that the problem can be temporarily fixed by squeezing the socket really tightly around the bulb.
Anyway, my wife said she was going to swing by the auto parts store to grab a bulb for the Buick. She comes home and within 5 minutes she's got the bulb replaced and working.
Impressive. So impressive, in fact, that I was inspired to try and fix the turn signal on the Jeep.
It took a few minutes to figure out how to remove the fixture. Okay, it took like 30 minutes to figure out how to remove the fixture. Then, it took a few minutes to be able to twist the turn signal socket and pull it out. Well, actually, it took my wife a few minutes. That was after I had spent a solid 15 minutes on it. I think I loosened it for her.
Anyway, after investigating the bulb, socket and fixture, I twisted it back in, and squeezed. Kind of. I mean, it's kinda hard to get to where I think it needs to be squeezed.
I turn on the blinker and voila! Er, um.... VOILA! Dangit. Not working. Maybe a little tapping or smacking or banging on it will do the trick.
Hmm... nope that didn't do it. Oh well. Wait, what?! Why is the brake light not working?! Why is the reverse light not working? Now NONE of the lights are working.
Yeah, that happened. So I sat there thinking for a minute. Just for a minute, though; didn't want to think too long, ya know...
I thought maybe -- just maybe -- it's a wiring issue. So I decided to pop the hood and jiggle some wires. I reach down, grab the hood release and BAM! The hood release breaks!
I know when I've met my match. I also know when to let my wife handle the "man business." I walked away.
I'm driving the Buick for now.