Killing my car

The car I drive (1991 Buick Regal) has a hood opening mechanism that has you pull up and back on it, kind of like the tab on a can of pop. Well, after the mechanism getting more and more uncooperative, I managed to actually break it after giving it a good yank a few months ago. Well, I broke the plastic handle that was attached to the pull cable that worked the mechanism.

This happened just as winter was starting to settle in, so I figured I’d wait for a warm spell to come along so I could hang out in the garage and try to fix it. The warm spell never came, so I haven’t been able to get into my engine compartment to do things like refill the wiper fluid, which ran out a month ago… or add oil to the engine (which it wants me to do, suggesting it repeatedly with a flickering oil light as I start the car each morning).

Or, as of yesterday, to jump start the battery.

I hopped in my car to pick up a part to fix the bathroom sink, and the engine wouldn’t turn over. Completely drained battery, barely enough juice to power the alert lights. I went out to the garage today (today’s a sick day for me, mind you), put the car in neutral, and backed it part way out of the garage. I tried to jimmy the hood open so I could jump start it with the wife’s car, but no luck. I hopped back in the car with a pair of pliers to go after the cable. I removed a plastic housing that covered part of the (now broken) mechanism, only to find it held the rest of the mechanism in place. I held what was left in place with my foot, got a good grip on the little metal crossbar that held the cable in place, and I pulled… and pulled…

And the cable snapped. I flew back with the crossbar stuck in the grip of my pliers.


I now have a car with no wiper fluid, an engine that needs two quarts of oil, possibly a new battery… and no way to get at the engine to take care of these things.

I am not amused.


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