Wear your ego like a loose fitting garment. -Buddha
The past two days were definitely an ego check. Nothing like working on an old car to put me back in my place. My lil’ old lady needed some new brakes and rotors, and apparently new calipers as they are frozen in place.
My brother was insistent on teaching me how to do them myself. Come to think of it he is like my dad in the fact that he believes women should know how to do things like changing oil, a tire, and brakes on a car. He did the first one and left me to my own devices, of course he was still supervising. I was doing pretty well on the front brakes, except some of the rust spots that practically welded my rotor on the car. The joy of living in a salt ridden environment for so many years. He showed me a few tricks to get the rotor loose and we finished up the front brakes.
The rear brakes are where I got hung up. I got the caliper off as well as the rotor, but was met with dismay when we discovered that the caliper had to have a special key in order to push it back out. With the wear patterns on the rotors it was obvious that my calipers had not been working like they were supposed to. We took a short jaunt down to the auto parts store and bought the key. Unfortunately, the key didn’t do much as the caliper wasn’t budging. I kept telling myself that buying the parts and doing this myself was much cheaper than taking it to a shop.
We called it a night and I began my online search through the parts catalog on the site that I ordered the brakes. Another couple hundred and I now have calipers on the way. I could have been angry or upset that there was another setback, but truthfully what good would it have done me? Deep breathing and reminding myself that it could be worse is what pulled me through.
I am blessed to have a vehicle and a brother who is willing to help me work on it. I am lucky that the parts to fix it aren’t as costly as they would be on a newer car. I am blessed that my lil’ zoom zoom is still rolling even with 250,000 miles on her. Lesson learned when working on a vehicle- don’t assume it will be easy, and check your ego at the garage door. You won’t be needing it anytime soon.