well, yesterday was interesting…
…and not in the best of ways.
last week i had something happen that had never happened to me before – my car failed it’s state inspection. all cars previous had always passed, save for the camaro, which never had to as it was registered in new mexico in my dad’s name where they don’t have state inspection.
i was okay with that.
but the other day when i was getting back from the whole court thing i talked about i had been reading a “best bar-b-que cities in the usa” bit while i had waited (where, not surprisingly, lockhart ranked number one with austin bringing in a respectable fifth place) and was therefore craving bar-b-que. the place i got the bmw inspected last year was only a block from black’s, so i dropped him off there and went for lunch.
when i got back the car had moved parking spaces, so i knew they’d gotten to me – but the sticker was still expired. turns out one tire was just a little too bald on the outside for their liking and then one of the turn signals hadn’t worked.
the tire was a surprise – the signal? not so much. i’d noticed the passenger side one was lighting up only about half as bright as the driver’s side so i can see how, in broad daylight, the LEDs would look like they weren’t even on. fortunately you have fifteen days to get your shit correct and bring it back; you still have to pay when it fails, but if it’s fixed and checks out within those fifteen days you get your sticker with no additional charges. figured a new tire and some wire checking was in my near future.
we were slow at the shop yesterday so i decided to pull things apart and, to my surprise, all wires looked fine and all connections were solid. i then pulled the driver’s side one and hooked it up and it lit up bright, letting me know the problem wasn’t the wiring, but the led fixture itself. thinking i had kept the first one they shipped me (with a broken mounting clip) i thought i might be able to combine the two and be good. i put the passenger one back together and back in, and did the the same with the driver’s one but while doing so the clip broke on that side.
“eh, fuck it”, i thought, “you’ll have to replace both pretty soon, and you rode around with a busted clip on that one for a week with no issue…”
so last night on my way home it sounded like something whipped up under the car as i was driving home from dinner. not sure what it was, and in no spot to stop, i just hoped all was well, but when i got home saw this:
so this forced my hand – i had to order the new fixtures last night and put the factory orange ones in for the time being, which took a while to find, and sure enough – in the same bag was the other led one, so if that HADN’T happened i could have just swapped in this one and probably been good. so now i have to passenger side led ones, one with a busted clips and one with busted bulbs. these will go in the trash and i’ll get some high-end bulbs on the way for the new fixtures and call it good. this whole experience is really making me re-think changing the tail lights to smoked LEDs, which was the plan, just because of the bullshit factor!