Feb. 12th, 2007

melstav: (Default)
Saturday, the van wouldn't start because the battery was dead. Actually, the battery was SO dead, that the dash lights didn't even come on when you put the key in the ignition.

Got the van jumpstarted, and drove to the autozone where I'd bought the battery only a few months ago. After spending 45 minutes on a charger, the battery tested good, so I put it back in the van. The van had sat for over a week, unused, which given that we had several days of sub-zero temperatures during that time, the guy said that could be why the battery had been drained.

When I mentioned that when I had replaced the old battery, I had corrosion on the cables, and didn't get *all* of it off, he said that could *definitely* have caused the battery to drain. Which I knew, but I had gotten most of it off, so *surely* it should be allright. Right? Heh.

Asked for advice on what to do to get all of the corrosion off, since I was unsuccessful in getting everything with a battery terminal brush, and he said to make a (thin) paste with baking soda and water, coat the terminals, let sit for at least 5 minutes, and then scrub with a toothbrush.

I drove to the office so I could pull the van into the shop and work on it in a nice, heated environment, pulled the battery, stuck the ends of the battery cables in baggies full of baking soda paste, and went to work tearing apart the driver's door to try and assess what would be involved in either replacing or bypassing the "door ajar" sensor.

It didn't take me long to get to the point where I *sorta* had access to the sensor. I say "sorta" because I got to the point where the next step in removing the sensor (which involved removing the latch mechanism) was disconnecting the two wiring connectors from the sensor. Which involved sticking your arm in through the hole in the door, reaching around the track that the window slides in, grabbing the connector, somehow lifting the clip that holds it onto the sensor far enough to get it to clear the lip (without breaking the clip) and then "pull" the connector loose - directly away from you. After a while of being frustrated, I finally said "screw it", put the door back together (minus the 2/3 of a "for sale" sign that I found inside it) and got to work with water, a toothbrush that I had in my desk, and a bent paperclip for scraping in the small areas. Eventually, I got to the point where the connectors are pristine - no corrosion anywhere.

Reconnected the battery, cleaned up, locked up the office and left... about 5 hours after I got there.

Other than that, I spent quite a bit of time working on building inventory datafiles to import into QuickBooks. And I spent some time looking at tax-related stuff for our home business.

That's pretty much the highlights of my weekend.

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melstav

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