about the talking fish

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Writer. Wheelman. Occasional DIY mechanic. Walking collection of hang-ups. Hopeless romantic. Old-school. Analog soul in a digital world. I am all of these things and more.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Blowing my bonus

My left headlight bulb gave out on Tuesday night. The only way I could have both headlights functioning was by driving the whole time on high beam...which would have made me a lot of enemies. I considered it one more "configurable item" on my Jazz...which this weekend was dedicated to.

First thing in the morning, I drove to Autoline Makati and got myself a black-and-gray Momo Fighter steering wheel. This was to replace my stock one with the sticking horn pad. Originally I wanted an all-black Tuner model as it was much cheaper, but proprietor Alex Ong told me he had the Fighter on his Jazz before and it matched the dashboard plastics better. He did have a point; when it comes to cars I'm not into loud and gaudy things. It cost a pretty penny at PhP8,500 including the requisite steering wheel adapter, but I'm satisfied. The slightly increased steering effort and smaller diameter take getting used to, though.

Next came my search for headlight bulbs. Originally I had the much-vaunted OSRAM Silver Stars in sight, but due to the difficulty of finding them, I settled for OSRAM Bilux All-Weather bulbs which are just as highly praised. Plugged in, the OSRAM All-Weather bulbs give off a yellow light with a faint but distinct violet tint---cool. I can't wait to try it out tomorrow night.

Compared to other cars, changing headlights on a Jazz is not child's play. Due to the tight engine bay, the right method is to pop open the front fender liners and pick the deep-seated assembly apart by feel. There's no escaping the dust and dirt buildup ending up on your fingers and arms, and you're bound to get snags working your way through to the socket. On my first attempt it took me almost an hour, most of it spent trying to figure out how to pop open the hold-down wire. Once I got the process down pat, though, I could replace bulbs in five minutes.

Finally, I went to our local Goodyear Servitek to have my punctured tire vulcanized, get a wheel-alignment check and a wheel balancing job. Short of a full oil change, my silver Jazz has been really pampered today.

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