The other day I was parking when all of a sudden a burst of steam rolled out from under my hood. I popped it open to find everything coated in coolant. A little while later I went back and saw that the upper radiator hose had burst. I was a bit freaked out trying to figure out what I was going to do about it. Money is a bit tight and I was at the U and nowhere near home. I have emergency road service through our insurance, but it says that it will tow my car to the closest place for repair which would make getting home and dealing with everything a tad challenging. After getting an idea and having it backed up by some online sources I went and grabbed a roll of duct tape and created a nice silver band-aid for my car. Reload the coolant and voila! I was on my way home after a few more hours at work.
Yesterday I stopped by the auto parts store and pickled up a new hose for ~$16, but had no chance to actually change things out. And with my lack of auto repair experience I was feeling a little iffy about pulling it off, though I knew it was about as simple a repair as could be done.
Thia morning I through on a hoodie and gloves, grabbed the channel lock, screwdriver and socket set and headed out to do some work. I managed to get hold of the clamp on the end going into the radiator with the channel locks but it would take the hands of a child to be able to get in there to pull it loose. The battery and battery tray needed to come out if I was going to be able to do anything so out they came after attacking some rusty little bolts with the spray lubricant. With a little extra space the hose came off pretty easily on that end.
I unscrewed the clamp attaching the hose to the engine next. Didn't matter much. The hose was well attached with or without the the clamp. The hose also had a fantastic little imprint of the clamp perfectly formed into the rubber. It was budging. I tried running a screwdriver around the edges maybe pealing the rubber off but there was still no play. I took off another hose above it to try and clear the way but that didn't do much of anything. A slice of the ol' razor blade though and it peeled right away. I snagged the clamps off of the old hose and was able to slip the new hose right on.
After washing away a few years worth of superfluous crud from the battery tray I put everything back together, filled the coolant reservoir and started up the car. No leaks, and all was good. While I was there I ended up checking and filling all of the other various fluids, and finally even replaced the rear license plate lights.
I know that this was a really, really minor repair but I felt a nice sense of accomplishment afterward. There are several other repairs my car could use though most of them are probably well beyond my abilities and tools. I think it would be kind of cool to take a basic car repair class somewhere. I wonder of there are any in the area.