December 2nd, 2011

eureka, bath

For anyone Googling who wanted to know about their 2005 Dodge Neon's goddamn battery...

If you come across this on Google later, I'm assuming you have a 2005 Dodge Neon sedan (or similar) and you are trying to remove the battery, perhaps to replace it. This was my experience, but if you don't know what you're doing, please get professional help if you can, and if you think anything is unsafe, don't do it. General electricity safety involves not allowing the possibility for a shock to cross your heart, so I was doing all of this one hand at a time.

You have disconnected the battery leads (negative first), including the rather large plate with the jagged teeth that secures the positive terminal. You have carefully stuffed a rag between the negative terminal and anything that might contact it. You have tugged the handle.

And the fucker won't budge, will it.

Behind the battery, as you stand in front of the car, take your flashlight and look: there's going to be a hexagonal bolt in the middle of a little metal plate. That bolt must be loosened to allow the plate to move, as that plate clamps the battery. The socket that fortunately fit the bleeding bolt in my car was 1/2".

There is just about enough space to access the bolt with a ratchet if you slide it in from the left, although if you have a ratchet that will allow you to turn it directly down, I envy you deeply at this point.

2005 Dodge Neon Battery Clamp, illustration of the location and how to get at it with a ratcheting socket wrench

Loosen the bolt until the plate can move a little, freeing your battery.

Haul the battery out, after removing the jagged-toothed plate from the positive terminal yet again, the sly fucker.

Place new battery. Tighten bolt on the plate-clamp thing. Remove positive terminal cover. Attach the positive lead and tighten the bolt. Remove negative terminal cover. Attach negative lead. Test.

Good luck.

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murdered by lunatics

Words, words, words.

People who are freely allowed to call me "sweetheart": friends (+) to whom this mode of address comes naturally.

People from whom I will accept "sweetheart" cheerfully enough: people from whom it seems to come naturally, in a situation where they haven't really had the opportunity to learn my name, and "miss", "ma'am", and the like seem a little too distant. (Baltimore folks, never fear, "hon" is in this category, situationally.)

Situations where I totally don't accept it: condescendingly, or from someone who has critically underestimated my skill level.

Situations where I will grit my teeth and bear it: when the vaguely touristy-looking fellow with his Aged Parent (and he himself looks old enough to be in my parents' generation) has out of the kindness of his heart done clumsily and brutally what I was capable of doing with elegance and precision, but technically rescuing me from a tight spot, so my thanks are socially obligatory. When I'm flustered, furthermore, I become an inarticulate motherfucker, so it's sort of hard for me to succinctly express "I just put a new battery in him and one of the thingies may have popped loose", which was in fact the case.

"Here, sweetheart, give me something to hammer on it with. The vice-grips will do!"


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