1995 Chevy Lumina Battery Access, or “Did the designers ever OWN a car?”

Broken socket-connector & cracked socket.

Broken socket-connector & cracked socket.

In the continuing saga that started Tuesday night with our car breaking down…

Took the car to an Auto Zone to get the alternator and batter tested – short story shorter, the battery had to be replaced and I had to do it. Auto Zone, I believe, will usually change your battery for you, but not for me. The designers that GM employed to design the Chevy Lumina (at least the 1995 version), must have been new on the job.

The process to get the battery out was this:

1) Open hood.

Simple enough, that makes perfect sense.

2) Remove three bolts. Remove two bolts one one end and swing a support strut out of the way.

One was frozen, but I am so strong that I broke a socket and a socket connector (pictured). For the record, I am super strong. [Note: This is sarcasm. I am not super strong.]¬†Swing the stupid arm that shouldn’t be over the battery out of the way. Why would you put the battery under a support strut?

3) Disconnect and remove the windshield-washer fluid reservoir?!?@!

Why would someone put the windshield-washer fluid reservoir over the battery? This is the stupidest thing ever.

4) Oh, crap. There’s another piece of metal over top of the battery. I guess I’ll remove that too.

I shouldn’t have guessed that would be easy. It wasn’t.

Hello busted knuckes!

I couldn’t get at the bolts very well – there was a hidden one, too. After I wrestled it out from underneath the air filter housing I did a piece-of-metal-etcomy, that thing didn’t go back in. It was far too bent up to be useful anymore.

5) What the crap? Why isn’t the battery moving now?!

There was some other random stupid bolt that was holding it down. Got it.

6) How do I disconnect this thing?

Now – granted – this is my own stupidity here, but I wasn’t sure that I wouldn’t be shocked as I unscrewed the connectors from the side of the battery.

I wasn’t, I’m still alive.

7) The re-insertion.

No problems, just too much to re-insert.

I had avoided, for a lot of years, having to replace the battery in this thing myself. I have hated the thought of it for the 6 years that I’ve been a co-owner of it and now I know that my fear and loathing of the thought were warranted.

After owning this car and other stories that I’ve heard, I will never buy a GM car if I can help it.

The battery was under the windshield-wiper fluid!!!! What the heck?

It’s a Small World After All (Zero Disney Content)

A car being loaded onto a flatbed tow truck
Image via Wikipedia

Tonight our car may have crapped its last bed. It’s been making weird shakes and moaning sounds for weeks months – especially when it gets over 65.

Today, as we were getting off the exit at work it started making a high pitched whine – alternator? Water pump? Belt? Who knows. It started up fine when we left work and ran (whinily) on the way home just fine (besides the pretzel-stand-smell). We dropped off our car-pool buddies and immediately left to get some food for dinner at the closest halal/middle-eastern market. After getting some stuff there and the Polish deli next to it we went to start the car and it whirr-errrr-err-er-errr-ed and did nothing else.

Call AAA, wait for tow truck, play some Lexulous with each other… tow guy shows up. He’s friendly and loads the car up really quickly and we hop in. We only have about a mile back to our place, but he was talking a lot. I noticed something about his accent, semi-familiar but I just couldn’t place it – so I asked.


Yep, he’s from my home-town that I was in just yesterday. We were born in the same hospital (he’s probably 8 years older) and he’s genuine, too because he knows and specifically misses pepperoni balls.

And his name sounds like a classic Erie name to me: Rick Spanelli. I mean, when I told my dad the story his response was, “I know at least two Spanelli families.”

I like our small world.