First, I knew that I had a front light of some sort out because when I hit my keyfob to unlock my car, only one side lit up. It wasn't the headlight - it was something else. What was it? Is this common knowledge? You google "car light diagram" and you get schematics of the wiring behind lights... not an easy, "this is the light".
Then a coworker kindly told me that I had a drivers side brake light out. Well that's a serious thing!
Which one is the brake light? There are four light bulbs on my car.
And how do I test it, when I can only get them to turn on if I'm in my car hitting the brakes?
The way the manuals read, this is supposed to be common knowledge... well it wasn't, for me, and I asked a guy at work why these bulbs were so hard to change (my owners manual actually said to go in from the wheel well for the front bulbs, not the hood, WTF!) and he shrugged and said "Most people just go to the dealership."
I have a masters in engineering. I am not going to the dealership to hire some kid to change my lightbulbs.
I'm also a blogger who has to do things just as an adventure.
And the weather was nice.
Car nut friend told me to check the sylvania website first to find the lightbulbs I should buy - which was nice, because I was telling him that I really was not in the mood to take my car apart through the wheel well to get a lightbulb so I could see a part number in the parking lot of an auto parts store that was probably out of stock. So that was my first good tip.
Then Marc and I just went out to my car and mapped out my lights and I learned some things.
Brake lights are the only lights you really need a friend to test, other than that, you can still be an independent woman who don't need a man, IF you know what all to look for. According to some discussions you can also back up to a store with reflective glass or even a mirror to see what's going on behind you, or get some object to hold your brake pedal down.
Parking lights stay on when your main headlights are on.
My car has a two-filament light bulb that doubles as a brake light and tail light in the back. This is total bullshit, because you have to replace it when either filament burns out, so you're setting yourself to replace it twice as often as any normal bulb. The car manufacturers saved themselves a light socket but screwed us all, and the landfills, in the end.
Here is an image of my car that I was looking for - I wish it existed elsewhere, but maybe someone on here or pinterest will find it useful, and my trouble was worth it.
Well... almost worth it. My back tail light is still out because it wasn't the light bulb. The light socket itself is corroded to crap and does not conduct electricity to the tail light filament - only the brake light (to fully confuse me, one side had a brake light out and the other side had a tail light out... same bulb!) So it's Sunday, I doubt that's a part I can get at autozone, so I'll talk with the dealer and eventually have a fully functioning car again. The saga continues!