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How to Change a Light Bulb – or What’s Really Wrong With Detroit
 
The left headlight on my 2006 Dodge Stratus burned out the other evening.. No big deal. After years of driving a Japanese model, I was sure that the little light would just pop in and that’s all there would be to it. I am blessed with the world’s best mechanic and changing the bulb will be easy-peasy for him.  

Forty five minutes later, he finally got the new bulb installed. During that time, he stood on the bumper, pulled on the front grill until the car moved forward and moved out parts that none of us recognized. Also during that time, he discovered that my car had lost ANOTHER oil cap.

Last time, the cap was found sitting on the engine block. We blamed it on a careless oil changer (yes, I cheated on him briefly). Now I am not so sure. No one has touched the motor since the world’s best mechanic serviced it before our last trip to Frankfort. We’re going with spontaneous eruption.
 
Anyway, below are the directions for changing the headlamp in a 2006 Dodge Stratus printed in my owner’s manual three pages of illustrations, unworkable directions (nothing was accomplished “gently”). The metal of the side of the car covers the headlight just enough to make it impossible to remove - at least by mortals without superpowers.  We all wondered aloud why it was so difficult. Surely somebody at the factory noticed that there is an easier way to change a burned out headlight? Does anyone up there even care?

Please note here that I really do love my car. It gets great mileage on the highway (30 miles to the gallon). But it is beginning to have those rattle and bangs that only very, very old Toyotas develop prior to expiring at 250K miles. My car is shy of 75,000.  I am becoming more convinced that the life of the loan will exceed the life of the car.


Any questions why Detroit is in trouble?


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