Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Another Car Experience

The Queen and I had the privilege of learning something new about my car yesterday. For those of you who don't recall, a couple of years ago we got to experience changing a flat (see Book Your Next Adventure at the House of Dodds). Yesterday it was the opportunity to learn how to jump a dead battery....

Normally, the Queen and I carpool together, but that didn't happen yesterday and it was probably a good thing. I wrapped my day up with a text to her saying "I'll pick you up in the morning at 7, I'm outta here" (or something of that nature). I knew that she was still at the office as she had things to take care of.

I head out to my car and using the remote, I unlock the doors. I get in, lock the doors, put the key in the ignition, turn and get.....silence. No clicking, no nothing. I think "hmm, this is odd. Lights are off. Car is in park. I wonder what is going on." So, I turn the key again and still nothing. I immediately grab my phone and text The Queen. Here is the exchange:

ABBA "What time are you leaving because my car is dead..."
Queen "Oh no! in just a minute."
ABBA "Can you come to the garage?"
Queen "Want a ride or what do you need?"
ABBA "I don't know. I think maybe a jump..."
Queen "You have cables?"
ABBA "I'll need to get it to the garage because it is really dead... I can't even get the locks to work"

I have to manually unlock the door and climb over the back seat to dig my jumper cables out of the back. I also pop the hood and look pitiful while waiting for The Queen to drive around. (I even try and call a couple of the guys that I work with but only get their voice mails.) Soon, the Queen arrives and she calls the King so that we have instructions on how to apply the cables. We both know that if you do it wrong then you could blow up the battery or something, and we really didn't want that to occur. We get the cables on, and she starts her car. About this time a guy starts walking in our direction. (Mind you, there have been any number of folks leaving the office walking right past us in the parking garage, completely ignoring us. In fact there was one guy parked next to me before the Queen showed up who got in his car and drove off as I'm standing there with my hood up, cables in hand....really, dude? You can't even offer to see if I need some assistance? What happened to Southern chivalry?)

The guy that did come offer to help was very nice. He confirmed that we did have the cables on correctly, made a comment about the corrosion that was on my battery, and said that it should be okay to try and start my car. After a couple little sputters, she did come back to life. He was nice enough to get a volt reader out of his truck to confirm that it was just the battery and that I didn't need to get a new alternator or anything like that.

The Queen followed me to the Goodyear place to make certain that I got there okay. They replaced my battery and thus far it seems to be good to go. However, there are a couple of things that are a little strange:
  • I stopped to fill up with gas after replacing the battery. I had just under 1/4 of a tank. It is a 14 gallon tank. The gas light typically comes on at about the 12 gallon mark, and it hadn't come on yet. However, when I was filling it up the auto-shutoff thing on the pump never did kick in and I finally stopped it at about 13.5 gallons.
  • My radio requires some code be put in before it will work again, so I'm in search of this "code" and the instructions for deactivating the anti-theft device.
  • My driver's window used to go all the way down or up with a push of the button (meaning I didn't have to actually hold the button) that isn't working anymore.
  • Maybe it is time to start thinking about a new car....
Some other interesting little tid bits:
I don't think I've ever had that battery replaced, which means that it lasted for a good 9 years.
I recently purchased a new form of jumper cable that you just plug into what used to be the cigarette lighter and is now the car outlet of both cars and jump the battery that way instead of with cables....however, that is still sitting in a box on my dresser.

I wonder what will be next to go on my baby.....