Honey, the car needs a new battery


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There is a song that goes “sometimes you are the windshield, sometimes you are the bug.”  For whatever reasons, these past few weeks Kevin and I have felt more like “the bug” than “the windshield”.

Call it a series of unfortunate events,  lately, there have been a whole bunch of little things,  that all seemed to happen at once.  Dealt with on their own, they are not that difficult to handle, but when a major life event , the death of a loved one, occurs in the same week, all those little things suddenly add up to an insurmountable obstacle that make it nearly impossible to exit ones bed in the morning and make it thru the day.

Unfortunately, at some point, we must pry ourselves from the security of our blanket forts and deal with life as it comes.

So, while Kevin is in Texas with his brother sorting thru the remains of his sisters life, I am here in Mexico with a dead car battery.

I called our neighbour and friend who took time out of his extremely busy day to come over early Thursday morning to give the car a boost, and off I went.

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We bought the battery at Costco, and they do have a 48 month warranty.  I wasn’t sure how old the battery was, but was fairly certain it hadn’t crested the warranty period.

 

My first surprise of the day came when the service attendant explained that while Costco does sell car batteries, they are not allowed to remove or install them.  I am sure the WTF expression on my face said it all, as the attendant did offer to lend me a pair of pliers to remove the cables with.  Easier said then done!  Kevin, when you cleaned the posts off the last time and tightened those connector things, you did a really good job!!

I finally managed the first one, but the second one… I have to admit I was nearly in tears by the time one of the white shirted helpers wandered over to offer his assistance.    With misgivings, I handed the pliers over to him, hoping he wouldn’t break something in his efforts.  I needn’t have worried.   Before I could take my next ragged breath, he popped that thing off the post and hoisted the battery out of the jeep and into the waiting cart!   Having witnessed my first miracle of the day, I tipped him and skipped back into the store with the battery.

A quick turn on the tester confirmed that the battery had indeed died and as it did not make the 48 months, the cost of my new battery was pro-rated accordingly.  *yay, another win!!

I took the new battery out to the jeep, lifted it into place (yes, by myself!) and discovered the shape of the new battery was different and the cables would barely reach the posts.  I will leave the swears out.

I could  have called another friend at this point, had I

1. bothered to put money on our pay as you go phone and

2. thought to program said friends number into the phone.

It briefly occurred to me to go back into the store to ask for a battery with a flat top, the same as the old one, but honestly,  I figured that our jeep was so old, they didn’t sell the flat top batteries any longer.

In the process of stretching the short little cables to reach the new battery post, I dropped a nut into the depths of the engine compartment  (You know, the one that holds the connection together?  Yeah, that one.)  and it landed securely on a little shelf just underneath the battery holder and quite out of my reach.  So close, yet so far.

A second little old man dressed as a Costco parking lot helper approached, most likely thinking I was offering lessons on how  to swear in English.   With his help and the aid of the borrowed pliers we were able to beat those posts into submission, to at least make enough of a connection so that I could get the jeep started, and I don’t think I taught him any words he didn’t already know.

I returned the cart and the pliers and drove straight to our regular mechanic, thinking I would just get him to make longer connectors.   He took one look at the battery and said “They sold you the wrong one.”   Now it was his turn to wear the WTF look.

Honestly, I am not sure I have the energy to go thru all that again.  The truck starts, and the mechanic did give me a new nut so the connections are secure….

 

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About Kevin Wood

My wife and I sold everything and moved to Mexico to open a Bed and Breakfast.
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