Tuesday, November 14, 2017

I saw it coming

About a year ago, when I was getting an oil change, the mechanic said my battery was weak and I was due for a replacement. "Thanks, but not today," I replied.

I could tell the battery was (like all of us) slowly approaching death. It still had enough life to turn the engine, but (like all of us) it seemed to do it a little slower, a little less enthusiastically, each time.

This summer I mentioned to Forrest I'd need a new battery sometime soon. In his no-worries way he said, "It still starts, right? You don't need a battery until the day it won't start."

That day was yesterday.

No problem, I have jumper cables. And though I'd never tested their length before, I suspected they were long enough to reach my house batteries. They were. And it worked.

So, off to get a battery. I checked the voltage gauge as I drove. It read about 14 volts, as it should, so I knew the alternator was doing its job, trying to charge the battery. When I got to the store I turned off the Rolling Steel Tent and tried restarting. Yup, dead, not just really low and in need of a good charging.

I got the tools out, removed the deceased battery, and took it into the store.

The clerk looked like that type of guy who could tell you way more than you'd ever care to know about Dungeons & Dragons (never sensing you had no interest) but who didn't know a thing about cars, other than as a passenger because he'd never learned to drive. But looks can be deceiving. The guy knew his stuff.

"I need a battery for my van," I said, pointing over my shoulder.

"The Express?"


"Gas or diesel?"




Clickety-click on the keyboard. "Okay, do you want the $50 battery or the $100 one?"

"Does anyone ever get the $100 one?"

Shrug. "Not really." I love it when they don't try to up-sell me.

"Then the $50 one."

I installed the new cheap-o battery and gave it a try. Vroom. Success. I ran other errands and the van started every time. Vroom. It sat overnight and I tried it again. Vroom. One less thing to worry about.

1 comment:

  1. Since you are NOT normally running the house off the starting battery, you made the right choice. I have met too many folks trying to run the house and vehicle off the one smaller starter battery. It works for a little while.