So the morning before we are supposed to leave for Denver, I get in the car to go run errands. And the car struggles a little bit to start.
I thought, That’s odd; normally this starts right up.
I turned it off and tried again. Same thing–it started, but coughed and sputtered.
Uh, oh. Better have the battery tested, just to be sure. I’d hate to have it fail on the road.
I’d already spent about $500 last week at the dealer for tires and maintenance work; it took them three days (when it shouldn’t have) and I had to borrow a PT Cruiser
from them. So I didn’t want to go back there.
So I took it to a mechanic shop that a friend had recommended, told them about the sluggish starter, and asked them to test the battery.
Sure, no problem, the guy said. So I stepped into the waiting room and, um, waited.
A few minutes later, I looked up and out the window into the service bay, to see why it seemed to be taking so long to test the battery. And there are about five mechanics gathered around my car…looking and digging around in the trunk!
Several startling thoughts crossed my mind at once:
- What are they doing with the trunk open?
- Why do they need the trunk open to test the battery?
- Why are there so many mechanics gathered around my car?
- WHAT THE CRAP IS GOING ON?
It was just a little unnerving. Plus, I had groceries sitting in the trunk. Nothing incriminating or anything…but would YOU want five greasy mechanics digging through your groceries?
So the guy I’d talked to came back into the shop. So I asked him: “Can you tell me why you have my trunk open?”
He said, “We’re looking for the battery.”
Several thoughts crossed my mind at once:
- Why are they looking for the battery in my TRUNK?
- Wouldn’t the battery be in another part of the car? Like the front, maybe? Under the hood, where the battery always is?
- Why does it take five mechanics to locate a car battery?
- And why can’t these FIVE MECHANICS find the battery?
- This can’t be good.
- WHAT THE HECK KIND OF SHOP IS THIS, ANYWAY?
For a brief moment, it was like living in an episode of “Home Improvement.” You know, where some interesting problem with a car draws a bunch of greasy, grunting guys around–none of whom really seems to know what they are doing–to be the first to solve the problem.
Turns out they had located the connection points under the hood (separate from the battery itself) and sure enough, the battery was failing. They just couldn’t figure out where the actual battery was!
Finally, one guy figured it out. You could sort of see it buried under a bunch of other stuff in the engine…sitting in the wheel well on the driver’s side.
That’s right…in my car, for some reason, you have to take off the front wheel and pry off the inside cover, to change the battery.
It’s a conspiracy, I tell you.
Anyway, the battery is replaced now. I feel kinda bad saying this, but I didn’t really trust those guys to do it. Plus I just don’t think you should have to pay labor charges to change a battery, even if the car is purposely designed that way. But…knowing how me and cars don’t always get along, I didn’t trust myself to do it, either.
So I thanked the keystone mechanics, went to an auto parts store, bought a battery, and bartered with a trusted friend to change it for me.
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(610 words, 2 images, estimated 2:26 mins reading time)