On September 16, I lamented about the myriad of car problems that I faced. I listed out many things that I needed to do but I only did one: I checked the area around the spare tire for the radio code – Nothing. Since at that time I was still working on my comprehensive exam, I thought I could put everything on hold till after the exam. I thought wrong.
On the day before the exam was over, the car died (or so I thought). I drove home from the office, parked the car, closed the sunroof and windows, and before I could turn off the ignition the car just died. Usually if this happened, the alarm would sound when I opened the door, but that didn’t happen. I thought that was odd. Anyway that’s great, no alarm, so I tried to close all the doors using the key but only the driver’s door would lock..this was very odd. So I got into the car and tried to start the car but no sound nothing. No cranking sound, nothing happened. Yikes….the battery died and it wouldn’t wait till my exam was over. I manually locked all the doors and was very grateful that I was home and the sunroof and windows were closed before the battery died. What to do? I still had to work on my exam, so I just mentally put this stress aside and focused on the important and urgent task at hand. But at the same time I was planning all the things I needed to:
1. Call Garage Kleins to inquire about the battery.
2. Call AAA and get them to come and either jumpstart the car or toll the car to Kleins.
I handed in the second part of my comprehensive exam. I took the shuttle bus home. As I walked past the car, I thought I might as well try to start the car one more time before I did all the calling. When I opened the driver’s door, I was pleasantly surprised that the other doors would unlock too. And to my absolute amazement, the car started so I quickly drove to Kleins, crossing my fingers that the car would not die on the way there. I got there, told the mechanic my long long car problem history, stretching back to last winter. He looked at the battery and started the car many times and each time without fail the car started. Isn’t that the usual case?!! When you finally bring it to the expert, the problem cease to exist. He said everything looked fine but from what I told him, it sounded like a battery problem. So I suggested that I get a new battery instead. He went to look up a manual on battery-types for my car but then he didn’t have the exact size, so he took one off the shelf and said that that should work. And I was thinking, “Huh?! Can he do that? Is that safe? Maybe I should wait till he gets the right battery size.” But as usual, he’s the expert, so I should maybe just keep my mouth shut. As he was working to remove the battery, he eureka-ly found the source of all my car battery problems: the battery terminals were corroded, lots of oxidation on the areas that should have been clean and metal-shiny. And he went to get a battery terminal cleaning gadget and worked on it. This trip to Kleins cost $21.20.
So far no stalling, electrical shut-off, or car alarm problems. I haven’t worked on trying to remove the audio player to get the serial number yet. I suspect that I won’t be able to do it on my own. Even so, I should give it a try one of these days. Anyway, I’ve gotten used to driving in silence.
I promise I will get the car washed today.