Hello and welcome back to the wonderful world of the Dogpound. In my last article I mentioned I spent the weekend cutting down a pine tree, but that was not the end of my weekend. I had taken my car in for repairs during the week and somehow they let the battery run down which kicked in the anti-theft radio mode. The radio will not operate unless you put in the correct code and for some reason they never called me for the code [which I had in my glove compartment] until they had tried so many times to reset it that it refused to take the code. Since they did not finish all of the repair work, I had to take the car back the following day, and they were able to get the radio to play again.
However, I did not notice till later that my CD and tape player were now non-functional as well. I figured I could just disconnect the battery, kick in the anti-theft mode and reset it with the hope that this would get my equipment fully functional again. I do not have a metric set of tools so it took some effort to get the bolt on the negative connector loose enough so I could get it off the battery. I got it off, put it back on and no CD player. Bummer. More of a bummer, now my car will not start. Double Bummer. Fortunately I had pulled the car out of the garage just in case this would happen [knowing my luck!]. I called my neighbor and he was nice enough to come up and give me a jump. While getting my battery running again I happened to notice that the date on the battery was February 2008 on a five-year battery. Yikes! Now I am thinking that I am living on a charmed life, so I better go get a new battery while the car is still running. As luck has it…[as mentioned before...knowing my luck], it was just after 5 p.m. on a Saturday and our little town’s NAPA store was closed for the weekend. The next store is 30 minutes away and the clock is ticking. I found an Auto Zone store, bought the battery and asked them if they would install it. I was told they only had two people in the whole store, they were swamped, and had no idea how long it would be before they could help me put the battery in the car. No shakes, the car started right up and I figured I could install the battery Sunday morning and life would be good. Well, so much for my plan.
I struggled with the connectors, but managed to get both of them off. I put the new battery in the holder, connected the positive terminal, but the negative terminal refused to tighten because, for some reason [my luck], it has a much smaller diameter than my old battery. So out comes the new battery, in goes the old battery along with a prayer that it will not give up the ghost quiet yet. Thankfully my prayers were answered as I made it back to the Auto Zone store without incident. I take the battery back in the store and they tell me that they have a shim/cap that will take up the slack and make for a tight fit. This time they come out to help me replace the battery [I needed to return the old battery to them anyway to get a $15 refund], and guess what? Now the terminal with the shim is too wide…however, since the cap is made of soft lead it was easy to just tear off a piece and slide in enough so we can make a good tight connection. Whew! What an effort to change out a single battery.
Now you understand why I would never make it as an auto mechanic. As always be good, play safe and remember to check your battery expiration date.
JR and Max