Sunday, September 23, 2007

Thank Goodness for AAA

So hubby-Eric and I went out this morning. He noted that his car had been having odd power-loss problems recently, but neither of us thought it was serious enough to worry about. Ha.

While we drove down a long straight road, the car lost power twice. Not huge losses, just ... twitches... Right up until we got to the stoplight at the end of the road. Then the car died. Eric managed to get it going, but halfway into the intersection it died again, and he couldn't get it started. With the help of another driver, I pushed the car out of the intersection, then I got in the driver's seat and kept trying until the car started up again. I got us through the intersection... then into a tiny parking area after the car died again.

We didn't try to go further, we just called AAA.

While we waited, I called a few other people. The only one I got a hold of was my brother, who offered to come and help. I thanked him and let him know that we would call back if AAA stranded us somewhere we needed a ride from.

It took awhile, but we finally got a tow truck. The driver played with the battery and showed us that the cable leading to the battery was loose. He thought that maybe it wasn't getting charged properly, so that was the problem. He used a penny to tighten up the cable, and hopefully that was that.


We left the car running and signed a bit of paperwork (and I called my brother back to let him know we didn't need help), and the tow truck took off for his next call. By the time we got back to the car, it had stopped running. I didn't think anything of it, but Eric was a bit flustered. He tried to start the engine. Nothing. Just that annoying clicking you get when the battery is completely dead.

The tow truck was far enough gone that we couldn't wave him back, so we made a second call to AAA. A short while later the same tow truck called to find out what had happened. Eric explained. The truck was on the way to another call, but he said he'd send a different truck.

We were about 2 miles from home, where the van sat. Rather than sit and stew, I suggested to Eric that he walk home. Then, if I ended up having to be towed, he could come and pick me up at the dealership or autoshop. He finally agreed after I talked him into it for awhile. Thus I got to sit in the car, next to the freeway, waiting for the tow truck.

Hood Up

After a good long wait, the new tow truck arrived. He was perplexed by the problem, but after I described the whole series of events and he used a mobile jump box to start the engine, he told me the battery was not holding a charge anymore. I chose to drive it home, where I could get another jump if needed, and not worry about it. The tow truck followed me home, and I got home just before Eric. As expected, when we tried to start the car again once home, it wouldn't start. The tow truck driver said the battery and its cables need to be replaced.

So we have a dead car in our garage. We're down to only the van working. And Eric's shop for the car is in Ballard, which is a good long drive away. We haven't really got the money to repair the car, but we have no choice. It's always the way, though. You aren't allowed to get ahead, just less further behind.

Someday, when I'm rich, I'm getting a new car. An actual new car, not a used car that's just new to me. Preferably a hybrid or a smartcar or something with great gas mileage that doesn't have too much nasty emissions. Someday. When I'm rich. Yeah.