The sound of a car failing to turn over merits a spot on the Top-10 List of saddest audio experiences. That's no doubt why I frowned when I heard just that stuttering sigh-groan on Sunday night.
A jump-start ensued to resuscitate the patient, followed by a tour of surrounding 'burbs while the alternator worked its magic. I boldly shut the car off after 30-plus minutes of driving in order to fill up its tank. To my relief, the restart proved reliable. Luck held through the night, fortunately spent garaged -- Monday morning's start only marred by one hesitant cough before catching.
From work, I called an auto parts shop that, based on online research, had a fitting battery. "Come later in the day," said the voice who answered the phone. "Then, I'll have enough staff for someone to help you." I frowned again, looking out the window at wind-blown snow, thinking about the cold's power to sap a suspect battery.
The afternoon, though, brought sunshine and a start with now a couple of hiccupy hesitations. Driving meant recharging, so I did make it home via one stop at the battery shop.
Turns out the battery that would fit my mobile didn't qualify for the fine print on the large poster proclaiming, "Free Battery Installation!" So, I fastened my DIY courage to the sticking point of one YouTube video and a confirming article by itstillruns.com, a site with a backhanded compliment of a name. Those sources stoked the belief that, yes, I might actually be able to do this myself. My humble socket-wrench set proved just adept enough for the tricky contortions to reach requisite nuts and bolts; really, the wrench, proved too adequate, shearing one screw in half due to my apparent over-tightening. A different auto parts shop bailed me out with a replacement, which I, chastened, fastened with tasteful restraint. (My internal defensive pessimist foresees one or more loose connections proving my next technical downfall.)
For now, however, this story features a happy ending. When I activated the trunk's electric release to stash the old battery, I felt reassured I was back in business. When I turned the key and the engine jumped to life, I felt proud.