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Freeezing Rain and Elusive Car Batteries

So I get out of work last night only to discover that my car's battery had died.

Yes, boys and girls, at about 5:45 p.m. I find myself in the middle of the parking lot, amidst the freezing rain, standing next to a car with a defunct battery.

The car is also trapped between two other cars whose owners are nowhere to be found. Hence, no way for anyone to get their car close enough to mine to jump start my poor Silver Bullet.

If I had not been so bloody cold and tired, the whole adventure would have been even funny.

"So what happened to you?" Says a random guy, watching me and my car, which has its hood open.

"Battery died out," I say.

"Oh, I could give you charge but I've got no jumper cables."

"I do," I reply as I show him the cables I've been holding in my hand all along.

"Oh," he says. "Can you put your car in neutral so we can push it back and I can help you?"

"Nope. It's an automatic and the damned thing won't budge. Damn safety features."

"Is there anything I can do?"

"Do you know who owns the two cars parked next to mine?"

"Sorry, no."

"Well, then you can't help me, but thanks."

Mind you, this is about the fourth guy who offers help, bless his soul. But what boggles the mind is that none of them carry jumper cables. Me? I always carry the biggest, meanest, heavy duty cables money can buy, among other things.

A girl must always be prepared, God knows guys seldom are.

Not that it is of any help when you can't get access to your car but anyway . . .

In the end, we finally find out who is the owner of one of the cars (a brand new Mercedes shiny enough to make any of the guys drool). It belongs, as it happens, to a lady who is an acquintance of mine and who is only too happy to come out and help, and even happier to have an excuse not to stay to work late.

So there we are, the owner of the Mercedes, three security guards and Yours Truly. The guys are very nice and volunteer to help. We open the hood of my car, hook the cables to the battery, and . . . we can't find the battery in the Mercedes.

One of the guys suggests that the battery might be in the trunk. The lady argues that the battery in this particular model is not in the trunk. We spend the next 15-20 minutes (freezing rain still soaking us) looking for the elusive battery with the help of my flashlight. Alas, no dice. Apparently Mercedes cars work on magic or mushrooms or fairy dust because the silly thing is nowhere to be found.

We finally give up and someone volunteers his truck. I thank the lady in the Mercedes, who waves goodbye and takes off as we hook up the jumper cables to the truck and my car finally comes back to life.

By then it is almost 7 p.m. and I can barely feel my feet.

When I get home, after a grueling drive featuring crazy motorists, frozen overpasses and non-working traffic lights, I hug and kiss ballistabob and tell him that I've got no intention of living the house for the next month or two.

(If only!)

One thing is for sure. I have no intentions of purchasing a Mercedes Benz any time soon. Not only I am too cheap to spend the money on it, but I refuse to buy a car whose battery I can't find in a pinch.

Then again, I can always dream on one . . .

Preferably one that can fit an 8 feet spear . . .

I think I will keep on dreaming . . .



( 34 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 13th, 2008 06:58 pm (UTC)
Bummer. A lot of guys couldn't figure out what to do with jumper cables if they did have them. I think all our cars have cables. Will have to double check to be sure. Thanks for the reminder.

Also, if the car has a safety lock on the parking feature, there's usually a way to defeat it built in. Om my car, it's under a little plastic cover near the shifter that you can pop off.

As for the Mercedes, some cars now have covers over the battery. Not that that helps now, of course...

Feb. 13th, 2008 07:01 pm (UTC)
Yeah, one of the security guards was trying to disable the parking feature, but we couldn't figure out where the thingy was. In the end, I was afraid that we would disable the wrong thing. Probably a result of my paranoia at that point. :-(

As for the Mercedes, some cars now have covers over the battery. Not that that helps now, of course...

Good gravy, yes. There were covers everywher and we lifted them all, but still no battery. God knows where it was. Maybe we missed it in the shuffle. Sigh.
Feb. 13th, 2008 07:00 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I've had similar experiences with guys not having jumper cables. Me? I always have jumper cables in my car, especially since both of my cars have had funky electrical systems.

Hm. I wonder if Hubbyfink has jumper cables in the Prius...
Feb. 13th, 2008 07:02 pm (UTC)
Better ask him just in case ;-)
Feb. 13th, 2008 07:04 pm (UTC)
Geoff used to take his 9 foot spear with him when he went car shopping!
Feb. 13th, 2008 07:08 pm (UTC)
That's the right way to shop for a car! :-)
(no subject) - sskipstress - Feb. 13th, 2008 07:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 13th, 2008 07:36 pm (UTC)
Bel If you put the key in the ignition and turn it to the on position the interlock is defeated and you can put the car into neutral. No power brakes so allot of pressure is need on the brake pedal to stop.
Feb. 13th, 2008 07:38 pm (UTC)
I tried that but the shift gear still wasn't budging. I don't know what it was, or perhaps I wasn't doing it right. :-(
Feb. 13th, 2008 07:47 pm (UTC)
Solution: long-ass jumper cables.
Feb. 13th, 2008 07:49 pm (UTC)
Oh, believe me, these were long-ass jumper cables. The problem is the weird structure of our parking lot. It is at a weird angle and try as we might, we could not get those cables to reach. :-(
Feb. 13th, 2008 08:04 pm (UTC)
When my battery died right before Christmas, I used my insurance company's roadside assistance. They sent a guy who had a portable jump starter.
Feb. 13th, 2008 08:06 pm (UTC)
I thought about it. Usually, the dude with the truck would have taken longer to arrive than me and the three security guards tracking the owner of the Mercedes. Hence, we tracked the owner of the Mercedes. :-)
(no subject) - sskipstress - Feb. 13th, 2008 08:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - belfebe - Feb. 13th, 2008 08:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 13th, 2008 08:21 pm (UTC)
It is tales like this that make me glad for AAA. Fast, polite service. Though I rarely use them, I'm grateful each time. That and the discounts at hotels, etc.
Feb. 13th, 2008 08:23 pm (UTC)
They are definitely awesome. It it had not been our workplace's parking lot, where finding the owner of the cars parked next to me wasn't that difficult (annoying yes, but not that hard), that would have been my option. ;-)

It pays to have that extra roadside assistance.
Feb. 13th, 2008 08:23 pm (UTC)
AAA is your friend. The AAA is good. All hail the AAA.

If you don't already have it, you should get it. They could have come and jumped you (heh) right there. Besides, having a membership also gets you nifty discounts on hotel rooms (not for the AAA man to jump you!)

Edited at 2008-02-13 08:24 pm (UTC)
Feb. 13th, 2008 08:24 pm (UTC)
I have it, through Geico. It's only that it would have probably taken longer from the time I called, to the time they got to me in a night like that. What with the traffic and all. With the roads covered in ice, traffic was at a crawl.

Edited at 2008-02-13 08:26 pm (UTC)
Feb. 13th, 2008 08:25 pm (UTC)
If the Mercedes is anything like my mother-in-law's old one, the battery is under the back seat. Really a pain in the ass to get to, no opun intended. Makes 'em damned hard to steal, though.
Feb. 13th, 2008 08:27 pm (UTC)
So that's where it was! We went bananas looking for it! LOL
(no subject) - greta_k - Feb. 13th, 2008 09:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - belfebe - Feb. 13th, 2008 09:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - thatpotteryguy - Feb. 14th, 2008 01:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - greta_k - Feb. 14th, 2008 02:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - chargirlgenius - Feb. 15th, 2008 12:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - belfebe - Feb. 15th, 2008 02:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 13th, 2008 09:49 pm (UTC)
My Miata battery used to be in the trunk, but that was because it was such a small car. No reason for a Benz to have space issues like that.

I don't know about an eight-foot spear, but I can get five rolls of velvet (60" wide), 50 lbs of hemp rope, and a small apprentice in my Audi TT Roadster. Not bad for having no back seat, eh? ;)
Feb. 13th, 2008 09:50 pm (UTC)
Ohhh, Audi TT Roadster . . . drool . . .
(no subject) - kass_rants - Feb. 13th, 2008 09:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - belfebe - Feb. 13th, 2008 09:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kass_rants - Feb. 13th, 2008 10:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - belfebe - Feb. 13th, 2008 10:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - greta_k - Feb. 14th, 2008 02:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
( 34 comments — Leave a comment )

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