Calling All Gearheads

Friday, 4 December 2009
It seemed like a good idea:  stop and get an adult beverage to celebrate a hard but successful day at work.  I pulled into the Circle K and went in for wine.  I paid, smiling to the cashier, being extra chatty to show how friendly I am (even to strangers).  The joy was short-lived, however.

My 2004 Jeep Liberty would not start.  I got in my car and accidentally unlocked, locked, unlocked and locked my car using my key fob (which is connected to the security system).  My key would turn but nothing happened.  The lights wouldn't come on but the radio worked.  I was wondering if it had something to do with the alarm system.  So, I tried locking, unlocking again, using my key...nothing.

Hmmmmmm.

I was about three blocks from home so in below-freezing temperatures in the dark, I hoofed it.  10 minutes later, pacing in my apartment, I found my car insurance policy number and phoned Geico.  No worries.  They'd send the "Pop-a-Lock" guy to give me a jump start.

Just in case the lovely vagrant men in the neighborhood wanted to mess with me, I pulled a steak knife from my kitchen drawer for the walk back.  Shaking my head and muttering about my bad luck, who would approach me anyway?

Back at my car, I opened the door, jumped in and tried to start it again.  No dice.  Did I mention it was cold?  A nice gentleman arrived with "Pop-a-Lock" and started charging my battery which appeared to be corroded.  The lights came on, the electric locks started working again but the engine would not turn over.  He suggested I need a new starter.

I called my road-side assistance program back and ordered a tow truck.  Then the waiting game began (in the cold again).  Luckily, for entertainment (they had an act cheering "Go Ducks!") there were two homeless men in the parking lot begging young college kids for money.  The two worked it together and ended up getting enough change to buy booze (I watched the whole thing go down while holding the steak knife in case they bugged ME).

Finally, around 2 a.m. the tow truck driver arrived to take my car to the shop.  Whew.

Now safely home, it is time for me to have a glass of wine and relax.  And in the time it took me to post my sob story my toes have started to get some feeling back.  I just needed to vent...and Violet is too busy running around my apartment in circles to listen.

6 comments

Chris F. said...

In spite of your troubles, the good thing is that you are home safely. I've had my fair share of issues involving automobiles, so I'm glad I have become quite handy at taking care of issues that come up from time to time.

Amber said...

Wow... what a night! I am seriously starting to wonder when you will have a week go by without something insanely frustrating happening! :( You're a trooper.

Have you thought about getting pepper spray to carry on your keychain? I have a lightweight plastic canister of the 3-in-1 (tear gas, UV dye, and pepper spray); I paid 10 bucks for it. It helps with peace of mind.

Also, I occasionally scrub my car battery terminals with baking soda, a bit of water, and an old toothbrush to remove the corrosion. That's one of the few car maintenance tasks I can actually do myself!

Mark Addison said...

I emailed you about this. I have sooo many horror stories about cars not starting when they NEED to start. (and the magical ways in which I made them ignite) lol
we'll talk.

Sam said...

I'm glad you made it home safe and your toes are working again. It's a shame that things have gotten to the point that you need a steak knife. Why not take a self defence course? If you feel the need to upgrade from your steak knife, this might do the trick. A lot of my Female friends like them. I can get you it at cost.

http://www.spyderco.com/catalog/details.php?product=209

Anonymous said...

I warn all of my friends, it's a good idea to carry the small key chain pepper spray but BEWARE of the spray going back into your own face. The mist is very fine and the small size of the can means there's not a lot of amp behind the squirt, so keep it at arms length and as close to your targets face as possible.
I'm speaking from personal experience. Although the enjoyment I felt watching the loser that thought he could touch me inappropriately running for his life was worth the terrible burny burn in my eyes.
XOXO,
Mel

Denae said...

I have to start carrying my pepper spray. I always forget about it and wonder if it will help anyway...Mel...seems like it does!

Amber...the "Pop-a-Lock" guy told me about the baking soda trick and I'm going to do it.

Addison...now I adore you even more. You know how to fix cars!?

Sam - wow that is heavy! I think the pepper spray might be best for me but thanks for the idea.