Sometimes, It’s Not As Bad As You Think



I would have to say that in general, I’m not a patient, or positive person. I look at a situation, that looks bad, and it’s not so much that I panic, but I tend to look at it negatively and then attempt to avoid resolving it for as long as I can. Of course, the time always comes when I have to address whatever the problem is, directly. that’s something that recently happened t me.

For the last month or maybe 6 weeks, when I’d get in the car to go somewhere, start the engine – nothing. I have a portable charger in my garage and would pit ut on, and notice that, well, it does look like I have enough powert in the battery to start the car. But it wouldn’t start so I would leave the charger on for an hour or so. I’d come back, it showed fully charged and go about my way completing whatever errand I was trying to accomplish. Then, a couple days later, the same thing happened. I’d place the charger on, showing that there should be enough power to start, but I wondered why I went from 100% to 85% in 2 days! that’s not right! I’m not much of a mechanic anymore since everything, 20 or so years ago went computerized, but yes, there’s something wrong here.

Is it the battery? If so, I’m pissed because I just replaced it 2 years ago with a very highly rated battery. I didn’t think so because the battery charged up quickly as soon as I placed the charger on it. Then I thought, “Oh great, it’s the alternator.” Which supplies power back to the battery via the negative pole. That had to be it. Oh, crap, I thought, that’s a 6 or $700 replacement – just for the part. having it installed? Add another $150., Just what I need, but okay, if it has to be done, then that’s it.

I had started removing the positive pole from the battery after any trip, to save the battery. Still, when it was fully charged, after a short trip, I would place the charger on just to show the amount of battery power left and I would see it well below 90%. that’s weird. It’s got to be the alternator that’s not supplying power back to the battery. Oh, well, suck it up and get the car repaired.

But just earlier this year, I was out of the country for 5 weeks and when I returned, to my car the in long term parking, it was a little hard to start, but it did, and after thae hour trip home, and for some time later, no problem. So, alternator. Hey it’s not a new car so that’s possible, right? I ran into the same issue today. Even though just 2 days before, with having had the charger on the battery and a round trip to the store, I received a “click-click-click” when I attempted to start it. So okay, let me place the charger on for a while. When I placed the charger on, it showed that my battery was, again, at 85% which should be enough power to start it.

What the heck? I’m standing there, in the garage, the hood up, looking  at the engine compartment and quietly cursing. It was then my eyes wandered over to the battery and I boticed something, for the first time. I’ve looked at thios over the last couple of months multiple times but I didn’t notice this one thing. The negative pole on the battery was loose. How did I know? It wasn’t completely seated on top of the battery. So I pushed it down, grabbed a wrench to tighten it. That’s when I recalled that when I had put this battery in, I had just hand tightened that pole because the nut is recessed and a regular wrench wouldn’t fit.Yes I have other tools, but I am lazy, really lazy and didn;t get a ratchet to tighten it.

So I did, and then did the same on the positive pole and guiess what? Immediately started up.I felt so dumb and yes, I should have.As I said the battery read 85% before that and after I ran my short errand, I placed the charger back on, just to check, and it was 94%.. I had taken weeks to figure out the simplest of solutions. My battery was now recharging as it ran.

Sometimes the worst possible outcome that anyone may consider, turns out to be applying a ratchet to a nut.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s