It never fails. Crap always (ALWAYS) happens when the spouse is deployed. Washers break down, kids get sick, the ice maker stops working. It may have worked just fine 2 days ago when they were still home, but the minute they head out, deployment gremlins move in.
This time around the gremlins have seized our cars. A couple of days ago after dropping off the kids at school, I come back to the car to sit, look at my phone, and sip some coffee while the drop off traffic tapered down. This time as I sat idling, the engine was running funky. It felt like it wasn’t getting enough gas. With the kids’ school on the opposite side of town, I said a silent prayer that I could limp her home.
I got to the corner and she died.
Can I just say, that while I’m pretty industrious and don’t mind manual labor, car problems make me freak out exponentially. Mostly because the minute you step into a car shop as a female, the bill is instantly doubled or tripled…or at least it seems.
Taking a deep breath, I started the car again, revving the engine to make sure it was getting enough gas….and I limped home. It died twice and then the other stop signs and lights, I maneuvered my heel on the gas with my toe on the brake, never really letting it come down to a complete idle.
For two days, I’ve been fortunate enough to have hubby’s car here, so no big deal. I’ll just drive the little car (gets better gas mileage anyway). We’ll fix the big car once we can have a friend come take a look at it and diagnose her before I decide how to proceed.
I wake up this morning (my dear son’s birthday, no less) and have a million things planned (HA!) and we get in the car, every one has their lunch? Check! Turn the key, and ….
Kids may have left the dome light on all night….I don’t know because nothing is working now. Crap. We grab all of our stuff and pile over into the big car. The one that just a few days ago was dying on me.
“Please, please, just get the kids to school and me back home so I can jump the little car and all will be well,” I quickly muttered a prayer as I turned the key. She started right up, and I wasn’t seeing anymore of the indicator lights (idiot lights) on as they had been the other day. “Okay….”
I’ve never in 9 years had my kids be so quiet in the car. All of us silently straining to hear any indication of trouble with the engine noise. We made it to school. I made it back home. No big deal, I’ll jump the blue car and we’ll be in great shape. I’ve got this. I am woman hear me roar, right?!
Hooking up the jumper cables, this is what I see….
Perhaps it wasn’t just a drain on the battery from a light being left on. I do what any industrious lady does when confronted with an issue: I googled it. “What is the blue gunk on my car’s battery?” I typed in and got my answer and solution. Mixing up the baking soda and water and spooning it on, all the corrosion acid came right off. Yay science! Easy peasy. Hook up the jumper cables (after a quick refresher on the order, thanks again Google!)
I get my little car to start. I idle them both and let the battery charge up. Mentally patting myself on the back for handling life, I assume it’s probably been long enough and I unhood the cables, stop the big car and start putting stuff away. I turn off the little car, and then decide, I better restart it just to make sure I’m good to go.
Nothing. No click, no trying to start, not a peep.
It is at this point my inner brat rears her ugly head. My inner brat is a 5-year-old who really likes stuff. New stuff in particular. She wants to go to the Honda dealer and pick out a shiny something that will give her no mechanical trouble. (Although a hefty car payment would be seriously headache inducing. I tell her to sit down and shut up.
Time to go to Walmart for a new battery! I can do this! To the kids’ school to drop off cupcakes for dear son’s birthday. (Thank you to dear daughter’s teacher for help with timing so I didn’t have to make another trip across town!!) Home with new battery I set out to install the thing myself! Yes, I googled that, too! Wore gloves to protect my skin from any corrosion, used proper tools (metric wrenches for imports, standard for domestic!) and got the job done.
Deep breath, please start, please start, please start….
She turned right over and purred like a kitten! YAY new battery! Yay for Google! And yay for a running car!
Is it time for bed yet? I’m exhausted….