I’m Not Stupid (Day 171)

You know – I think when guys (that are working there) see a girl walk into an auto parts store they automatically think “She has no clue what she’s in here for.”

I am not your average girl. This is the girl who went to Atlanta for two years in a row for Hot Import Nights. This is the girl who used to hang out down town with a group of people who like to race – and not legally (and even did it herself a few times AND WON). This is the girl whose friends would call to ask for help installing body kits and engine parts when no one else would. I got dirty, I got greasy, I got burned. I am not totally stupid when it comes to cars.

I love Honda’s. They are my favorite brand of car. Although if someone came up to me and said “You just won this BMW 325i” I wouldn’t be disappointed! I’ve had lots of cars/trucks and I’ve had to do work on most of them either myself or helping fix it with Jeremy, my dad or someone else OR even taking it to a shop. I’m not afraid to get dirty.

So yesterday leaving home, leaving work – the car (2007 Honda Civic EXL) was fine. I get to my MIL’s house and wait for her to get there with Seth cause it was his first day (more about that later) and cleaned up a bit, did some bible study and watched Judge Judy. At about five I went to leave to go and get Jeff (my nephew) from work. I get in – go to start it – and the lights fade and it clicks. Won’t even TRY to turn over.

Dang IT!

So not what I needed. I called Jeff – told him to see if he could find a ride. Called my MIL Mary to let her know I couldn’t get Jeff and called Jeremy to see what he thinks is up. The lights dimming automatically says battery to me but my little wrench light was on. It’s been on for one day – Honda recommends getting your oil changed when it says 15% which is why the little wrench light comes on – to remind you to do it. I checked the oil just to make sure – seemed okay to me but the stick is orange and there wasn’t a definite line of black oil – I’m going Friday to get it changed anyway. It doesn’t leak and doesn’t burn so I just figured I was good and Jeremy said the same thing.

I go downstairs and find the battery jump-start Jeremy’s dad has from Black and Decker and hook it up to the battery. I let it sit for a few minutes then crank it. She starts right up. Jeremy said not to turn it off and go to Auto Zone and have them check the battery. I call Jeff – tell him I can come get him – but he’s already on his way with a friend but would meet me at the parts store. I called Mary to let her know too.

I pull in – leave it running and stand there for nearly five minutes before there is someone available to help me. I tell him I need my battery checked and he gets his stuff. After a few minutes of having the equipment hooked up to the battery he tells me to turn the car off. Then shows me the screen which says “end of life” at the bottom of it and says “Looks all good. There isn’t anything wrong with your battery but you should unplug that speaker in your trunk and look at getting a new starter.”

Seriously? That speaker has been hooked up since March and we’ve never had any issues. There is a capacitor cable running from the speaker in the trunk to the battery. My starter wouldn’t just quit once – it would quit all together. I leave there knowing the guy is lying and get a pizza for us all. I take Seth to church and decide to get a second opinion.

I go to Advance Auto Parts and ask the guy there to check the battery. Not too long after he’s out there he says “Yeah your battery isn’t holding a charge.” The equipment he has prints out a reading and he hands it to me. CCA (or cold cranking amps) for the battery is supposed to be at 570 (or somewhere close to that). My battery was reading 374 CCA’s. Come to find out it’s the original battery and that they only last about 4 years so it was time for it to crash.

$107 bucks later – the guy was installing the new battery and she started right up with no issues at all. I got a two-year warranty so if it ever quits working for one reason or another I get a new one for free. What I want to know is this – the guy at Auto Zone – was he just being a jerk and didn’t feel like putting in a battery or did he not know what he was doing?

I’ve replaced (and this is not all of it – trust me) a radiator on an 88 GMC Jimmy 4×4 with my dad, a starter and I think an alternator on a 94 Honda Accord EX with Jeremy and his dad in the middle of winter in a Pizza Hut parking lot while it was snowing, a few belts here and there on different vehicles, oil changes, body kits (4 total) on Honda’s and who knows what else. I may not know everything but I know enough. Do not under-estimate this girl.

xo – S.J.

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