Entry into the Copperstate requires a safety inspection, hopefully ensuring the car should at least make it the starting line without any issues other than possible driver error! Much like a physical, this involves a thorough review from the Doctor, with an appropriate signature to confirm all parts have been investigated as necessary. My new specialist is located in Torrance, so in between a hip-hop cardio class (I’m confident to report I WON’T be appearing on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ any time in the next millennium) and Billy Connolly’s one man show last Saturday, I managed to persuade my good friend, Helen to follow us down to the OC for a doctor’s appointment.
The weekend was already resembling an army maneuver due to our over packed schedule – I forgot to mention the Elizabethan cocktail tasting that included Possett and Sack – but I was relatively confident the drive should take no more than an hour each way to reach and return from said location. Garage door open, driveway clear, GPS navigation entered into the phone, personal friend taxi ready to accompany and then bring me back; all I needed to do was start my engine…..
No cough, burp or lights. Nada, Rien, Nienete.
Opening the bonnet, I confirmed the battery terminals were connected; but noticed something dangling from the positive lead that seemed to require attaching to somewhere. Unsure of what I could be looking for, I poked around for a bit and then resorted to my standard mechanical default, “Brenting”.
This is a simple and often successful tactic, requiring nothing more than a phone. I dial a number, Brent answers, I grizzle for a bit, he listens, either makes a suggestion or comes over and fixes. Last year had him crawling into the passenger footwell, but I was pretty confident he would be able to stay outside the car for my current dilemma – instant improvement! Unfortunately my idea started going immediately haywire when I realised Brent was already dealing with mechanical issues of his own. We chatted for a bit, I sent a photo of my extra thing, and was happy to find out he was fairly confident that whatever my rogue attachment may be, it shouldn’t stop the standard procedures. So, we pulled out jump leads and started towards Plan B.
Cables attached, Jeep revving with all it’s 3.6L might, and still nothing. Well, that’s not strictly true; I had the slightest glimmer of a light UNTIL turning the key in the ignition and then all signs pointed to the Egg being as dead as a dodo. Back to the phone, this time calling the new Egg Doctor, Ed Klasse. We ran through the current lack of current despite two attempts to jump start her, checked fuses, pulled at the terminals again, and conceded that this Egg was looking more like an omelette.
On to Plan B V2. Ed and his partner would drive up to me, see what they could find and then take the Egg back down to Torrance – not really the way he’d intended to spend his Saturday afternoon, I suspect. Fortunately for him, I have smarter friends than me, so Helen suggested we try another pair of jump leads just to be sure that option could be ruled out completely. Cables reattached, Jeep revving again…..at which point there was a noticeable improvement in the strength of the ignition lights.
Now convinced and relieved my issue was limited to the battery, we pulled it out and headed to the local autoparts store. They offer a free re-charging service, which seemed the logical place to start. One charging station later, my extremely helpful salesman confirmed what we begun to suspect – “it’s not resting, it’s dead”. He agreed to give my old battery a decent burial, and handed over a brand new replacement. Within ten minutes the Egg was also revving with all it’s might, I’d reassured Ed he didn’t have to venture north and we were imminently en route as planned.
Despite the inevitable 405 traffic, we reached our destination in just over an hour. Ed gave the Egg a cursory once over, and reassured me that not only would she be rally ready in a couple of weeks, I will have a detailed and comprehensive breakdown of just how good (or maybe not in some places), her condition really is…..!!