Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Where's Waldo? the Battery?

One of the hazards of living in a northern climate is that if you leave your car for a day or two in cold termperatures, you're going to have difficulty getting it started.

Here's The Red Sled.

She wouldn't start, so I popped the hood to see about jumping the battery.

It's difficult for me to even identify some of the things under the hood.

I've jumped batteries hundreds of times before. Back in the day I'd work on my own cars. I remember unscrewing the wing nut that held on the air filter. You'd put a stick down into the carburetor to open the choke. Those days are gone.

Seriously, do you see a battery?

Looks like the engineers went mad. I checked the owners manual and it's no help. There's schematic drawing that tells me where to attach the jumper cable but that requires me to unlatch a cover and it doesn't indicate where it's located in the engine compartment.

The battery is actually enclosed somehow. You couldn't change the battery if you wanted to. This is why I am a low tech junkie. I don't even like power windows because it's just something else to break down.

Give me low tech every time. Have you ever looked at a straight-eight engine?

Photo Source: Howard33's Flickr Photostream

You'd say to yourself, "Where's the rest of it?"

Exactly. The fewer moving parts, gadgets and widgets there are, the less to breakdown.

A call to the service department of my Chevy dealer didn't elicit much help. Have you ever tried to describe an engine schematic over the phone?

The service manager sensed my frustration and came to my house after work to jump the car for me, and show me exactly where the battery was located.

That's how business is done around here.

Give me the good old days when I'd give the car a push and jump in and pop the clutch to start it. Now you know I'm an old timer.


chocolatechic said...

I love those old motors.

Double barrel carburetors. No computerized anything.

You could fix almost everything by yourself.

I remember my dad using a timing light to change the timing on the car. I loved that thing.

Leslie T. said...

I totally agree with you. I used to be able to diagnose just about anything that was wrong with my '66 Mustang. Back when an engine was an engine and not a computer. Everything was visible right there under the hood, not inside little plastic boxes. You could go down to the auto parts store and get just about anything you needed for $25. And, remember the Goop hand soap that looked like Crisco and worked like a dream?
Like you, I dislike and distrust automatic locks and windows. Just something more to malfunction. I have a fear of everything going on the fritz and I'll be clawing at the little door lock nubs, trying to pry one up so that I can get out. Oy.
The good old days are long behind us, as far as cars go. Glad that you have a nice person at the dealer, willing to come to your house and tell you where your battery was hiding! That's wonderful!

Vee said...

Ah, I remember the sticking of a screwdriver into the carburetor myself. You mean I can't do that anymore? Shoot! Well, I hear complaints such as yours on a daily basis from John who can go off on a rant about new cars for hours. Good to know that you are still living in a community where people help one another. I'm sending John over here later today. He'll not only agree with you, he'll be totally impressed with you!

Lisa D. said...

I agree with you - simpler is so often better. We had a dishwasher a few years ago that quit and the repairman said it was cheaper to replace the dishwasher than to replace the electronic panel. He said to just get one with a manual dial - nothing to go wrong.
I can fix many things around our place here, but I know nothing about the vehicles. I can plug in the block heater and fill it with gas and that's about it!

Diva Kreszl said...

they sure have made things complicated...I believe the days of being able to work on our own cars is gone!

Karen Deborah said...

I know how to do that too! Yeah! give it a push and pop the clutch. Fun memory and no I do not see a battery anywhere!

dana said...

I hear your pain.

We have an Acadia (my hubby drives it)....recently some message came on the dash that told him something was low with the battery. Anyway, when he opened the hood, he found the spot to jump the car..but there was no battery there, anywhere under the hood. SO, because he wanted to check the battery to determine what the charge on it was like, he got the manual out to see where the heck the battery WAS located. The manual didn't help. SO, sensing his keen frustration at this point, I suggested he call the dealership (amazing thought, I know) and ask someone there. After another few minutes of banging and clanging, he finally called the dealership. They told him it was under the floor mat on the right passengers side....IN THE FLOOR!

They don't make it easy.

It's been very cold in the KC, MO area, too (single digits) and LOTS of snow...with more to come tomorrow!


Anonymous said...

Yeah, in our 4 year old car two of our windows don't work properly and yesterday a valet at the VA hospital unlocked the windows and rolled them down. Finally this morning they decided to work. The dealer says the motors get too hot. BS, and it's $400 per window to replace these dang motors.

PamKittyMorning said...

When you mention the wingnut and the screwdrive it was like a huge flashback to my old Cougar. In some ways I miss those days, but then I really really don't want to have to do that again.

My battery is in my trunk. Had to jump the car the other day, and the new battery was almost two hundred dollars. What. The. Heck.And my car is 10 years old.

Anonymous said...

What a mess technology has made for us under our hoods. Well, they do seem to break down much less often, but wowzer... when they do there's not too many husbands left on this earth that know how to fix all that 'stuff' under the hood. It's sooooo unrecognizable isn't it?

The Blue Ridge Gal

I loved the days when you knew who was coming up your driveway just by the sound of the vehicle.