Skip to content

Going nowhere

I woke up this morning and could tell from the colour of the light coming in through the bedroom curtains that it had snowed overnight. However, I can never tell how bad the situation is until I put my glasses on and open the curtains, as a sprinkling of snow looks just the same to my blurry vision as several inches. Fortunately, it wasn’t much today, just a light dusting. It was well below zero though, and the car looked pretty solidly frozen.

At first I thought the car wasn’t as badly affected as it looked. The central locking worked fine, and I was able to open both the driver’s door and the one on the passenger side, which hasn’t always been the case. But when I tried to start the car to get the engine warmed up, the ignition flickered briefly into life then died completely. The battery was totally and utterly dead. There wasn’t even enough juice to use the central locking again to secure the car while I thought about what to do next. With hindsight, I’m not sure why I was so concerned about locking the car – it’s not as though anyone could have driven off in it without using jump leads!

I could see from the tracks in the snow on their drives that my neighbours had already gone out to work, so I was unlikely to be able to get a jump start from them. I do have RAC membership, but only Roadside and Recovery, not Home Start, so there was no point calling them out. So I decided the best thing to do was to call the mechanic at my regular garage who services the car each year. Mike said that he’d come out and get the car started, and get & fit a new battery for me, but although he said he’d be able to sort me out this morning, he couldn’t be sure exactly when he’d be able to get here. Which meant I had to take the morning off work at no notice, and dial in to a rather important project progress meeting which I was meant to be chairing.

It did make me reflect rather on the perils of being without a car in the middle of nowhere with minimal public transport. However, true to his word, Mike did turn up late morning and get the car started with some sort of battery-booster. I was then instructed to leave the car running for a good ten minutes before I drove to his garage at the far end of town, so that if I did accidentally stall the car on the way there would be enough charge in the battery to re-start it. I didn’t much like that implied slur on my driving skills – I don’t often stall it! But I wasn’t prepared to take the chance, so I did exactly as I was told!

I’ve now got a new battery fitted, which I suspect is the first time it’s been replaced since the car was new, eleven years ago. If so, that’s not bad going I suppose. It came completely out of the blue though – I’d seen no warning signs at all that the battery was on its last legs. But at least I shouldn’t have to worry about getting a flat battery for the rest of this winter. But I could have done without the hassle!

{ 2 } Comments

  1. Kevin | 5 February 2015 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    I have only seen snow once on a visit to Canada. The coldest temperature ever recorded in Perth City was the overnight minimum of 0.0 C on the 27th July, 1998
    In Western Australia, hot summers are our bag. At this moment two small towns in our South are facing massive bush fires and look like being wiped out.

  2. Gillian | 5 February 2015 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    The temperature here has been hovering around zero for several weeks and it looks like it will stay bitterly cold for a while longer. The bush fires around Northcliffe and Boddington have even been reported over here – they look horrendous.