Deployment Diaries: Car Troubles

What a pickle!

Since it didn’t seem the storm was gonna hit the area, I decided that it was a good day to finish errands. I just receive my paper phone bill and wanted to get it done before I spend my extra money on something else. I got Liam to his car seat and everything was going great until I tried to start the car. Whenever I tried to turn the engine on the whole dashboard would just light up and flicker. The car would make clicking sounds but nothing. The radio and a/c worked fine. I started to panic. The only thing I knew about cars was how to drive it, I knew the basic maintenance things but nothing about how to actually do them. Such a girl I know. It didn’t help that he husband was underway too.

I was sitting there in my car that won’t start with my kid at the back seat panicking when my neighbor who was parked above me walked into view. The car seemed hopeless so i got out of the car, got Liam out of his car seat and went back to the apartment. Not having a car isn’t really an option right now cause I’m alone with a baby and running errands would just be a nightmare. I decided to message one of my husband’s friends who didn’t go underway with the ship. I told him about the whole car not starting issue. He got worried cause he called right away, he thought Liam and I were stuck somewhere. He was still at worked but he promised to come by after to see what the issue is and fix it.

This wasn’t the first time the car won’t start. We bought it from a friend who PCS-Ed so we’re aware that it to be jumped a few times cause whenever he left for deployment the car wasn’t used for several months so the battery dies out. I didn’t think it would be the issue now cause I use the car so often.  I only used the car the other day and it was working fine. None the less another friend came over and offered to help jump the car. We were there for 30 minutes and nothing happened. We gave up and decided to wait for our friend to get off work cause he know better than the both of us combined.

what my dashboard looked like whenever i try to start the car

Kuya Vince arrived a quarter before five, he went to the car and tried to start it himself. I told him about all the other failed efforts I did earlier to get the car to start. He told me about all the possible reasons the car won’t start. First it may be the batteries just because it seemed like it was the most obvious reason. Second it may be the alternator, the thing that helps the car to get power to start the engine. He told me not to worry about it and just go through the issues one by one.

After picking up the husband’s friend from A school we went and bought a new car battery. We didn’t have the right tools to take out the old battery from the car so we just brought the car registration. It didn’t seem like we needed to bring anything though cause they just asked for the make and model and they had a master list. For our car there were two types of batteries an wide one and a tall one but for me it was an expensive one and a cheap one. The wide battery costs 280 dollars and the tall one costs 140. I didn’t expect it to be that expensive. Good thing the cheaper one was the one for my car and that I didn’t buy the gopro that was on sale the other day.

We went back to my apartment and they installed the new battery in the parking lot. It worked cause right after installing the new battery the car roared to life. They also decided to check everything else just to be safe. Now I have a list of things I need to do with the car. They offered to do it themselves which is great cause I didn’t want to spend so much by bringing it to autoport on base. 

Lesson of it all: make sure the car gets a check up before the husband leaves for deployment.

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