Getting a New Battery

I called AAA on the Monday morning after my car battery dying in MacArthur High School’s parking lot the previous Saturday night.  Sunday had been a most traumatic day – knowing I couldn’t drive anywhere!  I had no intention to go anywhere anyway, but I still felt like I was marooned on a small island.  😥

The guy from AAA arrived at my house within 20 minutes of my call and quickly gave my car a jump start.  He then connected some gizmo about the size of a laptop computer to my battery and turned on everything in the car that used power and let it run for about five minutes.  After turning everything off he checked the readouts on the contraption and advised me that my starter and alternator were OK and that my battery had a dead cell – and offered to sell me a new battery.   I said: “No thanks.” and pointed to the label on my battery advising that it had a 100 month warranty, with replacement at no charge during the first 36 months and only pro-rated charges thereafter.  I told him that I was going to drive immediately to the Ford dealership and get a free replacement because I had had the battery only 30 months.  So, he then tells me that driving a vehicle with a dead cell could do serious damage to the vehicle’s electrical system.  I told him that the dealership was less than two miles away and I would take my chances.  Geeeez!   Did he really think I was going to pay him over $100 for a new battery when I could get one for free?  I ain’t no dumb bunny!  I gave him a tip anyway and took off for the dealership.

I showed up at the Ford dealer’s service department with my original 30 month old receipt for the battery and advised the service rep that AAA had performed tests and determined that I had a bad cell but the starter and alternator were OK.  I wanted to avoid them coming to me and telling me that I was going to also need replacement for one or both – they do those things, you know!   🙄

About an hour later the service rep comes to me in the waiting area, tells me that the car is almost ready, but that the mechanic had advised that I needed to have my tires rotated.  I told him that I have the tires rotated four times a year when I have my oil changed, so I didn’t believe it was necessary.  He opined that perhaps the mechanic had noticed some uneven wear on one or more tires.  I still wasn’t buying it, so he moved on to another thing – and in doing so I learned a new word – well, not a new word, but a new definition for an old word.

He told me that the mechanic had noticed an accumulation of leaves in the cowl which needed to be flushed out because leaves getting down into that area could cause serious damage to the vehicle.  (I learned that the cowl is that area on a vehicle immediately below the windshield where it meets the hood).  This guy apparently did not want me to leave there without having to pay for some service – a matter of principal, I suppose.  😀

I was getting annoyed.  I told him that I knew for a fact that there were only a few leaves in the cowl, because I had seen them there that morning, but was too lazy to remove them – there certainly was no “accumulation”.  I told him that I don’t permit leaves and other debris to accumulate.  I don’t think it looks good.  I didn’t believe there was any possibility that there was any danger to my car.  He didn’t appear to be very happy but he gave up – and about ten minutes later I drove away with a new battery and an invoice with zero charges!  YAY!

When I got home I noticed a vehicle report card attached to my invoice.  Ford service people do a multi-point inspection on every vehicle brought in for service – most likely so they can find additional things that need attention that they can charge for.  👿    They check the lights, windshield, belts, hoses, mounts, brakes, steering, suspension, the exhaust system, transmission, tire wear, battery, wiper blades and all fluid levels.  For each item the mechanic makes checks in colored boxes.  Green means it’s good; Yellow means service may be required soon, and Red means there is an immediate problem.  Guess what!!  Every check mark was in a Green box!

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