My Car’s Battery As Collateral Damage


The battery in my car is dead, collateral damage from the move. My car rode out west on a trailer, but the alarm cutoff switch was never thrown. My little SLK230 honked and blinked coast-to-coast.

When it finally arrived in California the battery was dead. No clock. No lights. No electric door locks. Dead!

Luckily the car came west with jumper cables in the trunk. After a quick boost it’s been starting fine.

That ended last night. I went to start it and heard “click, click, click.” It’s that frustrating sound cars make when there’s not enough juice for the starter (or something more technical I’m incapable of describing properly).

I texted my friend Steve who’s been my go-to car guy for nearly 25 years. I asked if he wanted to drive over to give me a hand? I offered to make coffee when he was crossing Utah.

We’re in a new place with no doctor, dentist, passable pizza or car genius! I’ll call AAA later this afternoon, then drive to get a new battery installed. I’m not even sure where to do that.

It was assumed when we moved checks would be flying out of the checkbook nonstop. Good assumption. At this point adding a battery to the outflow will hardly be noticed.

14 thoughts on “My Car’s Battery As Collateral Damage”

  1. Geoff, if that is the only thing you forgot to do (alarm cutoff switch) I would say you are one efficient individual. But the thought of the honking and blinking does make me chuckle.

  2. WASH THAT CAR! Shame on you living in a place cars hardly ever get dirty and you have a dirty one ! Treat it to a good detailing !

    1. Funny story, Richard. There hasn’t been room in the garage yet, so it’s been on the street under the only tree in SoCal that drips sap 24/7. Helaine’s car looks the same. When Stef stayed here, ditto.

  3. Geoff any parts store like Advance auto parts, NAPA,etc will install the battery for free if you buy one from them. Look into getting a good Interstate Battery . They have an excellent warranty program and are very top of the line batteries . And no I do not work for any of the above companies . Just have had a lot of automotive experience . Good luck.

    1. Yes, love Advanced Auto parts they installed a battery for me recently – FREE with purchase of the battery.

  4. Geoff, if you have AAA, you can opurchase the battery fron them and they will come to you to install (at least here in CT!).

  5. I was just going to recommend the mobile battery unit of AAA – they do come right to you and install a charged battery in no time at all. Good luck!

  6. Wal Mart Batteries and made by Johnson Controls however the non-prorated warranty is only good for three years and then prorated portion. Good for WalMart bad for the consumer. Suggest Interstate brand or Exide (BJ’s)

  7. Don’t want to bring you down even further about all the money you are paying out but, both of you are going to have to change over your licenses to Cali and also registration on your cars. You will have to write on your blog your experience of your trip to the DMV. Good luck and hope battery works out.

  8. Any real problem with AAA is that they are (as they say in the South) Very proud of their batteries…

    You pay a LOT for the convenience of having them show up to install the battery that you can get for a heckofa lot less at some other store.

    I usually get mine at Sam’s Club or Costco–they will install them as well, assuming you can get the car there… For the difference in cost from AAA, I can swing the wrench…

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