Pay Big or DIY


Last week, I was stranded at the local business parking lot for 1.75 hours after work. I knew there was an issue with my car battery when all the signal lights on the dashboard were blinking. Power button was not working as it was supposed to. A 12v auxiliary battery in my hybrid car died. Its vitals were evidently telling me to get a replacement battery for it prior to this incident. I, on the other hand, kept driving until a roadside assistance had to be called for help. Waiting to get help also was not easy when one is stuck and hungry. It was already past lunch. I tried to dig every possible place where I could have left any snacks or at least, a candy to satisfy hunger. Then comes a eureka moment for me, as I was munching a couple of almonds. Aha, there was a box of dry instant noodles – Wai Wai – in the trunk!

I called my auto insurance in order to tow my car and take it to the dealer. The lady on the other end of the line thought she pinpointed my location by GPS location feature and wanted to confirm it before sending help. I was bemused when she asked me if I were at that random place. I knew right away that my investment on VPN services was not wasted. She was looking at my virtual IP to track my location with no avail.

The guy arrived with his gigantic tow truck like a Prince Charming on his white horse to rescue his princess from the fortified castle :). He helped me jump start the car and get home safely. The malady of my little car would not dwindle for next 2 days. A dealer can be a stealer. So, I checked with few shops for a new replacement battery, but their estimated cost had my heartbeat go up.

Finally, I decided to take matters into own hands. I ran inbuilt diagnostics in my car to check the battery voltage. It was way below 12 volts, which is considered as “acceptable”. I made a quick trip to local auto parts shop to get a compatible battery. It still cost me a fortune, but maybe not a rip off from my standpoint. It was already dark when I got home with the battery. My wife went to put kids to bed while I was working all alone in the dark with a flashlight on the driveway. It took me about 50 minutes to get the job done. Before I took the battery out of the car, I, however, took a couple pictures of the screen just to know what FM radios I had saved just in case I wanted them later.

So, folks- if you like to do things with your own hands and do not mind getting them dirty avoid going to dealers or auto shops for little things like changing a battery, filter, bulbs, coolant and washer fluid or anything that does not need a specialized skill. Good luck!

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