Thursday, October 20, 2011

How To Let Advance Auto Kill An Evening

Such high hopes for a productive evening in the garage; all dashed on the rocks by the hour plus it took Advance Auto and I to deal with Heidi’s battery. As I reported a few days back, when I put the charger on the battery a few days back in Blacksburg, the needle stayed on zero which, I thought, indicated a bad battery – one not able to be charged. After a short dinner, I drove down the street to the FLAPS (friendly local auto parts store). It wasn’t shocking that before they would just hand over a brand new battery to me, they had to test the one I’d touted as bad. The tester’s printout showed a voltage of about 3 and directed the clerk to charge the battery. He hooked up the terminals to the charger leads, pressed some buttons and told me I had thirty-five minutes to wait. I killed part of that time by buying fuel line, transmission fluid, and paper towels, but the rest was spent standing around.

After the interminable wait, the clerk tested the battery again. I expected another very low voltage rating, but surprisingly the voltage was up over 14, but the cold cranking amps were down around 200 – far less than the 420 rating. The tester’s printout again told the clerk to charge the battery. This time I went home for a while before returning to watch the last couple minutes of charging.

This time the charger said the CCA was 401 and the battery was good. I couldn’t argue with the tester, so I took the battery home and will install back in Heidi tonight and do my own real-world test. The issue is the two-year warranty is just about up, so I need to make the battery fail (if it’s going to) within the next few days. Another reason to enjoy top-down motoring.

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