Not a great morning

So this morning is Thursday morning… which for me means that I get up at 6:00am and go to my BNI meeting. Normally, I have a bit of a hard time getting up early in the morning on Thursdays but today I was excited to go to my meeting because I had some really quality referrals to pass.

I got up, showered, dressed and went out to my car to find the battery dead. C’mon!

I figured I must have left the lights on or something… but to my surprise, they were off. I usually leave the GPS on because it has never proven to be a drain on the battery and if I just leave it on, I don’t have to wait for it to get a signal lock.

“No big deal,” I think to myself. “Natalie’s car is next to mine in the garage. I’ll just pull my jumper cables out of my trunk, jump my car and go to my BNI meeting.”

So I try the trunk release, but, naturally, it doesn’t work because the battery’s dead. I guess the internal trunk release is an electrical switch in the 2000 VW Jetta. No biggie. I have my keys. I’ll just open it with the key.

I walk around back and pop the key in, give it a turn…. nothing. Try again and again and again… nothing. I guess the key lock is an electrical switch too. LAME.

So, I think to myself, “alright… I bought two pairs of high-quality $50 jumper cables… one for my car and one for Natalie’s. I just grab hers.”

I get into her trunk and root around for a few minutes only to find that her jumper cables aren’t in her trunk.

Frustrated, I walk in, resolved not to speak in an angry voice as I ask her if she knows where her jumper cables are.

Her response is, “we gave ’em to Morgan.

Some time ago, Morgan needed some jumper cables and since we had two sets, and only one car at the time, I loaned him one.

When I finally ended up getting a second car, I got ’em back.

Not wanting to explain all of that to her because I knew it would evoke “angry voice,” I said, “no… I got ’em back… where are yours?”

She thought for a moment and said, “I don’t know.”

I went back outside thinking, “well, I know I have jumper cables in MY trunk, but I can’t get into it… ” I decided I was going to have to do what I was hoping not to: I would have to climb into my trunk from the back seats.

A few moments later, my legs were sticking out of the sides, flailing around as I bumped around in my dark trunk, trying to find my jumper cables.

Turns out, I had put them in with the spare tire so they wouldn’t be in the way. That would normally be no problem if I were coming at them from the back of the car, but since I was laying in the trunk, trying to get to them from the front, i was actually laying on the panel I needed to get under to access the jumper cables.

How do you get your arm under the thing you’re laying on, manage to grab the thing that’s under it and not break your arm?

You break the thing you’re laying on.

I snapped a corner of the trunk’s platform so it would bend up and give me access to the jumper cables which I then proceeded to use to jump my car.

After starting up the car, however, I started looking for clues as to why the battery would have died. I wasn’t convinced that a GPS system pulled enough juice from the battery to completely kill it. I then noticed that the brake lights were on… though I wasn’t stepping on the brake… ok… if the brake lights won’t turn off, that means two things:

1.) I have to get it fixed… immediately.

2.) I won’t be making my meeting.

I thought about my 7:30am options. Who will be open at 7:30? Who can take my car today? Who isn’t going to charge me an arm and a leg?

A thought entered my mind: “You can have two, but you can’t have all three.”

It seemed to me that time was the essential element. The cost would be high, but for that we have a credit card… a painful thought since I just paid it all off.

I headed off to the VW dealership. They open at 7am and have always been able to accommodate me. Additionally, they have wireless access in their lobby which means I could work there if I needed to.

Wincing at the thought of dollar bills flying out of my wallet, I drove to the dealership.

I met the office manager at the VW desk and explained my situation and why I was leaving the engine running. After what seemed like an eternity of tapping on the computer keyboard, he looked up at me with a smile and said, “I have good news. This won’t cost you a cent. The brake light relay is on recall. Just give us a great review when the VW warranty people call you to follow up.”

With a smile, I said, “will do.”

6 responses to “Not a great morning”

  1. All modern cars are required to have a manual release inside the trunk — a little lever that, when pulled, opens the door. This is so if someone gets stuck in the trunk (think mafia murder thriller), they pull the lever, jump out, and get nailed by the fast-moving semi coming up behind.

    Perhaps your car has one of those? 🙂

    Hope the rest of your day goes better!

  2. Since I just learned that there is a lever inside the trunk, I am glad I have AAA insurance. At least I would have had somebody jump my car–after waiting an hour or two for the garage truck to arrive! I wonder why it is that WHOEVER AAA calls, the garage is ALWAYS busy or far away?

  3. I am aware of the alleged interior trunk release. VW, however felt it would stifle the “cool” factor and sleek lines to install such a hideous device and so I don’t have one.

    As for road-side assistance, I have it but opted not to use it since I didn’t really know why my battery had died and thought I should reserve my roadside assistance for tonight in case it died again while I was away somewhere and couldn’t jump the car myself.

    …that and I didn’t feel like pushing the car out of the garage and having a tow truck pull up on my lawn so they could jump my car.

  4. I have opted to buy one of those portable jumper batteries. It works great. I have used it several times, and it is convenient. You don’t have to depend on another car being able to drive up close enough to your battery location. Of course, you still have to get to it inside of the trunk.