I thought I was going to have a very difficult day today. At least that’s what I thought when the day first started.
As I was leaving to meet with my first client of the day, I went out to my car and got it started… no problem. After running for a minute or so, the battery light came on and I noticed a decrease in output of the air conditioner.
Great… As if I need one more thing to spend money on for this car.
A little background: I have a 2009 Corolla that needed its engine rebuilt about three years ago. That was so expensive I had to take out a loan to pay for it. I’m still making payments on that loan. Last year I had to replace the fuel pump. That was a fix that was over $1,000.
I understand that this is a 13 year old car and the lifespan is finite. Things will go wrong. Parts will need to be replaced. But we’re at the point where there’s a thin line between continuing to invest in repairs and deciding to scrap it for something new.
At least, I thought, with the battery light, I know it’s likely either a problem with the battery or the alternator. The battery being the cheaper of those two fixes, but even the alternator wouldn’t be the end of the world.
So I called my mother and asked her to meet me at an auto parts store near her house. I figured, if something needed to be fixed, we could trade cars for the day and I could give her my credit card and she could get it taken care of while I use her car to continue meeting with clients. This is where it’s super convenient that my mom is retired. And, thankfully, she did not have any plans for the day.
Got to the auto parts joint and waited about half an hour for someone to finally be available to test my battery. According to the little computer, the battery is in great shape. The alternator is in great shape. The only issue that the employee could see was that there was a little corrosion on one of the battery connectors that could have very easily been the cause for those minor issues I was experiencing this morning.
He was able to provide me with a metal brush that allowed me to scour the connector to remove the corrosion. Problem solved. I returned the brush and thanked my mother and went on with my day. With my car. And had no further issues.
But here’s the thing… While I was brushing away the corrosion, I felt a small fleck of something hit me in my left eye. Immediately, I couldn’t help but think… Corrosive material in my eye?! I’m gonna go blind!
At this point I was kind of in a hurry. All that waiting around for the battery tester made me late to meet my first client. I’m driving across town. I don’t have the convenience of an eyewash station in my vehicle. So I’m basically driving with my left eye closed… no depth perception whatsoever. I keep hoping that, with my eye closed, my eye will produce enough tears to flush out whatever foreign object had flown into my eye. It just kept hurting worse…
Several hours later, when I was finally finished with my first client of the day, I was able to go home and dunk my head under the kitchen sink and do my best to flush my eye out. And my eye felt so much better after I was able to get that done. Bonus, I can still see out of my left eye.
The rest of the day was super easy… barely an inconvenience.