AAA

Lovely weather this weekend. Took Miranda’s Chevy Tahoe over to the car wash for cleaning. Ruby and I toweled off the wet bits after the wash. After we were done, I went to start the car, click-click-click-click. Light internet research suggested the battery was dead.

Miranda was able to drive over with the jumper cables we keep in the garage. We should probably keep jumpers in (both) vehicles, but honestly, neither of them have good storage for stuff like that, which seems silly since both my Tundra and her Tahoe are essentially rolling castles. We got a good connection on the jumper cables, but it didn’t seem to provide enough juice. We could get the Tahoe to turn over once or twice, but then it was dead again.

Soooo what now, we thought, are we AAA members? We have been in the past. Maybe multiple times? I tried scouring email and 1Password and such for info, but nothing very recent. Doesn’t look like it.

I was going to call a local towing company or something, but I figured we might as well just sign up for AAA right then and there because 1) I want to have it anyway 2) maybe they’ll just help us right away. Turns out, yep!, they’ll just help you immediately. It’s not like insurance where you can’t wait for a tree to fall on your house before you sign up for it. That’s a good thing everyone should know: it’s probably cheaper, easier, and faster to get help by signing up for AAA on the spot when you need help. It was basically a hundred bucks to get help immediately. A very helpful agent helped us on the phone, and less than 15 minutes later a very helpful local fella was on the scene helping.

I was thinking we’d get them to tow us over to the dealership, but Miranda rightfully suggested we just have them do battery repair right there, and that’s exactly what they did. First, they had a little jumper machine that immediately started the engine.

That little thing is 3,000 AMP while jumping from another battery apparently only provides 750. I should get one, it’s easier than cables anyway.

Then they tested the battery, and it was their opinion that the battery was in good shape and as long as we run the car for a while and charge it back up, we’d be fine, no need to replace it.

The Tahoe behaved well the rest of the day with a few on/off starts. But the next morning? Dead again. This time a traditional jump did the trick. We clearly need a new battery.

But, consistently, that morning we were dropping the Tahoe off at the Chevrolet dealership to sell it back to them anyway. The new Tesla (!) arrives in the next few months and Chevrolet were giving us a better cash offer than Tesla would on a trade-in. We’re just gonna rock one truck (and electric bikes) until it comes, which is extra fine while it’s summer and bikes are more fun anyway.

2 responses to “AAA”

  1. Andrew says:

    Might be worth checking the alternator if aaa checked the battery and it seemed fine. A new battery would only be a temporary fix if that’s the issue. AAA is great!

  2. Matt Bloomfield says:

    It’s interesting. Some people love AAA. I’ve never used them myself but I also do a lot of my own repairs. Those jump boxes are awesome, though they can lose charge just like anything else and be dead when you need them. I’ve always thought it interesting that we don’t use some type of solar to maintain batteries in cars, but I suppose the use case is too niche (older battery, lesser used, parks outside).

    Enjoy the Tesla! I’d love to get one someday when the price comes down on them, though I have my eyes on the F-150 Lightning.

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