Car Trouble

It’s been more than a month since I drove my car.  More than two, since I put gas in it.  So I’m kind of a horse’s ass when I get all surprised that it won’t start.  It was really a comedy of errors that led to that discovery.

We’re a four vehicle family.  I have my GSXR and my Passat wagon.  My wife has a Firebolt and a Grand Cherokee (athough, for some reason it’s a 2 wheel drive model).  So when it comes to transportation, we do not want.  Sadly, Fall is upon us, so the nights are getting cold.  This means that the bikes aren’t starting so readily.  The first sign?  My wife rode to work.  I rode to work.  I rode home.  My  wife… couldn’t get the bike started.  Not enough charge, and a cold start takes more juice.  She called for extraction.  I ran downstairs, jumped in my car, turned the key, and… nothing.  Damn it.  I ran up and grabbed her spare key and got her in the Jeep.  The bike started right up again, in the heat of the next day.  No permanent harm.

Fast forward maybe two weeks.  I’m out back of my second place of employment.  It’s bars-close o’clock.  I hop on my bike.  Not enough charge, it won’t start.  Shit.  So I wheel the 450 lb machine into the middle of the parking lot.  I kick it up into second gear, hold the clutch, and start running.  I drop the clutch, the engine drags us to a stop.  Back up, try again.  On the 10th time (or so), the engine caught.  I stutter-stepped, swung my leg over, and took off around the building to retrieve my gear.  (Thank you, CFL)  Not super fun, but no harm done.

We’ve since picked up a new battery for the Firebolt.  I’m looking for a trickle charger for both bikes.  And tonight, I pulled my Passat out of its sloped parking space the hard way so that I could jump start it.  Except that I hadn’t put gas in it in more than two months.  So I backed it into a different space so that I could get at the battery later and took off to get gas.  A short errand later, I had fuel in the tank and charge in the battery and my wagon started again.   The motor pool is now back to 75% operational.  We had worked out the logistics of being a single car family, but this is way better.

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