Kerianne and the Case of the Dead Battery

The snow was stinging the exposed portions of my face as it blew sideways at me when I left my final class of the day today. Just a few more yards, just a few to go.I could see my car now. It was going to be my refuge, my escape from the winter storm between me and a cup of hot tea in front of the fireplace of my cozy apartment

Snow outside the King Engineering building this morning

Snow outside the King Engineering building this morning

In a few minutes I’ll be out of this wind and comfortable and cozy and content, I thought to myself. I pressed the button on my keychain to unlock my car doors and nothing happened. Huh, the battery in my keychain must be out. Wouldn’t be the first time, this is my spare key chain.

Unphased, I opened my car with my key, threw all of my stuff into the back seat, and jumped into my car before slamming the door. The wind and snow free car was a welcome relief. I shivered as I brushed the snow off of my jacket and stuck my key into the ignition. I turned the key.


I started to feel a surge of panic. I turned the key again.


S–t! Now what? I thought in mild despair.

I saw a young man approaching the car next to mine and I jumped out of my car.

“Do you know how to jump start a battery?” I asked franticly.

“Yeah, sure!” he said. “I don’t have any cables, though. Do you?”

“I don’t know, let me look in my trunk. Wait! I can’t open my trunk, my battery is dead!”

“Use your key,” he said in a friendly tone.


I opened my trunk, pulled up the carpet and plywood covering my spare, and searched every square inch. No cables.

“I don’t have cables either, sorry. Thanks for trying to help me though!” I said in the cheeriest tone I could muster in my circumstances.

I climbed back in my car again to escape the brutal weather, and pulled out my phone to text my boyfriend.

My battery on my car is definitely dead. I’m calling AAA.

I remembered my dad had signed me up for AAA this Christmas, just before I texted the last line. Pulling out my AAA card, I quickly located the phone number on the back and dialed. It connected and I quickly gave the friendly lady on the other end all of my information.

“And you’re location?”

“Prescott, Arizona,” I responded.

“Oh, well you called the number for Southern California, let me redirect you.”

I gave the Arizona lady all of my information again and she promised me help within an hour.

I didn’t want to go out in the storm again and I only had a five minute warning phone call to get back to my car, so I just stayed in my car and pulled out my Aircraft Structures II homework. Maybe the storm will get better before the guy gets here. No such luck, the storm continued to worsten.

45 minutes later when I got my call and directed the AAA dispatch to my car on campus, the storm looked as close to a blizzard as I’d ever seen (of course I’ve only ever lived in Arizona, Texas, and Southern California, so that really isn’t saying much in the grand scheme of things).

“Whoa, how old is this battery?” he asked as he began his initial inspection.

“I don’t know.”

“It looks old,” he said. “It’s all corroded, let me test it and we’ll see if it’s completely dead or if it just needs a charge.”

He hooked up this meter thingy to the metal thingys on top and took some kind of reading.

“Well, it looks like you need a new battery.”

“Can you start it up so I can get somewhere, or is it completely dead?” I asked.

“I can start it up, but you can’t turn the car off again, or it might not turn back on.”

“Do you sell batteries?”

“Yes but I already sold yours today, plus my batteries will be a lot more expensive than what you could get at the store.”

We got my car running, I signed some paperwork, and then I climbed back in my car. As I was waiting for my back window to defrost, my boyfriend texted me back.

I’m so sorry, do you need me to pick you up?

I called him and updated him. We decided that I was going to pick him up and we were going to go to AutoZone to get a new battery. The snow was lashing around my windshield as I drove through the fog that was actually snow on my mission to get a new battery. Then finally we made it to AutoZone.

I gave the man the make, model, and year of my car. They had my battery and it was in stock. YAY!!!!!

I also was very fortunate that my boyfriend knew what to do as he borrowed an unscrewer tool thingy from AutoZone that made this clicking noise when he pulled it backward and proceeded to take my old battery out for the $5 battery fee thingy, and put the new battery in. $95 later, all was fixed.

I couldn’t help but laugh a little the entire time. Murphy’s Law was in action. Not only did my battery die, but it died during the middle of a winter storm. Not too much harm was done though. All of my classes were over for the day, so I wasn’t going to miss anything, I learned about how to change car batteries and what to do when your battery was dead, and I got it all fixed in a couple hours. I emerged from my challenge ready to meet a new one, which I did – finishing my Aircraft Structures II homework…

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