A WhitePubs® Site
When You Forget to Actually Drive the Truck
Date: May 31, 2017
Went out to the garage after walking the pups. Try staggering uphill and downhill with beagles that hadn't been out sniffing for awhile. Anyway, big door up and dogs locked in the house, jumped in to run to the vet for Grace's thyroid meds. And I see the dash lights, the beams from the headlights, one internal lamp, and rapid clicking. Tried it a couple of times. As you do when sitting in your Tacoma in a state of gut wrenching shock. "It was fine" --- OK, 8 days ago.
I went inside and looked this up on the web. Everyone and his uncle said "Starter relay" i.e., Starter Solenoid.
Called Toyota Dealer - they thought Solenoid — and went to check. OK - special order item and it will take a week.
I said thanks - I'll call AAA (I have AAAPlus)
My MIND was saying - it had enough battery to run the lights, radio, and to try to start. Just not quite enough.
FB'd my son - he said "BATTERY"
I objected (but I was thinking - ya know----) (I have a vague memory of doing this a couple years back.)
He said BATTERY! AGAIN.
Battery? Rather new - but lately I haven't driven long distances - not since the 20th and this is the 31st - you need 30 minutes at 60MPH or longer at lower speed to recharge. Last time the battery was stone dead. There are signs of life.
This is a newish battery. (2-3 years? IDK) OK --- waiting on AAA.
Still in my dog walking clothing. Wanting a shower and my PJ's. I need to pick up meds at the vet.
First - open truck hood and stare thoughtfully
When I called AAAPLUS Road and battery service (the more typical call these days) - I was routed to UTAH because I am using a cell phone with my FREMONT, CA phone number. When I am stubborn - I am stubborn. We had a good laugh and she transferred me to someone who could actually drive to my house since the truck is in the garage. Yeah - 800 miles or so is a bit much for road service to travel.
They arrive and I know they have a battery on board. I thought at first we'd need to roll the truck back to allow hook-up - that's how long it has been. Nowadays, they have a portable unit - walk it right into the garage and hook up the truck.
They jump started me - bingo - yep - low battery (10V instead of 12V, amps therefore not there - not as bad as last time - if I had driven yesterday I’d have probably been OK)
They check the charging system (Alternator etc.) - it’s fine. Except for minor things like keep an eye on the brakes - truck is perfect.
I am not driving the TACOMA enough
Start it every 2 days and run it in idle for 20 minutes - or drive it somewhere (they can’t tell you to drive somewhere) - that somewhere being up and down the freeway at 60 MPH for 30 minutes (obviously not in rush hour traffic).
I pulled the trigger - I bought the new battery. (see it on the back of his truck).
NO TRICKLE CHARGER
I don't fool around - A trickle charger would require I open the hood and disconnect the battery connections and connect the trickle charger to the battery posts and — I simply do NOT want that! I also don;t have the ratchet thingy to undo the battery cables - never mind reconnect them.
(I asked the office what Fabio does. He has nearing 365 bikes. He removes the battery each time and installs on each time he wants to ride. Well, he's a guy. I would go crazy.)
$123 — I have a new battery and dog has her meds. My son is being snarky. "TOLD YOU SO."
I am fussy. Battery, Brakes, and Lights. Must be PERFECT.
There’s a reason I have AAAPLUS.
Of course - I could have pushed the Tacoma into the driveway - jumped in - and aimed it for the steep downhill - popped the clutch out of second gear (which turns the engine over and once over - it is running - as long as you do NOT flood the engine with too much gas. You need just enough to fire it up.
Done that often enough!!!!! 2nd gear in manual truck — that’s how you start them.
I am too old to want to be doing that.....it's tricky and you need two people.
Otherwise, this is how people end up being run over by their own cars....
Yes I know - the date is off by 12 hours in the digital camera. I. Dont. Care.