Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Ken Carr car battery committed suicide

I ask myself this more and more often:  "When did everything get so expensive?"

I got into the Ken Carr car this evening to drive Anthony and I to Burger King for dinner.  (Even dinner at Burger King is getting more expensive).  The car turned over very slowly when I went to start it.  After a quick check of interior lights and making sure the trunk was latched (in case I had a dumb moment and some light was on all night and day to drain the battery), I knew that the problem was that the car battery was near the end of it's life.

One thing I've learned about car batteries:  They don't start to 'wind down', they basically work until they just stop working.

The extreme heat in southern Arizona has a negative effect on batteries.  It shortens their life.

I replaced the battery two years ago almost exactly to the week.  At that time, I purchased one from Walmart (the car battery died in the parking lot at the tv/radio building) and it was the closest place I could carry a battery from the store to the station (Walmart is one block from the station, and damn those things are heavy).  It didn't surprise me that the battery died today, what did surprise me was the sticker shock:  $129 at Autozone plus the $15 core charge and sales tax, which brought the total to just over $150.

I remember 30 years ago (which explains a lot unfortunately) when I worked at Boogaart's grocery store during my high school years while living in Nebraska.  Management alerted the cashiers (which is what I did there for a large chunk of my employment at that store) that the price of candy bars was going to increase from 25 to 35 cents.  We were warned because management was concerned that customers would be upset.  That's exactly what happened.  I even think I was cussed at a couple of times when a customer went to pay for it.  You would have thought the world was coming to an end with a price increase of that size on a Snicker's bar.  Now, they are at least three times that much.

Anthony drove me to Autozone to purchase the new battery, it was dark when we got home so I didn't install it tonight.  It'll be kind of a let down when I hook it up tomorrow -- the car will work just like it did yesterday.  All of that money spent without anything exciting to show for it.

Duralast batteries at Autozone.
$129 for the one needed to power the Ken Carr car.
For that price, it should buy me dinner
and Dura blow me.