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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Another Episode in Saga of My Proton

Regular readers of this blog (yes, all TWO of you) will remember me mentioning about my (un)trusty old Proton Iswara, which DBKL is considering to award the “Oldest Proton in the City” special prize soon.

These days I seldom use it, due to a variety of reasons, namely – air-con not working, engine overheats every time I get anywhere within 2 meters of Jalan Tun Razak, etc. You get the picture. So recently, its been spending a lot of time parked outside my house depriving the grass under it of sunlight, so much so there’s a patch of yellowing grass everytime I reverse the car out.

Then last week my wife, who starts the car every 3 days or so, told me it couldn’t start. So on Sunday, I popped the hood, thinking that the battery connector is loose, one of the many frequent problems I’m already used to with this award winning car. But no, the connectors were firmly in place (gee, at least something isn’t loose or falling onto the highway for once).

The last time my mechanic changed the battery was just over a year ago (he kindly engraves the date of change onto the top of the plastic cover, of my battery, not my car), so I reckon the battery is temporarily dead due to unuse, not like totally dead. Usually my car battery lasts somewhere between 18-20 months, depending on usage, providing I don’t bleed the battery dry inside every time.

Every time I had a dead battery in the past, I’d push start the car. Because it’s so easy and fun to do so. But this time, my car was parked in an awkward position facing uphill, so we decided to do something I’ve never done before – jumpstart the thing. So we whipped out the cables from another car (always have cables, especially if you drive an automatic car, or else you’ll spend a lot of time having meaningful phone calls with AAM).

So we move another live car as close as possible to the dead car (very difficult especially the dead car is parked in front of a railing next to a tree) connected the cables. Red cable joins red connector to red connector, similarly for black. If you’re jumper cables come in any other colour, it’s time to see your eye doctor.

Anyway, we managed to get the dead car up and running again. And a few lessons learnt:
  • Make sure you start the car at least once every three days.

  • Driving a car without air-conditioning is bloody uncomfortable.

  • After taking off the cables, don’t touch the copper parts together. Sparks hurt.


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