Bowling Ball Battery

I’m not a mechanic by any stretch.

Years ago my wife and I were driving to Maine. Our car had been having some issues…the battery cells were constantly drying up.  Probably means something to many reading this, and it likely did at the end of our adventure to me.  Anyway, this was one of our broke stages in life – been through a few – so money was really tight. I got pretty adept at popping the battery top and filling the cells as needed, which is why I kept a water jug in the car.  Again, not likely a good thing.

As we were making our way north you could see steam coming out from under the hood. That was the indication to stop and refill the cells. We did this several times along the way.  At one point it had been raining for a while and I had already used up all the water in the jug. So, upon entering a rest stop, I literally stood under a leaky part of the building’s gutter, holding the water jug up in order to catch enough water to refill the battery cells. It was awesome!

The final stop was particularly disturbing to Amy.  First, you should know that each time I stopped, the steam was stronger, and the pressure in the cells was greater – in that, whatever water was still in the cells would kind of bubble out as I popped off the case. I didn’t think much of it…until the last stop.

I popped the hood. Amy was still sitting in the passenger seat.  A few moments later, Amy saw water, acid, something wet, spew out from the hood. She could not see me as the hood had me blocked, but you might imagine what she was thinking. It didn’t look good from her view. Mine either, though I did anticipate the eruption and was clear of the fallout, at least my skin was, mostly.   My clothes eventually had nice little holes throughout the sleeves and some on my pants.

We called it at that point. Probably more like Amy called it, and I relented. We got ahold of a local mechanic and somehow got the car there. When the mechanic called us back to the car to take a look - I’m telling you straight – the battery was shaped like a bowling ball!  I don’t remember what he said, but I suspect it was pretty bad. 

Eventually, we got it fixed, got to Maine, began making some money and replaced the car. Good times!

My question: Was this a bad day or an exciting adventure?

My answer: Though it could have turned bad…we both saw it as an exciting adventure (and learning experience!)

Have a great adventure soon, and be safe, enough.