Not the car’s fault

So, remember my previous post about having car problems?. Well, it seems it wasn’t entirely the car’s fault that it wouldn’t start.

After leaving work early on Monday arvo and getting to the car, I called the RACV to arrange the tow down to Greg’s shed. The truck arrived about 40 minutes after I called and did a great job of getting the car on the back and down to the shed in record time. I’d tried to leave early enough so we beat the worst of the traffic and it was a surprisingly good run down the expressway and on from there. Awesome.

The first 20k are free so I only had to pay for the last 10k which meant the whole tow cost me less than $40 – handy. Greg arrived back at the shed with a starter motor to suit my car – $125 – ouch – lucky me to have such a unique vehicle.

We cracked the hood and I demonstrated the lights, camera, no action problem. “Wait a minute” says Greg “Do that again?” – lather, rinse, repeat and Greg goes “Ahhhh – hang on.” He heads into the shed and comes back with a small hammer which he then proceeds to whack the battery terminals with, knocking off a bit of corrosion in the process. He adjusts the leads onto the battery and tells me to try again.

Vroom – Houston, we have ignition!

Bloody hell…

Seems that the battery had power, the lights could work, the windows go up & down and so on, but the connection wasn’t solid enough to supply the current required by the starter motor (the Cranking Amps). So, when the RACV guy had a look at the battery, it appeared fine, but it just couldn’t enough power down to the starter.

So, if I had known to double check the battery connections I would have saved myself a stack of hassles. However, seeing all the lights come on and so on, I figured the battery was fine.

Looks like it fooled the RACV guy too. Greg reckons he should have done the same thing anyhow, even though the battery gave good readings on the meter.


So, the car is working fine, Greg’s able to return the expensive little starter motor and get his money back and I’ve learned yet another lesson about electro-mechanical systems. Hell of a way to learn, no?

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