Thursday, April 26

Car Battery Adventures

The other day as we were preparing to run a few errands, we came out to the car to discover that the battery was dead. The Prado is a diesel and therefore requires two batteries (no idea why) which only complicated the matter further. So Kyle and Sarah headed up the road to a local auto place to ask around for jumper cables since our neighbors didn't have any. They didn't find jumper cables but they did meet a guy who said his brother had jumper cables and who led them to his house to get said brother and cables. Then the troupes came back to our place to revive the car. The jumper cables did not work so they tried using some weird electrical cubey thing (that's the technical name) to jolt life into the battery. That didn't work either. Even though the guy was holding the electrical cubey thing and two metal connectors which touched the battery with his bare hands! I was worried we would have a dead battery and a dead Ugandan by the end of it. But thankfully the guy was fine and never got electrocuted. Not sure how he was spared since he was holding an electrical cubey thing and two pieces of metal to the car battery with his bare hands!

So the final attempt was to remove our dead battery, remove the battery from our neighbor's car (also an older Prado), place the neighbor's battery into our car, start our car, remove the neighbor's battery and put ours back in while the car was still running (not sure how that is possible or safe but apparently it is both), and kindly reinstall the neighbor's battery back in her car. And it worked!

The unsuccessful jumper cable attempts:

Switching the batteries:

So once the car was running we drove to the very nice mechanic named Davis who had serviced the Prado when we bought it. Davis said he would install the new batteries for us but his shop didn't have those batteries so he sent Trey to a local gas station to procure two new batteries. But Trey ended up at the wrong gas station where they tried to overcharge him (a common incident due to our light skin) and asked Trey to wait while they sent a guy out to get the batteries because they didn't have any either. So Trey left the wrong gas station and found the right one where they actually had the batteries on hand and they charged the right price. So after about 30 minutes of waiting at Davis' Trey returned with two batteries. David promptly installed them and didn't even charge us (see, I told you he was nice)! And then we were off to run our errands. Only 2 hours behind schedule.   


  1. Anonymous4/26/2012

    Erin, you are doing a great job blogging and documenting! I am loving reading about all your experiences. All your stories remind me so much of things that have happened to us here in Honduras. We had a very similar battery incident ourselves that involved an electric cubey thing with a friend that never materialized, as well as taking the battery out, and most importantly a bottle of coke. They use coke for everything here. Although our story ended up with the car abandoned on the side of the road and us in a bus getting high off second hand smoke as we despairingly headed back to the city! Keep up the good work! We are going to have to video chat soon!

    - Ben Camp

    1. Hey thanks, Ben! I can't imagine how the coke would have helped the battery situation but at least its useful to drink when all else fails? Sitting on a smokey bus sounds like the worst. Let's skype/facetime soon. We want to see y'all and meet baby Harry!!!!!!!!!

  2. Anonymous4/26/2012

    Great, great, battery story Trey and Erin! I could FEEL the event!!--Father Fox

  3. Thanks! You and Kyle probably could have fixed it with a mallet but switching out the batteries worked well enough.