Oct 25th, Hybrid battery disaster day

If somebody I didn’t know told me this story, I would not have believed it, not for a second.

I had arranged with Greentec Auto to replace my Ford Fusion Hybrid battery today at 10 AM.  That cost was almost $3,700.  Finally, they got the battery shipped to the Sacramento instalation facility.

When I die, the car goes to Isabelle, and I want her to get the car in good condition. To me, that meant changing the very old Hybrid battery.

I arrived a few minutes early, paid the cash fee of $3,428 to Cindy, the office person, and took off to get some steps in while they did the 2-hour job.  When I arrived at the shop to get my car with a new battery around noon, I discovered that nothing had happened.  Cindy had tried calling me, but I accidentally had my phone on silent.  The technician found some unusual error codes. Oops, my fault and 2 hours had been wasted.  This was the first step in my disaster day.

I considered leaving and returning another day.  I was assured that it could be done quickly, so I said, “Go ahead.”  That was my second mistake.

The installation of the new battery was quick, and the car was taken for a test drive.  Some error codes were still showing up.  The test drive seemed to be taking forever.  Another technician took pity on me and called the test driver.  The car had died a few blocks away.  They got it back in the shop and found that the source of the error codes was the engine starter’s 12-volt battery.  Like most car engines, it had a separate battery for starting the engine to charge the hybrid battery.  I was told that my hybrid battery was still good, even though it had lasted 124,000 miles, which was far more than average. Cindy wrote a check for $3,428.63.  They worked all day for no reward.  I really enjoyed talking to Cindy.  We are somewhat similar in personality.

They removed my new hybrid battery and installed the still OK old one.  They put two technicians on the job and had it running in about 20 minutes.  I was on my way, but the main readout for the battery was left in some program I had never seen before.  I need to fix it soon, as I rely on it.

My goal for tomorrow is to replace the 12-volt engine battery.  Although I keep a logbook, that info wasn’t recorded, so I am going by memory.  The first one only lasted a couple of years, and now the replacement is about 4 years old.

I had planned a few other chores for the time after the hybrid battery install.  Now I was running very late. Earlier, I had ordered a meal from Maharani.  They close at 2 PM, and I had already called a couple of times to inform them.  I was told that maybe nobody would be there to give me the meal.  I got lucky, and a non-English speaking man opened the door, and I got my food.  It came to just under $20.  I added a ten for a tip.  The concept of a tip confused him.  I was so far behind on time that it just sat in the car while I drove.  I hadn’t eaten anything, but I didn’t have time.

The time was now after 3 PM.  I drove to Galt, so I could pick up my pile of mail from the home of Bob Gross, which included a few checks that I needed to deposit at Union Bank.  I went to the store that had a bank branch in one corner.  It was gone, and I was told that it left 1 ½ years ago during the pandemic.  The closest one is now in Stockton.  Great, another trip I don’t really want to make.

There is one bit of very good news.  I was able to slightly exceed my daily goal of 10 K steps and got 10,638 steps.

I drove to Softcom, where I rent an email address for only $5 a month.  Yes, I kept W6REC@SOFTCOM.NET.  They still offer that service and a friend is paying $15 a month, and now she can pay only $5.

While I was packing up to leave Texas, Vanessa gave me something to give to her mother.  I did that, and now it was almost 5 PM, so I parked the car nearby and ate.  It was good.

My Garmin GPS works but stopped giving me an accurate time of the next destination.  I have no idea what is wrong, but that is a low priority for now.

I arrived back at Rod’s place at 6:10 PM.

Update, the Garmin was in some “test mode” that I had never seen before. The next day, the 26th, I got it working as it usually does.

Also, on Wednesday, the 26th, I went to Costco to purchase a new 12-volt battery. They didn’t stock that battery. A man from the battery department took pity on me and did some searching for that battery at nearby stores. Monument Car Parts had the battery and was close by.

I bought a new battery and told an employee that I could unhook the battery, but wasn’t strong enough to lift it out. He tried but discovered that the battery was too large to go through the access opening. Another technician came over to look at the problem. He knew exactly what to do. He had to remove most of the trunk covers, which prevented the removal of the battery. I was amazed at how quickly he accomplished the task. I just stood by and took the covers, and laid them aside. He got the battery out in several minutes. I handed him the covers as he assembled the parts. I asked him why it was so difficult to swap out the battery. His answer was, “So you have to take it to a Ford dealer to swap the battery.”

I gave him $10 for doing the job for me. He said, “You don’t have to do that.” and my comment was that he saved me far more money and time, so he deserved it. I asked, can’t you make more money working as a mechanic over working in sales? He told me that was his goal. I should have paid him more.

Updated 1 April 2023