The car was boxed in on an incline in a busy parking lot, so jumping it was impossible and moving it would be a risky feat of strength. According to my Hank Hill-approved maintenance file, the battery is 5 years old; young enough to be salvageable. After some analysis I decided the most prudent solution was to order a battery charger online, wait for it to arrive, then recharge the battery outside the car.
Right now we're on the "charging" step. The charger registered a fault at the fastest charge rate, so I'm trying the slowest charge rate. The battery might be toast -- which would be unsurprising for a 5 year old battery that's been deep-cycled -- but hopefully I can nurse it back.
This whole thing reinforces several rules of thumb:
- Keeping (comically) detailed maintenance records has a concrete benefit.
- Modern cars are outrageously complex. They are full of limitations (need electricity to start) and patchwork fixes (rechargeable batteries) that may fail (drain out after a month of non-use).
- If you can afford to be patient, you save money. The charger took a week to come from Amazon via free shipping, but was a lot cheaper than buying a charger or new battery locally.
- Every "thing" in your life has the potential to cost time and money, even seemingly-inert things like parked cars.
- Keeping an old car running feels expensive because it amounts to occasional out of pocket expenses, but in reality it's usually cheap. A $31 charger is a lot less than a single monthly payment on a new car.
- If my car were parked in my own garage this would have been easier to solve. Houses offer a lot of little miscellaneous benefits.