Friday 27 April 2012

Give Me A Boost

I had a dream a few weeks ago, and in it my daughter asked me if she should buy a set of jumper cables. They were on sale and it was a really great sale. I gave it some thought and told her that although it wouldn't hurt to have a set, since she didn't own a car I couldn't see why she would buy them no matter how cheap they are. She looked pretty dejected as she walked away and I felt bad that I didn't just tell her to buy the cables and keep them until she bought a car.

Yes, it was a stupid dream.

Last night I had a dream in which Louise and I were staying at this run down house in a bad part of town. I don't know why we stayed, or really what happened other than the guy with the safe that got stuck on the elevator, or the weird family that kept walking around me trying to steal things. Pretty standard dream stuff I guess. We made it through the night and when we got in the car to leave, wouldn't you know it...the damned car wouldn't start! Just then, Maegan walked up to the drivers side of the car and when I rolled the window down, she said "Don't you wish that you had told me to buy the jumper cables? I'll go around the corner and pick up a pair for FULL PRICE at Canadian Tire."

Well, at that moment I did wish I had, but how did she know; it was my dream.

Dreamland aside, I am kind of split on the merits of carrying a set of jumper cables. I just can''t remember a time that there hasn't been a set of cables in both of my cars. I also can't remember a time that I have used the cables. Not even once! I think I loaned a pair to a neighbour some years back, but it turned out that he didn't need to use them. With all of the electronics in cars today I am not even sure if it is a good idea to boost another car anyways. I would just hate to play the good samaritan and end up stuck on the side of the road in a dead car while the guy that I just gave a boost to drove off waving thanks. I have heard that happens. No, I can't quote a source.

Just about once a year I get out my cars manual and look up just how to boost a car. There is a specified way that shouldn't fry your electronics, but they still frown on the practice. The funny thing is that as I write this I can't for the life of me remember how it goes. I know that you hook up the "dead" car first and then connect the cables to the running car. On one of the cars you connect the negative to the frame and the positive to the battery, but like I say I am not sure which. I think the running one.

 In recent years, my cars have had good batteries and I tell anyone that will listen that it is best to get the battery tested and replace it if it is weak. There is nothing worse than being stuck in a dead car at the side of a road when the temperature is minus forty or so.

 However, barring that, you probably should carry a set of good booster cables in case your battery ever does die on you. Make sure that you know how to hook them up too by looking in the manual at least once a year. It would be a good idea to remember what you looked up as well. You can't rely on anyone else having cables if they are good enough to stop and I doubt they will remember how to hook them up properly.

I guess the best advice I can give is not to listen to anything I have to tell you in a dream, and if you do, you just might want to do the opposite of what I suggest.

1 comment:

  1. I got to use my cables 6 years ago, in the middle of Big Bend National Park (Texas) about 20 Km from anything. After we came back from a hike, the positive post had broken off the battery. Managed to get it started and run back to Study Butte with the post wrapped in tape so it wouldn't touch anywhere it shouldn't. Glad I had my booster cables? You betcha.