While Waiting for the Grout to Dry

The battery in one of our cars was running on borrowed time. The car is a 1999 Mitsubishi Diamante with almost 172,000 miles. We bought it used when it had a mere 30,000 miles or so.

To the best of my recollections, this is the first time we’ve replaced the battery. We have replaced the engine and a few other extraneous items, but I believe this was the battery that was in the car when we bought it.

Since our kitchen remodeling project is on hold for forty-eight hours – the length of time the grout must dry prior to our applying the sealer – I used the spare time to take the car to a garage to get a new battery.

Although I knew what I was in for, I was still a bit miffed that the car’s computer has such a bad memory. Any time the battery has to be disconnected for any length of time – that being ten seconds or longer – the computer must be reprogrammed.

The radio isn’t too much of a nuisance – all I have to do is key in the secret code and push one 0f the buttons. Naturally, I can never remember the secret code or which button to push after entering said secret code. However, once I find where I’ve hidden the secret code, the process is reasonably quick and not at all painful.

Resetting all the buttons to my favorite stations is another matter entirely.

The main computer, on the other hand, takes anywhere from one to three days to reprogram. The toughest part of that job is due to the fact that there is no easy way to do it. One must simply drive the car and do one’s best to keep it from stalling every time one brings the car to a stop.

Eventually, the computer remembers how much the engine must idle to avoid stalling. Then, and only then, the car runs fine again.

At least with the new battery, I can run the air conditioner at full blast while trying to help the car remember what it is supposed to do.

There are times I wish I still had my first car. It was a 1955 Buick and it didn’t have all these newfangled gizmos. Come to think of it, it didn’t have air conditioning either.

Excuse me while I take my Mitsubishi out for another lesson.


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