With over 170 thousand miles on it and being pretty reliable, my Sonic died for the first time this weekend. This is officially the most serious thing that has happened to the car in over 3 years of ownership.
After finally getting the thermostat housing replaced, a new problem arose its ugly head in the parking lot of Taco Bell on Thursday night. Seeing the line literally wrapped around the building, I decided to not sit in the drive thru and go inside and order some food. When I came back out and went to start my car, it almost started and then didn’t do anything. All the lights and everything still worked fine, which told me it could be a battery issue, but it wasn’t. Turning the key I was met with nothing but silence from the car. It wouldn’t even turn over.
After calling and waiting on AAA, they arrived and tested my battery, which tested that it was indeed time for a new one. Cool, I thought it was nothing serious. Let this guy charge it and I’ll be on my way. But as luck would have it, nope it wasn’t that simple. After cleaning the battery posts the AAA guy realized that it might just be a starter issue. As we all know (and some of you might not) sometimes direct contact through simple hitting or an electrical current directly to the starter will work. But after raising the car and trying that it still wouldn’t start. Giving up and about to radio for me a tow truck, the AAA guy said “fuck it, I’m going try to start it one more time”. When he said that and turned the key, it started and I was able to leave that damn Taco Bell finally.
Getting home finally I knew it was something more than just the battery. I didn’t touch my car for the rest of the night. The next morning, I called my mechanic early and asked if I could bring my car over after explaining the situation. He said it was fine. Great. Only problem that stood in my way was the gamble of whether or not the car was going to start. Thankfully it did though. Twice and was enough for me to make it the 38 miles to him.
After making it to my mechanic, he first tested my battery again to make sure that it was that and nothing else. After hooking it up to his battery tester and seeing that it tested bad, he told me I should get another battery and see if that would solve the problem. After having it start again for me to be able to make it the 2 miles to the battery shop, I pick up the new battery and have them install it. As the technician finished screwing it into the car, he asked me to start it to test. And yep you guessed it, it wouldn’t start. It was Taco Bell all over again but outside of a battery shop.
After another try of messing with the battery they determined that it could be the starter as well since it wasn’t even turning over.Calling my mechanic yet again and explaining what happened to him, he said that it could be the starter but to be sure bring it back over and go pick up a starter just in case.
So I called AAA for a tow the 2 miles back to my mechanic.Getting there, the tow guy and myself pushed my car into the shop yard (and by the way, a Sonic is probably one of the lightest car you will ever push. 3 kids could probably push it) I proceeded to wait until my mechanic got back from lunch, I headed on over to Wingstop because I was starving and wait on a ride from my mom so we can go get the part.
3 Autozones later we finally were able to about to buy the part when I get a call just as I was about to slide my debit card. “Don’t buy the starter!” I head my mechanic yell on the other end. He goes to explain that he believes that it’s some kind of electrical shortage. After leaving and heading back to my mechanic so I could see what he was talking about in person, he showed me after lifting the car that power isn’t getting sent to the starter. He said it’s difficult because he has to trace it in the wiring. So there you have it folks. My cars out of commission until this week when we find out if my mechanic was about to solve the problem. I know its in good hands though. But this is another instances that it really is time for another car.