There comes a time when all car owners step into their ride, turn the key, and find they are surrounded by the disturbing sound of…nothing. The only comfort in the absence of an engine purring (or perhaps it is just in my case), is in the knowledge that, for once, the engine is still mechanically sound. The end result, however, is the same – the car is not going anywhere. So it came to pass last fall that Moby suffered from this exact silence (and with a bus, that silence is deafening). At the time, Moby just celebrated her fifth anniversary with our household and, therefore, the battery had been working its way from the back of my mind forward towards the maintenance list. As expected, when I turned on the headlights, I saw the same dim greyness in the garage that existed when I climbed into the cockpit. Not a single electrical component functioned. With the assistance of a charger, I managed to stretch the life of the battery a few more months till winter hibernation. Now with spring upon us, reliability is required for those last minute getaways or to make the return trip from beyond the power grid.
When it comes to car batteries, I have always neglected to form an opinion on brands. Beyond the guaranteed life expectancy, price was king back in the day, and all appropriate batteries available to me seemed to operate satisfactorily. Today, there is a bountiful selection of options, ranging from the FLAPS brand to national brands and varieties of life expectancies. In the end, I decided to stick with the brand the PO installed in our bus, not for any brand loyalty mind you, but rather because, based on the stickers, this battery lasted seven years – about two years longer than it was guaranteed to live. That is the kind of durability and reliability I can appreciate. Should this new battery do the same, I just might develop a little fidelity.