Wherever the Road Leads

Die Hard

Boosting Morale

Many times the truth doesn’t make as interesting a story, so I’ll skim over the fact that my factory battery has 70,000 miles worth of starts and a 600 watt amplifier sucking the life out if it and go straight to the thought that it was this cold Canadian winter that done did my battery in.

Recently, instead of an instant, smooth, high-pitched whine as the engine started, there has been a grunt, a hesitation and a low rumble until the ignition caught.

So when I was at Green and Ross yesterday for an oil change, they tested the battery and showed me a printout that showed my battery power and under half of what it should be. I always wrestle with decisions to spend money. That’s how I ended up at Green and Ross.

With the exception of Michelin tires from Kauffman, Ford dealers have been the only ones who have touched my truck. I bought it from Loganville Ford in Loganville but have preferred the service at Akins in Winder. For everything. When I hit the deer, it went into Akins Collision Shop. Oil changes, brakes and even to program my Trailer Brake Controller that I bought online, everything has been done at Ford.

I needed some warranty work done to Canadianize my truck so I went to the closest Ford dealer here. They had a sign ‘boasting’ of a $60 oil change and tire rotation. That is double what I’ve been paying but I thought if I just get an oil change, maybe it won’t be more that $35, as their website advertises ‘competitive’ pricing.

I went to their “Quick Lane”, which I thought was strictly for oil changes. The two busy people there were fielding inquiries from all over. When it got to be my turn and the guy couldn’t find me in his computer, he wanted me to go back out into the cold to write down my VIN number. Before agreeing, I asked him how much an oil change alone was. He told me around $50 plus (13%) tax.

I went outside for my VIN and kept going.

Next was Canadian Tire. Their Quick Lube would give me an oil change for around $35 if I was willing to wait two hours. Back out into the cold.

Fortunately, Green and Ross Tire stores are painted VERY green. Through blind luck, I spotted one after only a relatively short period of wandering aimlessly and burning $5/gal gas. He got me out the door for around $28 and a quote for Die Hard battery, installed and tax, for $160. It seemed expensive. The battery was $125.


I was sure I could get a good one at Wal-Mart for $60. The last battery that I bought was for a 1997 Grand Prix GTP in Gulf Shores Alabama. I guess prices have gone up. Wal-Mart did indeed have a cheaper battery, some off-brand name that immediately made me think of their “Murray” brand of lawn mowers which had a very poor reputation. Their battery was $90, plus $40 installation – he thought.

Absolutely the last thing I need as I prepare for Phase II of my Hare-Brained Scheme is to be in Boondocks Mississippi, hooked up to the camper in the rain in the wee small hours and the truck dies or won’t start because I tried to save $25 by buying a no-name battery. Back to Green and Ross.

I told him where I had been, and my logic and asked him to install the Die Hard, but would he give me $10 off? (Keep in mind that $10 is really $11.30 after tax!) Sure, he replied and we did the deal. Next stop: Boondocks, Mississippi.





This is exactly the same view, taken six weeks apart. The picture on the left was taken February 5th. The picture on the right was taken today. In the larger version of the picture below, it’s easier to see the street light beside the middle tree on the near side of the street. What a difference!

And what a difference in my disposition. Some sunshine and above-freezing temperatures and life is a chowl of berries! I couldn’t do this year after year. I’d send y’all a Christmas card from Costa Rica.



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  1. et  March 19, 2014

    am I reading another winter whine??? lol as I told you before- it is out of your span of control so let it go !!!!

    • gordon  March 19, 2014

      I thought I took it fairly easy on the winter whining. East-Court Ford is not my pick for #1 retailer of the year, though. I do appreciate your suggestion some time back about Green and Ross. They saved me some money and gave me peace of mind by replacing my tired old factory battery.


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