Until I noticed the symptoms of its imminent demise, I never had reason to pay attention to my battery. I HAD already noticed that it was nowhere to be found under the hood of my car.
Proceeding with the assumption that my car couldn't run without a battery, I trusted that it was hidden away safely somewhere.
A normal change of a car battery hardly merits a comment. But this was different.
First step was to remove the left front wheel, providing access to a liner inside the fender. The battery is perched between the liner and the front bumper.
Already amazed at what this job entails, I harbored some mild dread of what I would find in the battery compartment. I could not remember replacing the battery since the car was new 11 years ago. I figured 166,000 miles of accumulated grit and battery corrosion and rust awaited me behind the fender liner.
Much to my relief, it was about the cleanest old battery on which I've ever scraped my knuckles.
Now I wonder if the battery lasted so long thanks to having its own little private room...or was the factory-issue battery really that much better to start with...or what?!??
But here's hoping it is another eleven years before I have to replace the new battery, considering what's involved.
The whole time I was doing this job, I kept thinking that those rednecks who dress up in clown suits and get on the TV every Sunday afternoon could have changed the battery in five-and-a-half seconds...quicker than you could say...
Oh, well. I guess I need more practice.