The best laid plans, said the poet, aft gang aglay. Such was yesterday. I hopped in the Jeep to head out on my errands, turned the key to start it, and... nothing. No lights, no click, nada.
I called my shopping companion to cancel the trip, and called my insurance company's roadside assistance number to get a jump start. This is never a quick process -- it usually takes about two hours from when I first call before the tow truck shows up to wherever I am. The towing company itself may only be 20 minutes away, but there's a lot of paperwork that has to go back and forth between my insurance, the roadside assistance division, and the towing company, and it takes a while.
Once the wrecker finally arrived (with another vehicle on the bed and passengers in the cab -- multitasking!), he gave me a jump, told me it was a dead battery instead of a dead alternator (thank goodness), and advised me to let it run for 20 minutes or so before heading out to get a new battery.
This I did, and in the meantime I put in a call to my ex-husband. He and I are now good friends, and he's a mechanic, so I had him meet me at the parts store where I got the new battery installed, and we figured out why the battery had drained in the first place -- a wiring fault in the dome lights. The lights weren't turning off, and I hadn't realized this when I got home from work on Friday, so those darned lights spent almost two days draining my battery down to nothing.
You wouldn't think it would be difficult to locate the fuse for the dome lights in a vehicle as straightforward as a Jeep Cherokee, but it took us about an hour to discover that, despite the literature telling us it was a 10-amp fuse in the passenger compartment, it was actually a 15-amp fuse in the engine compartment. Once we unplugged that and let the bulbs cool down, we removed the bulbs, put everything back together, and I was on my way.
It's still an issue I'm going to have to have fixed at some point, and I don't have dome lights in the meantime, but at least my battery won't drain every time I park the car for a few hours.
I wonder what adventures today has in store for me.