Fun with cars - Part 2


Havin' a Waggle
Site Supporter
Oct 26, 2004
Last weekend I went to go out in my car only to find it straining to even turn over once. A quick glance revealed that the interior light was on, and probably had been for a couple of days. Hence the battery was almost flat. Undeterred I armed myself with my trusty 10mm socket wrench and proceeded to remove the battery and take it down to my shed where I put it on a little 8 amp charger overnight.

Next day dawns and the battery is charged, So I take it back to my car, pop it back in and reconnect it. Lovely. However when I went to close the bonnet I noticed the large plastic battery housing that I had forgotten to install before connecting it all up. So, off it all comes again, in goes the housing and I reconnect it all again. Lovely.

I know that disconnecting the battery for a long period will cause the radio/satnav unit to require a code. But that's no problem because its always on a sticker in the glove box..... Oh!...... or in the door jamb .... Oh! .... Well never mind. It is always scrawled in the manual or service record book somewhere....... Oh carp!

Much rooting around in various folders and paperwork in the back of drawers and cupboards and I found an old garage receipt from the previous owner, with a 5 digit number written on the back. Worth a try I reckon. Better than paying £15 to someone on t'internet for a code. So I go out to the car again, start it up and enter the code. Bingo! The gods are smiling on me once more.

The radio code entered, the satnav kicked in with a screen saying it was "Acquiring GPS signal" and that it could take up to 10 minutes and that I should leave the engine running and not be parked near buildings. A bit late that last one, because I'm parked outside my house. But hey. I'll sit here for 10 mins and see what happens.
The 10 minutes pass and the screen eventually flicks into "Could not acquire GPS location..." It went on to advise driving to a different location, removing the battery for at least 30 minutes, reconnecting and trying again. Well bug blow that I thought. So I took it to a different location away from buildings and repeated the 10 minute wait while it did it's acquiring again. No go. After 10 mins it again said "Could not acquire ..." So back home I go.

Frantic searching of the 'net seemed to suggest that I really would have to go elsewhere, disconnect, reconnect and try again. Nope. I'll have another go outside my house. So I sit like a lemon with the engine running for another 10 mins while it "Acquires it's GPS" and by about 12 minutes of waiting I'm about to go and fetch a tree branch to give it a "damn good thrashing" a la Basil Fawlty, when "PING!" The disclaimer screen appeared and the satnav was finally working.

... I love my car.