Well, Chicolini (my Fiat 500) has a new battery.
I should have known it was coming. First, it was the slight growl before starting. Then, the growl acquired an crescendo-pause-decrescendo-roar. I found that I had to pump the accelerator a couple times. In the last couple of days, all of the dash lights have brightened and dimmed in time to the growling.
Of course, we're also having a cold snap here in the greater Philly suburbs. I'm sure that didn't help matters.
Then this morning, after several valiant efforts, the battery gave up the ghost in a litany of pops, grunts, and clicks.
I couldn't just take Joe's car to work - he has to work from 4:00 to 9:00 this evening and the logistics of picking up/dropping off/dealing with Chicolini just made me tired. So we drove to my work, I retrieved my laptop so that I could work from home.
Then I used my trusty AAA app to request roadside (or in my case, garage-inside) assistance for battery replacement. The app is nice - it was easy to navigate and kept me well informed, right down to tracking the whereabouts of the repair guy and updating the ETA. He called when he got close and I met him downstairs.
I had a moment of angst wherein I thought, "What if it's not the battery? What if it's the starter or the alternator or a magical engine starting device specific to wee Fiats?" Then I said to myself, "Oh, relax. If it is something else, you'll deal with it." My worst fear was that it would require another trip to the dealer, who is a good 20 miles away and requires appointments.
So I was actually a bit relieved when my guy - everybody needs a guy - put the battery tester on and my battery failed with flying colors. Alas, he did not have the proper battery with him, but he headed back to his shop, got it, came back, installed it, and took my money. I probably paid more money for the battery than I would have if I'd taken it to our car hospital, but I am quite willing to pay for convenience.
I am poorer, but very happy with AAA, their app, and my guy.
And I'm getting used to the new laptop, too.