Car Trouble


costco tire center, costco car battery, pricesmart car battery, new car battery, where to change a car batteryThe dead battery.Last week my car wouldn’t start one evening when I was leaving work. I didn’t immediately think it was a battery problem, as I hadn’t left my headlights or interior lights on. But after a couple coworkers inspected the situation, they determined it was indeed a dead battery and someone was kind enough to give me a jumpstart.costco tire center, costco car battery, pricesmart car battery, new car battery, where to change a car batteryAnything to avoid this place.Kail and I decided to wait to see whether the car started the next morning before taking it to the mechanic. After all, we just bought the car (a 2010 Toyota Rav 4) in August and batteries should have a longer shelf life. Also, I dislike anything to do with cars (going to the mechanic or auto store) even more than I dislike going to hardware stores or the post office. Basically I hate errands.But I digress. The next morning, the car started so we shrugged it off as a fluke. The rest of the week it worked just fine. Until Saturday morning, when we were about to set off for a day of fun errands, shopping for gifts to bring people when we go home to DC (don’t worry DC friends, we went eventually).We called a couple friends who live in our apartment complex to see whether they have jumper cables, but they did not. So we called the security dispatcher at the embassy so they could send one of the roving security trucks over to give us a jump. Then it was off to the taller (garage/shop).We went to a place recommended by a few people at the embassy where Kail had taken the car previously for an oil change and car wash. They tested our battery and found that it was only holding a 12 percent charge. But they didn’t have batteries/our specific battery in stock so they told us to go — of all places — to PriceSmart, where we could buy a new battery and have it installed.costco tire center, costco car battery, pricesmart car battery, new car battery, where to change a car batteryPriceSmart Centro de Llantas (tire center).Now, I know Costco in the U.S. has a tire center but I didn’t remember seeing one — or a shop in which they’re installed — at our PriceSmart here in San Salvador. First Kail thought we were supposed to buy the battery at PriceSmart and go back to the taller, but I asked the mechanic to repeat what he said a couple times and sure enough PriceSmart could take care of it all.costco tire center, costco car battery, pricesmart car battery, new car battery, where to change a car batteryPriceSmart mechanic installing a new battery.And really, why should I be surprised? My love of Costco has been well documented on this blog.In the end, it was not as painful of an experience as I thought it would be. Sure, it involved getting our car jumpstarted, going to one mechanic and then going to PriceSmart midday on a Saturday — possibly THE busiest time — but all told it probably took about two hours and only cost around $80. Let’s hope this battery lasts longer.Have you ever had car trouble overseas?

Published by La Vie Overseas

I'm Natasha -- writer, runner and wife to a Foreign Service Officer with USAID. Current location: Frankfurt, Germany.

2 thoughts on “Car Trouble

  1. Glad to know someone else hates errands. I really dread having to run errands, especially on my own. I also hate having the car serviced, the post office, and dry cleaners. The worst of all is having to go grocery shopping. Do you dislike the grocery store too? I sometimes cheat and use the online shopping service at Harris Teeter and then pick up the grocerys at a designated place in front of the store. This somehow seems less lazy than having them delivered through Safeway or Giant. I’ve never indulged in home delivery. The expense is too hard to justify. How is grocery shopping in El Salvador?


    1. We are the same person! I loathe grocery shopping. I didn’t mind as much when I wasn’t working and I could go at like, 10 a.m. on a weekday when no one was there. But grocery shopping here (or in DC) on a weeknight after work or Sunday afternoon? Ugh. I never used Peapod or any of those grocery deliveries either, but if expense was not an issue I would have! Also when I go grocery shopping, I have a list and I don’t stray from it. I try to be in and out within half an hour if possible. No leisurely browsing for this girl. Grocery shopping here isn’t much different than in the States in terms of crowds or lines. Sometimes it’s difficult to find certain products, but I pretty much know what is available and where things are at my regular grocery stores.I do love having a kitchen full of food though, so grocery shopping is a necessary evil!


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