One of my favorite Seinfeld moments is in an episode where Elaine goes to a bar mitzvah for a friend's son, or something like that. As you may or may not know, a bar mitzvah is a ceremony for 13 year old Jewish boys that marks the day that they come of age. At this bar mitzvah, the 13 year old kid, grabs Elaine and plants a kiss on her and yells out "I'm a man!".
I really love that, and I love to yell "I'm a man!" whenever I've done something particularly manly. :) Today, I had one of those moments. Yesterday (Sunday) morning, my car wouldn't start, so I had to hitch a ride pretty much everywhere I went. At one point, with my home teacher's assistance, we jump started it. However, after running for 15 minutes or so, I turned it off and then tried to start it back up again and it wouldn't start. Which led me to believe it was probably a dead battery, that wouldn't hold a charge any more.
I talked with my dad on the phone and he suggested I do an experiment in which I would jump start the car, then remove the battery cable from the positive terminal. If the car kept running, that would indicate that the alternator was fine, and the problem was probably the battery. If removing the cable killed the engine, that would mean it was the alternator that was having trouble. My mom just happened to be coming into town this morning, so she was gracious enough to stop by and provide a car with a good battery to jump start my car.
In preparation for the experiment, I had to loosen the connection on the positive terminal, so that once the car was running I could remove it. The bolt I had to loosen was pretty tricky to get at, but eventually I was able to loosen it up. We jump started the car, and then I braced myself in the fear that somehow I'd manage to electrocute myself while removing this cable. Thankfully that didn't happen (and probably isn't possible, but I just don't know enough about these things). The car kept running, so we felt safe in our diagnosis that the battery was the problem.
Getting the battery out of the car turned out to be a tad bit trickier than I had hoped, but in the end it came out. After a quick jaunt to the nearby parts store (My battery headquarters, no less, per their advertising), I was the proud possessor of a brand new battery. Another 10 minutes putting it back in and attempting to re-tighten all the things I'd loosened, and voila! my car was back up and running under its own power.
I'm a man!