For the past couple of years, Randa’s 2005 Chevy Silverado has had problems with what some folks call “parasitic battery drain.” Some component might be drawing electricity even when the truck is turned off. It’s possible there’s a wire with a short in it that’s leaking off current. Whatever it is, it’s been draining the battery.

In the summer, if the truck sits without being used for a few days, it requires a jump start. In winter, that could happen in as few as two days.

Armed with the right instruments and full electrical wiring diagrams, someone who knew what they were doing could go through one module at a time and find the exact source(s) of the problem. I’m not that person.

I’m the person who knows how to disconnect the negative cable. It only takes, literally, a half-minute normally. Double that amount of time if the wind-chill is at minus-twenty or lower. Still, a pretty quick ounce of prevention. Disconnect the cable when leaving the truck for more than a day or two, reconnect when wanting to use the truck. Twist, twist, wrench, wrench. Battery connected.

The quasi-perfectionist in me suggests that this little workaround of mine is an inferior solution. Doesn’t really fix the underlying problem, you see. The hyper-pragmatist in me suggests the other dude go fix something else. Or at least just go somewhere else. “It works. Saves the battery. Truck starts. End of discussion.”

There are times in life, in relationships, in jobs, in global economies, and such when it is really good and helpful to fully understand the problem. Sometimes, we just need a “workaround,” something that will get us through the next trip, the next day, the next shift, without making things worse.

It’s good to truly “fix things” but coming up with a good “workaround” can help us stay sane long enough to figure out the solution.

H. Arnett


About Doc Arnett

Native of southwestern Kentucky currently living in Ark City, Kansas, with my wife of twenty-nine years, Randa. We have, between us, eight children and twenty-eight grandkids. We enjoy singing, worship, remodeling and travel.
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