- took the battery out of one of our other cars (it was the same model battery except the terminal polarities were reversed) to test in my car. my car started fine, lending weight to the theory that it was indeed my battery at fault.
- went to a local toyota service centre (which thankfully opens till midnight) to get my battery tested. it turns out that it's my original battery (as i suspected), which means it's been going for almost 5 years! not that i know anything about car batteries, but that's a pretty good run. and the battery itself still seemed ok - just flat.
deciding to cut my losses there and then, i opted to buy a new one (and covered by warranty) rather than push my luck with the old one.next morning... i'm off to the shops around 9am, hitching a ride with my mum while she did some shopping. all the fitment guides i had come across (eg from marshall batteries, the hardcopy guide at the shop, and also the exide website) told me to buy a P305D battery for a 1999 model toyota echo. so naturally that's the one i bought. lucky for me that k-mart was having a sale so i got the battery at 25% off and had change from a $50 note.
came home, started to put the new battery in my car, and lo and behold the terminals are the wrong size!!! i was not happy... surely it couldn't be that difficult?! a few phone calls later, i went back to k-mart for a refund. then one of the shop floor managers came out and called in a guy from the tyre and auto shop, and i ended up taking a P305A battery which was the same as the D but with bigger terminals that were the correct size for my car. the cashier was mildly surprised when i pulled out the exact change (which i had gotten 5 mins earlier via my refund) from my pocket...
and so 3 hours after i first left the house i had a working car again.
if you have any car troubles, don't call me - you'll be better off for my non-involvement!
oh and during my musical batteries operation on friday night, i managed to drop the spanner twice, shorting the terminals. the first time was on my dead (but not fully fully dead) battery, so i just knocked it off which i'm not so sure if it was such a smart thing to do... second time round was on a fully juiced up unit, so i thought twice about using my bare hands and looked for something else with which to knock the spanner loose. meanwhile the metal was getting nicely cooked, and so i wrapped it with a towel to continue using. but i wasn't careful enough and gave myself a bit of a burn on my left thumb when i gripped the spanner and found a non-covered area.
like i said, probably best that i stay away, well away ;)