I Went To An “Auto Parts” Store To Get A Battery Cable Today

I bet you can already guess what happened too.

This “auto parts” store is famous for having chrome goodies and pretty shit all over the fucking place.

Apparently battery cables aren’t sexy enough for these fucking idiots.

It’s a pretty major parts house too.

I went in, looked around, found their piss poor selection of cables and thought to myself, here we go again.

I wanted a positive battery cable for my El Camino.

Red, about 24 inches long.


Umm, no, apparently that would be out of the question but thanks for looking.

They had two, count ’em, two fucking positive battery cables on the shelf, both of which had those chinsy fucking thin assed wrap around “clamps” that last six months.

One was forty eight inches long, the other fifty eight inches long.

I want a battery cable, not a fucking tow strap.


So I asked the guy behind the counter if that was all they had.

No, we have more in the back room, the “PREMIUM” cables.

That means way the fuck over priced to you civilians.

OK, I need a positive cable two feet long.

“All of our “PREMIUM” cables are black”.

A moment of stunned silence followed as I tried to comprehend the absolute fucking stupidity of this policy and who could be responsible for this lunacy.

What, I’m supposed to spray paint the fucker red or something?

They are red for a reason there Clyde.


No thanks, I’ll just make my own ,all I need is the clamp.


Oh, we have the materials for that too he says.


So he goes in the back, brings out some fucking red spaghetti they called bulk battery cable.

I asked him if they had solder pellets to melt the ends on with instead of crimping them.

No, they used to but nobody bought them.

Then he goes to look up the ends I need but has to have help finding the fucking catalogue.

He types in the numbers and lo and behold they DON”T EVEN HAVE THE MOTHERFUCKING BATTERY CLAMP IN STOCK!!!


At this point I am all done with this clusterfuck.


That’s almost as much fun as the time I went in to another place I call ‘Schmucks” to get a fucking one barrel carburetor for my old Ford truck.

After a half an hour of this poor, ignorant, fresh out of High School young lady fumble fucking around without a clue, she looks up from the parts book and asks me if I have a two volt or a four volt carburetor.

That was a face palm moment I will never forget.

Of course by then there were ten other guys behind me grumbling about how long it was taking. The joke was on them.

So tomorrow I will go to NAPA like I should have done in the first fucking place and get a fucking battery cable for a 1980 Chevy.

It’s not like they were some rare exotic handmade fucking automobile for fucks sake.

You would think a retail sales company that claims to be an auto parts store would have something like that, wouldn’t ya.

Naw, they used to stock ’em but nobody ever needs a red battery cable, right? Idiots.

The wife is always giving me a hard time about all the shit I have out in the garage. Half my shit is still in storage in my Uncles barn. I can guarantee ya, I have the materials to build a red fucking battery cable between the two, including the damn solder pellets,because I have run into this shit before.

To her, it’s just crap and clutter.

To me, it’s independence and convenience tossed on a bench or in a box.

I am slowly getting shit organized into drawers and proper containers.

She can’t understand why I would buy twenty five feet of heater hose when the job at hand only requires two.

Why do I need a dozen heater hose clamps or a hundred feet of 14 gauge red wire and a dozen different kinds of automotive fuses?

Because, as in this case, the motherfuckers at the parts store don’t have it when I need the sonofabitch and they close at five o’clock on the days they are open anyway.


How many times have I needed a stupid piece of hose or a clamp and see it is 4:45?

Too God damn many, that’s how many.

I mean that kind of stuff falls into the category of shop supplies. The shit that a guy should have on hand for general purposes.Duct tape, electrical tape, penetrating oil,nails, screws etc.
Just because I call it a heater hose clamp doesn’t mean I can’t use it to fix a washing machine hose or a garden hose.
Like them Boy Scouts always say, be prepared.


9 thoughts on “I Went To An “Auto Parts” Store To Get A Battery Cable Today

  1. I don’t buy battery cables around here anymore, and I’m not alone. The prices are way too high. We buy cheap Wally World jumper cables and then make our own. The jumper cable sets are cheaper than a 2 foot battery cable. WTF?

    Now imagine hooking up a battery bank of a dozen golf cart batteries for off grid use. That’s a lot of cables.

  2. thanks for the chuckles at your troubles. I needed them today. Pack rats of America Unite, we have the stuff around here somewhere to make the signs,…

  3. I coulda wrote this 20 years ago. If we’d had an Internet back then. Same kind of experience at an “auto parts store”. Even here in the Silly Cone Valley, real auto parts stores are scarce on the ground. There’s two (2) within a 20 mile radius of my house, used to be three but the NAPA store in Mountain View lost their lease to gentrification. Yay, progress.

  4. Oh yeah, my shed is packed with nuts, bolts, screws, clamps, various hose (always get extra myself), spark plugs, pieces parts for vehicles I don’t even own anymore… Heh, I even got an HEI module in a faraday cage. Imagine what that fucker will be worth when the lights go out…

  5. Six Bears.
    That is pretty crazy.
    I have a set of jumper cables I made out of some old welding leads. 25 feet long with heavy duty clamps. I used to jump start Big Rigs with them. At the prices you mention it would cost three hundred bucks to make them now.
    Of course, they are black…. 😉

  6. I drove a ’96 Firebird for fifteen years, put 225K on it, and other than an annoying number six spark plug wire I had to replace every year or so, it was a great car. Try buying one spark plug cable from a big box store. Or for that matter, try buying one cable any damn where. Even the dealership wanted to install all six of them instead of the one that kept getting burned out on the manifold. And of course, you can’t change the sumbitch yourself, ’cause it takes a special tool to get back behind all the shit to the number six plug. You’d have more luck pulling the engine than doing it yourself.

    Proper prior planning…

    So a few years ago I had a special wrap job done on the number six cable before they installed it, wrapped in heat resistant metal tape, about a pound of it. Lasted a few years until I traded the car in…

  7. it takes a special tool to get back behind all the shit to the number six plug

    That’s where learning how to weld is a boon. Most of those “special tools” are just regular old tools re-configured by cutting off a piece and then welding on another piece at a different angle.

    Chevrolets were/are famous for that kind of asshattery, btw. I had a Chevrolet Chevette that I bought for $850 back in the day, yeah that was a lot for a Chevette with a bit of body damage but it only had 65,000 miles, was only six years old, and ran fine for 7 years more although I had to weld pieces back onto it from time to time, I finally got rid of it only because the air conditioner sprung a leak and that was when Freon was being phased out so getting under the dash to fix the evaporator and converting the compressor to the new shit would have been way more than the car was worth. Well, from the start the bloody thing leaked oil like the Exxon Valdez. I fixed the oil leak around the cylinder head cover, but to fix the leak around the oil pan I’d have to pull the entire freakin’ engine because there was a subframe right below the oil pan and getting it out of there to put a gasket on impossible (there was an aftermarket gasket, Shittylay had originally just RTV’ed the bloody thing and called it a day). Then one day the oil pressure sensor blew out and sent a cloud of black smoke into the sky and a pool of blood err oil onto the pavement. Once I figured out that my Chevette wasn’t going all explodey on me, I looked for the oil pressure sensor under the exhaust and intake manifolds (which were both on the same side of the car — the driver’s side), and managed to spot it but I’ll be damned if I could get my hands anywhere near it. I rolled my eyes, said “fuck that shit,” and called AAA to tow it to a nearby shop that I knew about. Past a certain point I’m willing to pay someone else to be annoyed by Shittylay’s bullshit, yo.

    1. I ran into that same problem on a new Ford Capri once, the front wheel drive model. The sender was between the firewall and the block under the intake manifold behind a bracket.
      I heated up a wrench and bent it in THREE places just to get on the sender and it turned just enough that I couldn’t get it back on again. I tried every thing I had to get to that thing.
      I finally got out the shop manual figuring Ford had some special tool and all it said was “Use an appropriate tool”.
      Fuck you sonsabitches I said and got out my air chisel with an 18 inch bit.
      It came out in eight different pieces. As it was still under warranty, I had to turn it in.
      I poured all the pieces back in the box, wrapped it in duct tape and wrote “Some assembly required ” on the box.
      As I recall, the Chevette also had a starter bolt from hell that was so close to the block I had to grind down a socket to paper thinness to even get on it too.
      I still have several obsolete special tools I had to buy while working for Ford.
      Rotten bastards.

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