Posted by: Crowe | December 24, 2008

My Christmas Miracle


Earlier this year, mostly due to my growing family, I traded my pickup truck for a minivan.
Yesterday, Indiana was hit with a nasty bout of freezing rain and most of the interstate roads were closed due to the ice. There were slide-offs by the dozens and many people were trapped in their cars. I had a co-worker that was travelling with his wife and 4-year old son and they had to sleep in the car in a Cracker Barrel parking lot because there were no available hotels. It was horrible.
Anyway, I live 13 miles from work and my commute is primarily on county roads (which rarely get plowed or salted out here!). My drive took 2 hours and 20 minutes! The drive was brutal and I slid several times, but I made it home safely to my family. My van did well and I stayed warm and cozy for the entire ride.
Today, the temperature was up in the 40s and the ice had melted but we had to deal with the rain. I left work a little early to get some last-minute stocking stuffers. On the way to the store, my van began to hesitate and then buck a bit. I began to have difficulty driving so I pulled into the next available parking lot to check it out. It was an Auto Zone.
I turned off the van and looked under the hood and everything looked fine. I tried restarting the van, to no avail. After unsuccessfully cranking the engine, the battery gave out.
I went inside and asked for a boost, but my battery would not budge. Auto Zone does free battery charging, so I removed the battery and took it inside. The battery charger displayed a “BAD BATTERY” message on the LCD display and I was on the hook for an $89 battery. Ugh!
The tech behind the counter identified the battery as being an Auto Zone brand battery and noticed that that particular model was fairly new and may still be under warranty. The battery came with the van so I had no receipt or proof of purchase or any idea how old it was so I seemed to be out of luck.
He asked me if I knew the previous owner and if I could contact him for a receipt. I do know the guy and had his home phone # on some of the old invoices that came with the van. The tech looked up the previous owner on their computer, verified that the battery was purchased at Auto Zone, with the 3 year warranty, and he gave me an exchange battery for FREE! Not only did he save me the money for the battery, but he cleaned the terminals, installed the new battery, and tested the alternator. All the while, we chatted and he smiled a friendly smile, even though we were standing in a parking lot, in the pouring rain.
I was able to get those stocking stuffers (and pay for them) thanks to the friendly man at my nearby Auto Zone.
On the drive home though, it occurred to me that this could have happened the night before and I could have been stranded on a secluded county road, in the dark and on the ice. Miraculously, I made it through that drive and broke down directly in front of this particular store the next day. I like to think that I was being watched over and experienced my very first Christmas Miracle.
Thank you Auto Zone for being more than a parts store and thank you to the tech that took the time to make my holiday special. You have earned my business and I will do my best to pass the word!



  1. Good story man. Happy your alright man.

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