Ian Edelman in Doha

Expat exploits in Qatar

Flat battery

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On Sunday morning my car went in for its 10,000 km service at the local Nissan Express Centre . As well as the service, I also asked them to fix the rear washer unit which hadn’t worked since the car was new.

Here in Doha the service intervals are every 5,000 km due to the need for much more frequent changes of oil and filters due to the ambient dust.

I picked up the car in the afternoon. They showed me that the washer was working when I left, but a few minutes down the road, it again did not work when I turned the knob on the end of the washer stalk.

When I went to go to work on Monday morning the car wouldn’t start. The man from the AAA man (Arabian Automobile Association) arrived after an hour and jump started it. I drove to work, but when rechecking the car at lunchtime, the battery was again quite dead.

I blamed poor workmanship at the service centre, and with my lack of expertise in car electronics thought that the again broken rear washer was somehow draining the battery.

A discussion with colleagues at work revealed that the life of a car battery in this climate is on average a year. Another jump start and I drove back to the service centre. A technician computer checked the battery… it needed to be changed, and as it was still under warranty, a free replacement.

Car battery being changed

A new battery was fitted. I asked about the rear washer. The service manager checked… he pressed the stalk forward, and sure enough water sprayed over the rear windscreen. It has always been working. I’d just been turning the stalk as in my last car, not pushing.


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