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Date Posted:01/09/2019 7:01 PMCopy HTML

My mom was already struggling with the grinding starter motor, but due to her limited knowledge she didn't gave much importance to it. She gave long crankings whenever the starter would crank otherwise she would simply hold the key while the starter would continue grinding. Mom's 1997 white Maruti 800 was a pre-owned car, when we purchased it was in fair condition. It had white leather seats, the previous owner had removed the head rests from the driver and the passenger seats. Since I was small that time so I had no issue with it and my mom enjoyed it as her hair had less distortion. As the head rests were removed so, it saved her head from banging into it specially when she tied her hairs in a bun. 

My mom was a single mom, so she had no one to give her proper tips about cars, so she often faced difficulties with it. She always had starting trouble, thanks that those Maruti 800 were not very prone to flooding and the 35 Ah battery was enough to withstand her daily cranking abuses which sometimes lasted as long as 30 minutes with the headlights on. She didn't care much for the car, she would just get in and drive. It was may be because of her busy schedules. Mom kept her car usually dirty, rarely she would wash. If you remember my previous stories, you would know that she was so lazy to wash her car that she would keep it outside the garage whenever it rained. Here is a story regarding that: Mom cranking Maruti 800 with a dangling toothbrush in her mouth in rainy morning 

To be frank, my mom had another bad habit, she was always gassy, so she farted a lot. Her car gave her the most private space to do so. So, almost always during her commute to school or to the market, she would continue to fart while driving the car. Everytime you open the door and get in, you would be welcomed with her fart stinks.

As she was a school teacher, so she was bound to wear Saree. Now, the problem arised as her Saree often slipped and got displaced while she pumped and bounced in the leather seat. In the middle of almost every pedal pumping session, I had noticed her lifting her butts to adjust her Saree as it slipped in the leather seat. Moreover, we lived in a cold region so in the morning as we get inside the car the seats remain frozen and during a sunny day, the seats get extremely hot.  

Because of these reasons, she was planning to change the leather seats with a fabric one but as she was the only one to earn the living so she had to postpone it from time to time. With almost  1 year of owning and driving that car, the leather seats were not in good shapes. Specially, her driver's seat had torned in several places. May be her bouncing in the seat while pumping and the daily fart abuses had the major contributions to it. 

One day after school when she arrived to pick me up from school, I was surprised to see new seats in our car. As I got in, I was welcomed with the "new car smell" which I almost never smelt before since she would fart in the car and make it a "gas chamber". Jokingly, I told my mom not to ruin the car again with her farts. She laughed and initiated the cranking process.

She twisted the key and the car cranked but didn't start. It was cold outside so I knew that it would be a slight difficult for her to start it. She twisted the key and the car cranked again, this time she was simultaneously pumping the gas, bouncing in the seat. I leaned back on the seat, the seat was confortable. The grey fabric of the seat somewhat matched with the car upholstery. 

Meanwhile, she was cranking for the 3rd time with similar pedal pumping and boucing in the seat. I was surprise that although she was pumping the gas while boucning in the seat but the car didn't shaked like before. Even the vibration I felt sitting next to her in the passenger seat, the intensity was much lesser than before. I assumed that the leather seat transmitted the vibration better. 

She cranked for the 4th time, each of these crankings were nearly 2 minutes long, I was anticipating that the starter motor would grind in between but it didn't. I asked my mom if she checked the "strange sound" during starting. That time both of us had no idea about starter motor or the grinding issue, so we called it just a "strange sound". She replied that  she forgot about it. She kept on trying, during her 5th cranking the engine sputtered and chugged giving us a positive sign that it would start in the next 2 - 3 tries. 

She stopped for a moment and started to pump the gas pedal, she was boucing in the seat. Her hair was open and she was wearing a blue salwar with white pants. Even the new seats had no head rests. That time we didn't know that it was called "headrest"; mom used to call them "pillows" so I asked her why the "pillows" were missing from the new seats. She replied that she actually got it exchanged with an old car paying some money to a garage, and even that old car didn't had those "pillows". 

She stopped pumping the gas, may be after 10 - 12 pumps. She was wearing a white flat sandals. She twisted the key again and this time the starter motor grinded. She twisted the key again, but another grinding. I asked her again, why that "strange sound" was coming, she replied that the engine and the battery are cold. I agreed to her reply as that time she was the only one to teach me about cars. For the next 3 more tries the starter only grinded instead of cranking. 

So waiting for a minute and decided to turn of the ignition in the mean time. She turned on the ignition and directly twisted the key, the starter engaged and cranked. She decided to give a long cranking, so she continued to hold the key for about next 4 minutes and occasionally pumped and bounced in the seat in between and the car would sputter accordingly but still didn't start. 

She stopped and decided to pump the gas again, she started to pump again, may be another 10 - 12 times. She was slightly frustrated as I observed from her harsh pumping which she never did. My mom was always gentle to her car, but she was agressive and was bouncing up and down fast. She twisted the key and the starter grinded again, she immediately gave another try but it grinded again, being frustrated she continued to hold the key and the poor starter grinded for more than a minute. She banged her hand in the steering wheel in anger, I decided to keep quiet. 

She waited for a minute and twisted the key and the engine cranked this time, she decided to hold the key so the starter continued to crank while the engine was sputtering and finally the engine started. She revved in a constant rpm for more than a minute, I guess she was pressing 1/3 of the gas pedal. After the small revving session, the engine was running fine and soon were driving back home. I was thinking that she would stall in between but there were no such incident. I even expected that like always she would fart in the car while driving home, but it seemed that she cared for her new seats. 

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