It’s cold here….record setting….and the vehicles might find that hard to deal with.
I set out for work yesterday, and 5 miles into the trip, my alternator stopped working.
The “check guages” light in the Jeep came on, the indicator needle went down a few notches….and then it went down as many notches as it could….and when it hit bottom, the guage stopped moving altogether.
What was I to do?
What to do?
I drove to the auto parts store…..and asked him if he could check my alternator.
But….to check the alternator, the car has to be running….and since I’d shut it down to go into the store and the car wasn’t running, he couldn’t check the alternator.
So….he checked the battery, and it was completely drained in the 4 miles I’d driven after the alternator quit working.
So……(so, so, so..) I called Jenny and she helped me get an online order in for another battery (I saved $50.00 doing it like that…..so much a cheapskate…)….I installed the battery in the bitter cold of winter….bittter, bitter cold…in the parking lot of the parts store…..started the car….the kid inside put on his scarf and arctic gear, he came outside and checked the car….and said, “You need an alternator.”
The crappy alternator was 130.00 …..the reasonably good on was 260.00…..the better “good” one was about 300.00.
The last one I purchased I bought used for 30.00.
I went to the junkyard to buy another one for 30.00.
It was a “no brainer”.
(And you know….it just hit me….just now….that so many of the times when I seek out the “no brainer’s”….that the results are eventually going to come back to bit me….some really cold morning, the results bite me…. I don’t know how well “no brainer” is working for me.)
And….you know what?
The alternator that is so common and cheap….the one that the junkyard….er, auto recycler….always has….was sold out!!
The guy helping me couldn’t believe it, either.
But he gave me a tip about a place that I could take it to and have it rebuilt….said the guy used good quality parts and that it was a lot cheaper than buying one of the crummy parts store alternators.
That sounded good to me, so…..
I went back home, parked the Jeep, got the old alternator that the guy at the “auto recyclers” had suggested I keep and have rebuilt….”just in case”….(which was a genius suggestion that I, of course, didn’t follow..)….loaded everybody up in the minivan…”everybody” because it was too cold and dangerous for school….too icy, still….and we went out to Mills River to drop off the alternator.
A couple of hours later, the part was fixed.
The resolution to these problems is so much gentler than the way the problem first presents itself.
I spent some money, got some parts, and the problem is fixed.
It sure does feel dire when the weather is this cold, though.
And, if something never works, it’s easy to never expect it to work.
When the “faithful” break down, you never know what’s going to happen next.
My world was rocked yesterday….in sub-freezing (that sounds SUPER DRAMATIC!!! But….it’s true….”sub-freezing”…..wow….) temperatures.
I do live a life of adventure.
“come in from the cold” Joni Mitchell