I can’t believe it but I’m having problems with the alternator again. This would be the FOURTH ONE! The original died because of a leaky valve cover gasket. Car’s fault. My nephew and I solved that problem. Then the new alternator that had been installed in South Carolina bit the dust when I hit a huge bump on the Blue Ridge Mountain Parkway. It was replaced and the warranty covered the alternator. Everything was working fine for about a thousand miles.
My brakes are feeling kinda sponge, so a opened the brake fluid reservoir to check the level. It was fine. A few hours later, on my way to the Stephen Foster Cultural Center State Park the red battery/brake warning light started flashing on the dash. The other warning lights, which I ignore stay on constantly. But this one flashes on and off. I made it to the park and called a nearby Lake City, FL, AAA repair center. They said they couldn’t do anything until Thursday. That was okay since my reservation carried through til then.
I’d checked the battery with my multi meter. 12.1 volts. When I turned the car on the voltage dropped to 11.5. Indicates to me that the alternator isn’t charging.
I decided to check out of the park and went down to the car repair facility 15 miles away. I expected the car to die at any moment. It didn’t. I stopped at the Warm Springs post office and picked up my 110 chord for the fridge and the folding cot I’d ordered from Amazon.
I did a preliminary checkin at the repair shop They wouldn’t let me stay in my SUV overnight. Had to rent a room at Motel 8 or some such place. With the red light flashing slowly off and on I made it down there and back in the morning.
Checking in just as soon as the repair center opened I was told they might not be able to do it today. I told the girl (I’m 79 so women in their 40s are still girls to me) I was in a real bind. Traveling and spending $100/night for a motel was a real problem for me. She said she’d see what she could do.
A little before 9 I heard a guy at the parts window talking about O’Reilly alternator and warranty so I have to assume he’s working on my car. Came in a bit later and I heard him talking about a battery. I told the girl I was not opposed to them installing a new battery. And while they’re at it they can replace the windshield wiper blades which are in a display behind the sofa I’m sitting on. The ones I have now are pretty rigid.
Oh, yes, there is a sign on the door as you come in that says AAA customers get a 10% discount on labor fees to a total of $50. Every little bit helps
Judging from past experience it will only take a couple of hours to replace the alternator so I should be able to get on the road later today. Not knowing how late in the day I made a reservation back at the state park for four days at the same camp site. That’s good since it’s only a short trip to the latrine which is good for the COPD.