Sunday, November 11, 2007

Of alternators and dead batteries

Thursday evening I got a call from my dad asking if I could pick Sarah up. It seemed the truck she was driving was giving her issues and rather than continue driving it, she parked it and called my dad. Friday morning the truck was towed to a nearby shop and looked over. It seemed the alternator had decided to die. That afternoon they replaced the alternator and the truck was good to go, since I had been planning to use the truck on Saturday we just left it at the shop overnight.

Saturday morning arrived, I dropped my car off at my grandparents and hitched a ride up to the shop where the truck was. The plan being to use the truck to haul appliances to the dump from the "Dumpster house" I arrive at the house and start to clearing out more junk. Around 12, we load up the appliances, and head to the dump. Since it is lunch time, on the return from the dump we decide to stop at a McDonalds for lunch. I get out of the truck and immediately realize that my front driverside tire is leaking air in a big way! I jump back in the truck with the intention to get to a gas station pronto so I don't have to change the tire. Unfortunately the truck will not start, in fact the truck will not even turn over, it is as dead as the 8-point buck a guy from church got the other week.

I sit in the truck for a minute thinking to myself how silly this is, parked in a McDonalds with a rapidly deflating tire and a battery throughly dead, probably because the "new" alternator is installed wrong or something! Having nothing else to do, I did what anyone would do in that situation, I went in McDonalds, washed my hands and ate two double cheeseburgers and a medium fry. We were only about 20 minutes walk from the dumpster house, so after the refreshment, Garon, the guy from work who was working with me headed to the house to get his car which had jumper cables and I went back out to the truck to replace the tire.

In this task I was yet again foiled as there was NO JACK IN THE CAR! This was no big issue, you can always borrow someone's jack but to top it off the tool used to lower the tire from under the bed was also missing! So even if I had a jack there was no way I could lower the spare from the truck bed. But I was still positive, while searching for the jack I had found a brand new container of fix-a-flat. Determining to use this on the now completely deflated tire I waited for Garon to return with his car and his jumper cables.

When Garon arrived back I told him the plan for the fix-a-flat unfortunately since the tire was now resting with it's rim on the ground it was decided it would be useless since fix-a-flat fixes the flat, it does not fill your tire with air. We actually used to have a little air compressor that was in the truck but my aunt ran over it (That story is for another time) Having exhausted all our options, I called up AAA. After going through several minutes of conversation with the dispatch lady, ( I did not have my AAA card) She got me scheduled to have a rescue truck come out and help but it would be an hour and 45 minute wait. That was fine, we could work clearing more of the house.

A little less than 1:45 later, I got a call from the rescue guy and we drove back up to McDonalds. Garon dropped me off and headed back to the house and I dealt with the AAA dude, who of course wanted my AAA card which I did not have. :p Finally, we got to fixing the truck, he patched the tire and filled it back up, then went to jump the battery. Success! The truck came to life as only a F-150 with 292,453 miles can. I got ready to leave intent on heading directly to the shop where the alternator was put in, but before the hood was even closed the truck died again. :( The AAA guy who had a voltage thing said we were only getting 7volts when we should be getting 14 and so it seemed I was correct. The alternator was indeed not installed property. Our only recourse was to have it towed back to the shop.

Continuing with theme of the day there was nobody left at the shop and the tow truck could not get to it for the rest of the day so I walked 20 minutes back to the house. After several more hours of cleaning, in which we filled our second 30-ton dumpster in a week, we called it a day and headed to my grandparents house for my car. Glad to finally be done with car and battery issues I sat in my nice form fitting seat and turn my key......NOTHING HAPPENS! It seems by some weird turn of events my Altima's battery was dead as well!!

Not able to stop laughing I call up Garon and ask him to turn around and come give me a jump but, it seemed we had left the jumper cables in the truck at McDonalds. Since I was at my grandparent's I decided to just borrow their car and head to the truck and retrieve the cables myself. Returning 30 minutes later to my car, I hooked everything up and turned my key.....yet again nothing happened. Thinking maybe Garon's jumper cables were old and no good, I drove to a nearby K-mart and picked up another set. I hooked everything up again and...nothing still. At this moment I was racking my brain in search of some meaning or knowledge I needed to be learning from this experiance, I have yet to think of something.

Anyway I called up my dad and asked him to come pick me up. An hour later he shows up and I once again hook the jumper cables up, this time to his car, (I am nothing if I am not stubborn) with the thought that maybe my grandparent's car could not give mine enough juice to be brought to life. A turn of the key and VROOM! I was in business. :D This concludes my very long winded post on my Saturday, if you read the whole thing I commend you.

2 comments :

  1. abigail said...

    Yes, I read to the end! Twas very funny. What a day! I'm glad that you saw it from the humorous side, I know alot of people who would get really stressed over that type of day. I think that sometimes life is laugh or cry, and I like laughing alot better. I think I sometimes scare my family because something inconvenient/unpleasant will happen but I'll be shaking with laughter! If one see's the funny side first, I think it makes the unpleasant side much less unpleasant. Like the time my old music teacher and I were eating lunch and part-way through I realized that I we had ants all over our food...

  2. Mr. B said...

    That makes running out of gas on I-95 (with the gas gauge reading 1/4 full)seem like a walk in the park!