Just Shelley

Ca wars

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

update Day 2 of car in the shop. I just called and the mechanic did start looking at the problem. I didn’t talk with him, but the office person. The mechanic did find a problem with the battery, but that’s not causing the problems. However, when he was starting to track for the short, the battery light went out. According to the office person, he needs the light on to be able to track the problem.

So she sits in the shop for day 3. I’m a little worried this is the start of a never-ending problem.

I have a 2002 Ford Focus with close to 80,000 miles on it. I have rarely had problems, and take good care of it.

Last weekend, when coming home from a walk, the car started to sputter when I stepped on the gas, and the radio went out. I didn’t think anything of it, because I didn’t have any dash lights on.

I stopped by the store and when I started to leave, the car wouldn’t start. The engine would turn over, but it wouldn’t continue running. Again I noticed that the radio also failed, though the lights and electrical windows were working.

As my roommate was on the phone to the tow, I tried the engine one more time and this time she caught, but barely. Still, we were able to get to the garage, though the car died permanently just outside the repair area.

The garage said the alternator was bad, putting out only 9 volts. The old battery, oddly enough, was still good. They replaced the alternator with a re-manufactured unit, and I paid an extraordinarily hefty repair bill and took off.

The next day, as I took off for another walk, I got the battery light. I drove it immediately to the garage, and they tested everything, couldn’t find a drain, and couldn’t get the light to come back on. I took off again.

The next day, the light came on, briefly, but now I’m getting a clicking sound in the dash, typically when I’ve been accelerating, and then have taken my foot off the gas. Yesterday and today, the battery light comes on intermittently. When I’m parked, and the light comes on, there’s a distinctive drop in the engine idling speed.

Before I take this into the garage again, do any of you recognize any and all of these symptoms? They all sound like alternator, and i know that re-manufactured alternators can be bad out of the box, but I would have assumed the garage folks tested this when they tried to find out why the battery light came on. I’d like to have a little more knowledge under my belt before going in, so that I can better question the mechanics, especially if they come back with “Well, we couldn’t find anything”, again. Or worse, come back with another problem needing a repair I just can’t afford.

Any and all suggestions would be welcome.

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