sraun: first picture of ziggy (Shih Tzu Ziggy)
So, the plan was:

  1. Drop off Ziggy at the vet to get his teeth cleaned

  2. Pick up [ profile] arkuat

  3. Go to work

  4. Leave work early to get a filling replaced

  5. Pick up Ziggy at the vet

1 & 2 went according to plan. 3? Not so much. About half-way to work the car started having power problems - in neutral, the engine would rev just fine, in gear, sometimes there was no power to the wheels. I pulled off to the side of the freeway about three-quarters of the way to work, turned off the car, and opened the hood. Nothing obviously wrong, all the fluids were good. Tried to start the car, and it went tick-tick-tick-tick very rapidly - and didn't start. And then the power windows failed. And then the four-way flashers failed!

[ profile] arkuat called in to work - one of our colleagues came and got him.

I called my mechanic, and got the phone number for their favorite towing company. Called the towing company, got my car taken to my mechanic. Got a loaner car - I was still going to have to get to the dentist!

Got home, got my work computer plugged in, did some work from home.

About 11:30, I got a phone call from the vet. Ziggy's resting heart rate was 36 - normal would be 70-120. They'd gotten him to do some exercise, to try to get it up - normal then would be up to 130. It stayed at 36. Had we noticed any change in behavior - more tired, lack of appetite, seizures? Nope. Teeth cleaning was canceled - they didn't want to put him under anesthesia with such a slow heart rate! They suspect it might be something called Addison's, which is a low cortisol level. They took blood for tests, we should hear back on that tomorrow. If it's not that, we get to go to a doggy cardiologist. I went and picked him up about 12:15pm.

As of 2:30, the car wasn't fixed, so I took the loaner off to the dentist.

Where I discovered that the appointment I had made last week for half-hour slot at 3pm today wasn't on the books.

They got me set up for a 4pm appointment with one of the other dentists. They actually called me in at 3:51, and were done with me by 4:03.

Then it was off to the mechanic. The car was done - the alternator had died. They had just replaced the alternator last November. They get their alternators from a company that just does alternators, and their experience was that said company had a very high reliability. The new alternator was free - we just had to pay for the tow.

Then I came home and cooked up CSA veggies for dinner. Now we need to take out garbage and recycling, and then I'll get to call it a night.

It was one of those days where the choices were laugh, cry, or curse the universe. I ended up laughing.
sraun: portrait (Default)
I leave for work about my usual time - for those who know the area, I get on 35W northbound and take it to 94 westbound. I'm a tenth of a mile or so short of the bridge that takes me from one to the other, and I notice that I'm not getting much power to my wheels. I put the car in neutral, it revs fine, I put it back in drive, it's working fine.

As I'm going over the bridge, it starts giving no power after every time I take my foot all the way off the gas. Neutral / drive - it's good. Until I get to the base of the bridge - and then it's bad. Neutral to drive - and no more power. I hit the four-way flashers. I've got just enough momentum / power to get all the way over to the right side, and about half-way onto the shoulder. I turn the car off, and call my garage. They tell me to call the towing service they work with. I do so. When the tow-truck shows up, I roll down the windows. And as I'm doing so, the radio starts flashing off and on. When I go to roll the windows up, they don't. BTW, they're power windows.

Off to the garage. I explain to them what happened, and they give me a loaner car. I drive home, and work from home today. An hour or so after I get home, they call - they alternator and the battery are both dead. I say 'replace them'.

I get to go pick up the car about 4pm. It cost something over $700.

I drive a 2006 Nissan Sentra. Does anyone know enough about the drive train to explain why lack of electricity translates to lack of power to the wheels?
sraun: portrait (Default)
Friday morning on the way to work I didn't make the last curve on the way to work. I ended up thoroughly in the snowbank - I needed a tow to get out. I didn't see any problems after the plow got me out, and didn't feel any problems driving the half-block to work. However, on the way home Friday night, there was a very distinct wobble at freeway speeds!

On Saturday morning, we took the car to Firestone - it has the advantage of being open on Saturday. Three hours, four tires, a new tie rod, labor and $1000 later, the wobble was gone.
sraun: castle (castle)
Well, new to me.

2006 Black Nissan Sentra

[ profile] iraunink brought it home today, we'll need to run down to the Credit Union in the morning and sign the loan paperwork.
sraun: portrait (Default)
[ profile] iraunink just called. The car started making a noise that concerned her when she was off to the youngest grand-daughter's birthday party on Saturday. She took it in for the mechanic to look at it this morning.

The engine is dead.

A new car was not in the budget for at least a couple of years. IIRC, this one isn't actually paid off until December 2011.

I have no idea how we're going to deal with this.


Feb. 5th, 2010 06:07 pm
sraun: portrait (Default)
I just got back from picking up the car. It's all shiny! New bumper covers, new front & rear light assemblies, new paint & clear-coat and washed and everything!
sraun: Hallowed Hunt Cover (bad santa hat portrait)
For my fellow Twin Citians - is it raining where you are?

As some of you know, we had a run-in with a guard-rail on our way home from Christmas with [ profile] iraunink's mother last night. Mad dash across three lanes of highway, both front & back bumpers hit the guard-rail. No deployment of air-bags, a small bump on my wife's head, a broken finger-nail on my part. Just a single car accident - we were in a traffic gap. We've been watching for signs of concussion, haven't seen any.

We decided we really didn't want to leave the house today. Which was a problem, as we really need to go grocery shopping, so there wasn't much to eat. Fortunately, we found a Chinese restaurant that was delivering (Star Moon, near 48th & Chicago).

About 5pm, I declared that on second thought, I really wanted to move the car today. By Minneapolis Snow Emergency Rules, I'm not allowed to park in front of my house starting at 8am tomorrow, until either 8pm or the street is plowed "to the curb". Which means 8pm, because there's no way they're getting to the curb again this winter, which means I'm not going to be able to tell when. (OK, if it's a work-day, I'll park in front of my house when I get home about 7:30pm - but that's not tomorrow.) The plow did go down our street today - leaving about a two-foot wall of snow between my car and the street. Very wet snow. And the overnight forecast calls for lows in the mid- to low- 20's. That wall is going to turn rock-solid. So, I went out and moved it. Fortunately, the plow didn't leave a wall on the other side of the street!

We do need to make it out tomorrow in time to get the dogs to their hair-cuts at 10am.

I did manage to get my quota of Dragon Cave holiday specials today. Yay!
sraun: Hallowed Hunt Cover (bad santa hat portrait)
Gee, it's been a while since I posted anything about life in general. Here's a catch-up post.
Details under the cut )
sraun: portrait (Default)
The brakes had been making a noise that I associate with 'the wear bars have gotten exposed'. Also, there had been an increase in road noise since the trip to [ profile] gryphons_lair's for her birthday. So, [ profile] iraunink took the car in to our mechanic today.

It needed:

  • brake pads and rotors all around

  • new wheel bearings (which are hub assemblies)

  • rotate tires

  • align tires front and back

  • new serpentine belt

  • new fluids

We knew the serpentine belt was coming - at the last oil change, we were told it was showing significant wear. The brakes were ... worse than I expected. The bearings, etc.? OK, I can see how the road noise came from that - but I was expecting quite that big a problem. All told, it was about $2k of car work.

Car Repair

May. 23rd, 2009 02:38 pm
sraun: castle (castle)
A week and a half ago I saw a news story about a car fire that severely damaged an apartment building in Plymouth, MN. The broadcast story I heard mentioned that the owner of the car had known it was recalled for two days.

Wednesday, I got a recall letter for my Pontiac Grand Am - the same recall that the car in the news story was involved in. We got it in to the dealer we bought it from on Friday, and had it back in 25 minutes. The dealer told us that they were doing a lot of that specific fix - it seems that there are a number of apartment complexes telling tenants 'you can't park in your garage until you've had the fix put in'. (Gee, I wonder why!?)

The problem is that a specific oil leak can be directed towards the exhaust manifold by the spark plug wires. Oil + Hot Exhaust Manifold = Fire. This is exacerbated if you brake hard. How many people who buy a Grand Am or a Grand Prix are going to be driving with jack-rabbit starts and brake-at-the-last-second?
sraun: aurora (aurora)
It's a 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix 2-door, silver, black cloth interior, with practically power everything. Remote lock/unlock/flash lights/open truck. Power side-view mirror adjust. Power windows. Power locks. Separate driver & passenger heating/cooling controls. Cruise control. Delay wiper. Auto-dimming interior rear-view mirror with compass & external temperature. AM/FM/CD Player. Controls for the AM/FM/CD on the steering wheel. Estimated remaining range, gallons of gas consumed, two other things I've forgotten. Power seat up/down, tilt, and forward/back.

I'm impressed - the only things I can think of that it's missing are heated seats, saved personalized power seat settings, and remote start.

small picture hiding under the cut )

{edited to correct year of car}


sraun: portrait (Default)

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