***DISCLAIMER: My dad can fix anything. I mean, anything! Cars, lawn mowers, paper machines, you name it. But much to his chagrin, I had a mechanical bypass at birth. (I had a mathematical bypass at birth as well, but that’s another post for another day!)***
OK, with that out of the way, I’ve gotta tell you about my adventure under the hood!
Sunday, on my way home from preaching here, I noticed the little red battery indicator light was lit on my dashboard. I made it home, and as I normally do in situations like that, I simply figured it would eventually take care of itself. (Another “another post for another day,” but I digress!)
Anyway, on the way to the gym yesterday morning, the light was still on. When I got back home, the light was still lit, and the amp meter was quickly going doooowwwwwwn! I went in the house, ate breakfast, and when I came out and tried to start my truck, it sounded like a pathetic machine-gun imitation. “Uh-oh…that’s not good,” I surmised.
I called my dad, and he seemed to think it was a dead battery. I prayed he was right. When the lovely and gracious “Mrs. Just Charlie” got home from school, I put the battery in her car and headed to the free battery tester at Wal-Mart (where I had originally purchased the battery almost two years ago! Yes, I had my receipt!)
The battery tester dude was not there, so to speed things along, the woman at the automotive counter went ahead and replaced my battery! For free! (Cool, huh?)
I put the new battery in the truck, and it cranked, but alas, the battery indicator light was still on. “Well, I guess that means it’s the alternator, or something worse,” I surmised again.
Today, I wondered aloud, to no one in particular…
I wonder if I could replace that alternator myself?
So I called my buddy, Mr. Know-It-All, and asked his opinion on whether he thought I, mechanical bypass at birth and all, could even possibly think about tackling an alternator. He said yes, and encouraged me with some very technical sounding stuff! (I was impressed!)
I called my dad, to ask his opinion on whether he thought I, mechanical bypass at birth and all, could even possibly think about tackling an alternator. He was away at a funeral. (I was discouraged!)
I called my father-in-law, to ask his opinion on whether he thought I, mechanical bypass at birth and all, could even possibly think about tackling an alternator. He said he’s at the point now where he won’t even think about tackling an alternator. (I was really discouraged!)
But, I surmised again, “If the part is going to cost me somewhere around $135 (USD), that probably means that having someone else put it in will set me back at least $500!”
So, I got the alternator. I got a loaner tensioner tool. I got a new serpentine belt. I headed for Pit Row…I mean, my driveway!
Long story short…it took me a couple of hours. I don’t think I want to take up mechanic-ing for a living. God didn’t bless me with the spiritual gift of mechanics. But after that couple of hours, with only one “dadgummit!” and a couple of “oh crap!”s, I had replaced my alternator and serpentine belt! And I had saved, I surmised, about $400. And I was really proud! So proud, I called everyone I had called earlier to tell them about my accomplishment!
Later this afternoon, I cranked that bad boy up.
No extra bolts or other parts laying around.
No blood was spilled.
And, dadgummit, no warning light on the dash!
Maybe I should hang out that sign….naaaaaaaaah!