Monday, January 17, 2011

Twice Is Enough

Two cars, completely different monsters but with similar problems that at first were simple but became increasingly more complex and expensive the longer they decided to go.

A few weeks ago a Saturn L series. Tensioner for the Serpentine Belt locked up frying the belt. This belt being the one that drives the Alternator, Power Steering, Water Pump and A/C. The owner decided to limp the car home anyway. From Madison....Driving until it got hot, shutting it off and then driving again when it was cool. Great idea but along the way somehow, either by someone jumping it or something occurring after it died. A voltage spike burned up the BCM. So what could have been just a matter of pulling over and getting towed at the first sign of trouble became a very expensive repair with a tow.

Second, in the shop today. A Mazda Protege that lost a Alternator belt. This belt also drives the Water Pump. Again, with lights ablaze on the dash and a heat gauge going up the owner just drove the car home. It now is in the bay beginning its journey back to life. The owner did admit to "trying to jump it but nothing worked". So far I have found the belt gone, as expected. The battery was dead and a 100 amp main fuse melted. Lets hope once these items are addressed the engine isn't cooked from overheating and other items aren't fried from a possible voltage spike.

It comes in threes though, that is what scares me.

Anyways. Lesson of the day. If gauges are going up or down when they aren't suppose to, when red lights are lit up, pull over and get it towed or at the very least call before doing anything.

Or just drive it until it dies and make a mortgage payment for me.


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