This is my car, circa 2006.
It’s a 1996 Nissan 200SX. It’s not the greatest thing in the world; in fact it’s rather used and beat up. That was before I got a hold of it. Now, it’s still rather used and beat up, but it’s used and beat up thanks to my own doing and not someone else. It’s taken me to and from Mobile, to and from N’Awlins, to and from Pensacola – you get the point. Anyway, it’s been fairly good to me. That being said, over the past week or so, it’s really given me a headache the size of Texas.
It all started on Tuesday. I was driving back to work from lunch, and I noticed my battery light was on. I made it back to work safely, and all was well. That being said, I didn’t run into the major problem until I was on the way home. It was then when I noticed a REALLY big problem; when I went to turn on the heater on my way home, my speed dropped…so did the power to my radio. I barely made it to a shopping mall parking lot before the car finally died. I had to get my wife to pick me up, and I spent the rest of the week driving hers and making sure mine was okay in that lot.
On Saturday, I went to get the battery checked, and they said it was dead. That was an adventure in and of itself. I have a portable battery charger that I had to let charge up for a while. When it charged fully, I jumped my car off and set off to AutoZone. Only problem with that is, I didn’t make it. I got as far as a church that basically served as a halfway point. I decided to go ahead and get it towed…mostly because I didn’t want to push it the rest of the way. So, 45 minutes and $60 later, I make it to AutoZone and get my battery tested. They told me it had to be charged and retested, but the problem with THAT is AutoZone didn’t have the proper tools handy so I could get the battery out.
Let me say that again, because I think it’s worth repeating. AutoZone didn’t have the proper tools handy so I could get the battery out.
It wasn’t like they didn’t have them for sale; they just didn’t have it available for public use. I had my own set of tools, but I didn’t have them in my car. They were actually back home because I forgot to put them in my car after I got them out of my wife’s car. So, I had to walk back to my wife’s car, drive home, and then drive back. I eventually got the battery out and had them charge it for me. 45 minutes and one completed podcast from The Insanity Report later, the verdict was in…my battery was bad. 30 minutes and $107 later, I had a new battery and was able to drive home on my own power.
All was well until Monday…when the battery went dead. That’s right; the stupid thing lasted three whole days. On my way home from work Monday evening, the same issues I had from last Tuesday kicked in again. This time, the battery wasn’t the problem; the problem was my alternator. Six hours and $380 later, I have a new alternator to go along with my new battery. All in all, I spent about $500 to get my car back in working order. But, that’s not the whole story.
When I tried to get my car to the shop today, the battery died. So, I had to have my wife bump me to a Walgreen’s parking lot. It was there where a couple of guys stopped and offered to tow me to the mechanic. All they wanted to do was talk to me about my religion. Oddly enough, I’ve never had a problem with talking about religion. I guess that’s primarily because I’ve always been comfortable enough about mine that I can discuss the topic in broad – or narrow – strokes with anyone. That, and my best friend is a Muslim, so that helps.
So, my car is basically at 100%, with the exception of a tire needing to be replaced and an oil leak I have to get fixed somehow. That being said, I told it if it went out again, I would strip it down and sell it for parts.