$450 and a dead bug

November 12, 2009 at 5:20 pm (truck) ()

Well, 7 days, $450 dollars, and 1 dead bug later, my truck is back in fighting trim! I recently chronicled the process of it dying on the road, having to get it towed ($100) home, and J’s multi-day process of trying to figure out the problem. Alternator? Not sure. Battery? Not sure. Post fully-charged battery? Not the battery. Alternator? Stll not sure.

1 AAA membership ($56), a pre-existing problem car tow later ($20) and 3 extra miles later ($12), I left it with a reputable mechanic near work. Luckily the tow-driver was kind enough to take me ($0) to work 3 miles away after dropping it off. The expected alternator/battery diagnostic was not sufficient (both were working properly, $75). Additional diagnostics into the electrical harness (ie, all the wiring under the hood) ended up with 1 dead wasp and an additional $175 charge.

The wasp made it through my air filter, through a barrier-protected area, through a tube and into a small bb-sized hole that ended up shorting out 2 wires on either side of his little wasp body. Those wires were part of the sensor that watches the air in and fuel into the engine. I did get some little odds and ends repaired, and found a new nut for the big bolt on the bottom of my alternator (it would eventually have failed because of it, so I saved myself a tow and more diagnostics in the future).

So, total bill? $450!!!

Oh, and did I mention that my yearly allotted budget for my car is $1200? Want to know what I’ve spent so far this year prior to now? $800. That brings me to $1250. Pretty spot on for the year. Provided nothing else happens this year! Knock on chrome.

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