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This has /not/ been a good week so far. I needed a jump to get back to this side of town from St. Mary's hospital on Monday. Well, the battery's almost 4 years old. Out here in the land of the baking sun, that's all but ancient. It was under warranty still, so I went straight to Checkers Auto Parts where the previous owner had bought the last one at just after selling the car to me. The employee came out with their little electronic test box and said that no, the battery was fine. It's the alternator. It's overvolting. I happened to glance at the screen when she told me that. It read 14.6 volts. I know next thing to nothing about car electrical systems, so I took her at her word. I asked if the car would be okay through Friday since- those of you who are reading this would know what a large amount of gaming stuff I picked up /last/ week- I was only 3 days from payday and I didn't think the $140 I had left in the account was enough to get the alternator fixed. She assured me, yes, the battery was fine. Just get the alternator replaced soon, before the alternator fries the battery.

I got home and went to take a nap for work. A few hours later I go to try to start the car. Nada. I end up having to call out from work. There's 10 hours of pay, gone. I managed to get a hold of [livejournal.com profile] great_cthulhu and made arrangements for him to give me a jump in the morning before he went to work. Still Nada. The van didn't want to even /try/ to turn over.

After trying for 1/2 a hour I gave up and called my mechanic and got a tow..... A few hours later (he was busy) I got told:

The battery has a dead cell.

That's why it wouldn't even jump. The battery was interfering with the attempt. Not only that, but when I mentioned the alternator and the "overvolting" he said that volt reading was normal. Nothing is wrong with the alternator. Total bill: 139.56 (After he cut me a deal on the tow).

I took that battery right back to Checkers and informed the manager of what happened. After a little running around to get the paperwork proving I missed work, he's started to write up a claim for corporate to review.... It might take a bit, but hopefully I'll get my $225 I lost on this mess back (lost wages, the tow, full price on a battery that I had come to claim the warranty on the day before). Thankfully he had been there the day before and saw me, so I /didn't/ have to insist he review his tapes to prove I had been there. But still, very aggravating. Then my higher ranking boss fussed over me missing work when I came in the next night... He was getting to the point I really wanted to deck him.

I'm really getting to the point where I don't need anything else stressing me out this week. Life has just been too high strung of late.

Date: 2006-04-27 06:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shade-scribbler.livejournal.com
That's Awful, I can't believe they would lie to you...

Date: 2006-04-27 08:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ash-blackwell.livejournal.com
Unfortunately, I can't swear it was a simple as that. She might have misunderstood what the box was telling her. But she should still be held accountable, as elsewise how can they change the training that is causing the problems?

Date: 2006-04-27 07:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sarahtoalaska.livejournal.com
Thing is, on top of that, how could she have known you could drive it that long with a dead altinator? More than likely she either was incompitent or didn't want to deal with doing the exchange. We just replaced our altinator. The battery light came on but we could start the car fine. Thing is.. sure you can drive on a dead altinator but you'll fry the battery. If I'm not mistaken... it could also blow up.
The trick to the whole thing is... had you bought a new altinator and that had not been the problem... most places will NOT take it back.

Date: 2006-04-27 08:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ash-blackwell.livejournal.com
I think she just didn't want to deal with the exchange. Thankfully, since I'm not up to the task of changing the alternator myself, my mechanic is /very/ good. He would not have changed the alternator without testing it with a much better machine first.

As soon as she said it was the alternator, I knew I would need to pay more than a parts fee, which is why I was worried about waiting until Friday. I found out afterwards that the alternator would have been cheaper than the battery to replace because my mechanic will give folks the discount for the core return (I /love/ having a mechanic that's doing this for something to keep buzy during retirement. He's got other income, so he's /very/ good about his prices).

I actually need to stop by there today and inquire as to the status of the claim since I haven't heard from the manager yet....

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ash_blackwell

June 2010

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