So, the battery on my car has slowly been dying. I took the car over to Kragen Auto, and they tested the battery and alternator, and sure enough, it's juts a 4-year old battery starting to wear out. I noticed a ways back when the electronic trip odometer kept resetting to zero on it's own. I figured something was wrong with the electrical system. Then I noticed it was just a little harder to start the car each morning. Took a coupla more cranks to turn over the starter. A coupla days ago the starter began to "click click click" once in a while, like the battery was dead, but it would always turn over at the last second. It's not that I was ignoring the warning signs, I just wanted to put off actually buying a new battery as long as I could.
So today, leaving work, I decide to pop the hood and listen to the engine start, because, not only has the battery been having issues, but the engine has developed a distinct rattle lately. (Yesterday, when I started it up, it squealed and tinkled. Not like a loose belt, but more like loose metal rattling around. Surely, not a good sign.) So I go to start the car and get a series of distinct "click click clicks".
Argh!!! No!!! Not today!!! I begged the car to start, just ONE more time. I'll drive you directly to the battery store, I promise!
I squinted my eyes shut, turned the key, and heard the sweet hum of the engine turning over. SWEET! So I drive straight to Batteries Plus on Greenback and buy a new battery. Fits like a glove, turns over like a champ, runs great.
I'm still hearing that little rattle-attle-attle in the engine, though. I'd decided I was gonna put the car in the shop on Monday, my day off.
Unfortunately the car had ideas of it's own.
As I pull out of the Batteries Plus parking lot, and onto Greenback, I hear the rattle-attle-attle get a little louder. I think.... hmmmmm. As I turned south on Sunrise from Greenback, I hear a muffled "thump", the sound of gravelly stuff going under my tires, and suddenly the steering wheel is very hard to turn. And what's that funny smell? Hmmmm
Of course, the car decided NOW is the right time for whatever it was that gave out to give out. The engine still ran just fine, and the car drove, just minus power steering.
Oh, and minus that pesky rattle. Which leads me to believe the two are somehow related. See? I'm automotive smart like that.
So, anyway.... Suburban Ford opens at 8am, so I'll get my car towed over there and rent another car for a few days while they fix mine. Funny how when I take care of one thing, another crops us to take it's place right away.
I guess the old adage is true: Extra money is what you have right before your car breaks down.