: Interesting roadtrip during Independance day wknd.

07-05-04, 09:48 PM
Rode in my brother-in-law's car (Merc. Mystique 2.0 Zetec VCT) along with his wife ( my sister) and when we stopped for breakfast in Georgia at a hardeez, upon comming into the parking lot there was literally a chunk of the road NOT there in the entrance. WHAM! We hit it going about 25, the car bottoms out and simultaneously the blowerfan for the HVAC pops out, the fan itself catches something under the dash and breaks two fins. We made sure to take a picture of the intersection and the hole... atleast 4 inches deep and 3 feet long, 6 inches wide stretching the length of the entrance lane from the left. Problem number one.

After breakfast, we're on the road with the now noisy blowerfan in place... now theres some history with the car before what happens next. Apparently the battery light has been on for a while but the car itself has never quit (for more than a few years).

Anyways, were doing about 85 cruising along, listening to some CD's and all of the sudden i notice the tach drops to zero and all of the dash lights come on. It does it intermitantly so we keep driving as far as we can till something really bad happens... not more than 5 minutes later the same thing happens but this time the speedometer goes out as well. Now its time to pull over. You've now entered problem number 2 out of 3.

We take an exit and stop on a service road underneath a bridged section of the highway. Let the car sit, call the DOT in the area and try to figure out whats going on while we wait. Get out a minature voltmeter and check whats left in the batt: 11 volts and the car is struggling to keep alive. Eventually it stalls. Soon the dot gets here but its just a near by dump truck who was in the area... they continue calling for a real representitive to come out. They leave and we try starting the car again... it starts but is having problems again keeping alive.. we d/c the blowerfan thinking that could be a culprate but no difference. With luck on our side, the car returns to normal and we make the last stretch to our destination - his parents house. There we make a small stop at an advance auto. thinking its still the fan (we drove there without the fan) no luck, even trying a new one they loaned us to try.

Eventually we come to the conclusion that its the alternator. We find a parts store that is open till 12 am and also open tomorrow, run out and get a new alternator: $200 w/core fee. Desperate times, we have to get home on Monday. Before we had gotten the new alt. our struggle was getting the old one out! The mechanics manual he also had, gave the wrong directions about how you get the alternator out. There were clearance problems with getting the bottom alternator bolt out (hit the strut tower) and nothing else seemed to work. An hour or two later of struggling, my brother notices that theres cut outs on the bottom bolt journals for you to slide the bolt and the alternator out all at once at an angle. WOW that was very sad. The next day we got the new alternator in. Went to get gas at a station (it started fine after the install), started it up again to leave ... the same issue with the gauges and now an oil light. Immediatly he turns off the car, waits and then starts it up again... everythings normal. Some left over gremlin I guess... and since then the car has worked fine. We made it home as planned on monday

A hard lesson learned, a tough weekend but the fireworks were great. :D

07-05-04, 10:33 PM
Look at it this way.......at least it wasnt your car.

One reason why I always try to rent a car when traveling.

07-06-04, 01:27 AM
That's upsetting! I would have gone into Hardees and spoke with the manager about the hole and complained. I would also make him pay the bill after an estimate is acquired. I wouldn't think that's too much to ask.

07-06-04, 04:18 AM
Well congradulations on fixing it. When you said the fire works were great are you sure it just wasnt something with the cars electrical;) .

07-06-04, 08:51 AM
That's upsetting! I would have gone into Hardees and spoke with the manager about the hole and complained. I would also make him pay the bill after an estimate is acquired. I wouldn't think that's too much to ask.
We did talk to the manager... she brushed us off with saying:

"Oh yeah, we've been trying to get that fixed" etc.

It doesnt matter, we took photos and plan to complain to the state of georgia.