I left work, drove to Marco's to treat myself to some really excellent pizza and when I got in my belovèd Acura and turned the key in the ignition, it made a sickly "whiiirrr" sound and that was it. The radio and temperature control systems came on but the important thing did not happen, the engine did not turn over.
I've been down this road before: it is either the battery or the alternator. Having had an alternator replaced in every older model car I've ever owned, I know the drill with a crappy alternator. It usually tries to take the battery with it. So you figure the last time I owned an old car was more than ten years - or just ten years - ago. Back then an alternator was a buck twenty-five... Tony tells me that they start at two hundred now. Ouch. And then the labour... ouch again.
And we will not even consider if it is neither the battery or alternator because I'm normally a happy person and the thought of it being something far worse than an alternator or battery is agonising... to the bank account.
I did get a jump start - I always have jumper cables with me, although usually the shoe is on the other foot - i.e., I'm the one lending another person the cup of electricity, as it were. I'm not unhappy at having to get the car jumped, but I am very happy I'm super-careful about having all the safety things like tire-changing materials, a donut, and jumper cables. I ate one slice of pizza, letting the battery rack up more and more of a charge, then finally limped home. I considered other options, but felt that home was the best one, having little trust for anyone other than Tony Zizzo, and also I could just get another jump did I need one.
Luis came home from work at 1720, and I know that this was hard for him. On Monday he did not get in until after 2030. CLS just released CollectionMaster v.7.2 and that means long hours for him as the key developer dealing with client issues and update headaches. But last night he'd gotten in around 1730 and I called him when I'd gotten in and asked him to do his best getting home at a good time so we could drop off my baby at Zizzo's.
I wanted him to follow me in case the alternator died completely while on Route 80 East. Tomorrow I will have his vehicle to get to and from work and I'll take him in and pick him up. I did not want to wait until the weekend and chance 1. breaking down on Route 24 (too many people get killed on 24 - poor shoulder space and racing vehicles) and 2. having to pay to have my vehicle towed. I need to look into roadside assistance. I dumped AAA some time ago. My Acura is a 2001, so it is no longer covered under Acura's roadside program. Grunt.
Tomorrow should be interesting when I find out what the cost'll be.