On the way home from work last night, I stopped by AutoZone and had them check the battery. Sure enough, that sucker was bad. Everyone there kept asking where I had bought it, apparently they were all surprised that it was still the factory battery in a 4+ year old car. That set me back $70.30, then one of the guys there installed it for me, outside, in the sweltering heat. I felt bad for him, but there wasn’t much I could do. If there had been a garage or somewhere cooler for me to pull into, I gladly would have. It took a while to get installed, he had some issues getting one of the posts fastened, because the bolt wanted to move every time he tried to tighten the nut. He was having to use pliars in one hand to attempt to hold it still while tightening it with a socket wrench in the the other.
After that, it started right up and was time for me to head home. On the drive home, though, I noticed that it felt a little strange to me as I accelerated. Almost as if it would stick, then the acceleration suddenly push through all at once and lurch slightly; instead of gently increasing speed the way it should. Honestly? It felt slightly like the way the car used to move back when I was initially learning to drive stick shift. (And should be noted that this car is an automatic, so it wasn’t me regressing in my ability to drive stick. Ha.)
On the way to work this morning, I had some of the same acceleration problems. It’s not every time I accelerate, so at first I thought I was just imagining things. But, in addition to those problems, this morning I encountered a new one. Each time I would slow down to stop at a red light, the engine would feel like it was stuttering and about to stall out on me. Eons ago I had a car that used to do that (and actually stall) on a regular basis. I can’t remember what the final diagnosis had been in that case.
I talked to my boss about it some this morning, though, and he thinks I should get my alternator checked — that it could be going bad. Here I had thought I dodged the alternator bullet yesterday, by it having been a bad battery. I guess not. So, Saturday my car goes back into the shop again to get that checked out. I’m praying this isn’t going to cost me much, but with my luck… :-\
Oh, and speaking of luck, on a completely random note: yesterday I won a cruise! Well, kind of. I won a 2 for 1 deal on a 10 day Hawaiian cruise. Sadly, even just a single fare on the cruise is too expensive for me, even if I split it in two with the friend I’d take; especially with all these damn car repairs. Oh well. Maybe I’ll get to go to Hawaii someday.