Day 155 – Bad Alternator & A Bummed Leg

You know, I try and have too much fun at a  playground, and I end up tweaking my leg, luckily not breaking it.

Today has been a interesting day. Last night, as I was taking the kids to the park, my battery light came on on my car. A little nervous about what this meant, I immediately turned around to head home. I figured there may be an issue with the battery on my car, but wasn’t certain and I did not want to take the chance.

So we jump to today, and I decided that I needed to get it checked out with a test at Auto Zone. My car starts up fine, but the light still comes on along with the message “check charging system.” Again, I’m not certain the extent of what this means, but I assume it’s not a healthy message. Low and behold, as I get to Auto Zone, which is really just across the parkway, I continue to hear the warning chyme at me, I lose power steering in my car, and when I have the guy at Auto Zone check my battery, it is too dead to see if it’s the battery or the alternator. The guy jumps my car, and my main concern is whether I will have enough power to make the short trip back. He says that as long as I don’t turn the car off, then I should be fine.

They jump my car, and I prepare to make a mad dash back to the house. As I pull up to the busy intersection stop light, the chime comes on again, and I see my airbag light come on. I then see my power steering light come on. It’s a barrage of Christmas lights on my dashboard and the anxiety level is sky rocketing in me. I end up losing power steering once again, just as I turn on to my street. I pull the car in to the garage and am relieved to at least have made it home.

During this time, I had gotten an estimate for the Alternator, but was told that Auto Zone does not replace the part. I figured I’d call the Chevy dealer to get an estimate. Auto Zone quoted me at about $124.99 for the part. When I called the dealership, I was told the part from them would be close to $500. I said F that, and decided to post a Facebook message out to my friends to see if anybody would be of assistance. LUCKILY, and I absolute mean this, my next door neighbor Kyle is a mechanic. He actually worked on planes not too long ago, so he offers to help me out. At this point, my car is dead and we push it over to his garage. I had used Jen’s car to go pick up the part from Auto Zone.

About 2 hours later, and very little help from me outside of holding a flashlight, Kyle had taken out the part and put the new one back. After watching the procedure I know I would not have been able to do this myself. The alternator is fixed and the old HHR appears to be running back to it’s normal standards. Not great, but in regards to that issue, perfectly.

Overall the work cost me $135 for the part and $100 for labor, and a new bottle of Captain Morgan and the work was squared away. I am extremely grateful he took the time out of his day to help, and really do appreciate the work he was able to do, because it far exceeds anything I could have done.

So now to the second part of the blog, all was good, and we decided since it was still daylight, we’d take the kids to this park I hadn’t gotten to go to yet. Jen has taken he kiddos before, but this was my first time. There is a pretty awesome slide there that is extremely tall. I decided Ricky and I would go down it, and me being dumb, decided to make the trip even more memorable, I’d kind of lean back and lift my legs up with him on my lap. The slide kind of turns a bit, and right at the bottom, the material on the sole of my shoe kind of got caught on the slide and pulled my left leg back behind me. I honestly think of the slide would have been any longer, then it would have broken my leg. I’m not trying to exaggerate, and I’m pretty good with being able to walk something off, but my knee and calf are feeling extremely sore from the event.

I literally just kept thinking, if I would have gone a little further, then I could have really messed up my left the way it my foot quickly stopped my one leg and the rest of my body kind of going over it. Hopefully I didn’t actually do any damage to it, and it was just an odd stretch, but it does kind of suck right now.

So after the park we made a trip to Target and a brief stint at Sam’s Club (to pick up the rest of Kyle’s payment) and now we are back home. The kiddos are both in bed, and I am writing this before I turn in myself. I don’t remember the last time I have convinced myself to go to bed before midnight, but today’s events have taken it out of me. Not so much the stupid leg thing, but the car situation provided a few hours of anxiety, stress and an overall sick feeling knowing I have to work for the next 4 days and Jen for sure works tomorrow.

Luckily the cost wasn’t as brutal as it could have been, and again Kyle was awesome for taking the time out of his day and offering help. I am now ready to go lay in bed and pass out. As I sit here, I can feel my leg kind of throbbing on my calf and kind of above my knee. It’s not excruciating by any means, but definitely uncomfortable and I think it’ll stick around for a few days.

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