Date: 12 Mar 2006 15:02:10 -0800
From: "Ludwig" <ludwignospamrdeluxe.com>
Subject: Re: Electrical Mystery


Just to update, random mechanic didn't find any problem, since it started right up for him in the morning. (Which didn't stop him charging me $65.) The problem turned out to be a break in the alternator grounding wire right at the crimp. The ends were still sorta touching, thus the intermittency. Charge went out again at 3AM halfway up to SF, I coasted down an offramp, opened the hood, and saw it immediately -- the arcing from the semi-open had melted the wire's insulation. Fortunately there was enough spare length to cut off the melted end, strip off an inch of insulation, and wrap the bare wire around the ground post. Lessons learned: 1) Always bring your cell phone charger when you travel, even if you think it's just a day trip. If the phone had been working I would have found the Saab specialist a few blocks from random mechanic's 76 station. 2) Avoid random mechanics. 3) Keep a decently stocked toolbox in the trunk; I was lucky this time that this was fixable with nothing but a knife and a Leatherman. 4) Road flares are a lot more fun than plastic reflecty things. Okay, I knew that one already.

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