Skip to main content

Maximus Down

My car must be settling into old age now or something. A few months ago, the alternator completely died on me about one block from where I work in Philly. I had to get a tow truck to take the car about 7 or 8 blocks and then wait around until 8:30pm for the car to get fixed. About $800 later, I drove away with my car. I can't really complain about that, though, because the place did fix the car the same day and I was able to drive home (on a Friday night, no less).

Then my air conditioner quit and I found out that it requires a part that is on back order. So I've been waiting for the part for a couple of months now. Since I've made it into late August, I can probably do without it until next year at this point.

I noticed a "clanging" sound coming from the bottom of the car a while ago. Turns out it's part of the exhaust pipe that has come loose. It's not dragging on the ground yet, but I'm fearing the worst ("hey, buddy! Your thing's draggin'!") This project has been on hold until I can get the mechanic to just fix the pipe. One place told me that they'd prefer to replace the pipe AND the catalytic converter, which by itself is like $400-$500. But the one on my car is fine, so no deal.

My front tires have almost no tread left and need to be replaced ASAP. I was planning on doing it this weekend, but...

Drove to work this morning fine. Went to leave around 5:15pm, turned the key in the ignition, and nothing happened. All electrical systems come up, the headlights blaze fine, the radio and clock are working, so I know it's not the battery or alternator. I'm guessing it's the starter, but since I can't get the damned thing started, I'm going to have to get it towed from Philly to Maple Shade tomorrow. The second tow for this car in about 4 months.

So on my way home I signed up for AAA. Better late than never, I guess. $85 for the year and I'll get 100 miles of free towing (per tow) as part of the Plus membership plan. However, for the first week you only get 3 free miles and then it's $4/mile thereafter. So tomorrow should cost me maybe $40 for the tow, and I'll have some peace of mind over the next year with the car. She ain't dead yet!

Comments

Anonymous said…
Omg that's terrible! I think my poor car is slowly going as well. I need an oil change bad, but when I'm at a dead stop then I start to go I have a weird vibrating noise and it kinda chugs.

Popular posts from this blog

2005 Chrysler Town & Country Sliding Door Fix

Our driver's side power sliding door has been acting up over the past year or so.  When you press the button inside the van or use the remote key chain fob to open the door, it will usually only open a few inches and then quit.  When it first started happening it would open pretty far and then quit, so I squirted some WD-40 inside the tracks thinking that something was blocking it.  That actually seemed to buy us some time because it started working again after that.  Over the past few months, though, the door was basically not powered anymore.  It would occasionally open about 2 inches and then stop.  Once open, it wouldn't even attempt to close when you pressed the button.  And if you manually closed the door, you really had to slam it because the motor wasn't taking over to close it all the way (you'll know what I'm talking about if you have one of these).

A side effect of this problem was that our power door locks also stopped working within the past two days o…

PCI-ISA Exam

Last year (July 2014) I took the PCI Professional online course and passed the exam at a Pearson VUE testing center in Mt. Laurel, NJ.  This year I had to take the PCI-Internal Security Assessor course because it became a requirement at my place of employment.  This past Friday I passed the exam at Pearson VUE so I am now a certified PCI-ISA, and I still hold my PCI Professional title as well.  The PCI-ISA certification lasts only one year, so I'll have to re-certify each year, but the PCI-P certification lasts three years.

I felt that these two tests had a lot of overlap, so if you already have the PCI-P certification I would highly recommend going for the PCI-ISA certification if your company is a PCI participating organization and will sponsor you.  The PCI-ISA certification is only valid as long as you work for the sponsoring company.  So if I quit tomorrow or get laid off, I lose the PCI-ISA cert.

If you are taking the PCI-ISA course now and are getting ready to take the exam…

Amazon scam

I recently became victim of an Amazon scam that "isn't that uncommon," according to the scammer.  Yes, that's right.  I had an e-mail conversation with the scammer.  More on that later.

The first warning came when I received an e-mail from Amazon thanking me for updating my account's e-mail address.  "What?" I thought.  "I didn't make any changes to my e-mail address for my Amazon account.  This must be a spam e-mail or a phishing attempt."  But no, it's not.  Upon examination of the e-mail, I saw that it was a legitimate message from Amazon Customer Support.

I immediately got to a computer and logged in to my Amazon account.  I usually have the "Remember Me" setting flagged in my browser at home, so when I opened Amazon.com I was greeted with "Hello, Mark."  "Good," I thought.  "My account is probably safe."

But when I clicked on the "Your Account" link to check my e-mail address, Amaz…